Nothing can ruin a sales rep’s and a prospect’s mood as fast as the thought of cold calling. For most people, it evokes annoyance, boredom, or even anger. They feel these calls are meant to sell them something they don’t need or want. They also think the agent doesn’t care about them. Instead, they believe the agent’s only goal is to make a profit for their business. As a result, the prospects are most likely not to pick up. Or, if they do, they tend to cut the conversation short as soon as possible. And because they expect this negative response, most agents don’t look forward to cold calling. Of course, some tools among the lead calling software, can boost your success rate. However, most agents expect rejection and failure. So, how can you avoid that? By having some top opening lines for cold calling, of course!
What are the challenges of cold calling?
The main obstacle is the lousy rep cold calling. However, with the proper sales intro, it’s not impossible to overcome it. But there are other things you should take into account. After all, it’s called a cold call for a reason. For example, proper callback software will help you get in touch with the customer. But that customer already initiated the contact. With cold calling, it’s the opposite – the prospect didn’t ask you to call them. So, here’s what you can expect:
- Lack of brand awareness – the person you’re calling might not know anything about your company
- No previous interaction – people will respond better if you’ve had some interaction before
- Not enough time to give your entire sales pitch – you must grab your prospect’s attention from the get-go
- Difficulty in getting the right person on the phone – a lot of stakeholders and decision-makers don’t receive these calls directly; instead, they have someone who filters through the calls for them
- Heavy emotional toll – it’s challenging for agents to deal with many rejections and stress and stay upbeat simultaneously.
Why do opening lines for cold calling matter so much?
This is why excellent opening lines are so important. If you get the prospect to talk to you, it opens the door to all other possibilities. All of the obstacles we’ve mentioned will become irrelevant. A good intro will leave a good impression and intrigue your prospect enough to continue the conversation. They’ll be more interested to hear what you have to say and more ready to take action that leads them further down your sales funnel. It may include scheduling the next call, asking for a demo, or arranging a meeting. All of these are good signs for you.
Things to do before the cold call
Of course, even before you pick up the phone, there are some things you can do to increase your chances. So here are some ideas that prevent you from wasting your time and feeling frustrated.
- Define your target audience. Who will benefit the most from your products and services? What problems can your product solve?
- Compile an extensive list of possible prospects. Start with the ones most likely to respond positively.
- Do your research. Find out more about the company you’re calling. What were their recent struggles? What projects are they working on?
- Find the decision-maker. You don’t want to waste your time chatting with five persons who have no authority to respond to your offer.
Top opening lines for cold calling
So, how to start? Here are some must-haves of opening lines that will grab your prospect’s interest.
Start with the greeting
Not only is it polite to do so, but it also prompts people to respond similarly. After all, you don’t want to antagonize the prospect before you start. Depending on the situation, you can opt for a simple Hi! or Hello! or choose to be a bit more formal if necessary.
Whomever you call, at whatever time, they’re likely to be busy. Acknowledge that by saying something like:
‘Hi, I hope I caught you at a good time for a 2-minute chat.
‘Hello, I’ve probably caught you in the middle of something, but I’d like to ask you… It won’t take much of your time.’
Of course, you should introduce yourself and your company as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll appear mysterious and unreliable. In addition, the prospect will get suspicious and think you’re running a scam. Branding your call is another option to explore, where you establish yourself as a business that can be trusted.
‘Hi, this is Sarah from X company. I understand that you have a lot to do, but could you spare a couple of minutes?’
Use a mutual contact if you can, or drop the referral
If you’ve already worked with their partners or have mutual connections, it’s always a good idea to use them. For example:
‘Hi, how have you been? This is Sarah from the X company. Mark from the Y company said you might be interested to work with us. I hope you have a moment for a short chat?’
However, you can still use your business history even if you don’t have a mutual contact. For example, if you’ve worked with a big name in the field, don’t hesitate to mention it. Prospects always want to know what the competition is doing and how they can keep up.
Ask for help
It’s a natural human trait to want to help others. So if you ask for help, most people will instinctively respond with a yes.
‘Hi, I wanted to ask for your help with something / I’m calling because I hope you could help me with something…‘, etc.
Give a reason for your call
Again, you don’t want to appear shady and suspicious. When you want to boost web lead conversions, you give leads reasons to stay and interact with your brand. The same applies to cold calling – be upfront about why you’re calling. You’ll catch their interest from the start if you research well and know the prospect’s pain points. Just don’t get bogged down with the details. There will be enough time for that later.
‘Hi, I hope you have a minute to help me with something? This is Sarah from the X company. I’m calling because Mark from the Y company said you might be interested to discuss (our solution) to (your pain point). Is now a good time?’
Show that you appreciate them
Something simple that shows your appreciation will do. For example:
‘Thanks for picking up my call, I really appreciate it.’ or
‘Thank you for your time, I’m glad you picked up the call.’
In some respects, cold calling can seem like a blind date. There’s a lot of potential but also a lot of opportunities for failure. Luckily, excellent opening lines for cold calling will enable you to capture your prospect’s interest and increase your success rates.
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