The best cold call opening lines should capture the prospect’s attention within the first few seconds. Each word must be carefully chosen to raise the prospect’s interest, so that they are willing to give you a few minutes of their time.
The first impression will make or break the sales call. It is thus in your best interest that the first impression is as good as can be.
A good opening line can help you save a lot of time in the global sales cycle. What are the best tips to finding a successful opening line in phone prospecting? How can you adapt it to the prospect in order to have a successful phone call? Follow our guide to the best cold call opening lines!
Preparing the best cold call opening line
First of all, you need to remember that the aim is not to sell during the first call. Avoid listing a long sales pitch, and focus instead on raising the prospect’s interest and making sure that they are in the target.
Do not rush over the phone and give the prospect time to reply to your “hello”. Be careful to not start the call on an adversarial note. The point of phone prospecting is to sell a product or service that has benefits for your clients.
Cold call opening lines: the best practices
Highlight your interest in the prospect
As a salesperson, you should show that you are interested in the prospect’s company, their industry, and their problems. It is thus very important to adapt your phone pitch to each client.
Also, asking questions and listening attentively will ensure you truly understand the prospect’s needs and desires.
“What are your short-term and long-term goals?”, “Why is this product important to you and your company?”
Show the prospect that you can meet their needs. The key is to always differentiate yourself from your competitors by showing the prospect that you are really interested in them. You need to be empathetic, in order to offer solutions adapted to the prospect.
Don’t hesitate to do some research on the prospect before you call them, using social media for example. Nowadays, there are great tools to research on prospects in order to understand their problems and identify what could lead to a sale. What you identify could make the call more personable. Prepare prospecting documents about your qualified leads to catch their attention within the first few minutes of the call.
Be concise and efficient
Most potential clients want salespeople to be clear and frank about what they are selling. The prospect should quickly understand why you are calling them. To keep their attention, you should make points that speak to them.
Quickly explain why you are calling them with clear and simple sentences: “[Potential client’s name], the reason why I am calling you today is…”
You should also quickly explain why you are calling them specifically. “We have noticed that in companies with more than 15 salespeople, managing expense accounts quickly becomes very complex and frustrating. Is that something you have also noticed?” Such an opening line ensures you are calling a company of this size.
Mention the advantages of your offer! The message you are sending to the prospect must meet their expectations. The prospect should understand that you take their needs into account and that, most importantly, you have the right solutions to their problems.
After the opening line, ask questions like: “What do you think of your company? Do you think you could improve it in some way?”
Adapt the advantages of your product
Next, you should highlight your product’s advantages, without going into too much detail during the first call. Too much detail might make the prospect lose interest.
You need to target your pitch and ask the prospect’s advice in order to keep the conversation natural: “Is that all right by you?”, “Do you agree?”, “Have I summarised that correctly?”, etc.
Each feature of your product has a list of advantages, but each client has a preconceived notion of what they want or need.
The features and benefits you list are only tools to sell the product. Make sure to adapt the benefits you mentioned to the conversation.
Highlight the results similar clients have had with your solution. These stats will legitimise your product and help you move forward in the sales process.
Your client will also have more trust in you and may want to know more about your offer. You could use an opening line like:
“[Prospect’s name], I’m contacting you, because I’ve noticed that you have [a specific subject]. This caught my eye, as we have worked with XXX on the same problem… Can I introduce myself?”
Or: “We are used to working with similar companies in your sector that have these problems: [Problem 1] and [Problem 2]. Is this the case in your company?”
You can hear when someone is smiling. A smile is essential in sales, as it helps you make a good impression on prospects. As an old Chinese proverb says, “The man who can’t smile should not run a shop.”
Smiling shows the prospect that you are relaxed. Since smiling is contagious, the prospect will also be relaxed and more open to having a dialogue.
Opening lines: mistakes to avoid
Having a self-centred opening line
If you immediately present yourself and explain what you do, it is very likely that the prospect won’t be interested:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I work for [company name].” Keep in mind that the prospect has not solicited your call and might think you are wasting their time.
Ask open questions in order to understand the prospect’s company, their strategy, and their potential needs:
“Could you talk about what you do? What are your main goals this year? What is your biggest problem?”
You can adapt your opening line based on the type of prospective company. If, for example, it’s a listed company, you can focus on your Internet research or on the yearly report:
“After having read your yearly report on your website, it seems to me that you’re about to…” This type of cold call opening line shows active interest in the company, and implies that you have useful recommendations.
If you randomly call prospects and use the same pitch and cold call opening line each time, the prospects won’t feel concerned about the product. They won’t care about the product’s benefits, and the sale will be automatically lost.
It’s essential to prepare beforehand by personalising the call with research. This will help adapt the sales pitch so that the prospect feels heard and understood.
Timing is everything, so be aware of the signs during the phone call that mean it’s the right moment to make your offer.
It is essential to prepare an opening line in order to start the phone call properly. Don’t hesitate to use the “warm call” method, by mentioning a mutual contact so as to create a sense of trust between you.
Seeming too confident
You need to be confident and believe in yourself and in your product and its benefits. This will make the prospect more likely to listen to what you are offering, and will make them trust you more.
Make sure, however, to not seem arrogant! If you are too confident, the prospect may be immediately put off and end the phone call.
In conclusion, a cold call opening line is essential for phone prospecting. It sets the tone for the entire phone call. The opening line must catch the prospect’s attention so that they give you a few minutes of their time.
A successful prospector must stay focused on the prospect, by getting to know them well and identifying their problems and by carefully presenting the product as the adequate solution.
An opening line must be personable and must be based on a sense of trust between the salesperson and the prospect. It should be concise and effective, so as to quickly spark the prospect’s interest in the product, and also be adapted to each prospect.
To help you develop your call, noCRM’s Lead Management Software team has created a free cold calling script generator. Don’t hesitate to use it during your phone prospecting!
Frequently asked questions
Make sure to ask questions and to carefully listen to the prospect’s answers.
You can start a cold call by mentioning a problem you have identified in the prospect’s company or industry sector.
noCRM offers cold call script generators that will help you with your cold call opening lines.