As a salesperson, cold calling is a part of your job. You have to reach out to people over the phone, and at times, it can be a challenging task. People won’t answer your calls, and the conversion rates are on the lower side. However, your opening line decides how successful your call will be. To help you out, we’ll show you how to open a cold call and bring you the best cold call opening lines. But before that, lets us brush up on a little about cold calling. 

What Is A Cold Call?

A cold call refers to a sales call to a lead who may not have expressed a prior interest in the product or service. Though the lead may not know about the brand or company of the sales rep, they may have an interest in the product or service or may benefit from it.

That doesn’t mean that sales reps dial a number and get on a call. They try to find a leader who matches their ideal buyer persona. 

Cold calling is a kind of outreach that has witnessed a massive shift from being a form of reading out a sales pitch over the phone to a tool for active sales communication. Though it is challenging to effectively reach out to someone who hasn’t heard about your company, it is still a part of sales outreach. Also, contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to cold-call people. Different countries have laws and regulations that limit cold calling, but it is entirely legal to cold call. 

The Basics Of Opening A Cold Call

Before we head to the best cold call opening lines, you must brush up on the basics of opening a cold call, 

1. Begin with greeting the prospect

Begin with greeting the prospect-image

Wondering how to start a cold call? A greeting is a must-have in all calls, but it is surprising to see many salespeople forget it and get straight to business. In B2B sales or any other kind of sales, you have to greet the person on the other end. It is the basis of building long-term relationship selling, and falls in the category of basic manners that we were taught in school. Be respectful and professional when you greet the prospect. A formal greeting would be the best way to open a cold call.

2. Give the proper introduction of yourself and your business

Give proper introduction of yourself-image

You have to make the call so engaging that the other person has no chance of hanging up. 

Here’s what you can start with: “I am Jhonty Rhodes, the CEO of ABC company. We are into helping small businesses like yours scale up.” Everyone will want to know how you can help them grow and earn revenue. But on the other hand, if you say something like “We are providing training to small businesses like yours”, do you think you will get a positive response? Probably not. 

Focus on what the customer would get from what you have to offer. When they know that there is something in it for them, they would want to continue speaking to you. Otherwise, they hardly have a reason to stay on the line. 

3. Thank them for their time

Thank them for their time-image

There is no need to explicitly tell that everyone is occupied with work in the busy hours of the day, and most often, they will even tell you that when you call them. You can make them stay on the call by thanking them for their time and telling them that it won’t take too long to complete the conversation. Here’s what you can say,

“Thanks for taking up my call. It won’t take more than a minute of your time.” 

Here you are thanking them for their time and letting them know that they will be free to return to their work in a minute. Valuing the prospect’s time and making the other person feel significant counts a lot, and they might actively listen to what you have to say. 

9 Best Cold Call Opening Lines To Improve Conversion Rate

Here are some of the best cold call opening examples that will give you great results when you use them in calls,

1. Opening the cold call with a statement trying to address the problem of the prospect

“Hi {{prospect_name}}, I am Hillary Holmes with {{company_name}} and the reason for reaching out to you is I help sales teams improve their outreach skills – and if this is a good time, can I ask you a few questions to know whether I can be of help to you? Is it fine with you?”

The above opening is one of the best cold call opening lines that works because there is a prevalent problem of sales teams. Most sales reps have difficulty making sales calls, and nothing is astonishing about it. It is a pain point of so many organizations, and most of them are trying to fix it because it translates to monetary loss for the business in the long run. So, there is a high chance of them listening to what you have to say.

On the contrary, if you say something like “we offer training to sales reps”, you will probably get a negative reply. So, like I already said, it is essential to specify the benefits the customer would get by availing of your services. 

2. Opening the cold call with a referral

Hi, {{prospect_name}} I am Jane Wordsworth with {{company_name}}. {{Referral_name}} with {{referral’s_company}} mentioned that I should call you in connection with how our company helped him in {{alleviating_pain_ point}}. If this is a good time to talk to you, can I ask a few questions to see how our solution can be helpful to your business? Is that fine?

Here in this script, there is mention of mutual contact. There is no prize for guessing that it is more likely for you to get the prospect’s attention when there is a referral. That is the kind of an impact of having a person they know in between. 

3. Opening the call with the mention of what the competitors are up to

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, I am Gregory William with {{company_name}}. I am calling you because we have helped {{competitor1_name}}, {{competitor2_name}}, {{competitor3_name}} to overcome {{pain_point}} and provided them with {{benefit}}.

Using this kind of an opening line in a cold calling script will fetch you a lot of deals because it is human nature to know what the competitors are doing and how it is helping them grow. There are high chances of the prospect to join the race as well. In the script, there is mention of alleviating the pain point and providing benefits that are a great combo. 

4. Opening the call by acknowledging that the prospect is busy

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, I am Greg William with {{company_name}}. I must have caught you in the middle of something important, but the reason for calling you is.

When you call a professional during working hours, it is evident that they are involved in a task. In a way, your call is hampering their work, and when you acknowledge that in your opening line, you are being empathetic, and the prospect will appreciate that.

In a cold call, what you say is not as important as how you say it. That is why you should know when and where to pause. It would be better to pause after the line ‘I must have caught you in the middle of something important. Doing so will help them respond better and take the conversation in the right direction.

If they say they are busy, you can say, ‘I will be really quick. I am calling ….’ or say something like ‘Can I call you back on Thursday at 4 pm?’ 

5. Opening lines asking for the prospect’s help

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, I am Samantha with {{company_name}}. I was wondering if you could help me out a little?

Here you are asking the prospect to help you out. It works because instead of asking for the prospect’s time, you are asking for their help. You are more likely to get a positive response. It is a part of human nature to be willing to help, and you must use it for your good in your opening line. Even though the prospect doesn’t know you personally, they are likely to give you an affirmative response. Once you have their attention, you can say thanks and start talking about their biggest roadblock.

Here’s how you can go about it after they give the nod,

Great, thanks! Listen, the reason for calling you {{prospect’s_name}} is that most small businesses face difficulties setting up their support team. 

When you use the prospect’s name in the call, you will make them sit up and listen to you. 

 6. Opening the call with a little intrigue

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, I am Samantha with {{company_name}}. I am a little lost. Can you spare me some time to tell you why I called?

In this opener, you mention the purpose of your call right at the beginning. This would make prospects pay attention to you. Also, here you are not going ahead with your sales pitch but are asking for help, and just like the previous opener, this would help build a bond with the person you are speaking to. You are intriguing them by asking for help as they don’t know what you will come up with. 

7. Opening the cold call by being honest.

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, I am Samantha with {{company_name}}. We have never spoken before. 

While this may seem like a perfect way of making the prospect hang up, it works. It makes use of honesty, and it pays you when you are making a cold call. Most prospects will be ready to listen to you after using this line. It is an excellent way of building trust, and that will give you a chance to get to the point, which is the ‘real’ reason for your call. 

8. Asking the welfare of the prospect

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, How are you?

Using such an opening line in your cold calling script will make the prospect feel that the call is from a friend or colleague. Also, it is a sure-shot way of getting a reply. The prospect may reply with an ‘I am fine’ or ask who you are. Both ways, it helps take the conversation ahead. Though it may seem like a trick, it is effective in helping you open a dialogue. 

9. Another way of asking the prospect’s welfare

Hi, {{prospect_name}}, How have you been?

This is one of those sales openers that makes the prospect think you may already know them and makes it easier to begin the conversation. It is a variation of the opening line we discussed above. 

Best Practices To Open A Sales Call

You have to bear in mind specific points when you open a sales call. Here we have listed a few of them for your help.

1. Concentrate on the tone of your voice

In a cold call, only your voice that the other person hears and what you feel reflects in it. If you are enthusiastic about your product or service, it should get reflected in the tone of your voice. If you are not sure of how you sound over the phone, get the call recordings and listen to them to improve your tone and convey your message better in the future. 

2. Keep a check on your pace

Calling a person you don’t know is not easy, and you are likely to get nervous. The problem is that when you are nervous, there is a chance of talking too fast. You may not realize it, but it does happen. If you are too fast, it will annoy the prospect, and they will hang up. So, it would help if you try to reduce your pace and make sure that the prospect can grasp what you say. 

3. Be human

As you aim to build a relationship with prospects, you must show the human side of you by injecting some humor and empathizing with the prospect. Even if you make mistakes while speaking, own them. Being human can help the prospect relate with you better. And perhaps that is why even in this age of automation, humans make cold calls as nobody would want to listen to a robot.

4. Avoid showing your weakness

When making a call, you have to be careful about one thing- never ask for forgiveness just because you have made a call or are taking a little more of the prospect’s time. 

Best Cold Call Opening Line Tips

Cold Call Opening Line Tips - Infographic

In general, when you are cold calling, you must try to keep a few things in mind, and they are the following,

1. Get as much time of the prospect as you can

You must be aware that successful cold calls are longer than calls that don’t hit the bull’s eye. The length of the call decides the chances of taking the conversation ahead. You have to keep holding the prospect’s attention. As an experienced salesperson, you can predict what will happen next in the conversation and what you should do to turn it in your favor. 

2. Do your research

Before every call, you should do your research. Your calls will be better when you gather all the information about prospects beforehand. It will help you capture the prospect’s attention better. On the contrary, if you call without spending even a minute in research, you will not appear to be genuine in the eyes of the prospect. The truth is that when you put in the effort and personalize the call, the prospects will feel happy. So, keep your research as the top-most priority.

3. Choose the right time to call

You can’t just pick the phone and dial a number as you please. You have to find the best time to call i.e. when the prospects have a higher chance to answer the phone. The impact will be higher when you reach them at the right time. So, plan your calls at the best times of the day, and you can use the rest of the day to work on the remaining tasks like planning and preparing for calls and reviewing your script.

4. Be customer-centric at all times

When you reach out to the prospect, you must try your best to focus on the prospect and not on yourself. Don’t start by talking about what you or your company does. Nobody would be interested to hear anything about you. If you want to get the prospect’s attention, you have to focus on what you have to offer them. Tell them how your solution can fulfill their needs.

5. Be ready for rejection

Not all your calls will get you a deal. Most of the time, you won’t even be able to reach the person and land in their voicemail without having the chance to put your sales pitch forward. But that shouldn’t disappoint you. Maybe the next one will be great, and you can achieve your sales target. Also, remember that you are not alone. Many other salespeople out there face rejection, and you are just one of them. You have to keep trying. 

6. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes

When you want to ace your craft of making cold calls, you have to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. How would you feel when you receive a cold call from someone? What kind of a tone would feel good. How would you want the person to call you – by your first or last name? How much time would you like the person to take to come to the point? By asking yourself these questions, you can find out how to present yourself to the prospect when making calls. You always have to be polite, courteous, and empathetic at all times on your call to be able to get the prospect’s attention. 

7. Be tactful with voicemails 

There can be times when you have left a voicemail when you can’t reach the prospect. Don’t get disappointed when that happens. Just keep it straight and to the point. Have energy but at the same time ensure that you have a polite tone. It is okay to leave callback details but be ready to follow up persistently if you are keen on making a sale.

8. Make sure to follow up 

You can’t expect excellent results with just one call. You have to follow up. In the first call, you may try to build a rapport with the prospect, and they might hear your sales pitch. However, they may not give the nod to the deal instantly. There are also chances that the person you just contacted is not the decision-maker. In such a case, you will have to connect with the concerned person to take the deal ahead. That means follow-up is essential. 

Cold Call Opening Line You Should Avoid Using

Your opening line decides whether the prospect will pay attention to what you have to say next. Some lines are common but are not the best sales opening lines. Here’s one of them,

1) Hi {{prospect_name}}, I am {{your_name}} with {{company_name}}. Did I reach you at a bad time?

The above may look courteous, but it is not a great opener. The logic is that when you ask whether it is a good time to speak, the prospect might say no, and the conversation may not move ahead. So, you instead ask whether it is a ‘bad time’ to speak and the prospect’s involuntary reaction is ‘No’, which gives you a chance to carry on with the call. 

However, you will know this is a somewhat problematic opener when you put yourself in the prospect’s place. It is more like tricking a prospect into a conversation. Honestly, would you purchase from someone who is making use of tricks? Probably not! Another issue of this opener is that the prospect would enter the defense mode and not respond to your question the way you want them to. That will, anyway, lead to failure.

Take a look at yet another commonly used opening line in cold calls,

2) Hi {{prospect_name}}, I am {{your_name}} with {{company_name}}. Do you have 27 seconds to spare to listen to me and know why I have called?

You may feel that it is easy for the prospect to give you 27 seconds, but do you think you will convey your message and engage the prospect in 27 seconds? That is where this opening line fails. The call is no longer in your control, and all you can do is put in all the information about your solution as quickly as you can. The most common response to such calls is ‘send over some information. The prospect may seem interested, but that is far from reality. It would only lead to your efforts getting wasted, so it is better to avoid such opening lines. 

Here’s one more opening line that is quite common,

3) Hi {{prospect_name}}, I am {{your_name}} with {{company_name}}. I am reaching out to you because we help save money for small businesses like you…

As you can see, it is all too unclear and rather vague when you say ‘save money. The prospect hears it many times a day and feels that it is a format for all cold calls. It is time to come out of such opening lines and start using the ones that help you nail the call. 

Start Cold Calling & Impress Prospects With Your Opening Lines

Cold calling never gets old. You have to be careful about a few things, and you can ace the game. As the opening line of a cold call is of supreme importance, it is good to invest some time in perfecting it. You have already seen what the the best cold call introduction looks like and using the right opening lines can get you more attention from the prospect. Do try following the tips mentioned above to make your calls take the prospects further down the sales funnel.

Don’t forget to thank us when you start hitting your targets easily.


What is a cold call?

A cold call refers to a sales call to a lead who showed a prior interest in the product or service. Though the lead may not know about the brand or company of the sales rep, they may have an interest in your solution.

Is cold calling relevant today?

Cold calling techniques never gets old. You have to be careful about a few things, and you can ace the game. As the opening line of a cold call is of supreme importance, it is good to invest some time in perfecting it.

Can we use voicemails for cold call?

Yes, you can. Just keep it straight and to the point. Have energy but at the same time, ensure that you have a polite tone. It is okay to leave callback details but be ready to follow up persistently.