10 Best Cold Call Opening Lines for Sales Pros

photo of a salesman making cold calls

Getting and keeping your prospect’s attention on a cold call can be done in four ways.

You can either:

  1. Make the call about them
  2. Respect their time
  3. Offer value without strings
  4. Build intrigue

The cold call opening lines below all help you do one or all of those things.

(Yes, these are actual opening lines, unlike other blog posts that give you mere tips.)

1. I am happy to be speaking with you today!

Most cold callers can suffer from having a mundane or forced tone to their voice.

No one, especially your ideal customer, wants to talk with someone like that.

Couple this with the fact that 63% of salespeople say that cold calling is the worst part of their job, and what do you get?

Only 69% of buyers taking one or more cold calls each year.

Put a smile on your face. Inject some enthusiasm in your opening line. And have a sincere desire to help the person on the other end of the phone.

It’s human nature to smile when someone is excited to speak with you, and your buyers are no different.

Your average time on a call will more than double. And your quota will either be met or exceeded every quarter and year.

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hey John, it’s great to be speaking with you today! How are you?!”
  • “Good Morning, Mary! I know you have a busy schedule, and I have to say, I really appreciate you taking my call, you’re the best.”
  • “Hello again, Joe! You’ve made my day by taking my call—let me return the favor by sending you a resource we just published.”

2. I was going to call you next week/month, but...

Your ideal prospect is your number one priority, right?

Then be sure to communicate that in your opening line.

The prospect on the other end of the phone is priority number one. Help them understand that. Tell your prospect that you moved them to the top of your list at this very moment.

By doing this, you’re discouraging your prospect from telling you to call back at another time. Goal accomplished!

Plus, this strategy adds FOMO to your cold calling. If your prospect hangs up, what will they miss if you followed the plan to call him next week or month?

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hello Marty, I was going to call you next month, but I have a resource to share that will save you 50 hours this month!”
  • “Good Morning, Jenn! I had a follow up scheduled two weeks from tomorrow, but I can’t wait any longer to tell you about our new product.”
  • “Hey, Jeff! I know you told me to follow up in Q4, and we’re a few weeks out from that. I just thought you’d be interested in moving to the front of the line.”

3. Congratulations on your recent...

Business intelligence software like ZoomInfo is a must have.

The ability to track key contacts is critical to the success of a cold caller. Near instant notifications on promotions, new jobs, and acquisitions is valuable insight.

Buyers want you to personalize outreach. They don’t want to tell you about their promotion. They want you to be proactive and be the first to congratulate them.

Customer expectations are higher than ever. Customer Experience is the number one sales KPI. And there’s never a bad time to stroke your ideal customer’s ego.

Lead your cold calls with a congratulatory message. You’ll find that your prospect will express gratitude in the form of a longer call.

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Good Afternoon, Jason! I pulled over in a parking lot after receiving the notification that you’re the new National Sales Manager. Congratulations! It’s well deserved!”
  • “Hello, Stacey! The last time we spoke you were at [old company], so it appears I owe you a congratulations on the new job at [new company]. Congratulations!”
  • “Hey, Mac! Will I see you ringing the bell on Wall Street next year? Congratulations on another successful acquisition!”

4. How can I help you with [problem]?

Most cold call opening line blog posts suggest you ask the prospect for help. Don’t do that. It’s not your prospect’s job to help you. Rather, it’s your job to help them.

This opening line highlights one of the greatest cold call strategies. Always lead with an open-ended question.

If you start with, “Can you help me?” You’ll receive a close-ended response, such as “No.”, 90% of the time.

If you ask “How can I help you?” You’ll either receive a question, such as “How can you help me?”, or insight to your prospect’s hottest pain point.

This works especially well when you already have intelligence from previous calls. Further, don’t hesitate to use this as a cold voicemail message to get more call backs.

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Barry! I was just wondering what a good time would be for me to help you double, perhaps triple sales productivity?”
  • “Good Morning, Mike! I’ve been leaving you voicemails the past month because I’m looking to discover how I can help you. Which of these is a more pressing concern—[pain point 1] or [pain point 2]?”
  • “Hey, Katie! I know budgets are getting worked on right now. How can I help you in 2023?”

Recommended reading: Complement cold call opening lines with the best cold email templates

5. [Contact] from [Client] thought you'd be interested...

Most companies ask their clients to write a one sentence testimonial. The review sits on the company website for visitors to read a few times a year.

There’s a better path for leveraging happy clients. You ask their permission to use their name and recommendation on cold calls. Voila!

This is especially true when your client works for a competitor of your prospect. Competitive buyers don’t want to fall behind or lose ground to their competitors.

Recognizable brands also work to intrigue buyers. Coca-Cola, Apple, Tesla. You’ll be sure to double your engagement times by choosing this path.

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Mitch! I recently spoke with [client name] at Pepsi, and he wanted me to tell you that it only took a 10 minute demo to ‘get it’. Should we put something on the calendar?”
  • “Good Afternoon, Casandra! I thought you’d be interested to know that [competitor] is one of our five-star clients. Would you like to know why they use us, and where they can be doing better?”
  • “Hey, Mikey! [client name] from Google just emailed me the following KPI updates–[update 1] and [update 2]. She thinks you’d be interested in similar results. Thoughts?”

6. I think you'd be interested to know [outcome]. Would you like to know why/how?

As I shared earlier, cold call opening lines work best when they fan the buyer’s intrigue.

One of the best ways to do this is by sharing a client outcome or a fact from research. Immediately afterwards, you ask the buyer if they’d like to know more.

You shouldn’t pick any random outcome or insight, either. Make sure it matches the prospect’s persona profile. It should be a common pain point, project, or actionable trend that is top of mind.

Tone is also important here. Don’t merely say, “Would you like to know more?” Raise your eyebrow, extend the ‘r’ sound in the word ‘more’.

Think of Frau Blucher from Young Frankenstein. “Would the doctor care for a brandy before retiring?” Hope you enjoyed this laugh.

You want to make answering “Yes!” so irresistible to your prospect that they can’t say “No.”

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Sam! I thought you’d be interested to know that most salespeople spend over 1,000 hours not selling every year. Would you like to know why?”
  • “Good Morning, Chris! You wouldn’t believe it if I told you, but there are over 1,000 apps on Salesforce AppExchange. Would you like to know why they’re needed to improve Salesforce adoption?”
  • “Hey, William! I thought you’d be interested to know that [competitor] just doubled their sales team size in six months. Would you like to know how they did it?”

7. I was going to call [competitor], but I wanted to talk to you first.

Namedropping in opening lines is a key tactic when cold calling.

When you tell your prospective buyer that you chose to call them before their competitor—you’ll have their undivided attention.

It’s not just flattery. They’ll be curious as to WHY you called them first. And if they choose not to take you up on your offer, your prospect will wonder what they’ll miss out on.

Hook. Line. And sinker.

This is a favorite opening line of cold callers. The list of curious questions that will run through your prospect’s mind is near endless.

And similar to opening line number four, this works especially well as a cold call voicemail. “I was going to call [competitor], but I wanted to talk to you first. Please call me back before the end of the day.”

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Doron! I was going to call [competitor] today, but I wanted to talk to you first. As the new Sales Manager, how would you like to receive the CEO’s praise sooner rather than later?”
  • “Good Afternoon, Jimmy! I was going to call [competitor] first, but I wanted to talk to the person who [similar interest].”
  • “Hey, Scott! I’m happy that I reached you. I chose to call you before [competitor]. Let me tell you why.”

8. Would [CEO] be impressed to hear that you [result]?

Everyone answers to the CEO, even your prospect.

Therefor, it’s partly your job as a salesperson to help your buyer look really good in front of the CEO.

This fact should simplify what pain point, solution, and result you lead with in your opening line.

Your prospect uses dozens of solutions every single day. Salesforce. Email Marketing. Word Processor. But how many create a positive impact that resonates across the account? Very few.

It’s your job to convince and prove to your buyer that your solution will get the attention of the CEO.

Everyone you talk to wants recognition, raises, and promotions. There’s no faster path for them than being an all star to the CEO.

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Margaret! Would [CEO] be impressed to hear that you saved the company $50,000 by eliminating data entry and admin tasks?”
  • “Good Morning, Tom! What if [CEO] heard from you that you’ve managed to increase the number of deals in your pipeline by 250%? Wouldn’t that be cool?”
  • “Hey, Brian! I see there are over 70 people in your department’s Org Chart. What would it mean to you if your name stood out amongst the rest to [CEO]?”

9. Did you see [common interest] [latest happening]?

LinkedIn is a treasure trove of insights not found anywhere else.

Before you call your prospect, check out the following sections on their LinkedIn profile:

  • Interests
  • Volunteer Work
  • Activity
  • Education

There should be one or two things that you have common interest in, or that you can reference on your call.

Buyers don’t like cold calls because of the absence of a professional relationship with the caller.

What better, faster way to establish one than by sharing something in common?

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hi, Pete! Did you happen to attend Tony Robbins seminar last Thursday—it was awesome!”
  • “Good Afternoon, Theo! That was one heck of a win for your Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday—what did you think of that last touchdown pass?”
  • “Hey, Brian! I have to say, reviewing your volunteer work with the Special Olympics has inspired me to reach out to my local chapter.”

10. I’m reaching out to you, and I’ll be reaching out to [their colleague] later today…

First we referenced competing companies in opening lines.

Now we move on to inner-office competition. Yes, your prospective buyers are competing for promotions and recognition with their colleagues.

For many salespeople, the entire Org Chart is up for grabs. Some are decision makers, while others are influencers.

Giving off the impression that you have something valuable to offer, and that the prospect is getting first crack, is a huge FOMO enticement.

This opening line will do two things. It will encourage your buyer to act on your offer. And they’ll tell you not to bother with calling the other colleague.

Cold call opening lines is an art. You’re about to be Picasso!

3 examples of this cold calling opening line:

  • “Hello, Jerry! I’m reaching out to you, and I’ll be reaching out to [colleague in a similar role] later today in hopes of adding a 3X multiplier to your pipeline. Do you have 2-3 minutes right now?”
  • “Good Afternoon, Pamela! I’m looking to start a value-added conversation around [pain point], and I’m not sure who wants to get the credit for the solution—you or [colleague]?”
  • “Hey, Petyr! I’m not sure who I should be talking to about achieving [benefit] and getting credit for it. Are you the right person, or is [colleague 1] or [colleague 2]?”

Final Thoughts on Cold Call Opening Lines

Using cold call opening lines to get and keep your buyer’s attention is a great skill to have. This goes for both inside sales and outside sales reps. These are our clients’ ten favorites. Start with these and create your very own once you get a good feel for captivating your buyer personas.

If you want to learn more about cold calling and cold emailing best practices, here are some of our other popular resources:

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Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

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