More than two decades ago, when I embarked on my sales training, coaching, and consulting adventure, I was frequently bombarded with the question: “What are the best cold calling opening lines?” You see, in those prehistoric days, making cold calls was the bread and butter of prospecting.
Fast forward to today, with the advent of emails, robo calls, and all those fancy filters on your phone blocking strangers, cold calling has become a rare art form. In fact, it’s been eons since someone last asked me for advice on the best cold call opening lines.
Brace yourselves, folks, because what I’m about to reveal may shatter your world.
The best cold call opening line is… (cue drumroll) “Hi, it’s Merit” (although, unless you’re me, using my name in your cold calls would be downright bizarre).
That’s it. No fireworks, no fancy language.
Now, why is “Hi, it’s (first name)” the ultimate cold call opening line? It’s not the words themselves, it’s the fact that YOU PICKED UP THE PHONE. (Apologies for shouting, but I needed to drive my point home)
When you muster the courage to call a prospect you’ve never spoken to before, you’ve already conquered the hardest part. Remember, you’re not doing business with them yet, so there’s no way you could be doing less business. It’s all upside from here.
I’m often asked if I make cold calls for my own business, and the answer is a resounding “yes.” Picking up the phone is an integral part of my strategy to warm up chilly prospects. I firmly believe that a committed business owner should continue doing what they did when they first started out, even when it seems unnecessary.
When you kicked off your sales career, you had to call people who didn’t know you because you were a nobody. But then you got some clients, got busy, and stopped making calls. Clients left, and suddenly you had to jumpstart the pipeline again. Ouch. Painful.
Restarting is much harder than maintaining momentum. Newton’s First Law of Motion says it best: an object in motion stays in motion, while an object at rest stays at rest (well, he used fancier words, but you get the idea).
Following that logic, consistently making one call a day is far better than trying to refill a depleted pipeline all at once.
And let’s not forget, obsessing over the best cold calling opening lines is only a small part of the game. You can use those same lines in your emails.
For instance, when I make cold calls, I say…
“Hi, it’s Merit. You can relax, we haven’t met, this is one of those vintage cold calls you’ve heard about in movies.”
It’s not only honest, unlike those deceptive calls that claim, “I’m not trying to sell you anything” (we all know that’s a total lie), but it’s also funny. If I can make you chuckle within the first two sentences, you’re more likely to lower your guard just a tad and entertain the idea of a conversation.
So, here’s the bottom line: the mere fact that you’re inquiring about the best cold calling opening lines is a good sign that you’re serious about your prospecting efforts. Make calls, say anything, but make calls as part of a broader outreach campaign, not as the sole activity, but one of many tactics.
And by the way, making warm calls is both easier and more effective. Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I’ll unveil a super stealth strategy to boost your referrals. Soon enough, you’ll be asking, “What’s the best referral call opening line?” And once you’ve mastered that, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your sales game and leaving those old-school cold calls in the dust.