11 Best Cold Call Opening Lines (With Objection Handling Templates)

A quick puzzle: Which of these are break-up texts, and which are common cold call objections?

“I’m not interested.” 

“Sorry, I don’t have time for this now. I’ve got to go.”

“It’s not you. I just don’t have the need right now.”

“I’m already with someone for this.”

Ans: All of them are common objections cold callers face daily. We know you got this one right.

The first bridge to cross in the cold calling process is to hold on to the prospect’s attention dearly in the first few seconds before they can throw you with one of these breakup messages.

So, what can you say on the call that could keep them listening and place a successful cold call? 

We have compiled a list of the best cold call opening lines that can boost your cold call success rate, cold call scripts to handle objections you’ll face in the first few seconds, and cold calling tips on what you should say on the phone call.

How To Open a Cold Call?

Firstly, whatever you say in the first few seconds–whether it’s humorous or unique–will hold up only if you get the basics right. What are these basics? We explain below:

1. Perfect Your Tone of Voice to Sound Confident

  • First, focus on the tone of voice. Talk as if you’re asking for help. People are generally always ready to help out. Here’s why:

    Social psychologist and author of ‘Reinforcements: How To Get People to Help You’ Heidi Grant, told The Verge, “Human beings are basically wired to want to give help. It’s one of the richest sources of self-esteem, and it has the potential to be a real win-win.”
  • Second: You have to win their trust. So, speak with confidence and unwavering conviction in your pitch. 

    That means don’t ask them “have I caught you at a bad time.” This line reeks of uncertainty.  Prospects will mirror your energy, so if you’re positive and enthusiastic on the call, the prospect could reflect that good mood.

Think about it, imagine you’re talking to a decision maker and your voice is loudly uncertain (eg: your voice is shaky), they’ll consider you untrustworthy.

But we get it, confidence can’t be built in a day. You’re bound to get overwhelmed with cold calling anxiety, especially while making cold calls the first time. But the only way to stop getting jitters is to make more cold calls, fail and learn from your mistakes.

2. Introduce Yourself

When opening a cold call, do not forget to tell your prospect who you are. A short intro with 

  • Your full name,
  • your organization, 
  • maybe your founder’s name, 
  • your location, 
  • the industry of the organization (if your brand is not popular enough)

Entrepreneur Grant Cardone, says, the best way to introduce yourself in a cold call is to start with your name and organization/founder. But if your founder isn’t super-famous, it is sensible to stick to an introduction like this:

Hello, this is Jim from Xenox.”

3. Use Pattern Interrupting Cold Call Opening Lines

To make a good first impression in your cold call, you have to break their age-old assumptions about cold call sales pitches first.

People have already associated salespeople cold calling to telemarketing negatively and would prefer to snap the connection as soon as they realize it’s a sales call. That’s a pattern outbound sales teams have to break. 

So how can you use pattern interrupt to open sales conversations? 

Say something that you normally wouldn’t say–like “Hey Tom, this is a cold call. Would you be able to stay or hang up?” 

or showcase the prospect’s main pain point from the get go – “I learnt from your colleague Tim that your SDRs are unable to get meetings booked. Is that something you’d like to focus on solving?” 

Looking for ways to land more meetings through cold calling? Here are 20 best cold calling tips and techniques quota-crushing sales reps use.

11 Best Cold Call Opening Lines

1. Ask For Help

“Hi, I’m {prospect name} from {company name}, a {company type}. I’m wondering if you could help me with something.”

How does it work?
As we mentioned earlier, people love to help. Helping others feeds people’s self-esteem, so it’s in your best interest to ask your prospect for help. So, science approves this one.

2. Be Honest and Upfront

  1. “Hi, we’ve never spoken before. I’m ‘{your name}’ from ‘{your company}’, a {industry} company. Is now a good time to talk?”
  2. “Hey, we’ve never spoken before. I’m ‘{your name}’ from ‘{your company}’, a {industry} company. The reason I’m calling you today is to check if you’re facing any troubles with {their current tool} and see if I could help you out.”

How does it work? 

One of the biggest reasons why prospects are in a big hurry to cut off cold calls is that they think they’re about to be forced to buy something. People are used to the usual tricks employed by reps during cold calls and are accustomed to cutting the call as soon as they realize it’s a cold call. 

So, answering honestly about the reason for the call and telling them where you’re calling from builds trust–at least long enough for them to stay on the call. 

VP, Revenue of Kleene.ai, Greg Freeman vouches for outing oneself immediately in cold calls, he told in an article for engageiq. He’ll continue by cracking a joke about how he doesn’t like to make them and instantly lightens the mood. And it works because he’s being honest about the call.

3. Make The Prospect Laugh?

“Hi {prospect name}, I’m {your name} from {your company}, a {type of software} company. My boss said if I don’t make a sale I’m fired, so if you’re not in a buying mood, perhaps you have a job opening.”

How does it work? 

This funny cold call opening line is courtesy of Jeffrey Gitomer, best-selling author of over 17 sales books. As we saw previously in the ‘honest and direct’ section, sprinkling some humor into your usual sales scenes lightens the mood and helps build rapport and trust. Because shared laughter communicates to each other that they share similar worldviews–which is key in building relationships.

The people you’re calling are already bombarded with formal communication from all angles so a joke is going to interrupt that pattern and get their attention, even if it’s for a few minutes.

4. Hyper-Personalize the Opening Line

“Hi {prospect name}, my name’s {your name}. We’ve never spoken before but we have a mutual connection. I actually attended {prospect’s college} in the ‘15 batch. Which batch were you?

<their response and some small talk later get back to the reason of the call>

So, I’m calling from {company}, a {type of software} company. And I wanted your help with something.”

How does it work?

A research that studied the effects of shared experiences on social connection, revealed that shared experiences are a key component of building relationships between unacquainted people. So yes, mentioning your mutual connection helps to get the conversation started. 

Go on your prospect’s LinkedIn profile and see if you can pick up on anything that you can use to build a personalized conversation around.

5. Cold Calling After Sending an Email

“Hi {prospect name}, it’s {your name} with {your company name}, a {company type/field} company. I noticed that you had checked out an email I had sent to you about how {your product solves the prospect’s problem}. Is that a serious concern for you/your team/your organization?”

Alternatively, you can also press into the pain point and throw some numbers in the last line so instead of ‘serious concern for you’, you can say, “Looks like it’s a {amount} dollar problem for companies of your size in the industry. Is now a good time to talk about this problem?”

Why does it work?

Since the prospect has already engaged with your email, they have some acquaintance with your company or your name. 

Before calling, if you follow up with them on LinkedIn as well, the prospect will have better recall about you. 
That’s not all, per the LinkedIn State of Sales report, 2022, 90% sellers today engage in warm calling.

6. Re-Engage With a Lost Lead

“Hi {prospect name}, it’s {your name} from {your name}, {type of company}.

We had connected three months ago, when you showed interest in {solving a particular problem} but because {a different priority} you decided to not move forward with the idea. Has solving {the problem} become a priority now…considering the {your reason to reach out to them, like a recent industry report, market movement, external or internal cues that suggest they should ideally solve problem X}?”

How does it work?

Reengaging lost leads is a type of warm calling. There’s a much better chance of them listening to you if you’ve connected with them before. 

And this time, bring up the context of the call, tell them how you were set to help them out, but the deal fell through because of so and so reason. This should jog their memory and get them interested in speaking to you.

7. Opening A Warm Call

“Hi {prospect name}, it’s {your name} with {your company name}, a {company type} company. I saw that you were part of the webinar that took place last wednesday on {topic}. Could you help me with something?”

How does it work?

This one is straightforward. Warm calls are fairly easier to open since prospects have already interacted with your brand. 

In order to ensure calling success, remember to mention which collateral and the topic they interacted with and ask them about that particular subject. 

Mention the day of the week as well if you think it helps. Don’t simply ask them a vague “saw that you attended our webinar” and go from there. This may come off as if you’ve reached out simply to sell.

8. Opening a Cold Call Using a Referral

“Good Morning {prospect name}, my name is {name} calling from {your company name}. I’m reaching out because while working with {referral} at {referral company}, I learnt that you might like some assistance with {pain point}. Is this a good time to discuss how the solution that worked for {referral} might work for your business?”

How does it work? 

Courtesy of the author of 4 sales books, trainer, and coach, Anthony Iannarino. This cold call opening line can be perfect to warm up your cold call. 

Since you’re starting off with a name familiar to the prospect, your prospect will be more comfortable talking to you. 
Want to boost your cold calling success metrics? Here are 27 more cold calling scripts for sales professionals to crush their quota.

9. Mentioning Their Competitors in the Opening Line

“Hello, this is {name} with {your company name}. So, you might have noticed that {their competitor} recently achieved {milestone}.  We believe we can help you reach {milestone} and more. Would you be open to learning more about how exactly we can help you? 

How does it work? 

Staying ahead of competitors is a universal want of every business. So, the mere mention of something their competitors are up to is enough to prick their ears. When you combine competitor intel with a strategy to stay ahead of them, they can’t help but pay attention.

10. Cold Call Opening Line That Respects Prospect’s Time

“Hello, this is {name} with {your company name}. If you give me 2 minutes to tell you why I called you and you are not interested, you’ll never hear from me again.”

How does it work? 

This opening line works for 3 reasons:

  1. You acknowledge the intrusiveness of your call and respect their time. This would encourage them to let their guard down and listen to you.
  2. When you give them the permission to hang up, you convey that you believe that your product helps them.
  3. You show them they are in power. When you tell them they can hang up if they aren’t interested, you confirm that you won’t pin them for a sale.

11. Cold Calling Opening Line Using a Trigger Event

“Hello, this is {name} with {your company name}. Congrats on your promotion!

<their response>

From an SDR manager to VP Sales in 3 years. That’s super impressive. As someone with similar career goals, I couldn’t help but call you right away.

How does it work? 

This is a good way to open a cold call because:

  1. You are bestowing the prospect with compliments. Complimenting someone is like giving monetary rewards. Everybody loves it.
  2. Relevance .You are congratulating them when the taste of victory is still fresh. 
  3. You are specific about their achievement. This establishes that you are genuinely interested and not here just for a sale. 

Cold Call Opening Lines: The Best Practices

1. Avoid Cliche Opening Lines To Cut Through the White Noise

You might be cold calling a particular prospect for the first time. But for them, you are just one of the umpteen numbers of salespeople struggling to get their attention. And to cut through this white noise, you should stop doing what they expect from you. One way to stay unexpected is by avoiding cliche opening lines.

Here are some of the most overused opening lines you should avoid:

1. “Did I catch you at a bad time?”

    This overused cold calling opener can only work against you because:

    • It makes them think about the stuff they could do, if not for your call.
    • You are giving them an easy way out. Is it a bad time? Yes. Period.
    • You are the latest in the long line of salespeople who have used this opener.

    2. “I know you are busy, but I’m calling to..”

    This opener doesn’t work because:

    • You remind them that they are busy and their time is valuable.
    • You set the idea that your call is trivial compared to whatever is keeping them busy.
    • When you continue after acknowledging their busy schedule, it conveys you don’t respect their time.

    2. Adopt a Positive Tone of Voice To Boost Success Rates

    The way you sound determines the fate of your cold call. When you whisper, shout, or talk with an upward inflection, you show how underconfident or unsure you are. Talking too fast or slow also garners similar reactions. And the ultimate consequence – nobody gives you a chance because if you are not confident about your product, who will be?

    Here’s how you can master the perfect tone of voice to lure prospects:

    • Talk with a downward inflection:  According to Josh Braun, sales expert, talking this way makes you sound calm and confident.
    • Adopt a cheerful disposition:  People find it hard to say no to a voice brimming with confidence and energy.
    • Stay silent with confidence:  Even the best salespeople stay silent for around 8 to 10% of the call, according to a study by RingDNA. 

    3. Learn To Deal With Rejections the Right Way

    Rejections are unavoidable, but the way you handle them makes or breaks you. That means if you beat yourself up every time you get rejected, you won’t have time to make calls anymore. Because after all, the average conversion rate of cold calling is just 2%. 

    Here are some ways to handle rejections better:

    • Wrath of the Prospects Slack Channel: Start a Slack channel where all your teammates can vent about bad calls. This ingrains the idea that rejections are part of your job.
    • Take a Break: Yes, you shouldn’t take rejection personally. But if a particular call works you up, don’t hesitate to take a break. 

    “I will go pet my cats for 10 minutes, 15 minutes. I’ll go take a walk or just do something that I enjoy until I get back to normal, and then I can go back to my calls”, says Ashley Dees, SDR Manager at Metadata, when we interviewed her for our SDR X Factor series.

    • Change Your Mentality: Learn to think ‘the prospect is having a bad day’ instead of ‘the prospect hates you’. When you master this, you stop taking rejections personally.

    4. Know the Best Time to Cold Call

    Studies show that there are best and worst times to call. That means, the time you call decides whether the prospect picks up or gives you a favorable response. Here are the best and worst times and days to cold call, according to various reports:

    • The best time to make cold calls is between 4 and 5 pm when prospects are less busy and more likely to take your calls.
    • Never call your prospects before 8 am or after 6 pm. Nobody wants to start their day with lengthy sales pitch or get on a quick call after 6 pm.
    • The best days to make cold calls are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Tuesdays, respectively. Your sales reps have a 50% better connect rate when calling a prospect mid-week.

    How To Handle Common Objections When Opening Cold Calls

    Below we give you templates you can use to answer objections you’ll face when opening a call. This is one of the biggest challenges to overcome as a salesperson: winning over the first one or two minutes of your prospect in a cold call.

    1. “I’m not interested”


    “{prospect name}, it’s absolutely reasonable to not be interested in my first call to you. I’d like to give us an opportunity to schedule a more formal time. In the meantime, I’ll email you a few wonderful success cases that might gain your interest. 

    If it does, and I think it will, I’d love for us to keep our appointment, if not then you shouldn’t be interested.” 

    2. “Mail me the information”


    “I’d be glad to do that. Can you tell specifically, what kind of information will help you?” 

    {Prospect responds}

    “That’s interesting, why is that important?” 

    (Source: Jim Dunn’s book, ‘Common Sense Selling’)

    3. “We already have competitor X product/service”


    “Oh, that’s okay. Just a quick question, under what circumstance would you consider switching to other products/services?

    4. “I’ll call you back”


    “Most of the time when people say they’ll call back, they never do. Is this the case here? If yes, you can tell me frankly.”
    (Source: Marc Wayshak, Sales Insights Lab)

    5. “I am busy right now”


    Sure, I can call you back. But while we’re on the line, when’s the best time to call you back? (Find a suitable time and send them a calendar invite right after you end the call).
    (Source: Patrick Dang)


    In the end, if you want to see positive responses, keep cold calling scripts in handy. Test out different cold calling opening lines, use different objection handling techniques, and most importantly when placing a phone call, focus on respecting the prospect’s time. 

    Here are some resources to help you cold call: 

    Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

    How to introduce yourself in a cold call?

    Introduce yourself honestly, tell prospects your full name, the name of your organization and its industry, along with the reason for calling. Being honest sets a tone for your relationship–that of trust. 

    How do you cold call without sounding like a ‘salesman’?

    This is a mindset change. Shift your mindset from ‘selling to prospect’ to ‘helping the prospect’. And when on the call, focus on uncovering whether they have a need for such a product/ solution now or in the future. If you’re convinced they don’t or that you’re not the best use-case fit for them, then move on to the next prospect.

    Your focus should be on helping the prospect be successful in their pursuit and not just selling your service or product.

    How do you greet someone on a cold call?

    Ideally, a simple greeting like a morning, afternoon, or evening wish is best to keep the opening line short. But if you really want to use greetings, talk about the weather or day of the week.

    You could talk about the weather depending on whether they live in a timezone that has changing seasons. Or on Mondays, you could start with acknowledging that it’s a Monday and asking if they had a good weekend.

    Something like: “Hope your Monday’s off to a productive start.”  If you want to be a little more whimsical and want to throw some fun out, you could use a “Weather in Boston has been acting out like my 6-year-old on school days.”

    What are the best cold call openers?

    Here are 3 best cold call openers:

    1. “Hello, this is {name} with {your company name}. If you give me 2 minutes to tell you why I called you and you are not interested, you’ll never hear from me again.”

    2. “Hi, I’m {prospect name} from {company name}, a {company type}. I’m wondering if you could help me with something.”

    3. “Hi {prospect name}, I’m {your name} from {your company}, a {type of software} company. My boss said if I don’t make a sale I’m fired, so if you’re not in a buying mood, perhaps you have a job opening.”

    What are the worst cold call openers?

    Here are some of the worst cold call openers:

    1. “Did I catch you at a bad time?” – You are 40% less likely to book a meeting if you use this opening line, according to a study by Gong.

    2. “I know you are busy, but I’m calling to..” – When you continue after acknowledging their busy schedule, it conveys you don’t respect their time.

    Comments are closed.