How do you feel when your phone rings and you realize you’re receiving a call from a salesperson?

For most business people, it’s interruptive, annoying, and distracting.

But if it’s your job to call prospects, you don’t have to fall into the category of “pesky sales rep.”

To kickstart a productive, professional conversation, you need a strong opening.

Your opening should:

  1. Get the prospect into a receptive frame of mind
  2. Make it easy for them to make a positive decision

Here's how to engage the prospect so they don’t immediately hang up.

Access Now: 16 Free Sales Voicemail Script Templates

1. “My research shows that your company is in the process of ... ”

This shows you are interested in them and you’ve spent some time finding a reason for calling. It also shows you aren’t trying to sell them something right away.

2. “One of my clients, [name] at [company], mentioned to me you are [looking for, might be a good fit for] … ”

Talking about a mutual connection gives you instant credibility. Your prospect will be curious to know why her contact thought she might need your product or service.

3. “I was looking at your LinkedIn company profile, and saw that one of your major projects this year is … ”

Referencing their LinkedIn page and company goals proves you’re interested in discussing something of value to them rather than just pushing your products and services.

4. “We’ve been working with a couple of similarly sized companies within your industry, and they are experiencing two major problems. I wondered whether they were causing you concern as well … ”

This piques your prospect’s interest, as they will be wondering what those problems are, and whether they are facing them too.

5. “I read your [Twitter, Facebook] post the other day about … ”

This opening tells the buyer you’ve done your homework and are calling about a relevant and timely topic.

6. “I see your [annual report, newsletter] was released on your website last week, and it’s looking like you’re expanding your operations in ... ”

Reading their marketing materials reveals genuine interest in their company. It also implies your recommendations will be pertinent and helpful.

7. “[Name], in reading your company blog, I noticed that you’ve had some good reviews from customers on your new [product] and I was wondering ... ”

Your interest in their blog can open new doors to discuss results that your products have achieved for other clients.

8. “[Prospect], I was speaking to one of your business managers yesterday and he said that a growing part of your business is through [product, niche, market]. As that’s the case, I can … ”

Bringing up your prospect’s coworker tells them to take you seriously, while focusing the discussion on an emerging revenue source ensures you’re talking about a company priority.

9. “Hi [Prospect]. Yes, this is a sales call! [Wait for a response, laughter] Can you spare me just three minutes so I can tell you about [product] that will help you with [benefit]?”

Saying this is a sales call will stump your prospect. Typically they’ll make a joke because they are used to tactics and sneaky tricks. The rapport you build will earn you a few minutes.

10. “Hi [Prospect]. It’s [name] from [company]? We’ve just worked with [competitor] and have achieved [results] with them. Have you got five minutes now or in the future for us to explore how [company] can achieve the same?”

It’s important to pose your introduction as a question -- your tone of voice should imply they’ve heard of you and your company before. Named-dropping a competitor will make them curious if nothing else about the partnership and results.

These openings highlight the prospect’s business before even mentioning what product or service you represent. Simply calling and listing what your company sells is a sure-fire way to get the phone slammed down.

The purpose of a connect call should always be demonstrate your professionalism, credibility, and expertise.

When you do that, you give the prospect a reason to at the very least discuss options with you, making it likelier the call will end the way you’d like -- with a second call scheduled.

If you’d like some additional help with your calling technique, then please download our free report “100 Ways To Improve Your Sales Success” or visit my sales blog.

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Originally published Jan 29, 2018 4:53:00 PM, updated October 29 2019


Call Prospecting