9 Openers to Improve Your Outbound Prospecting Calls

Katy Klimovitsch

March 29, 2024

6 min

Table of Contents

In the realm of outbound sales prospecting, the first few seconds of a call can make all the difference. Factors like tone, timing, and relevancy play a crucial role, but it's the opening line that sets the tone for the conversation ahead.

In this blog, we'll explore nine effective call openers with call script examples designed to enhance your outbound prospecting calls, regardless of the industry you're in. These openers are crafted to engage prospects and lay the foundation for successful sales conversations.

Let's dive in!

1. Be Upfront

This type of opener is aimed at establishing honesty and respect for the prospect's time by acknowledging that you’re making a cold call, then allowing your prospect the choice to continue or end the conversation.

While making this admission might feel atypical, it can actually work very well in your favor. Because this approach stands out and is genuine, it tends to disarm the prospect and provide you with an opportunity to move the call forward.

Learn More: The Beginner’s Guide to Relationship Selling

  • Example 1: Hi [Name], this is [Your Name] from [Company]. Truthfully this is a cold call, but I can keep it super brief and then you can decide if you want to hang up on me. Sound fair?"
  • Example 2: Hey [Name], this is [My Name] with [Company]. I know nobody likes a cold call, especially on a {DAY} {morning/afternoon}...but I can keep it super brief and then you can let me know if this is relevant. Fair enough?
A phone salesman smiling and laughing talking to potential prospect

2. Friendly Greeting

At the core of sales is the need to be human-centric. Starting with a good-natured greeting and genuine interest in the prospect helps build rapport and lays the foundation for a more personal connection.

  • Example 1: Hi [Name]. I’m [Your Name] from [Company]. How are you doing today? *pause and wait for response*

You can follow this up with something like “Great! Hopefully I’m not coming out of left field, but the reason I’m calling is because [identify hot button/pain point that you address]. Is this something [Company Name] is experiencing?”

3. Create Relevance & Importance

Aiming to immediately connect with the prospect's needs or pain points demonstrates the value of the call from the outset. By showing that you've done your research and understand their challenges, you increase the likelihood of capturing their interest effectively.

Learn More: Outbound Call Best Practices

  • Example 1: Hi [Name], thanks for taking my call. I was curious to know if you’re the right person to speak with about [pain that your company solves]?
  • Example 2: Hi [Name], I’m sure you’re super busy but the reason for my call is I was curious to know if your company is facing [pain point your company solves]?

4. Ask for Help

By framing the conversation as a collaborative effort rather than a one-sided pitch, you appeal to the prospect's willingness to assist or provide input. This cold call opening approach fosters engagement and can lead to more fruitful interactions.

  • Example 1: Hey [Name]. This is [Your Name] with [Company]. Could you help me with something?
  • Example 2: Hey [Name]. This is [Your Name] with [Company]. I’m not sure if you’re the right person, but could I get your opinion on something?

Again, once you get permission to proceed, you can leverage a simple opener like, “Great! Hopefully I’m not coming out of left field, but I’m calling because [identify hot button/pain point that you address]. Is this something that’s relevant to you at [Company Name]?”

5. Referral

Leveraging the credibility of a mutual connection helps establish trust and relevance. By mentioning a referral, you're tapping into existing relationships and increasing the likelihood of the prospect being open to a conversation.

  • Example 1: Hi [Name], this is [Yout Name] with [Company]. I got your number from [referral’s name], they said you’d be the person to chat with about [your solution].
  • Example 2: Hey [Name], [Your Name] from [Company] here. I recently spoke with [referral’s name] and they thought you might be interested in chatting about [addressing a goal or pain point ]. Got a minute?
Salesmen talking to prospect about competitor

6. Mention Their Competitor

Highlighting the achievements of the prospect's competitors positions your company as a solution to help them match or surpass those achievements. It's a way to demonstrate your understanding of their industry landscape and provide added motivation for them to engage with you.

  • Example 1: Hi [Name], I’m [Your Name] from [Company]. I’m reaching out because I noticed [their competitor] [accomplishment achieved]. We may be able to help you achieve something similar because of [your solution]. Can I ask you a couple questions to see if this might be a fit?
  • Example 2: Hi [Name], I’m [Your Name] from [Company]. We recently helped [competitor 1] and [competitor 2] [solve problem or achieve benefit] and I believe we may be able to help you do the same. Do you have a few minutes to discuss?

7. Permission-Based

This is one of the most popular cold call openers, because people want to feel respected and don’t like when sales calls are disguised. By using a permission-based opener that seeks their consent to continue the conversation, you're showing respect and reducing the likelihood of coming across as intrusive or pushy.

Learn More: Effective Ways of Handling Objections in Sales

  • Example 1: Hi [Name]. This is [Your Name] with [Company]! I know I’m calling you out of the blue, but mind if I take 15 seconds to explain why I’m calling?
  • Example 2: Hi [Name], this is [Your Name] with [Company]. I know you’re not expecting my call but would you have a minute to hear how [your solution] can [solve a pain point/deliver a benefit]?
Woman sales agent providing customer a compliment

8. Compliment

Acknowledging and appreciating the prospect's hard work or their company's achievements initiates the conversation on a positive note. It's a way to build rapport and establish goodwill from the outset.

  • Example 1: Hi [Name], this is [My Name] with [Company]. First of all, I wanted to say that I was really impressed with [something about their company or their role]!
  • Example 2: [Name], this is [Your Name] from [Company]. First of all, congrats on the new role/achievement! That’s exciting. So the reason for my call…

9. Solve a Problem

You understand your product and how it solves specific pain points better than anyone else. Use your research and understanding to identify a specific pain point or challenge the prospect may be facing and offer a solution, positioning your company as a valuable resource.

  • Example 1: Hey [Name], I noticed that [their company] is struggling with [pain point]. We can help solve that problem. Mind if I explain how?
  • Example 2: Hi [Name], this is [Your Name] with [Company]. I’ve been working with [similar company] on how to improve [problem] and they’re seeing [result]. I thought you might be dealing with the same challenge and would love to help if this is relevant.

Over to You

Mastering the art of the opener is essential for successful outbound prospecting. These 9 sales call openers provide versatile approaches to engage prospects and set the stage for fruitful conversations—whether you're aiming to connect with new leads or nurture existing relationships.

Remember, practice makes progress! As you explore these techniques, remember that tools like PhoneBurner can not only streamline your prospecting process but also give you more opportunities to practice and refine your opening call scripts.

With features designed to maximize productivity, PhoneBurner empowers you to connect with more prospects, focus on conversations rather than tasks, and drive greater results for your business.

Ready to test out some new outbound call scripts? Try PhoneBurner for free today.

The Ultimate Guide to Cold Calls and Outbound

Unlock Your Content
Enjoying our content? Get expert insights straight to your inbox.

Related Articles

PhoneBurner mark

You’re Gonna Love Our Blog Newsletter

Subscribe and get fresh blogs delivered directly to your inbox.