The 3 Most Effective Opening Statements for Sales Prospecting and Cold Calling

I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of B2B lead generation and appointment setting calls and heard this…

“Hiiiiiiiii, it’s Bob Smith from ABC Co. Howyadoingtoday?”

Exaggerated – a bit. But you know it’s a sales call, right? You want to hang up now, right? Of course you do! Nobody is that happy, or really cares how you are.

So let’s break that pattern. This works for me and for hundreds of thousands of calls we make for our clients. You will probably feel a bit awkward as you try to break through your comfort zone.

“Hi Joe, this is Bob Smith calling from ABC Co. We haven’t spoken before, so this is a cold call. Is that OK?”


“Hi Joe, this is Bob Smith calling from ABC Co. Have I caught you at a bad time?”

If you’ve received a cold call from me, you’ve heard this. Now if the cold call is not OK, or it is a bad time, the contact will tell you and you can try again some other time. Most likely you will hear something like, “uh, it’s OK, what’s this about?”

Then, you immediately follow with:

“Let me take one minute, and I’ll tell you the reason for my call and you can decide if we need to continue, OK?

Let’s break this down a bit. What we are doing at the beginning is breaking or interrupting the pattern the prospect is so familiar hearing, that the reaction is automatic. Then, you are defining the length of the call (one minute), and letting your prospect know that they are in control. What a refreshing change from the prospect wondering where the call is going and how long it’s going to take! Don’t forget the “OK?” or “Is that fair?” to confirm the prospect’s agreement.

Some of you will recognize these as core Sandler techniques. We’ve been actively involved in Sandler for over 10 years. One of the things I like best about Sandler is the high level of respect for the prospect. When was the last time you were told how long a call would be and that you could decide whether to continue?

Now that you have your minute, one brief sentence describing what you do.

“ABC Co. manufactures test equipment for the food processing industry.”

Then immediately list 3 or 4 problems your customers have, that you have helped solve:

“Our customers come to us because they:
Have a significant percentage of product that does not meet spec so they have to throw it out,
They’re not completely sure that product has the shelf life required,
Feedback from QC back to the production line takes too long.

Bob, are any of these concerns of yours and something you’re trying to deal with? Or maybe there’s something else?”

Most likely the prospect will start talking and tell you about issues they need to work on. Excellent! You are now in a conversation. That’s what you want. Answer a few preliminary questions the prospect is sure to have, then set up your next meeting – phone, online or in person. This cold call is about setting up the meeting, so don’t try and do too much.

You may be wondering, what’s the best thing to say next? I’d like to keep this article to a reasonable length, so give me a call if you’d like to explore what you can do from this point.

Do you track the ratio of contact conversations to meetings booked? Your numbers will increase.

Notice that you have yet to discuss how wonderful your products are. This is good. Save it for the meeting.

Some contacts do have it under control and will tell you so. That’s fine, they are not a prospect.

Would you like some help putting together your opening statements to suit your business? Would you like to practice your new opening statements before you start using them? Call me or email and we’ll set it up. No charge. Don’t be shy.

Let’s face it, most salespeople really don’t have a lot of time for cold calling. Their time is better used by engaging current customers and developing opportunities. Any cold calling time is probably dedicated to a cherry-picked list of hopefully the best prospects.

What do you do if you have too many prospects to call?

We are a B2B lead generation company and of course that includes B2B appointment setting services. We’ve been calling for 22 years.

    Most salespeople don’t make enough calls to reach a contact. It takes an average of 8 calls and easily up to 15 touches to reach someone.
    We understand how to get past a gatekeeper and to the right person, and we have learned techniques to do that.
    Our call volume is always much greater than sales representatives’ because this is our business.
    We have over 20 years of experience in writing effective scripts.
    Because cold calling is all we do, we keep finding better ways to use it, to give you the results you need.

So, what can you do to get new customers, and even get back in touch with past customers?

You can let us make those calls for you.

Salesforce has found that response to a calling program is 27 times greater than email.

And while your salespeople are keeping your current clients happy and trying to close deals that are already in the works, we can start a sales lead generation campaign for you that will fill in these gaps, and speak with many of your prospects that aren’t responding to your emails or social media.

We guarantee that every lead and appointment will be qualified to your specifications.

Are you ready to initiate change for the better?

Contact us today and we will get back to you ASAP, to discuss your needs and how we might help you.

There is no charge for this, and most companies learn a lot just by talking to us.

So, don’t wait. ACT NOW

Send us an email at or, to go directly to our contact page, click here:


Let's Talk