7 Step Cold Call Opening Process

The key to opening cold calls is crafting messaging that compels prospects to engage in meaningful conversations.

In the 10 years that my book, Smart Calling™ has been out, it has helped prevent countless thousands of bad cold calls. It has made prospecting and opening cold calls so much easier and profitable for salespeople.

The foundation of the system is quite simple:

  • gathering intelligence before the call using online and offline sources
  • social engineering
  • plugging this intel into the Smart Calling process to create interest and engage prospects with compelling cold call openings.

Let’s assume you have done your information-gathering, you know something relevant about your prospect, and now it is time to craft an opening that will grab attention. By the way, this also serves as a voicemail message, with just a bit of tweaking at the end.

Now, it’s time to pull everything together with the step-by-step opening statement process. Here’s how:

  1. Introduce Yourself and Your Organization

    “Hi______, I’m______ with______.”

    Easy so far.

  2. Your Connection

    Here, you use the Smart Calling intelligence you gathered and/or the results of your social engineering. This implies you are not the typical cold caller, and because it is about them, it naturally piques curiosity. The more tailored, personalized, and on-target, the better.

    “I was speaking with______ and she mentioned that you are now in the process of______.”

    “Congratulations on the______ I had read about in______.”

    “I’ve been following your Twitter conversation about___”

    “My compliments on the article you posted in the Java Developers group on LinkedIn.”

    “It looks like your firm is now going to______.”

    “I was in one of your stores the other day…”

    “At your web site I had seen______.”

    “I understand that one of your major initiatives for the year is______.”

  3. State Your Specialty

    Here is where you describe the type of person, organization and/or situation where you have the best success. Examples include a title or position (e.g. IT managers, HR directors, restaurant owners, etc.) or a type of organization or entity (e.g. independent insurance agencies, family-owned businesses, dental practices, elementary schools, marketing departments, property managers, etc.).  Everyone wants to feel that they are unique, and would prefer to work with a specialist rather than a generalist.

    “We specialize in working with _____.”

    “My specialty is collaborating with____.”

    “Our group is a specialist in helping____.”

  4. Possible Problem or Desire

    Here you mention the problem that you solve—that they are likely experiencing—or their likely desired goal or result.

    For example…

    “…who are looking for more targeted web traffic…”

    “…who are having challenges keeping up with their customer service issues…”

    “…that need a 24/7 option for their security monitoring…”

    “… that experience more downtime than they’d like…”

  5. Hint at Your Possible Value Proposition

    You want to tailor your Possible Value Proposition (PVP) to their world, further tying together everything else we’ve covered.

    “…and we help them to cut down on…”

    “…and we’re able to assist them in increasing their…”

    “…we provide a way for them to eliminate the amount of…”

  6. (Optional) The End Result

    Here you can discuss the outcome, what it means for them, or what actually happened with your customers. Quantify at every opportunity.

    “For our clients this has resulted in gains ranging from 10%–50%.”

    “What this typically means is an overall decrease in turnover, in some cases up to 80%.”

    “And the final outcome is a workforce that is more motivated and productive.”

    “…most of our clients double their conversions after using the program.”

  7. State Your Intent and Move to the Questioning

    We let them know that we’d like to learn more about them, and ease into the questioning in a conversational way, giving them an easy decision to make, which is simply staying on the phone with you.


    “And I’d like to …”

    “Discuss your situation…”

    “Ask a few questions about…”

    “Review what you are doing now for…”

    “Go through your requirements for…”

    “Find out about …”

    Move to the Questions:

    “To see if you‘d like more information…”

    “Determine if we might have a reason to speak further…”

    “Learn if this could be of value to you …”

    “See if we have some options that would be worth taking a look at…”

Here’s an example of an effective Cold Call Opening:

“Heather, I’m Kyle Johnston with Personnel Solutions. I saw your Twitter posting mentioning how many unqualified applications you had to go through the other day. We specialize in reaching high-level managers in your industry who otherwise might not be looking for positions. Recruiters who use our career postings tell us that the candidates they attract are better qualified—which saves them hours per week by not having to deal with applicants who would never be considered. I’d like to ask a couple of questions to see if we should have a conversation.”

About the author

Art Sobczak

Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working…

Online Courses

Learn anywhere, any time, on any device.


Learn Online

Self-paced courses from the
world's top sales experts

Virtual Training

Live, interactive instruction in small
groups with master trainers


One-to-one personalized coaching
focused on your unique situation