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9 Best Cold Call Opening Lines That Warm Up Prospects

4 Mins read

What are the best opening lines to use on your cold calls to warm up your potential client?

To help cold callers deliver a solid opening line, we asked marketing experts and sales professionals this question for their best insights. From acknowledging their busy lives to promising to not waste their time, there are several effective opening lines that you can use to help warm up a potential client.

Here are 9 best cold call opening lines to warm up prospective clients:  

  • Acknowledge They Are Probably Busy
  • “Hey There, I Hope I Didn’t Catch You at a Bad Time”
  • Discuss A Topic You Both Care About
  • Mention How You Help their Competitors
  • “Do You Smell That?”
  • Mention How You Helped A Mutual Acquaintance 
  • Start With A Solution To A Current Issue
  • “Hello, Happy Monday!”
  • “This Will Only Take a Minute and a Half”

Acknowledge They Are Probably Busy

Acknowledge that prospects are busy when you start out a phone call. This will show that you are empathetic to their busy schedule and that you are interrupting their day. They will likely appreciate that you recognize that you’re interrupting. You can offer to schedule a time to call them back if they tell you that they are too busy to talk at that time.

Maegan Griffin, Skin Pharm

“Hey There, I Hope I Didn’t Catch You at a Bad Time”

The reason why this opening line works so well is that it immediately displays empathy from the get-go and lets your prospective customer or client know that you’re ready to put their comfort before trying to sell them anything. Customers are always wary of cold calls that come off too strong and immediately try to convince them to take some action, so they’ll often be caught off guard by this question and be a lot more intrigued about what you have to say. It also puts the control back into their hands and they don’t feel cornered.

Harry Morton, Lower Street

Discuss A Topic You Both Care About

Beginning a cold call, I’ve found that the key to a lasting first impression is to discuss a topic that both you and the person care about. Asking insightful questions helps you gain a better understanding of another’s point of view and can offer you a new perspective. Showing your interest in what another person has to say shows you’re engaged and paying attention. By saying the other person’s name, you make the other person feel special and can be a helpful trick to remembering names if you tend to forget them. Ask for their personal contact information, add them on LinkedIn or other social networks, and most importantly grab lunch or a coffee with them to keep that connection growing. Don’t neglect your connections as you’ve made them because you could be closing the door to future opportunities to work together.

Daniel Kane, The Ridge Wallet

Mention How You Help their Competitors

If you want to warm up a cold call right off the bat, mention how your company has helped their competitors to pique their interest. It’s human nature to be competitive, so you can get prospects’ attention by showing that their competitors are using your product or service to grow their business. Detail how you are alleviating a pain point that they share with their competitors and you will have a high chance of converting them as well.

Rachel Roff, Urban Skin Rx

“Do You Smell That?”

One of my all-time favorite lead-ins for a cold call is: “do you smell that?”. Confused, everyone’s natural reaction is always “what?”. And then you hit them with the punchline: “opportunity.” It’s meant to be funny and somewhat ironic, loosening people up for your pitch. The forthright nature of it might turn some people off, but anyone with a decent sense of humor and a willingness to listen will get a chuckle, or at least a smile. Not meant to be serious, it’s supposed to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, while subtly letting people know you’re going to be discussing a business proposition. I know for a fact that this line has worked on me personally, and I’ve since used myself with a ton of success.

John Ross, Test Prep Insight

Mention How You Helped A Mutual Acquaintance 

Using a referral when you start a cold call can help the person you are calling feel more comfortable speaking to you. Make the most of your network to grab people’s attention when cold calling to increase the chances that they will listen to what you have to say. Mention how you’ve helped your mutual acquaintance alleviate a pain point the person you’re calling also is experiencing.

Brett Sohns, LifeGoal Investments

Start With A Solution To A Current Issue

I tell my clients that the key to turning cold calls into hot prospects and getting them to say the golden words “tell me more” is research. If you conduct your research and provide them with a solution to a problem they are having, you are in. I encourage you not to shy away from doing your research annual reports and updated news alerts are a click away in today’s digital age. Starting cold calls with a solution to a current issue is powerful and will change that cold call into a hot prospect.

Pamela Williamson, WBEC-West

“Hello, Happy Monday!”

My go-to greeting for cold calls is an enthusiastic hello paired with the day of the week. For example, “hi, happy Monday!” Starting the call with a warm greeting encourages the lead to reciprocate and breaks the standard script for answering phone calls, making the person on the other line more receptive to my message. The positivity helps to lower the answerer’s guard, and also helps to overcome those pitching jitters and break the ice before ramping into a spell.

Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party

“This Will Only Take a Minute and a Half”

“This will only take a minute and a half, and my time starts now!” In a cheerful and enthusiastic tone, this line is probably the most impactful that will even bring a smile to the face of the person who has picked up your call. This line that helps you break the ice immediately is a winner for two reasons. For one, the “will only take a minute and a half” part gives the receiver an idea of how much time the call will take. The “my time starts now” bit helps the caller begin on a lighter yet confident note.

Larissa Pickens, Everfumed

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights. Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at to answer questions and get published. 

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