Talk to Us

Tips For Opening Your Sales Prospecting Calls


I recently came across the article “I Hope You Don’t Open Your Calls This Way” and although there were some interesting points made about introducing yourself when cold calling, some of which I agree with, there were definitely some comments that I have a different take on. As Mike Brooks expressed, I completely agree that you only have a few seconds to make a connection with your prospect and that you need to have a good opening in advance. Separating yourself from the many sales reps out there is in fact the key, but there are other ways to approach this without sounding as “salesy” as described in the article.

If I were to receive a phone call from someone I didn’t know that said, “How’s your Tuesday going?” as mentioned in the article, I would probably hang up quickly – this phrase just rubs me the wrong way. The sales individual at this point has done the opposite of establishing rapport with me – they have asked a personal question without telling me the purpose of their call first. That said, I am known for asking a prospect “How are you?” when I call them, but I usually only do this if the person on the other end sounds incredibly friendly and I am simply mirroring their tone. I recommend trying this instead: “Hi Prospect Name, this is Laney Pilpel with XYZ Company. Prospect Name, are you the person responsible for managing the tracking and shipping at XYZ company?” This way, you are not wasting anyone’s time and you sound less like a sales person.

Following this initial introduction and once you have established that you are speaking with the right person, it’s important to go right into stating the purpose of your call, and then follow up with an open ended question. Instead of, “Let me ask you, if I could show you a better way of tracking and shipping (or) save you money doing it, would it be worth spending five minutes with me next week to show you how?” I would use something like “Prospect Name, the purpose of my call today is to learn more about the tracking and shipping process at XYZ company. How are you currently managing the tracking and shipping of your containers?” The first example seems too “salesy” to me, and it gives the prospect the chance to immediately say “No I don’t have time.” If you state the purpose of your call and follow up with an open ended question instead, the prospect is much more likely to open up about their environment because it’s not a “yes” or “no” question. Saving the prospect time and money is extremely important, but that information can come a bit later in the conversation.

Lastly, I couldn’t disagree more with the statements about “If you had a magic wand….” I have to be honest, this sounds awful to any prospect and I recommend not using it at all. How about just asking “What challenges are you experiencing by not having an efficient system in place to manage the tracking and shipping process at your company? What would you like to see differently? How is not having a solution in place affecting you in your role?” There are many different ways to reveal your prospect’s pain points and by throwing out the “if you had a magic wand” question, you can be sure you will lose interest from your prospect fast.

The “right” way to introduce yourself to prospects is debatable. I have found that the suggestions I shared above prove to be effective but I do realize everyone has their own style – what’s yours?

Stand out by learning real life training, experiences, and learning from industry experts.

Talk to Us

About the Author   |   Laney Dowling

Laney Dowling is the Director of Customer Success at AG Salesworks. Laney's responsibilities include managing daily client engagements, inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, and ongoing contact list development and refinement. To read more of Laney's articles, click here.

Join the Conversation