5 Cold Call Opening Lines That Work

There are many ways you can open your cold call, but which are the most effective? In this article, we discuss the 5 best cold calling lines that work.
Picture of Benard Kiplangat
Benard Kiplangat

Content Writer

Reading time: 6 minutes

Let’s be real here — a cold call has the potential to go wrong from the very beginning, especially if you don’t have a solid opening line. And if it goes wrong, the chances of winning the prospect become much slimmer.

You don’t want to blow off those first few seconds into the call. You want to make use of the best cold calling opening lines that work to increase your rate of success and get you more closes.

This article will discuss the basics of a good cold call opening line and 5 of the best examples.


The basics of a good cold call opening line

When you get the fundamentals right, it can help you understand the purpose of every part of your script. 

Let’s get started with the basics to help you master the first few seconds of a cold call.

Greet the prospect

The first thing you should do is to greet the prospect. It’s also good practice to do research about your prospect to find out their name. Here’s how you can do it:

Good morning/afternoon/evening James: This is a personal, simple, and professional way to start your cold call. You’re reflecting on the time of the day you’re calling, and they will appreciate you wishing them a good day at that moment.

💡 While there are certain times of the day to cold call your prospects, such as in the mornings and afternoons, this might differ depending on your industry, product, or service.

Hello Sarah!: You can start your cold call with a simple hello, hi, or hey. This makes you seem more friendly and laid back, which sets the tone for the rest of the call. This is a common opening line, but not powerful enough for a higher success rate.

How have you been?: Adding this line after your introduction is a pattern interrupt. Though indirectly, it implies that you’re familiar with the prospect.

You can use this cold call line with any other opening if it makes sense. For example:

  • Good evening John. [Proper introduction of yourself]. How have you been?
  • Hi, Peter! [Proper introduction of yourself]. How have you been?

A proper introduction of yourself

In a cold call, you are contacting a prospect who wasn’t expecting your call, doesn’t know you, and probably has never heard of your company before. Hence, it’s good to introduce yourself and the name of your company, if applicable.

Introduce yourself clearly and professionally to avoid too many unnecessary questions from your prospect about your background — you want them asking about your product or service, not about you. 

It is crucial to give your name and a proper context for what you do or where you work. Use your first name and add other details if necessary or applicable.

Respect the prospect

When you’re cold calling, don’t be too pushy. Credibility is good, but don’t go overboard or appear too strong.

Moreso, don’t be rude if the client answers your phone with some sarcasm or becomes challenging.

Try non-aggressive questioning to ensure that your motive for calling the prospect is successful. Some of the non-aggressive questioning phrases can include:

  • It seems like [product] is a good fit for [company]. What do you think?”
  • “I might have caught you in the middle of something, John, but I’d like to ask you some questions about… Can we proceed? It won’t take much time.”
  • “So, how would you like to take this forward?”

Thank them for their time

Finish your introduction with a pleasantry. Even if your opening line is going well, acknowledge such a precious opportunity with a positive note by wishing your prospect well. 

Tell them you are glad they accepted your call. It is important because the prospect has to feel respected and valued for a successful cold call.

Say something like: 

  • “Thank you for picking up my call John, I really appreciate it.”

Five best cold call opening lines

I am calling because…

People can do anything given a proper reason. If what you have to say is worth it, they will listen with enthusiasm.

The baseline, though, is the reason. The reason can significantly increase your chances for your cold call success, but stating that you have a reason works.

Havard psychologist Ellen Langer did an experiment showing that if we have to ask someone for a favor, we would be more successful if we provide a reason. 

Langer further shows that 93% of the subjects agreed when there was a reason given, over 60% of subjects when there wasn’t any reason for the favor.

Therefore, this human principle is crucial if we apply it to cold calling. It will be more successful if your reason will resonate with your prospects. 

Other variations of introducing a reason in your opening lines:

  • The reason I’ve called is… [reason]
  • I wanted to… [reason]
  • Seeing that… [reason]

I must have caught you in the middle of something…

You want to imply that you know they might be busy, but the call is important — they shouldn’t hang up yet.

This is called being considerate. At least they’re not too busy because they answered your call.

Give your prospects the benefit of the doubt — they could be busy with work, in a meeting, picking up their lunch, fetching the kids from school, you get the gist. Whatever their reason is, you must respect them because you’re the one who initiated the call and interrupted them.

If you ask if they’re busy, chances are, they’ll say that they are. And if they’re busy, you give them a reason to hang up. 

You also want to make your prospects agree with you and be affirmative. “Yes, I’m busy but it’s fine.

Making your prospects concur with you early on is the best you can do for your call. If the prospects agree more with you early on your call, you are making more chances for your success throughout your call.

Other variations of this opening line include:

  • Have you got a minute? Would you mind helping me for a moment? 
  • I know you’re busy, but the reason I’ve called is…
  • I hope I didn’t catch you at the wrong time?

I’m glad I’ve reached you…

This makes them feel important. They think that if you are happy to talk with them, you either want to share the good news with them or something that will make them feel better.

It loosens their resistance a bit as they will feel that they’re in control. It means that the call is important, and they are important to you.

You should follow this line with another that asks for a smaller favor. For example, “I’m glad I’ve reached you, and I was wondering if you could help me out for a moment.

Another line to pair with this one is to include a referral to show the relevance of your call. For example, “I’m glad I’ve reached you, John. Last week we helped Anthony from [company], and he recommended you may be interested in… is that right?

Other variations of this opening line include:

  • I am happy you picked up! I must have caught you in the middle of something, but…
  • It’s a pleasure to talk to you, John. Would you mind…
  • I must be a fool not to thank you for answering, John. I know you’re busy, but the reason I’ve called is…

Would you help me with…

For good reasons, your prospects may be more than happy to help you. Maybe because they want to feel good or because we may all be born with an urge to help

So, it’s good to ask for help with something reasonable in your cold call. Because you are asking them for help specifically, you make them feel a sense of importance. 

It works because it’s hard to hang up on someone who needs help. It is universal for many people to be nice to others because we may be born that way.

To make this line even more effective than the other cold call opening lines, do not introduce yourself first. The client will be curious to know who you are and what you want. 

Other variations of this opening line include:

  • I wanted to ask for your help with something…
  • I am calling you because I was wondering if you could help me out for a moment…
  • I am glad I’ve reached you, John. Can you help me for a minute, please?

How have you been?

Hey! How have you been?

When asking this in a cold call, your prospects have the chance to tell you how it’s going for them. 

Gong recently found out that this statement had a 10% success rate over the baseline of 1.5% for the 90,380 cold calls under the study.

When you ask it immediately after a ‘hello’, it baffles them because it implies that you’ve met them before. They’ll respond. Perhaps they’ll also ask you how you know them and the reason for your call.

It is even far more effective when you couple it with the other opening lines like this:

Hey John, I am happy you picked up! I must have caught you in the middle of something, but how have you been?

Although not as effective, here are some variations of how have you been:

  • How are you?
  • How are you doing?
  • How’s everything?


The first few seconds of your cold call significantly affects the success rate of your call. Getting your script right from the start can give you a higher chance for more business.

In this article, you have learned the basics and the best cold call opening lines to supercharge your next outbound prospecting efforts

It is also important to track how well a script is performing in your cold calls or which combinations work best. However, manually tracking the best cold call opening lines is difficult. Consider using a tool like Novocall’s outbound dialer to track your cold call performance so you can convert more prospects.

Picture of Benard Kiplangat
Benard Kiplangat

Ben is a content writer at Novocall.

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