August 16, 2023

19 Best Cold Call Opening Lines to Avoid Hangups (with Examples)

19 Best Cold Call Opening Lines to Avoid Hangups (w/Examples) | Mixmax

Brrring, brrring. It's time to make that cold call. You dial the number (or your auto-dialer does). Your palms are sweaty (mom’s spaghetti). Your heart's racing.

You've got one shot to make a solid impression and avoid the dreaded click of a hangup.

The secret weapon? 

Your cold call opening line.

Bart Simpson Prank GIF

That opener is what makes or breaks the call. It’s what (hopefully) buys you the next 30 seconds with your prospect.

If you blow it, you’re getting the “No thanks, bye” line, or worse, the “Who the fridge* is this? STOP CALLING ME” line.

*Fridge is a stand-in for another word here. We’ll let you guess which one. 

Anyway, the cold call opener is important. You get it.

In this blog post, we're exploring the best cold call opening lines to avoid hangups, some tips on how to get your prospects on the phone at the exact right time, and a few other juicy insights.


The psychology of cold calling

Here’s the truth. When you’re cold calling, you're a telephonic gate-crasher who’s entering the prospect’s world uninvited. 

It’s like showing up to someone's party without an invite. You're seen as an interruption, which is why your calls often get cut short.

To change that perception, your cold call openers have to:

  • Respect the prospect’s time
  • Offer a tasty slice of value
  • Spark their curiosity
  • USE THE RIGHT TONE* (this one’s the most important)

*Your tone of voice is everything. It won’t matter how great your speech is if your tone is off. The best advice we can give for cold calling is to be yourself, sound confident, keep a good pace, and keep it professional. If you’re funny, then by all means, try a funny cold call opening line (more on that later).

Without further ado, here are some examples of opening lines you can steal and customize for your next cold call.

19 best cold call opening lines to avoid hangups

Now that we've played a little mind game, let's get down to business. Here are some great cold call opening lines that grab attention, provide value, and set the stage for a killer conversation. 

The goal here isn't just to dodge hangups; it's to start a conversation that could eventually turn into a deal.

Let’s get into it.

The “heard of us?” opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], we work with a few other [similar type of company/group]. It’s [Your Name] from [Your Company]. Have you heard our name tossed around?”

We borrowed this one 👆 from Armand Farrokh, Co-Founder of 30 Minutes to President’s Club. You’ll find his LinkedIn post here.

The relevant content opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], I just read your company’s [relevant piece of content] about [topic]. My name is [Your Name]. Mind if I take a minute to tell you why that [piece of content] got me to call you?”

The social proof + pain point opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], glad I was able to catch you. This should only take 40 seconds. My name is [Your Name] and I work at [Your Company], we're making it easy for companies like [social proof] to [move away from pain] without the hassle of [big effort]. When's the last time you reviewed this?”

Hannah Ajikawo, CEO & Founder of Revenue Funnel, shared this cold call opener with us 👆.

The follow-up opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], you and I last spoke on [date you last called]. At the time, you said you couldn’t talk because [exact reason the prospect had given]. Mind if I take a minute to share why I’ve called again and then you can tell me if it’s worth speaking further?”

👆This one’s from Nick Cegelski, Co-Founder of 30 Minutes to President’s Club. You’ll find his LinkedIn post here.

Pro tip: To achieve this, Nick says to make a note of the date, time, and exact words the prospect used right after they hung up the first time. Then make a call task (see how below) in a day or two and use the info you saved during the second call.

_Mixmax Reminded_ (261) - - Mixmax Mail - 8 August 2023

Mixmax call task reminder feature

The relevant reason openers

We asked Leslie Venetz, Founder of Sales Team Builder, what her best cold call opening lines are, and here are two examples she shared with us 👇:

“Hi [Prospect’s Name], [Your Name] calling from [Your company]. I listened to your podcast and I had a question about [relevant topic] and thought it made sense to give you a quick, direct call. Do you have a few minutes to tell me more?”

“Hi [Prospect’s Name], [Your Name] calling from [Your Company]. Saw your post about [relevant need]. It would be great to understand how you’re approaching [relevant need] and I thought a call made sense. Is that [relevant topic] top of mind for you?”

The honest openers

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], full transparency, this is a bit of a cold call, would you like to hang up or roll the dice for a minute?”

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], this is a sales call just so you know, but do you have a minute or so for me to explain why I was reaching out to you?"

👆These two are courtesy of SDR Mixmaxers Brandon Butron and Joey DeFranc ^

The promise to be brief opener

“Hey [Prospect's Name], I know you weren’t expecting my call, do you have a moment? I promise to be brief.”

👆Florin Tatulea from Barley shared this one with us.

The funny cold call opening line

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], this is [Your Name] from [Your Company], and I’m not gonna lie, it’s a cold call. But I promise to deliver value before your screen saver kicks in. Does that sound fair?”


The giving praise opener

"Hey [Prospect's Name], been tracking your company's growth and I'm pretty wowed by [specific achievement]. I’m [Your Name] from [Company Name]. Want to discuss how we can crank up that momentum?"

The mutual connection openers

“[Prospect’s Name], it’s [Your Name] from [Your Company]. We’ve never met before but I know you through [Mutual connection]. You have a moment to chat?

👆 From the infamous Josh Braun.

The offering help opener

"Hey [Prospect's Name], this is [Your Name] from [Your Company]. Spotted that you [mention something specific about their business]. I've got a few ideas that might help you improve that. Do you have a minute to chat?"

The information-sharing opener

"Hi, [Prospect's Name], this is [Your Name]. We haven't met, but I've got some data on [industry trend or challenge] that could be your cup of tea. Mind if I share that with you?"

"Hey, [Prospect's Name], been working with a bunch of folks in [their industry], and spotted a pattern. Mind if I share my two cents?"

The interruption opener

“[Prospect’s Name] thanks for taking my call. It’s [Your Name] with [Your Company]. Listen, I know my call is an interruption to your day. Can I have 27 seconds to tell you why I called?”

The LinkedIn profile opener

“[Prospect’s Name], this is [Your Name]. We’ve never spoken before, but I was just on your LinkedIn and was hoping you could help me out for a moment.”

👆 Courtesy of Josh Braun (again)

The role callout opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], I saw you are [title] at [their company], do you have a minute?”

From our own SDR Mixmaxer Dani Paredes 👆. “Most of the time they sort themselves out if they are not in the position/company anymore, or they can't play the ‘I'm not the right person’ card,” Dani explained.

The disarming opener

“Hey [Prospect’s Name], how’s your day going?”

👆 Short. Sweet. Unexpected. Disarming. Will most likely get an answer that helps move the conversation forward.

How to come up with the best cold call opening lines

While the lines above are slick, it's important to tailor them to your prospect's unique needs. 

Here's how to craft the perfect zinger:

Be the detective: Dig into your prospect's industry, role, challenges, and goals. This intel will help you customize your opener and deliver a relevant, killer punchline.

Don't beat around the bush: Time is gold in a cold call. Make sure your opener dives right in and clears the air about why you're calling.

Dish out value: Your prospect will stay on the line if they sniff some benefit. Make sure your opener smells like a fresh-baked batch of value.

Tips to keep the conversation alive

A great opener is just the beginning. Keeping the conversation flowing is the real challenge. Here's how to swerve past hangups:

Keep it positive: Wear your confidence on your sleeve, but also be friendly. It's a tightrope walk, but you've got this!

Listen more than you talk: This makes your prospect feel valued and shows you're interested in their story.

Handle objections like a pro: If your prospect throws a curveball, don't get defensive. Take it on the chin and offer a solution. And instead of trying to handle the objection, try to understand and empathize with it. This post on common sales objections can help.

Pro tip: To improve cold calling, use Belal Batrawy's mic drop method. Map out the stages of your call for better results. (Watch interview below for more details.)

Belal Batrawy's mic drop method (interview)

Best time to cold call your prospects

Timing is everything, and the same applies to cold calling. 

To reach your prospects at the right time, you can use a tool like Mixmax, a sales engagement platform with a built-in dialer. With Mixmax, you can create automated rules and workflows that trigger a call reminder after a specific action or step has been completed.

This can help you reach your prospects when they're most likely to be available and receptive to your call.

This is what that looks like:

call task mixmax

Mixmax Rules: Automatic call task trigger

What not to use as a cold call opener

Now that we covered the best cold call opening lines, let’s talk about which openers not to use.

1. “We’re the leading providers of…”

Why it doesn't work: Your prospect has likely heard this claim from many other callers. It sounds rehearsed and insincere.

2. “You might have heard of [Competitor], but they [negative talk].”

Why it doesn't work: Not only is this unprofessional, but it also paints you in a negative light. Bashing competitors can make you seem insecure about your own offerings.

Pro tip: Aim to compliment your competitor, and then showcase what your unique strengths are.

3. "[Long speech that confuses your prospect and makes them lose interest]."

Why it doesn't work: An overwhelmed prospect is more likely to hang up. Keeping your introduction concise (~20 seconds) ensures they remain engaged and curious.

4. “Don’t hang up! I promise this won’t take long.”

Why it doesn't work: This is almost an immediate red flag for most prospects. It signals that you’re aware they may not want to hear from you, but you’re asking for their time anyway.

5. “I’ve tried reaching out multiple times…”

Why it doesn't work: This can sound a bit like you're guilt-tripping the prospect. It can also come across as if you’re tracking their every move, which can be off-putting.


Cold calling can be stressful. Even if you’ve done 100s of them.

Remember to understand your prospect, deliver value from the get-go, keep the convo alive, and use tools like Mixmax that can help you reach your prospect at the right time.

Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of an opening line in cold calling?

The opening line in a cold call serves to grab the prospect's attention, provide immediate value, and set the tone for the rest of the conversation. It can make the difference between a successful call and a quick hang-up.

How can I make my cold call opening line more effective?

Making your opening line more effective can be accomplished by tailoring it to your prospect's unique needs, being direct and concise, and offering immediate value or benefits.

Can I use funny cold call opening lines?

Yes, using humor can be effective in your cold call opening line as it can help break the ice and make the conversation more enjoyable for the prospect. However, it's important to use humor appropriately and professionally.

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