The Best Way to Open a Sales Call

by  Kelley Robertson,

I was recently asked, “What the best first sentence to say in a sales call?”

I found the question intriguing because I’m not sure there is a single BEST sentence in a sales call simply because it depends on the type of call you’re making. Here’s what I mean.

There are several types of sales calls you can make including; cold calls, face-to-face meetings, follow-up calls, drop-by, product demonstration, etc.

Let’s explore a few of these and see what would work.

Cold Call

The best way to open any cold call is to use an attention-grabbing statement or question that demonstrates your knowledge or expertise. This must be delivered quickly (20 seconds or less) and contain compelling information.

“Mrs. Smith, employee sick days during corporate mergers can increase by 32 percent.” Pause. “What are you experiencing as you merge with Big Conglomerate?”

Face-to-Face Calls

I don’t think the first sentence in a F2F meeting is a deal buster. However, once you begin your actual sales presentation, you need to capture the other person’s attention quickly so always start by talking about your prospect’s situation.

Personally, I prefer to lead with an overview of their situation and then validate this assumption or understanding.

Follow-up Calls

I like to open my follow-up calls with, “Mr. Prospect, as promised, I’m calling to discuss the details of my proposal.”

In most cases, I only need to use this line when I get the other person’s voice mail because we have pre-scheduled the call and my prospect or customer knows why I’m calling.

Drop-By Calls

The most common statement sales people use in these situations is, “Is was just in the area and thought I’d drop by to see if you needed anything.”


A more effective opening is to say something like, “I recently came across some interesting research and wanted to drop it off personally rather than send it by email.”

Product Demonstration Call

“Today, I’m going to show you how the Astro-Deluxe 3100Z works.”


It is far more effective to open with a question or a statement that outlines how the demonstration is going to benefit the people attending.

“I understand that you have been experiencing problems with…Let’s look at how you can prevent those situations from arising.”

Every sales call has a slightly different objective which means you need to open each one differently. Ultimately, the more you focus that opening on your prospect or customer, the faster you will capture their attention.

Kelley Robertson is president of the Robertson Training Group. Kelley is the author of two sales books, Stop, Ask & Listen-Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers into Buyers and The Secrets of Power Selling. Both sales training books provide practical insights to improving your sales results. Visit his website at or call him 905 633 7750

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5 Responses to The Best Way to Open a Sales Call

  1. God bless you. Your suggestions have proven effective in my work.

    Sunday Ojo
    Medical Rep with Synergy Healthcare Ltd.

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  2. Sunday, what a wonderful note! Thank you. I do a lot of work in the healthcare and medical sector so some of the tips you read are from that sector. Keep me posted and continued success. Jim

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