Let’s face it—prospecting has definitely gotten harder in recent years. People hide behind voicemail, and they seldom respond to emails because they are exceptionally busy. Some of your prospects receive upward of 150 emails every single day!

Aside from being swamped, one of the reasons people don’t call you back is that you don’t give them a reason to. If you want to catch their attention—and stand out from the deluge of calls and emails—you need to develop an effective message.

During a recent sales-training workshop, participants shared how they open their calls. They all sounded the same: blah, blah, blah. They were too long, too focused on the sellers’ companies, too similar to the pitch of every other salesperson out there.

An effective call opener does not include information about your company, your solutions, your products or your services. It does not outline what you do or how you do it. You must catch the attention of your prospect in the first 10-30 seconds of your call. That is all the time you have.

Here are a few examples of captivating call openings:

    • “We specialize in helping healthcare organizations streamline their fundraising efforts and achieve their fundraising goals.”
    • “I recently learned that you are currently researching the best way to [insert task]. I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for, but I might be able to save you some time.”
    • “We help sales leaders bring their sales teams from good to great so they can achieve year-over-year sales growth.”

A good call opener is tailored to each prospect. It is specific to the person you are contacting. And most important, it is clear, short and concise. Remember, your goal is to get a return call or a face-to-face (or telephone) meeting. Not to present your entire solution.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at Fearless-Selling.ca.