The Best Cold-Call Opening Line!

“Could you help me, please?”

My friend and mentor, Joe Bonura taught me that opening line.  It is the most effective question when making cold calls I have ever run across.

Why? Five advantages make it clear:
1. Everyone wants to help someone. We don’t like doing a “favor,” but we love to help others, even if they are total strangers.
2. It makes the person on the other end think (and say) “Yes.” Do you remember the last cold-call you got?  You were probably thinking “No” from the moment they mispronounced your name or started a sales pitch without engaging you at all. Asking for help elicits a “Yes” from people who are usually very busy with other tasks.
3. It disarms wary, busy executives. It allows them to be in control of the conversation in their mind and puts them in the role of enabler and aide, not sales target.
4. It opens doors to people who otherwise would have no interest in talking with a stranger. Even in workshops when I demonstrate it, I will casually ask for a volunteer by saying, “Could you help me, please?” and in front of hundreds of people they will say “Yes” to me, a stranger.
5. It works. It makes the receptionist (or gatekeeper) react friendly and helpful.  It keeps them from thinking that you are a jerk if you fumble or don’t know the person you are calling by name.

It must work.  Three clients told me in the past week that they hired me because I kept calling them for the business…  and used a great opening line!

Jim Mathis is an international professional speaker and author of the Best-selling Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results. To receive his free monthly e-newsletter with articles like this send a SUBSCRIBE message to:


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