Top 9 Conversation Starters for Your Sales Call

Making conversation is an art, but when it comes to sales, the customer conversation starter is the game changer. Generally, the sales conversation starters are rehearsed with the description of the product and followed with a feature to “buy now” or “book now”. But today the strategy falls apart, selling is all dependent on the connection.

Making conversation is an art, but when it comes to sales, the customer conversation starter is the game changer. Generally, the sales conversation starters are rehearsed with the description of the product and followed with a feature to “buy now” or “book now”. But today the strategy falls apart, selling is all dependent on the connection.

As we dial to speak, one cannot avoid the feeling of pressure and all the emotions that come along with the call connection. Because opening conversations are an important part of the sales cycle. According to a survey, 69% of sellers think the first conversation is harder than even closing a deal. If the first conversation fails, nothing moves forward, because customer engagement is the potential factor for sales.

Usually, the sales team will be equipped with a sales strategy, whether it is cold calling techniques or remote selling, to train your seller to connect and engage. Therefore, we have come up with 9 effective sales conversation starters:

  • Know the person in-person
  • Keep a note of past interactions
  • Sell Yourself, not just the product
  • Being straightforward is the key
  • Be a human, not a robot
  • Prospect goals and ambition is what matters
  • Inquire about a recent event
  • Collect content on the customer’s industry
  • Being Empathic

Importance of conversation starters in sales calls

The sales conversation is not an uphill battle but it is rather tricky. Salespersons get frowned upon by many customers, it is because they lack the skills of being conversation openers. Rehearsed scripts are no longer effective. Sellers need to make a connection with the buyer, with the sales conversation starters you can intend to bring a solution to the customer’s problem.

Here are some statistics regarding the above:

  • 66% of the salespeople are considered average concerning their skills
  • Only 18% of the B2B salespeople as trustworthy
  • Only 31% of salespeople could make effective conversations with their senior executives.
  • About 60% of the customers tend to decline the deal before saying yes. (Invesp)

Effectiveness of sales call:

As the sales team is at the forefront of generating revenue, these sales conversation starters while implemented show an increase in sales conversion and thereby generate more revenue. The sales conversation is the force that attracts potential buyers, and when it is utilized properly it has a positive effect on the company. This is how an effective conversation starter can help increase sales.

The Top 9 Conversation Starters

Bad conversation leads to poor sales, learn how to bond with your prospects. Here are the Top 9 Conversation Starters:

1. Be a conversation opener

Start a conversation by creating personal value. You must learn to give before you get. So the best way is to observe their industry through their LinkedIn, realize their marketplace, and show them valuable insights. It changes the dynamics, and they might think “Let’s hear what they have to say”.

These questions below could help you be a conversation opener:

  • How do you know about “ ”? — This will help you with a mutual connection
  • How did you get involved with “ ”? — Describe their role within the organization.
  • How are you so passionate about “ ”? — Creates a personal interest

As the customer answers these questions, the salesperson would continue showing genuine interest to build a conversation. Further, the salesperson can make the transition toward the sales process. By now the customer would be more receptive to the sales pitch.

2. Keep a note of past interactions

Taking notes is still a powerful trend. They are a great source that helps the team to achieve better as it keeps the progress of work on track. Sales notes are a great benefit for personalizing emails and calls. Remember, forgetting things can kill the conversation. Prepare touch points before interaction.

Here are a few tips on how sales process relation-building works:

a. Ensure to ask meaningful questions

b. Write down the keywords, that primarily focuses on a topic that is important and insightful

c. Polish your notes immediately after the call

These notes from past interactions help you build strong customer relationships. This sales psychology creates a personalized interaction with the customer.

3. Sell Yourself, not just the product

Let the customer talk, all you have to do is just respond to the customer. People buy products/services from people they have a personal connection with, so that’s why the saying “ Sell yourself, not just the product”. Find the right question that provides more information about the prospect, it can be either relevant or irrelevant to the sales pitch. Here are a few ways to approach it:

a. By knowing your strength and weakness, confidence increases. This results in better conversation and more sales conversion.

b. Include a short relevant story that the customer could relate to.

c. Asking the right question, will help you find more details about them

d. Emphasize products value

e. Stay positive toward the customer

For eg: Suppose the business has announced rapid growth, the interaction begins with the resources required for the growth. The salesperson must be able to sell the customer something that could help grow the company.

4. Being straightforward is the key

The key here is, you can’t be specific if you don’t have an idea of what you are talking about. Be straightforward and specific as much as you can. Do not rely on quippy phrases to finish a deal. You must be specific, to sell. Prospects will never trust if the conversation is irrelevant to the field. This will help you close more deals, and that is because “ the key to failure is trying to please everyone”

Your pitch needs to be to the point, there must be no gimmicks, vague statements, or even fancy words. Be upfront from the beginning of the conversation to how you found their contact information. Ensure to maintain honesty with the customer.

For eg: “Hi Mark, I work with XYZ company, and we sell YZX products, I’m wondering if I could help you out with “the pain point the product is solving”.”

We must tend to keep the conversation straight and short. The very initial call is to catch their attention and requirement, not the product.

5. Be a human, not a robot

You are a human, and it is completely ok to ask for clarification during the sales conversation starters, this might also remind the customer that you are keen on listening to their needs. Initiate a video chat with your prospect, as this might add a personal touch with the customer, because human touch matters. This is how communication skills and prospecting lead generation occurs.

For eg: Add a personnel touch with the following statements, “ Hi, how was your day today? “, and “ how can we help you?”, if you aren’t adding a personnel touch, it makes the callers feel that they are connected to robot and not a human.

Forget the generic template and give a direct approach to the prospect in a personal way. This can be applied to cold email and cold calling.

Tips: Avoid being too intrusive. Be on the line of professional life, and do not get touchy on the personal subjects that are focused on the prospects of personal life.

6. Prospect goals and ambition is what matters

Take time to listen to the prospect’s story, as it is an important factor in sales funnel optimization. You must know what ambition/ goal matters the most to them. Ask questions on what inspired them to pursue their career, and where would they see themselves in the near future.

As you explore their goals, ask questions that could help you figure out the needs of their organization. Help them by explaining how your product/service is going to help them achieve their goal

For eg: You can get insights into the customer’s minds by asking, “ What is the search for?”, “ How do you see the growth of your company in the upcoming years?”

7. Inquire about a recent event

Not all customer conversation starters are meant to be professional. A casual chit-chat shall help you a long way, like catching the talk through popular televised events like Oscar Awards or the Super Bowls. Consider asking them what they felt about the event, and what their opinion was on the event.

For eg: Instead of asking how the show was, show keen interest and be specific on the content of the show, like “ Did you know, which team won the Super Bowl ?”

Tip: Never get into a conversation that has biased beliefs, such as religion, politics, etc.

8. Collect content on the customer’s industry

By looking at their social media feed, it could help the salesperson to know what sort of content the customer is interested in. During the sales coaching, explain to the salesperson to follow the blog posts shared by the customer and to mention them in the sales conversation.

For eg: If the salesperson finds the recent blog post and the details of its industry, the salesperson there could build rapport to make the conversation worthwhile. Collect the relevant content with the customer industry.

You can ask, “ What is the ideal outcome in this industry? ”, “ How does N connect to V” ?, “ What are you reading right now? ”.

9. Being Empathic

This is one of the easiest ways to have a genuine connection with the prospect. As you build the conversation, try to understand their point of view. Being empathic makes you likable, and understandable and has a lot to do with the closing technique. But be prepared to understand what they care more about, and how you can be helpful to them

For Eg: Here are the ways you need to look for the opportunity to show how much you care for the prospect:

  1. Do you mind if I ask “ ”?
  2. Feel free to contact me anytime
  3. Can I suggest you something?
  4. Do you think you need to improve on “ ”?
  5. Did the solution work for you?
  6. Thank you, I appreciate your time
  7. Could we talk about “ ”?

These are the top 9 sales conversation starters that could help you to close the deal.

Tips for Using Conversation Starters

As you master the sales conversation, you will be building a long-term beneficial relationship with the customer. Find a creative and meaningful way to engage with them and this would fill the sales funnel.

The Sales manager must ensure to use effective sales strategy, here are some tips for using conversation starters that will be beneficial for social or traditional selling:

  1. An effective sales conversation starter must identify the marketplace problem to engage actively with the customers
  2. The conversation should not focus on the seller or the product, it is all about the customer.
  3. A sales leader should provide sufficient sales training to sales reps to be a conversation opener because great communication= great sales conversion
  4. Never be afraid to start a conversation with the customer, customers need to be valued for their thoughts and opinions
  5. Keep an open-ended question that would work to keep the prospect engaged.
  6. Maintain a fine line between engaging in a conversation and turning it into an interrogation
  7. The seller must clarify how the product shall add value to their company, this is the foundation for a productive sales conversation starter
  8. Take time to get to know your customer, don’t jump into the technical content directly, instead start with the pain points
  9. Do your homework to start the sales conversation, you are more likely to make the sale.


By gathering all the information, we are now clear that a good sales conversation starter is achieved by being a conversation opener. You must build a rapport with the customer. By knowing the purpose and prospect, the sales team would work effectively. The sales manager would be able to accomplish this in the form of role-playing during the sales training/ sales coaching.

Finding the balance between the personal and professional levels is the crucial part here, but ultimately the first sales conversation starter should help you address productiveness and progress.

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