Tips to Build Rapport in the First 20 Seconds in Cold Calling

Building rapport at the start of your call seems to be the toughest task you have to make in telesales or telemarketing. People are just too busy that they quickly cut you off before you could even finish your opening statement. Add to that the fact that people are being called by other telesales professionals and you will be considered as just another annoying call.

So set yourself apart from other telesales professionals by grabbing the attention of your prospect in the first twenty seconds of your call, build rapport and gain their trust. And how do you do these? The following techniques should kick-start your cold calling efforts by building rapport with prospective customers and make them buy from you.

Use a script.

Spend enough time crafting the perfect opening statement that is sure to make the person on the other end of the phone stay glued to hear that special something. Remember, you only have 20 seconds to do that so your impact statement should not exceed that time. Be clear, concise and get straight to the point. Tell your prospect who you are and what your purpose is.

Use the right tone.

People will like you because you sound friendly and polite on the phone. It helps you project a professional image to the prospect. You will also come across as efficient and trustworthy, the very kind of person they want to do business with.

Show empathy.

Encourage your prospect to talk. Acknowledge their concerns by using phrases like "I'm sure it must be tough for you..", "I completely understand...", or "I can understand why..." Trust and rapport is being established as you let them open up and you show your interest by listening to them attentively.

Handle a negative response effectively.

Quite often the initial response from prospects would be negative. Do not make the same mistake other telesales professionals do. They are quick to interrupt and go into defensive mode. The proper way to handle it is to let the prospect let out their thoughts and feelings, acknowledge them, and then offer a counter statement that gives them a different perspective of things.


Perfect your craft by rehearsing your script so you can deliver it in a smooth, efficient and friendly manner. There won't be another chance for you to do it so do it right the first time.