Patty Glass, the owner of a $600,000 art consultancy in Cincinnati, finds she gets good results on the phone by coming clean right away. Here's one variation of her approach:
"Hi, this is Patty Glass with The Art Company, and this is a cold call. I bet you get a million of these. Fasten your seat belt--here's another one."
After a humorous start, she gets to the point quickly and doesn't waste the prospect's time. She's discovering that her lighthearted approach can work for others too: She recently shared it with her latest hire. The new salesperson, Glass reports, soon generated $11,800 in sales from about 55 names on a list that the rest of the staff considered "dead."