Reader Question: Can Anyone Share Examples of Good Opening Lines?

Owen Davis

Owen Davis

Owen Davis, Employment Outreach Specialist with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, CT asked for more detail after reading our recent post Consultative Selling: A Big Picture Conclusion. Peer presenter Hilary Lucas, Job Developer at Catholic Charities in Cleveland mentioned the importance of having a good opening line when reaching out to employers.

What opening lines have you found to be most successful? Help us answer Owen’s question in the comment section at the end of this post or at information@higheradvantage.org.

Meanwhile here are some tips on opening lines drawn from the 1-day training we hosted with DTG-EMP President Allen Anderson at our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop last fall in Omaha.

  • Keep your opening line to 20 seconds or less.
  • Make sure your opening line focuses on the needs of the employer.
  • Find ways to make your opening line interesting.

Allen Anderson also shared two types of openings to use with employers: the Credentials opening, and the Benefits Opening.

Both of these assume that you already know that there is a job opening and that you have access to the decision maker (or hiring department). Both types of opening include three elements: Greeting, Opening line, and Permission to proceed. Here are examples of each.

Credentials Opening

Hi Bill, this Betty Smith from Refugee Employment Services. I heard that you may be hiring an overnight stocker at your store? (Opening Line): I wanted to let you know about our free employment services to connect employers with new Americans who are work authorized and eager to work. We’ve had a lot of success with Walmart, Home Depot and other area business. I was hoping to introduce myself and see if our services might be helpful for your business. (Permission to proceed) Do you have a few minutes to talk?

Benefits Opening

Hi Bill, this Betty Smith from Refugee Employment Services. I heard that you may be hiring an overnight stocker at your store? (Opening line) I am hoping to give you access to free employment services that have helped local employers successfully hire motivated and reliable candidates. I think the quality of our services might be of real benefit to you. I was hoping for a chance to introduce myself and see if there was anything I could do to help you get a good employee for this stocker position? (Permission to proceed) Do you have a few minutes to talk?

 

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Comments

  1. Chris Hogg says:

    The only thing I would change would be to begin like this: “Hi Bill, this is Betty Smith from Refugee Employment Services. Do you have a moment?” If we start our pitch before the person has the time to listen, we will simply aggravate them. If they say yes, we can continue our pitch. If they say no, we should respond back with, “Okay. I’ll call back.” And then simply hang up the phone. And don’t ask when it would be convenient, try to set a time to call, or anything else – they already told us they don’t have a moment, and we need to honor that.

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