Don’t start a telesales call with: “hello? [pause] how are you?”.
There's nothing worse than trying to guess why someone has interrupted your day. And who doesn't have the courtesy to introduce themself.
This is the way it usually goes:
Phone Rings/ Me: "Hello, XXX Co, Gavin speaking."/ Them: "Hello....How are you?"/ Me: "I'm good, and yourself."/ Them: "I'm good as well."/ Me: "Great. To whom am I speaking?"./ Them: "John."/ Me: "How can I help you John?"./ Them: "I'm phoning from XXX Co. and etc. etc."/ And then we get onto the topic at hand/
When someone calls and starts the conversation with a "hello ...... how are you" I immediately get cross and don’t want to talk to them. Why? Because why the fuck are you wasting my time? Other than it being bad manners, if you had to tell me why you are calling we could (a) do business, or (b) not do business with one another (then you haven’t wasted my time, and I haven’t wasted yours).
I also don't have to lose focus on what you're trying to sell me by trying to guess who you are!
When you make a sales call to just say who you are, which company you represent, and the reason for your call. We can always become friends along the way.