I hated discussing the weather until I understood why it was important. Now that I know how to use this crucial icebreaker to launch the conversation I hardly ever skip it.
1. Getting chilly isn't it? Frame your weather comment as a question so you can read their response. A curt answer means 'hurry up'. A full sentence means 'I love to chat'.
2. You are there to listen. The weather question is like a tennis volley. It establishes that you want to hear their voice from the outset. Maintain to-and-fro momentum with open ended questions and comments framed as questions.
3. I'm local. Using a hyper local weather question communicates that you live and work locally. You are not an out of town telemarketer. People are far less likely to hang up on a neighbourly call.
4. Ice breaker. Discussing the weather briefly will help with your transition into the purpose of the call without coming across as being money hungry.
Why not say 'have you got time to talk'?
They could have ignored my call but they answered. They have time, and my time is valuable so I will complete the call quickly if they are in a rush, or slowly if they need my help.