How to Get Through Gatekeepers in Cold Calling?

While cold calling, there are times when you need to get connected to the decision makers who are your business prospects. The intervening person like the secretary or the personal assistant is the one who does this job and is termed as a gatekeeper. Most of the sales reps have a tough time as the gatekeepers screen the cold calls or reply in a crude manner. A negative action from the gatekeeper can actually ruin all your efforts regarding that cold call and close down a prospective business opportunity. The gatekeepers like receptionists, personal secretaries are often overloaded or strictly instructed to not let in calls that are not important. As per their understanding, they usually filter the calls. Getting through successfully in such situations is again a skill. This can be achieved only by connecting to the gatekeepers in the correct way. A single unprofessional act can ruin the call.

Following are the tips that you need to follow when you connect to a gatekeeper:

Open the conversation in a polite manner

If your call is attended by the gatekeeper, the first thing you need to do is sound polite and soft. Make the use of words like “please”, “could you”, “Thank you” and so on. If possible you can ask the first name with a question like “May I know who I am speaking with?” and you can then greet the person. This makes the conversation personal and it puts the gatekeeper in a comfortable position.

Managing business information

You need to take a call about the way you convey your message. In some cases, it is not necessary to convey the business information while in others it can really help. You can start off by being precise. Perhaps if the information is something that is beneficial to the employees, you can present it in an interesting way. One more method is to create a situation emphasizing that the crucial prospect can go to the decision maker only if the secretary enables you to get through. Giving due importance to the intermediate person can make your task easier.

Research about the boss

It is recommended that you know something about the decision makers, at least the first name. For example, instead of saying “Can you please connect me to the CEO?” it sounds good to say “Can you please put me through to John Smith?”  If you are not aware of the decision maker can be, you can get it confirmed from the gatekeeper in the same polite manner.

Practice your approach:

If you have had the experience of negative replies from the gatekeepers, you can sit down and note the pattern. Revise the way in which you approach them on a cold call. This can help you re-frame your strategy and get a positive response.

Emphasize the authority in your voice

You need to maintain the balance in being polite and sounding confident and experienced. If your tone indicates that you yourself are not sure of getting through the situation, you have a lesser chance of getting through to the decision makers.

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