If you’re a telemarketer or involved in B2B lead generation, you’ll certainly be familiar with the term ‘Gatekeeper’. In B2B telemarketing, when a salesperson is trying to reach a person who has the decision making authority in the organisation, they will likely have to go through at least one or sometimes even two or three people before reaching that person. These people, known as gatekeepers, screen out sales calls using all sorts of tactics.
But they are your ally not your foe!
The secret to B2B telemarketing success lies in getting past the gatekeeper in sales. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or if you’re offering the best rates; if you can’t get to the decision maker, you cannot sell. To help you get past the gatekeeper and reach the decision makers, we’re sharing some tried and tested strategies. Use these techniques to make the gatekeeper let you through.
Make Gatekeepers Your Allies
It’s natural for B2B telemarketers to consider gatekeepers ‘faceless obstacles’ that they must overcome at all costs. What’s important to understand is that it’s a receptionist’s job to keep distractions away from the high-level decision makers. Understand that you can only get past them if you treat them with respect and make them realise that you actually mean business. Build a rapport with them. Be friendly, be courteous, be assertive (not aggressive) and you’re likely to succeed. Get their name and remember it.
Sound Confident and Authoritative
If you’re hesitant and lack confidence, the gatekeeper is likely to recognise you as a ‘cold caller’ and immediately screen you out. In order to get the opportunity of presenting your product or service to the decision maker, talk like a senior decision maker. Make the gatekeeper realise that you’re important and they’re likely to treat you differently.
Here are some tips to help you sound authoritative.
- Speak slowly in a relaxed and calm voice. Slow and steady wins the race.
- If you know the name of the person you need to reach, tell the receptionist that you want to talk with that person and say their first name only. This sounds as though you already have an established business relationship with the person. Act like they should know who you are wanting to talk with.
- If you don’t know the name, then ensure you have a good database in advance or jump onto LinkedIn to find the right person. If you still don’t have a name then ask to be put through to the relevant department.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
Don’t expect that the receptionist will grant you an opportunity to talk to the desired person at your first attempt. Most of the time, you’ll be required to build rapport before you can get past the gatekeeper. Therefore, use your unsuccessful attempts to collect information about the decision maker: are they based in that office, are they often in, do they have a PA themselves (if so what’s their name) and do they know when they are in the office
Often times, gatekeepers may not let you reach the decision maker simply because they’re busy or attending a meeting. Collecting information can help you determine the best time to call and increase your probability of reaching the key person.
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