5. Have a game plan for gatekeepers
When you are going through some outbound phone prospecting, you can spend as much as 50% of your time having your call answered by some sort of gatekeeper. This could be a front-desk receptionist, switchboard operator, or executive assistant.
These gatekeepers will be an obstacle for you because in most scenarios they are operating with the clear objective to screen calls from people like you out. Not only can they often be effective at this and stand in your way of making progress, but getting shut down by a gatekeeper is not fun at all and it can just about ruin your day.
While you may feel that there is not much you can do to improve your ability to get around gatekeepers, there are many inside sales tips that you can easily implement to improve your results. Here are a few:
- Name drop other contacts in the organization to establish social proof
- Don’t sound like a salesperson
- Befriend the gatekeeper to build rapport
- Treat the gatekeeper like the prospect by asking them your pre- qualifying questions
6. Structure for what to do with voicemail boxes
If you are not having to deal with gatekeepers when phone prospecting, you might find yourself running into nothing but voicemail box after voicemail box. It can sometimes feel like prospects never answer the phone.
While it might be true in that it can be difficult to get prospects to answer the phone, this does not mean that we should not call. But one thing you should do is keep in mind these inside sales tips and have a plan for what to do when you reach a prospect’s voicemail box.
Many salespeople will operate with the question of whether to leave a message or hang up without leaving a message. The voicemail box is one way that you have to communicate with the prospect. It is not the best channel for communicating but it is one.
At certain points in your prospecting, leave voicemail messages for the prospect and use that brief time to educate the prospect on why they should talk with you.
7. Have some sort of call cadence
As mentioned in the other inside sales tips, getting a hold of prospects can be difficult. To improve your ability to connect, use some sort of call cadence that provides the structure for when you call back to try to reach them again and how many times you circle back before walking away.
One approach is to use 3 or 4 rounds of calls. Here is a sample breakdown:
- Round 1: 1 call attempt, 1 pre-call email – pause 1 day
- Round 2: 1 call attempt, 1 voicemail message, 1 voicemail follow-up email – pause 7 days
- Round 3: 5 to 10 call attempts , 1 voicemail message, 1 voicemail follow-up email – pause 7 days
- Round 4: 5 to 10 call attempts , 1 voicemail message, 1 voicemail follow-up email – close and add to email drip campaign