When cold calling for sales, you’ll most likely face a gatekeeper. Initially, you’ll need to be aware of the fact that just as you’re being trained on selling and cold calling, the gatekeeper is being trained on screening your cold calls. That is one of their precise objectives, to reduce the number of unsolicited sales calls that get through the office. With that being said, there are very easy things that can be done to get around the gatekeeper and they are outlined below:

Name Dropping
The gatekeeper is quickly trying to figure out if you are a friend or foe when they answer your call. A friend would be someone which whom the company already has an established relationship and a foe would be a complete stranger trying to get in the door.

A quick way to show the gatekeeper that you’re not a foe when cold calling is by name-dropping other people within the organization. When you mention other people you’ve met within the organization, the gatekeeper will become more comfortable with putting you through because you’re presenting yourself as already being on the inside.

In the event that you haven’t actually met anyone within the organization, simply mention names of individuals with which you’re planning to meet with in order to show you’re not a foe. Also, use the term “planning” loosely to make it sound as if it’s on the calendar already even though it’s only in your plans to meet with them at some point at this time.

In addition, another tactic that can be done in the event that you haven’t met with anyone is name-dropping individuals from other companies and/or other company names to establish ease and credibility when cold calling for sales.

Easily, we perceive the gatekeeper as the enemy because they stand between us and where we want to go as well as they appear to be attempting to stop our progress. It helps to try turning the gatekeeper from an enemy to an ally in this case.

This is powerful because it helps you to get around them when cold calling for sales. Also, it’s important because the gatekeeper is more powerful than we may realize. They typically have valuable information on processes and initiatives as well as have influence on the decision-making process.

Mention an Initiative
In the event that you get a gatekeeper when cold calling, mention that you’re calling to schedule a meeting to speak about a particular initiative. It’ll help you gain credibility as well as make you appear as if you’re on the inside. When you’ve done your homework, you might know about an initiative that you can reference. In the case that you don’t know of an initiative when cold calling, there are certain initiatives that every company has at any given time which you can mention such as cutting labor costs, driving same-store sales, etc.

Seek to Understand in Order to be Understood
“Seek to understand in order to be understood” is a concept that Dr. Stephen Covey has written about. This is a very powerful concept that can be used in any area in which you’re attempting to build and maintain relationships. When you reach a deadlock with a gatekeeper while cold calling, it’s helpful to share with them that you do understand their position.

This can be done by telling them you understand that they get a lot of salespeople calling to sell products and services as well as that you understand their job is to screen calls as well as possible. After letting them know you understand their situation, you will begin helping them to understand you and the reason it’s safe to let you in when cold calling for sales.


SalesScripter provides cold call training helping sales professionals with cold calling for sales.

Listen to “How to Get Around Gatekeepers (Week 11 of 16-Week Webinar Series)” on Spreaker.