When cold calling, you can spend up to 50% of your time dealing with gatekeepers. With that being such a large percentage, if you improve your knowledge and skills with how best to deal with the gatekeeper, you can immediately improve your sales effectiveness and we outline some tips for you in this sales training webinar video – How to Consistently Get Around Gatekeepers When Cold Calling.
Four Types of Gatekeepers
One thing to keep in mind when talking to gatekeepers, is that there are a few different types of gatekeepers and the way they differ could impact how you approach dealing with them.
- Front-Desk Receptionist: The person sitting in the lobby answering phones, checking in guests, signing for deliveries, etc.
- Switchboard Operators: Only job is to answer the phone and route calls.
- Executive Assistants: Administrative resource that often answers the phone for executive.
- Auto-Attendants: Automated phone tree that routes and directs calls.
Understand the Gatekeeper
An important step to take when B2B cold calling is to stop and try to understand the gatekeeper. This can help you to have a deeper perspective on why they are being difficult to you and this can help you to become a little more patient and less sensitive when butting heads with them every day.
Gatekeeper Sales Tactics
Here are some quick sales tactics to incorporate when trying to get around gatekeepers when B2B cold calling.
Enlist the Gatekeepers Help
Try to use questions and a tone the communicates that you are asking for the gatekeepers help when trying to connect with the correct person. They may or may not try to be helpful, but this is one approach that you can try to get them to decrease their stance of trying to block you out.
Treat the Gatekeeper Like a Prospect
When you sense the gatekeeper is starting to be difficult and block you out, take a step back and start to treat the gatekeeper like the target prospect you are trying to reach. You can go in this direction by saying something like:
Actually, let me take a step back and tell you who I am and why I am calling.
From there, you can share your elevator pitch or value proposition, which should communicate how you can help and why the person you are trying to reach might want to talk with you. If that does not work by itself, you can continue to treat the gatekeeper like a prospect by asking some of your pre-qualifying questions.
Try to present yourself as more of an insider than an outsider to the gatekeeper. An outsider would be a salesperson that is trying to get in and sell something and an insider might be a vendor that is already engaged.
You probably are an outsider but you can give an impression that you are more of an insider when by name dropping other people that you have spoken with at the company that you are cold calling into.