If it does not look like the gatekeeper is going to let you through, simply shift gears and start treating the gatekeeper like the target prospect. There are two different ways to do this. First, if the gatekeeper does not understand who you are, who you should talk to, or why the target prospect will want to talk to you, you can try to take a step back and educate the gatekeeper on all of this by sharing either your value points, pain points, or name-drop with something like this:

Value Points

Actually, let me take a step back and let you know why I am calling. The reason for my call is that we help [Target Buyer Type] to:

Value Point 1
Value Point 2
Value Point 3

I don’t know if you all want to improve those areas and that is why I am calling. Do you know who the best person for me to talk with is?

Pain Points

Actually, let me take a step back and let you know why I am calling. The reason for my call is that we work with a lot of [Target Buyer Type] and they often have challenges with:

Pain Point 1
Pain Point 2
Pain Point 3

I don’t know if you all are concerned about those areas, and that is why I am calling. Do you know who the best person for me to talk with is? Do you know how concerned [Target Prospect] is about these areas?

 

Name-Drop

Actually, let me take a step back and let you know why I am calling. The reason for my call is that:

We worked with [Customer Name] and helped them to [Technical Improvement].
This ultimately helped them to [Business Improvement].

I don’t know if we can help you in the same way, and that is why I was calling. Do you know who the best person for me to talk with is?

 

The other way that you can treat the gatekeeper like a target prospect is to ask some of the pain or current environment questions that you were going to ask the target prospect, and that could look something like this:

Pain Questions

OK. Well, maybe you know the answer to this.

Pain Question 1
Pain Question 2
Pain Question 3

Current Environment Questions

OK. Well, maybe you know the answer to this.

Who are you currently using today?
How long have you been with them?
How is everything going?
What are some things you like about what they provide?
What are some things that you think could be better?
If you could change one thing about their product/service, what would it be?
When was the last time you considered other options in this area?
(Sizing Question) How many _____ do you currently have?
Are you the right person to discuss this area with?

 

If one of the gatekeeper’s answers exposes potential pain, you can use that as a reason to talk with the target prospect with something like this:

Well, that is why it might make sense for me to speak with [Target Prospect] as we help to solve that issue, and we could likely have a productive conversation.

If the gatekeeper does not know the answer to your question, you can use that as a reason to talk with the target prospect with something like this:

Well, that is why I need to speak with [target prospect] as [he or she] will most likely know the answer to that question.