Making outbound B2B solicitation calls isn’t the easiest thing to do. On average when making outbound cold calls to business owners you’ll only talk to them 28% of the time. 48% of the time solicitation calls are blocked the gatekeeper (receptionist). The more you improve getting past the gatekeeper, the more your chances improve on connecting with a business owner. Below you will find some helpful tactics to get past a gatekeeper.
1. Treat them like allies. Gatekeeper is not your enemy. Their job is to screen out people that they think will waste the boss’s time. The best way to get “past” the gatekeeper is simply to get the gatekeeper on your side. Seeing them as an immovable or impenetrable barrier will never get you through them. Develop a relationship – try to befriend them by sounding nice and warm, address them by their name, and most importantly try to “treat them like you want to be treated”
2. Do not use a script. Using a sales script to converse with a gatekeeper is a major turn-off. Unless you are a really good actor, don’t use a script. They are likely to hear the scripted tone in your voice. Plan your approaches and responses to key objections, but always leave room for improvisation.
3. Look out for subtle cues on your decision-maker. Gatekeeper is a wealth of knowledge. Listen for subtle cues they give away on the decision maker, depending on how much responsibility the gatekeeper has. The more they try to screen the more responsibility your decision maker holds. Remember that gatekeepers know a great deal of important information about your decision maker and the company that your reps could use. Ask simple,non-intrusive questions to build a picture of both the Gatekeeper and the Decision-Maker.
4. Engage with the gatekeeper, don’t try to evade Do not try to sneak past the gatekeeper, chances are you’ll get cut off at the knees. Actively engage with the Gatekeeper. You are unlikely to be the best of friends, but building a rapport with them will help you.
5. Do not sell to the Gatekeeper. No matter how desperate you are, never try to sell to the Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper has several powers, but decision-making is not one of them. When the Gatekeeper asks “Can I know what this is regarding?”, do not try to pitch your product to them. It will plainly give them an opportunity to say “ I don’t think we will be interested”.
6. Be aware of your voice tone. Show confidence and ease. The Gatekeepers perception of your sales reps impacts their decision on whether to allow your reps through or not. If your reps are nervous, stressed or tense, it will be reflected in their voice, attitude, and choice of words. Take some deep slow breaths, and set your mind at ease before the call. And when the Gatekeeper answers, smile and confidently greet them.
7. Request for their help. Try to enlist for the Gatekeeper’s help, and try to shift them from blocking you to helping you. Creating a scenario that invites help has helped a lot of sales rep in reaching the Decision-Maker. Asking questions like, “Maybe you can help me here”, and “I am not really sure who I need to connect with” is a great way of engaging with the Gatekeeper. Make sure your tone has a mix of curiosity and lost to reaffirm your seek in help.
Being prepared for the objections that will shut the reps down is a great way to master sales calls that bust through the gatekeeper.
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