Unless you’re lucky enough to have a direct line to every decision maker in your call list, you’ll have to get past the dreaded gatekeeper before your sales pitch can find its target. As the person who controls which calls get through and which are politely declined, winning over the gatekeeper is one of the most important parts of any sales call.
Almost every sales person will have their own technique for getting past the gatekeeper. Here at Blue Donkey, we’ve developed our very own set of tactics for navigating our way around the gatekeeper and getting our calls to the people that matter.
Speak with authority
The more confident and positive you are when you make a call, the more likely you’ll be to get past the gatekeeper. Speak with authority and confidence. If you sound like you know what you’re talking about, and like you have a right to speak to the decision maker, there’s a good chance the gatekeeper will put you through without asking too many questions.
You can also try to use visualisation techniques to help boost your chances of success. Build a picture of the gatekeeper in your mind’s eye and hold this image in your head when you make the call. This will help your voice to sound more confident when you ask for the person you need to speak to and should help to prevent you from being blocked.
Think about what the tone of your voice communicates; if it unwittingly says, “I’m selling something and my call is not important”, there’s a good chance you’ll be blocked. On the other hand, if your tone of voice suggests you have something to discuss that the decision maker will want to hear, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
However, it’s important you remain respectful and professional throughout this stage of the call. Don’t pretend you know the decision maker and don’t make your call out to be something it’s not, just to get through. Remember this initial call is designed to begin a business relationship, build trust and create rapport, so start as you mean to go on.
Don’t pitch to the gatekeeper
Though you’ll probably need to give the gatekeeper some basic information, it’s important you don’t begin to pitch to the first person you speak to. If you give them too much information, you could tempt them into making a decision on the buyer’s behalf, or even to relay your pitch to the decision maker instead of putting you through. As both of these scenarios lower your chances of success, try to keep your introduction brief and be clear that you need to be put through.
Avoid asking for the person who ‘deals with’
If you ask for the person who ‘deals with’ HR, buying, accounts etc. you’ll probably end up speaking to the day-to-day administrator, rather than the person in a position to make decisions. Instead, ask to speak to the person ‘responsible for’ or ‘in charge of’. This will give your pitch the best possible chance of reaching the ears of someone who can act on it.
Don’t leave a message
One of the key strategies in sales, and telemarketing in particular, is retaining the element of control as much as possible. If you leave a message either on a voicemail or with reception, you’re giving that control away. If the decision maker doesn’t call you back – and the chances are they won’t – it’s that much harder for you to call again after you’ve left a message that hasn’t been returned.
When making any telemarketing calls, it’s important to respect the rules of the game. Always check your data against TPS or CTPS lists and ensure that your calls are compliant to ensure your brand is presented in the best possible light. To find out more about how you can improve your telemarketing techniques, or to learn how the Blue Donkey centre of excellence can boost the quality of your calls and help you to generate new leads, contact a member of our team today.