Having Trouble getting past that Gatekeeper?This used to be my biggest headache everyday. Its so aggravating when you have either repeat customers or a potential customer in your file that you know you could sell but you cannot get them on the horn to make your sales pitch. If you could only get past the gatekeeper, you you could deliver your sales pitch, sell your potential customer, and add a new lead to your sales pipeline… Well my fellow sales people/ telemarketing professionals, im about to give you one of the best telemarketing tips you have ever gotten from Mr. know-it-all or any sales trainer. The first and most important thing to know When it comes to gatekeepers, is that their job is to screen calls, just as your job is to make sales. I know i don’t have to tell you this however….some of these gatekeepers are really good at what they do.
The good news is that it’s not rocket science. In fact, it’s pretty easy to get past most gatekeepers once you put a little thought into it. The problem is that most of us are so caught up with the fact that we have run into a bulldog gatekeeper, that we forget that all we have to do is stop our belly aching and find a way to get the potential customer on the phone. Its basic problem solving. Run into an obstacle, in this case the gate keeper, and find a way to get around that obstacle. Dont get mad! You know it’s true. We spend so much time thinking about and planning to sell our customer or prospect, that we overlook getting past the gatekeeper, thinking its a given withing the sales process. A lot of time it is a given. Just ask for your customer or potential customer, get him on the horn and give him your sales pitch, right? Not always. Sometimes the gatekeeper can put a direct hault to the sales process by preventing sales people from making a sales pitch. When this happens, ofcourse it can be a royal pain in the ass. However, it your job as a telemarketing professional to overcome this obstacle, just like an objection, and do whatever it takes to make that sale.
So what can we do to get past that dreaded bulldog gatekeeper?
1. The first thing we need to realize is that the gatekeeper is just another human being like you an me. He/She just is just trying to make a living and get to heaven just like us. Also, don’t forget that the gatekeeper has a job a lot like ours. They deal with customers and complaints all day long, which can be stressful just like telemarketing or sales in general. Sometimes all it takes to get on the good side of the gatekeeper is a couple nice words. Instead of acting like,” Oh Shit”, when that gatekeeper answers the phone, act happy to talk to them. Make them feel like the sun rises and falls on their shoulder, because it kinda does right? Its up to that gatekeeper whether or not you will be able to talk to your potential customer.
Again, remember that the gatekeepers job also consists of talking to repeat customers or a potential customer all day, so you should be able to relate to the gate keeper. Do not give off the vibe that your once again disappointed that the gatekeeper answered the phone. You already knew that was going to happen, so stop your bitching and belly itching and start thinking of getting past the gatekeeper as part of the sales process. Start trying to building a repore with that gatekeeper you consider a pain in the ass. That’s right!! Build repore just as you would with a repeat customers or a potential customer customer. Crack a joke or give him or her a compliment. Find the Hot button, and you are in business my friend. A little courtesy and a little repore building is usually all it takes. It does not always work, but this would be the first step in trying to get past the gatekeeper. You never want to resort to being deceptive, or should i say stealthy, to get past the gatekeeper. At least not until it is absolutely necessary of course.
2. So you took advice from the oracle of sales and it did not work, right? Well just sit back and relax because the oracle has an answer for every sales scenario and situation. If the repore thing is not going so well, you may have to kick it up a notch. However, before we kick it up a notch, lets do everything we possibly can to get John Q. buyer on the phone so we can sell him. Even though this is number 2 in order, it could also be number one. I will let you choose in what order you want to schedule your missions to get past the gatekeeper. If you are having trouble getting your customer or prospect on the phone, you should do some research and find out what his or her hours are. Also find out what time the screening secretary comes in and what time he or she leaves work. This will take some leg work and you will have to figure it out using trial and error. The more info you have is always better anyway. Come into work early or stay late. You might just get lucky and get your customer or prospect on the phone finally. In most cases, you will either be able to build a little repore or call when the gatekeeper is not there, in order to make your sales pitch.
3. Where there is a will there is always a way right? You havent had any luck getting through to your customer during early or late work hours and building repore is not going very well. The first thing you need to realize is these 2 options are your real pathway to getting your repeat customers or a potential customer on the phone. If you havent been able to build a very good repore with gatekeeper yet, maybee your just not there yet. Sometime it takes time to build a nice little repore. And even though you havent gotten your potential customer on the phone yet, the more you try to call at different times during the day, the better your odds are. So maybee it just has not happened quite yet, but i guarantee that if you keep trying over and over and again eventually you will get your repeat customers or a potential customer on the phone.
There are a couple other thing you can try as well. Ask the gatekeeper to bring you customer a potential customer a hand written message from you. Tell the gate keeper that the message is important. Ask your dreaded gatekeeper for an email so you can communicate with repeat customers or your targeted potential customer. This i am sure you would have probably already done. You just have to keep at it and play the numbers game and eventually you will be able to make your sales pitch. Keep trying and Don’t give up too easily! Rinse and Repeat these tactics over and over and it will payoff at some point.
Another thing you can do if you cant get around the gatekeeper or get an email, is send your repeat customers or a potential customer a message via snail mail. This would be your best chance if nothing else seems to be working. If you do send a snail mail message, make sure it is either a personalized letter or a postcard. Whenever i send something to a potential customer or even a repeat customer, i send a personalized, well thought out letter. When you send a letter via snail mail, you can use an envelope and it should go directly to your intended target. A postcard, however, works nice sometimes because it is short, sweet and too the point. It is also easily visible to your targeted potential customer. The one drawback with a postcard however, is that you run the risk of the gatekeeper catching it in the mail.
4. This is my last ditch effort to get the customer on the phone because all else has failed. Use spoofing technology and use your imagination. I dont like to do this unless i absolutely have to, and for this i have my own special sales techniques. These sales techniques are not in this free sales training article, but i will give you some of my trick if you sign-up by filling out the form below. You must understand that i pride myself on sales ethics and doing the right thing. This last option here, really is my hail mary or last ditch effort to make my sales pitch. Even though i do not like to resort to it, sometimes sales people gotta do what they gotta do. If you do have resort to this method, make sure you are still always respectful and make sure you conduct yourself as a sales professional.