STOP! Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three!
Running into gatekeepers on cold calls may make the effort seem futile, but never fear! Lisa Gschwandter of Sellingpower.com has collected some expert tips from the authors of SOAR Selling to help you successfully navigate your encounter with the Bridge Troll…er, gatekeeper.
Tip #1 – Understand that gatekeepers are just doing their jobs.
Just like it is your job to cold call new prospects, it a gatekeeper's job to screen calls and make life easier for their bosses. Despite what you think, they are not purposely trying to hold you back. They are simply adhering to process and the rules of their job. In fact, according to the SOAR Selling authors, “When salespeople believe that the receptionist is out to block them, they end up creating that result.”
So instead of getting frustrated and passive aggressively attacking the gatekeeper, respect that they are simply doing their job. With the right technique, you can get past them, and the first step is keeping a cool temperament and friendly tone every time you encounter a gatekeeper.
Tip #2 – Don’t give more information than necessary.
Sometimes withholding information can be your secret to success! Rather than revealing your company name, precise reason for calling or offering up other information, you should keep some things in the dark. SOAR Selling conducted thousands of cold calls and developed the following technique to surpass gatekeepers:
- Decline to give more information
- Restate your name and desire to speak to the decision-maker
- Echo the gatekeeper's language
An example response to the most frequently asked question, “What is this regarding?” is:
“Please let him/her know the call is regarding [restate your name].”
This response accomplishes all 3 steps of the technique and has a greater probability of getting passed through to the decision-maker.
If you are ready to stop getting stonewalled by gatekeepers, start using these tips in your cold calls. And for more tips, Gschwandterof’s blog discusses 2 more for you to use. With some patience and proper technique, you’ll be acing those "questions three" instead of landing in the Pit of Despair.