The cold-caller’s guide to manoeuvring the gatekeeper


There are many ways of connecting with prospects to identify what opportunities actually exist within their organisations, including email marketing, direct mail, invitations to events and so on. Getting past the gatekeeper can be daunting. Here’s our cold-caller’s guide to manoeuvring the gatekeeper.

This article will discuss the strategy of cold calling – that’s right telemarketing!

As we make over 1 million calls in our own outbound lead generating call centre, we know that telephone canvassing is the most efficient manner of qualifying prospects.

The process we teach our own staff, as well as the strategies we share with sales people from organisations all over the world, is that we essentially call people and talk to them.

Build Rapport

Too many of us use the telephone as a method to “sell”. When we can understand that the prospects don’t like to be sold or told…our approach is use the telephone to build rapport, and then a relationship which leads to trust.

Sure we will be blocked by gatekeepers, which is when you need to make decisions on the spot as to how to handle these situations.

The greatest advice we offer sales people is our powerful 5 Step Process for Marketing by Telephone.=

Step #1

The number one strategy is to call a gatekeeper and ask them if they have a moment to speak. This is called “asking for clearance” and is one of the most important telephone techniques to ensure that we do not appear to be telemarketers – this strategy alone will set you apart from the opposition and give you a head start.

Step #2

The second strategy which we believe is gold is “empowerment” – here is an example:

“I wonder if you can assist me Jane.”

“Can you tell me who in your organisation makes the decision as to which printing company your organisation will use in the future?”

This sounds like a long convoluted way of asking for a decision maker, but this method is proven to work – it is tried and tested over 1 million times a year in our own call centre.

It works because you are asking the gatekeeper for assistance, and people love to help!

You are elevating them by asking them for assistance. (As opposed to “can I speak with the business owner?”)

In some cases, our process does not yield the desired results, but there are always ways around such roadblocks.

The Decision Maker

Once you have a name of a decision maker then it is important use the same two strategies when the call is put through to them… ”Are you free to speak”, and “I wonder if you can assist me, I understand that you are the person that makes the decisions as to which printing company you will use in the future.”

So, that is the seamless process we use with extraordinary results.

Remember the telephone is the most effective method of touching prospects – you get straight to the decision maker without the need for brochures, webmail infrastructure, and other expensive marketing tools.

Would your team benefit from learning more about the 5 Step Process for Marketing by Telephone?

Learn more about crafting a powerful sales process at Sales Training Program, B2B proven program used by National & Global Corporations on August 16-17 – perfect for any team seeking to level up in sales.