Know the gatekeeper's nature to control them
The gatekeeper in a B2B company can be anyone from a receptionist and secretary to a personal assistant. Their main job is to screen out salespeople first, but not to bull the important VIP and right person from the conversation with the boss.
While you talk with the gatekeeper, remember you are never hostile to them because they do their jobs. And that’s what it’s all about. In the majority of cases, there are only two types of gatekeepers – the weak and the strong. The weak gatekeepers usually work in small and mid-sized companies.
And the strong ones in the Fortune 500 companies, highly successful startups, etc. So depending on what kind of company you’re calling, you already know with 80% of accuracy what kind of person is waiting on the other side of the phone.
Really, 80% of companies are mediocre and consequently have mediocre staff and gatekeepers. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule yet we have a blueprint on how to tackle them.
Now, every receptionist is training (or supposed to have active training) to screen out salespeople from connection with the boss. Consequently, as soon as you start to behave or talk like the salesperson, you nearly lose a chance to pass the gatekeeper.
The saving rope in this situation is your communicating skills and mastery of persuasion if you convince the secretary that the deal is super profitable for the boss. Do you disclose that you're a sales rep? Fine, the result is achievable with a great deal of time, money, and energy. And that’s a hard way in B2B calling. We'll give you plenty of ways to pass the gatekeeper without extra effort and time. Read on.
The ways to avoid gatekeepers at 87% of cases
One of the proven ways to never engage with the gatekeeper is to avoid them. The proven way is to call at the right hours. These hours are 8 or 8:30 AM and 6:30 or 8 PM. Really, gatekeepers usually work from 9 AM to 5 PM.
So the chances you meet them in these hours are around 10%. But you certainly can meet the senior person, executive, or founder. Successful people usually come earlier and definitely work in late hours of the day when no one is around. Knowing this, call them and talk with them without any third parties.
The second proven way to never talk with the gatekeeper is to reach the executive through social media or email. Linked In, Facebook, Twitter are media that make the reach of the executives very easy. And almost every executive reviews their pages to talk with friends, relatives, and definitely with business partners.
So why should you lose this opportunity for good? The email is also a workable source of reach, yet the time of response is dramatically lower than in the cases listed above.
The proven ways to speak with gatekeepers and pass them with the success rate of 87%
There’s an opinion on the internet that you should befriend gatekeepers before reaching the executive. Well, let’s presume that you follow this strategy.
Thus you constantly disclose that you're a salesperson and speak nice and skillfully with each person. In the first two weeks. There are nearly 2% chances you persuade to let you pass. But you were persistent, and in two weeks you master the art of befriending most of the gatekeepers.
Now, let’s calculate the time you need to persuade each person. First of all, when you start to befriend them, you need from 5 to 7 or more minutes to persuade them and explain why your call is super profitable for the boss.
And the first two weeks of these attempts have nearly 2% of the success rate. Then, however, after two weeks, you master this strategy, and on average, you spend at least 3-4 minutes persuading each receptionist. Now, most telemarketers need to make tens or even hundreds of calls each day to have a constant cash flow. Can you afford to talk for such long times?
Moreover, don’t forget about bills for the telephony you need to pay each time you’re trying to persuade and befriend receptionists. In summary, it’s a vague tactic for the successful telemarketer, counting the factor that once you reach the executive, the chances you close the sale are dependent.
Would you like to know the ways to pass the chore beyond endurance on befriending gatekeepers?
Tests show scientific evidence about these facts
The only reason why the receptionist will transfer you to the bass is when you talk and behave like a friend of a boss or VIP. All other efforts and sales attitudes are doomed to fail.
The most common mistake most salespeople commit is they start the conversation in this manner: “Hi, my name is Michael Smith from the company XYZ, and I want to speak with Mr. McKinsey. And I have profitable products or services to offer”. As soon as you talk in this manner, you fail before you even end.
The receptionist will quickly identify you as salespeople, and all they do is toss your call. So firstly, you never, ever commit this mistake listed above.
The second issue of supreme importance every telemarketing needs to understand is that this is the game, yet you need to follow the rules. Never be rude with the receptionist, personal assistant, or whoever, yet add the little piece of the firm attitude.
It means you’re absolutely confident, never shy, or beg for transfer. After all, you have the business to offer.
Thirdly, the person between you and the boss has a routine by scheduling appointments, receiving calls, negotiating with visitors. And believe it or not, yet buying from you is the last thing they’re willing to make. So save your pitches for the good and try to not waste the opportunity to speak with the executive.
Fourthly, the first thing every person sees is your phone number, and if you call outside of the country they work, you’d already cut the opportunity to pass smoothly. Moreover, not only the gatekeeper but the executive also know this.
The problem with the foreign numbers is that everyone in the US, UK, and other countries is almost certain (and in 97% of cases they're right) the sales pitch will follow after they pick up this phone.
For instance, you’re calling in the US, where the common number is: + 1 (XXX) – XXX-XXXX. Trying to persuade the person that you’re the friend or business partner with a number such as +27 (XXX) – XXX-XXXX or something like it is a wrong strategy and leads to failure.
Once a prospect sees these numbers, they say: “Yeah, sure” and toss the call. So never commit this mistake and accurately choose phone numbers for your area, and the transfer process will be easy.
Would you like to hit customers with the right phone numbers and have a perfect first impression?
For instance, the Voiptime Cloud company can help you choose the call center software and phone numbers for your cold calls. Just contact the Voiptime Cloud office. Our lines are open from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. (East Coast Time), from Monday to Friday. And our phone number is:
Or contact our office by visiting voiptimecloud.com using web chat from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. (East Coast Time), from Monday to Friday.
Take a look at what you need to say in order to pass the gatekeeper. Read On.
What exactly do you need to say to pass the 87% of gatekeepers?
Applying the right behavior in talking with the gatekeeper is the first step to success. Yes, it's time to look at proven ways to pass almost any gatekeeper. Knowing these ways is enough for the first impression and establishing a positive mood. Once the receptionist greets you, you take control into your hands. Here's how:
The receptionist greets you: “Hi, this is Jessica from ABC company, how can I help you?”. You say this: “Yes, It’s Michael, calling for George”. It’s really that simple. Using your first name you look dramatically more authoritative.
It instantly places you in a firm yet authoritative position. The person can either transfer you or ask start questions. We'll talk about them later.
Or your response on greeting looks as follows: “Hi, is George in the office?”. When you deal with a weak gatekeeper which is 87% of them, you instantly make them nervous. They start guessing with the questions. Can they truly ask you questions or not? Because they're afraid to distract VIPs from calling.
How to answer additional gatekeepers’ questions?
Nailing of the 4 first seconds is only the beginning. You need to apply the right answers to frequent questions. And here’s how you answer them after greeting and saying that you need George or another (executive’s name) person:
The receptionist asks: “Who is calling?” – one of the most common questions. Sometimes the person asks it even if you’ve already introduced yourself to test you. Your answer: “It’s Michael”. Do you see how short it is yet confident?
The second most frequent additional question is: “And what’s in reference?”. Your answer is: “Personal business”. Never disclose that you’re from a certain company or sell something because it will ruin your efforts.
Although secretaries regularly train to screen sales pitches, they’re powerless against the most strong weapon in the salespeople’s arsenal. This weapon is the silence after each of your answers or phrases. When you say: “It’s Michael” you add silence, your answer to the second question by saying “Personal business” and silence.
The silence handily bit the attempts of the receptionist to ask you additional questions. They start to question themselves: “What if?”. What if this is the real executive or businessman that calls now? Why should I risk intimidating them with questions?
Now, the third question that most experienced gatekeepers ask. And the question is: “Where are you calling from?”. Your answer is: “New York, Los Angeles, or another city (preferably near the person)”. On the contrary, if you say: “I’m calling from the office of my company ABC”, you can’t expect anything good from this kind of answer. It’s already acknowledged: if a person adds too many details, it’s in 99% cases a salesperson.
Always take over the control over the conversation by saying “Hi Jessica (name of the receptionist), it’s Michael, put me to George please”. What to say if the answer of the receptionist is: “Mr. George don’t know you!”. You say: “Really?, tell him it’s about the email (email letter) regarding the business, I recently sent to him (message, letter)”. In this case, you better send that email some time ago. It works because a person rarely checks the mailbox because you say so. So as you see, there’s always an opportunity to take over the conversation.
How to nail the pass process even if you don’t know the name of the executive or founder?
It’s a little bit harder but still possible to pass the secretary when you don’t even know the name of the person. In this way, your strategy will be different. You still maintain control over the conversation, but you do it differently.
Take a look. After the secretary’s greeting, you say: “Hi, I’m calling in regards to your account (program, source)”. These words like account, program, or source are the powerful ending of your first seconds. They add credibility to your claim and position you as an authoritative person.
Another great example: “Hi, I’m Michael, calling in regard of your account, I can hold a moment, while you transfer me. Thank you”.
Why are salespeople so unwelcomed even when they offer profitable business, products, or services?
To answer this question is pretty simple though. Just try to look in the way, they do. For example, have you been to the Time Square Garden in New York? Or in Las Vegas? Do you know what you notice instantly there, before anything else? What you notice is the huge digitalized screens and billboards constantly repeating commercials.
So, the reason why salespeople are so unwelcomed and will be unwelcomed is these pitches that people are constantly observing almost 24 hours a day. And usually, when they don’t see them, they hear them from their radio while driving on the work and backward.
Thus, the subconscious of the gatekeepers and executives already hesitate the commercials and advertising of any kind. Even the profitable one.
Anesthetize gatekeeper's subconscious instead of struggling with them
The supreme importance of these calls is to establish a positive attitude about the person on the other side of the phone. He or she achieves the salary for what they’re doing, and you just professionally pursue your goal as a telemarketer. And your goal is to speak with the senior person. That’s what it's all about.
So as you see, you're not rude, just a professional salesperson who talks in the right way. At your fingertips are the digital tools and social media that can grant you the ability to avoid any gatekeeper whatsoever in a few seconds.
The examples you've seen above grant you the anesthesia of the gatekeeper's subconscious and sound like a business person, not a salesperson.
Lastly, for critics of cold calling, we have a perfect question: “Please name the tool to reach customers or prospects just sitting in your office or home?”. The only portable yet credible tool to ensure your prospects achieved your proposition is the phone conversation.
Still, if you need to arm your call center with the tool to reach prospects and customers, Voiptime Cloud has something to offer.
Our company offers call center software for tackling this kind of call on 24 hours a day basis, non-stop. Plus, it’s easy to achieve. Just contact us.
Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!