As anybody who has ever been involved with B2B telemarketing should know, gatekeepers can be a big challenge. They have the power to put you straight through to a decision maker or to keep you out entirely. If you’re lucky, you might get a gatekeeper who is just there to forward you to the right person, but more often than not you have to win the gatekeeper over before you can even get started on the main stages of providing a telemarketing service. If you aren’t able to get past gatekeepers, your telemarketing campaign will probably struggle to get off of the ground.
There are a number of tips that can help telemarketing companies or in-house cold callers to get through the gatekeeper and reach the person they want to talk to. Some key things to consider are:
In order to deal effectively with a cold caller, you have to be prepared to think quickly. You need to decide what kind of gatekeeper you are talking to and how best to approach the situation. In particular, listen carefully and try to judge how warm, friendly and open to the idea of putting you through the gatekeeper is.
Build a Relationship
Telemarketing is all about building a relationship with the person on the other end of the phone so they will feel comfortable working with you. This is true with gatekeepers as well as with the decision makers who might place a sale. However, don’t launch straight into this. When they encounter telemarketing services, a gatekeeper has to judge whether the call is worth putting through so your first priority will be to persuade them that you have a good reason for calling.
There are a number of specific strategies that can help you deal with gatekeepers effectively. A whole course could be built around this subject, but one key thing to bear in mind is to be assertive. In terms of specific tactics, this can be combined with polite yet commanding language. For example, if asked why you are calling, you could phrase your answer as an instruction by saying “Would you inform Mr X that it is about…”
Prepare to be Questioned
Gatekeepers are often expressly tasked with screening calls. Before they will put you through, they want to decide whether you are worth putting through. They do this by asking questions, and you need to be prepared for this. Think in advance about what they might ask and prepare your answers so you will stand a better chance of winning them over.
Gatekeepers can seem like a nuisance, but they are just like you – a person trying to do their job. They are also busy people who play a vital role in their company. For them, a telemarketing company is an annoyance. Be friendly, polite, pleasant and never condescending, and understand the challenges they are dealing with. That way, you are more likely to build a successful rapport that results in your call being passed on.
Amp Telemarketing have over 20 years’ experience of winning over gatekeepers and decision makers alike. Get in touch to find out how we could help your company.