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Sales Training - How to get past the Gatekeeper.

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Okay - so you don't have the budget for a super cool marketing device to send to your prospect to get their attention. You just need to pick up the phone and make the call.  But something happens.  Some other person answers your call and demands to know who you are and what you want.  This person is known as The Gatekeeper.  This person's job is to screen calls for their boss.  Nobody gets in who the Gatekeeper thinks does not deserve to speak to the boss.  These are strict instructions, although often misinterpreted.  

My first approach in dealing with the Gatekeeper is avoidance.  I do this by pretending the prospect and I are good ole buddies.  I do this with the tone of my voice. 

"Bill Murray's office - This is Joanne."  I reply in a very casual, slightly rushed, "Hi Joanne.  This is Louie Bernstein.  Is Bill there?"My tone sounds like I am calling just to confirm our golf date and I'm in kind of a hurry.  You'd be surprised how often this gets you through.  It's all in the theatre.  A good Gatekeeper, however, will stick to the script if they do not recognize the name.  "Yes, Louie.  Does Bill know you?"  Or, "Yes, Louie.  What company are you with?"  Once those questions come up, so does the wall.  Just answer honestly and succinctly.  If Joanne will not put you through after your answers, my suggestion is to ask if you can leave a voicemail.  Sometimes the Gatekeeper will say, "I'm Bill's voicemail!In this case thank Joanne very much and start to deliver a long and involved message.  There is a good chance she will tire of this and either put you through to Bill or "discover" Bill'svoicemail.

Sales Homework - Come up with three things to say to get past The Gatekeeper.

Sales Managers - You want your sales people as aggressive as possible but you do not want them to act dishonestly or unethically.  Coach them on being polite, professional and determined.  You may only get one shot this prospect.     Read more Gatekeeper strategies...


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