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Cold call training in Toronto ~ Getting Past Gatekeepers

Part 1 of 3


How much do gatekeeper's count in getting the attention of decision-makers? Extremely high in the estimate of most experts. In a survey conduced by Menlo Park, a California-based Office Team for administrative assistants revealed that 91% of executives consider their assistant's opinion an important factor in the employee selection process. Just five years before, only 60% percent of executives felt this way.

What does that mean for you as a prospector?

It means that the opinion the gatekeeper has of you will make or break your first impression with the decision-maker. Let's tread lightly as we examine this subject matter over the next three issues.

Let's take a look at the role of a Gatekeeper. Gatekeepers job descriptions specify that they will block communication between you and the real buyer.

They generally come in two flavours.

We are most familiar with the administrative gatekeeper. However, there is another type of gatekeeper who is definitely more difficult to get around - that is a gatekeeper put in place to guard over a buying process - for example an evaluation committee member.

If you respond to RFP's or work with large projects, there is usually a gatekeeper put in place to manage the selection and purchasing process who is not the decision-maker but whose mission is to ultimately make a recommendation to the real buyer. Their power can be much more damaging to you than an administrative assistant. An admin may not let you through to the real buyer or may even, worst case, hang up on you. If the situational gatekeeper gets angry with something you do, such as attempting to go over their head, you can wind up eliminated from consideration.

In this series of articles, we will focus primarily on the administrative assistant as he/she is the one we will encounter most of the time while prospecting.

Before we dig into how to circumvent gatekeepers, let's look at what happens when you are blocked by an administrative gatekeeper.

- You don't have access to the real buyer
- You may find yourself directed to a low level person who has no influence over the buying process

How to get the most out of Gatekeepers:

1) Work with Gatekeepers to Research The Business to Better Position Yourself.

Recognize Gatekeepers as vital to your information gathering mission. Learn more about the DM, his/her department, recent trends, internal machinations within company, from the GK.

Gather information with every call you make, whether or not you accomplish your primary purpose in calling. Ask appropriate questions and gather pertinent information on the Decision Maker, his or her schedule, what else is happening in the department of company at the time you are calling. You're also interested in insights into the psychological make-up of the person you are calling. For instance, when is the best (and worst) time to call? How do you pronounce your decision maker's name? Does he or she prefer an informal name: "T" for Hortence or Condy for Condelezza.

You may also need to utilize multiple forms of communication to make contact. Calls alone may or may not result in success. Consider using calls, postcards, faxes and e-mails to make contact. Some consultants/vendors/candidates ask decision makers (and their gatekeepers) what the best way is to communicate. Some managers prefer e-mail, others formal letters or faxes. Once you know, play it their way.

The objective of the research call is to identify the decision-maker, obtain his/her fax number, email address, permission to send information and hopefully some other qualification information.

Objective is not to talk to the decision-maker at this point.

How to do it:
1) Get the name - scripting examples
2) Get the fax number and email address - scripting examples
3) Qualification questions

Never identify yourself - unless asked - not necessary

In Part 2 of 3, we will cover the two approaches most commonly used to get in front of decision-makers when working through gatekeepers. You won't want to miss it...

Are you tired of having ineffectual results from your cold call campaigns? Don't give up - our cold calling training in Toronto will help you supercharge your campaign results quickly and easily.

After hundreds of thousands of phone calls, clients (Mirvish, HP, Scotia McLeod, etc.), 20 years of experience, Marguerite and her team know exactly what you need to succeed using the phone. Her 7-Step Model to implement successful outbound telephone prospecting campaigns has driven 300% year over year growth for clients.

You can reach Marguerite at The Results Source

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