Are your cold telephone calls to a potential customer or client often blocked by a receptionist, PA or other person?

As is much of what I write and speak about, the solution to this challenge has as much to do with attitude as sales skills


Many salespeople use the term Gatekeeper when referring to such a person. The challenge with that thinking is the moment you encounter them, you think of them as the enemy – the person who is going to stop you from speaking with your prospect.

So when the Gatekeeper answers the telephone, your mind goes into a non-positive state and has a negative impact on what you say and how you say it,  even if you are trying to be pleasant.  What you are thinking consciously and subconsciously comes across and they do not like it.

Let us be clear – Gatekeepers are NOT hired because they are horrible, nasty people whose sole function is to ruin the livelihoods of salespeople. If they were horrible, nasty people they would almost certainly not have got the job in the first place.

They do however have various roles, one of which is to prevent their boss from being disturbed by irrelevant and unnecessary telephone calls AND to put through calls that their boss would possibly benefit from taking.

So, on the subject of attitude – change it. From now on, instead of thinking of them as Gatekeepers, think of them asDoor Openers.

And on the subject of Sales Skills – have a compelling opening statement prepared for when you are asked‘what’s it about?’ that will make them want to put your call through or have their boss call you back. Maybe something like…

I’m working with several other companies in a similar business sector to yours, all of whom are experiencing three identical problems having a negative impact on their profit margins (or whatever problems you can solve). So the reason I am calling is to discuss if you were having similar problems and if so, how we would be able to solve them.

It is most likely their boss would like to know what problems their competitors are having and, if they have similar ones, how you might solve them.

P.S. If you still want to avoid the door opener, try calling before nine in the morning or after five thirty in the afternoon.

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