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What Is A Gatekeeper?
A gatekeeper is a person who is a non-decisionmaker who can or cannot accommodate the call and cannot make the purchase. He can prevent you from entering the gate --- or speaking with the decision maker. He screens or filters calls that he or she does not perceive as important.

Common Gatekeepers:
Secretaries Switchboard Operators Lower-Level management Voicemail Other staff members

Some examples of questions targeted to look for the Decision Maker:

May I speak with the person who handles your yellow page listing? May I speak with the person that handles your marketing! advertising? May I speak with the person who handles your Internet service? Well, maybe I could just be transferred to the general manager and he could tell me...

Why they wont let you talk to decision makers:

Decision makers are very busy people and cant be bothered by sales calls They simply dont like salespeople or they dont trust you They want to expand their job description by getting involved in decisions they cant make. Theyve been specifically instructed to screen sales calls and brief decision makers.

Common tactics to keep you out:

1. Voicemail: He cant talk right now. Let me transfer you to voicemail. Hes usually pretty responsive about calling back. You can say Actually, I cant be reached right away. When would be a better time for me to call? 2. Reasoning: Can I please tell my Dad the reason for your call? Hes busy right now, could you leave a message

You can say: It is important that / speak with him regarding his phone service. Can you tell him this is John Smith holding? Thank you.

3. Rejection: Im sorry, Ms. Smith doesnt accept sales calls. or Im sorry, I dont think wed be interested.
You can say: Im sorry / dont think I've explained myself. Im simply calling. for his decision regarding his phone service. It wont take long.

4. Brush down: I dont think Mr. Smith is the person you need to talk to, Let me transfer you to his assistant, John. You can say:
I see, but before you transfer my call, I just want to make sure hes the right person. Is he able to make decision on ____________?

5. Diversion: Why dont you tell me a little bit about why youre calling and maybe I can help you. Go ahead and send me the information. Ill take a look at it and tell him about it later.

You can say: I understand your hesitation, Michelle. However, / can provide you with some additional information while youre completing your evaluation. It would certainly save you a lot of hassle, wouldnt it?

How To Get Past The Gatekeeper

What Works What Doesnt

Act like a wanted guest, not an intruder Make the gatekeeper your friend. _____ Go around the gate. Convince the gatekeeper to let you in Win the waiting game.

Fight or strong-arm the gatekeeper Play by the gatekeepers rules __________ Annoy the gatekeeper Lie to the gatekeeper Leaving a voicemail

Act Like A Wanted Guest Please tell Michael this is Joe Matt calling from _________________

I just wanted to inform him of the services that we have for your company.

Make The Gatekeeper Your Friend

Cops, I may have been transferred to the wrong extension... Maybe you can help me out, Im looking for the person who is responsible for... Oh looks like I was right after all... I know hes probably very busy right now, when is usually a good time for me to call?
I know Mike is pretty busy, but would you mind if I spoke with him

Go Around The Gate

It sounds like hes out of the office quite a bit. Could I get an appointment and I will call him back... To a receptionist: !m supposed to get in touch with Michael but I think hes out of the office. Can you transfer me to another manager? To a receptionist: Can I get Michaels direct line?

The Key Is In The Delivery

To a secretary:

Dos: - Be nice! Make her feel helpful and needed. -Sound professional and like you have an important purpose
Donts: - Try to overpower secretaries. - Sound like a sales person.

To a sales person:
Dos: - Sound like an equal or a business partner, or like someone who needs help. Donts: - Try to ask too much of them. They dont know too much. This is how you it may sound:

Salesperson: Good morning, Id like to speak with George Docks please. Receptionist: Can I tell him whos calling? Salesperson: Yes of course. Im Rico Anderson. May I speak to George please? Receptionist: May I ask what company you are with? Salesperson: Why sure. Im calling on behalf of Could you please tell George that Rico Anderson is on the line? Receptionist: May I ask what this is about? Salesperson: Itll be best if I discuss it with George. Is he around? Please transfer my call to his local.. Thank you.

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