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The Telemarketer's Essential Guide to Getting Past the Gatekeeper

December 04, 2013
By Jacqueline Lee - Contributing Writer

Imagine yourself as a telemarketer trying to contact the CTO of a medium-sized business. You want to talk to the CTO about a technology solution offered by one of your clients.

Every time you call, however, you talk to the CTO's administrative assistant. Although she's friendly, offers to take messages or asks you to email her boss, you're beginning to suspect that she's not prioritizing your calls. You're getting the runaround from a gatekeeper, someone tasked with filtering calls to an important decision-maker.

When you use telemarketing software designed for outbound call centers and phone-centered selling, like VanillaSoft's CRM and lead management solution, you can see exactly who's worked with the same gatekeeper and when. You'll have the chance to collaborate so that you can find out what works and what doesn't with the gatekeepers that you encounter.

Jeff Kalter, CEO of 3D2B, a provider of outbound call center services, offers three main suggestions that his agents have used to sneak past gatekeepers. Kalter's agents start by getting the gatekeeper on their side by building rapport. When they can win the gatekeeper's sympathy, their calls have a better shot at being put through to the boss.

If the gatekeeper is unsympathetic to your cause, then Kalter suggests trying to convince the gatekeeper that you know the boss. For example, even if you've only sent an email or followed the person on social media, you can say that you've been in contact with the CTO.

Your next strategy is to develop ready answers for common diversionary techniques. If the gatekeeper says "Why don't you send the boss an email?" then say that you have sent an email (if you have) and that you'd like to follow up on it. If the gatekeeper questions your motives for calling, then tell him or her how your client's solution could solve a specific company problem.

No matter how the gatekeeper tries to stall you, communicate why your call is important with persistence and friendliness. If you're not succeeding with a particular gatekeeper, then a manager can use tools like VanillaSoft to reassign the lead to someone who's more likely to get past the guard tower.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson