“What do you say to a gatekeeper who won’t patch you through to your prospects voicemail and wants to take a message instead?”
If you OCCASIONALLY run into a gatekeeper that won’t even put your call to voicemail, you would leave the same message with the gatekeeper that you would have left on the prospects voicemail.
The key is your message (whether it was left on voicemail or left with the gatekeeper) has to pique your prospects interest. It has to have the “What’s In It For Them?” factor in order to get a callback.
Here’s an example…
“We recently helped (NOW MENTION ONE OF THEIR COMPETITORS YOU RECENTLY HELPED) increase their sales teams performance by 10% over the past 3-months by showing them how to overcome call reluctance. There’s a possibility we may be able to do the same for (Prospects) team, but I would need to ask him/her a few questions first to be sure. He/she can reach me at 888-264-0562 ext. 400”
Here’s a blank sample for you to copy and create your own:
“We recently helped (_______________) __________________________________________ by ______________________________________________________________________.
There’s a possibility we may be able to do the same for (__________________), but I would need to ask him/her a few questions first to be sure. He/she can reach me at ___________________________ Ext. _________.”
You have to sound confident and sincere with the assistant / gatekeeper. This is why it’s important to role-play and make sure your tone and delivery is spot on.
You can also ask the executive assistant / gatekeeper for her email like this:
“Why don’t I email you the info and if you feel he/she would want to discuss it further you can forward it over to him/her – fair enough?”
If the gatekeeper gives you their email address, you can see how the emails are formatted (example: firstname.lastname@ or FirstInitialLastName@)
And before you ask, NO, you don’t ignore the gatekeeper and send the email directly to the prospect – especially if this gatekeeper is an assistant to the executive you are trying to reach.
If you don’t hear back from the prospect in 24 hours, now would be the time to send them a direct email.
After getting the gatekeepers email, I would then also look up the prospect on LinkedIn and request a connect and a quick mention of the WIIFT (what’s in it for them)
It’s also important to have a standard “cadence” to follow. So far, this is what your touch point’s look like:
Day 1: Call / Gatekeeper Message + Email / LinkedIn Connection Request
Day 2: Email directly to prospect (If no reply, see day 3)
Day 3: Call
If on Day 3 you call and Gatekeeper shuts you down flat, and the prospect has not accepted your LinkedIn request nor has responded to you from your email – I would take a minute and simply restate my case to the gatekeeper:
“I’m sure you and (prospects name) get’s calls everyday from salespeople – however the reason for my call is there’s a strong possibility that we might be able to (now drop the hammer on a major hot button / pain point) but we would need to have a quick conversation to be sure. If you were me, how would you recommend we make that happen?”
If you win the gatekeeper over with that, great! If not, it might be time to throw the gatekeeper and the prospect back in the lake and let your drip marketing campaigns take over.
A Persistent Gatekeeper Problem
If this scenario (Gatekeepers refuse to put your calls through to voicemail) is happening more than once in awhile, it’s an indicator that your MESSAGE and/or your TONE are creating the problem.
The gatekeepers are picking up that you might not be on the prospects radar already and may be deciding not to let you near him/her. To avoid this in the future, record your calls and have someone who doesn’t have this problem listen and critique what you are saying and how you are saying it.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches outbound sales teams exactly what to say to get sales conversations started with hard to reach decision makers. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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