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COLD CALLING: When the Gatekeeper Says…

“What do you do when the Gatekeeper says – I will forward this to the appropriate person. They will be back in touch with you directly if there is interest.”

“I will forward this to the appropriate person” leads me to believe you either sent a blind email OR you called and asked the gatekeeper something along the lines of “Who’s the person in charge of X?”
No matter which, none of those are on my preferred sales strategy list. If you are making outbound cold calls (or cold emails), you should know the top 3 titles of your targeted prospects that are almost always involved in the decision making process.
I guarantee that you will not have 30 different “titles” involved in the decision making process. Sure, each company has their own purchasing process, but if you list out the last 10 deals your company closed and wrote out all the different titles that had an actual VOTE in the decision making process for each deal, you will see two to three titles start to be consistent. Contacts that have those titles are the ones you want to focus on.
The clients I have that are Fortune 500 companies I have never spoke with the CEO. It’s almost always the Director of Sales or VP of Sales.
If, however, the prospect is a small business, it’s almost always the CEO / OWNER (and not the sales manager).
That is “MY” industry. You should know all the titles of who is most routinely involved in your “space” so you can target them and start the conversation.
It’s too easy with today’s sales tools to find the prospect’s name and too damaging to go in blind.
When you send an email or make a sales call and ask for the person in charge of XYZ, you are letting the person on the other end know right up front that you are an uninvited guest. They are responding the same way you would if the shoe were on the other foot.
So rather than tell you what to say to the gatekeeper to get out of the mess you are creating, my advice is for you to take 30 seconds and use Google and/or LinkedIn to find the name of the person at the company you are targeting before picking up the phone or hitting the send button on that email.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is a straight commissioned sales person with 20+ years experience selling by phone. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – an online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to eliminate call reluctance and close more sales.


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