There's no guarantee that you'll reach a prospective buyer just because you call his or her number. B2B buyers are decision-makers, so they often have one or more low-level employees who answer the phone on their behalf. These gatekeepers are responsible for screening calls. To reach a prospective buyer, you'll have to get the past the gatekeeper. Unfortunately, many B2B sales reps make the following mistakes when talking to gatekeepers, resulting in a lower chances of success.
#1) Performing a Sales Pitch
Don't perform a sales pitch when talking to gatekeepers. Sales pitches aren't meant for prospective buyers. Gatekeepers don't have the authority to buy products or services, and they typically aren't interested in listening to sales pitches. Performing a sales pitch will only discourage gatekeepers from patching your call through to the prospective buyer.
#2) Not Addressing the Prospect By Name
Another common mistake sales reps when talking to gatekeepers is failing to address prospective buyers by name. Rather than saying that you are trying to reach the "CEO" or "COO," for example, mention the prospective buyer's name. Doing so lets the gatekeeper know that you aren't just a spam caller; you've done your homework and are prepared to talk to the prospective buyer.
#3) Concealing the Nature of Your Calls
Concealing the nature of your calls is a surefire way to fail. It's the gatekeeper's job to screen calls on behalf of prospective buyers. If you aren't transparent, they won't patch your call through. You need to tell gatekeepers why, exactly, you are trying to call a prospective buyer. While you shouldn't perform a sales pitch, you can tell gatekeepers that you want to talk to a prospective buyer about an offer he or she may be interested in.
#4) Talking for Too Long
You should be conscious of how long you typically talk to gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are responsible for answering phones. They often handle dozens of calls per day, so they don't have a lot of time to spend on the phone. To keep gatekeepers engaged, you should limit the length of your calls to no more than one minute. That's typically enough time to explain why they should patch your call through to the prospective buyer.
#5) Not Mentioning Name and Job Title
Always mention your name and job title when talking to gatekeepers. Failure to explain who are you will lower your chances of success. Gatekeepers want to know what you are real person with a legitimate reason for calling. By mentioning both your name and your job title, you'll have a better chance of reaching prospective buyers rather than getting stuck at the gatekeepers.
#6) Failure to Schedule a Follow-Up Call
If a gatekeeper doesn't patch you through to the prospective buyer whom you are calling, try to schedule a follow-up call. In other words, ask the gatekeeper when you should call back. The gatekeeper may recommend calling back later that day when the prospective buyer is typically available. The only way you'll know, however, is by asking.
#7) Lack of Politeness
Being polite will go a long ways in helping you get past gatekeepers. While most sales reps aren't rude when talking to gatekeepers, they don't always treat gatekeepers with respect. Some sales reps recognize gatekeepers as an obstruction to their sales efforts. If you aren't polite when talking to gatekeepers, though, you'll have a hard time reaching prospective buyers. You must treat them with respect. Otherwise, you'll inevitably get stuck the gatekeepers when cold calling prospective buyers.
#8) Being Pushy
Some sales reps make the mistake of being pushy when talking to gatekeepers. If a gatekeeper doesn't want to patch through to a prospective buyer, you shouldn't accept his or her decision. You can always try calling back. If you are pushy, on the other hand, even these follow-up calls will end in failure. Gatekeepers respond poorly to pushy sales reps. They may take a note of your name and reject all your future calls.
#9) Not Leveraging Referrals
If possible, try to leverage referrals when talking to gatekeepers. Referrals instill trust. Therefore, they can help you get past gatekeepers. If a coworker or colleague of the prospective buyer referred you, mention his or her name when talking to the gatekeeper. This allows gatekeepers to acknowledge you as a trusted profession who's been vetted by someone else. Referrals aren't always needed to get past gatekeepers, but if you have, you should leverage them to increase your chances of success.
#10) Using a Cookie-Cutter Script
You can use a script when talking to gatekeepers, but you should customize it during the actual call. Talking to gatekeepers requires a custom approach. If you say the same words to all gatekeepers, you won't reach many prospective buyers. Instead, use a custom approach by addressing gatekeepers by name and asking relevant questions.
Source with Contact Information
Going through a gatekeeper means you do not have a contact person to call and with a specific purpose. By using SalesLeads' Project Reports, you can avoid the gatekeeper by calling the person responsible for the identified project directly by phone and/or email. This can help you to move more sales leads into the sales funnel. Now if the gatekeeper gets involved, you have all that you need: contact name, title, and the project description.