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Inside sales - Tips to Get Past the Gatekeeper

As a salesperson you must hate Gatekeepers, and why shouldn’t you, they are paid to keep you from getting to decision makers. Sales guys from time unknown have tried tips and tricks to get past gatekeepers, which too often make them look foolish. These tricks, regrettably, impact both parties which is why gatekeepers usually hate to deal with salespeople.

The bitter truth is that you are going to have to deal with gatekeepers to reach out to your prospects and get the job done.

You usually get interrogated by gatekeepers asking:

“Is she expecting your call?”

“Will he know what this call is about?”

There is no way to avoid this. But how about you answer these questions in a way that it turns out to be a win-win scenario for both. There is no secret to this. However, some strategies will give you an edge when confronting the gatekeepers.

The first usual question asked by gatekeepers is about the identity of the caller. The response to this question is your name, but just giving your name with a pause will invite the gatekeeper to screen you. Providing your name, and mainly just your first name (hoping that the gatekeeper will think the decision maker knows you!), will act as a catalyst to the screening process. Always tell your full name along with company name and a short description about the purpose of the call.

The more important part of answering to the gatekeeper’s questions is to add an instructional statement which stops them from asking more questions. Some sales representatives give them space to ask more by answering the gatekeeper’s question by just remaining silent. It annoys them, and they prefer not to put through someone annoying and get themselves into trouble. So, they screen you out instead.

Most of the calls they receive are nowhere near to pleasant, so treating the gatekeepers with respect and courtesy will always go a long way. Sales reps who barely explain who they are and are not polite will get back what they give. Words like “please” and Thank you” do magic when dealing with anyone, especially the gatekeeper.

Gatekeepers don’t have purchasing authority; therefore, it is advisable to save your pitch for the right person. It will save both their time and yours. We often see people giving up way too much information at the first call like word vomit. It’s overwhelming to a listener and, frankly, not very interesting to a person who has little/no information about what you are talking about

Avoiding these blunders when dealing with the gatekeeper can get you through to your prospect.


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