The 5 secrets of getting past the gatekeeper…
April 4, 2012 2 Comments
So, you’ve got a brilliant product or service which blows all your competitors out of the water. Not only that, but you’ve priced it so well that your customers are never going to say no! If only you could get to them to tell them about it…
I’ve recently been working with a large organisation which sells vending machines to businesses throughout the UK. They were concerned that their telesales team had recently been connecting to decision makers less and less frequently.
As anyone who’s ever tried to sell by phone will know, many of your potential customers are surrounded by a human firewall, a virtual moat manned by PAs and receptionists charged with one simple task – to protect their executives from the white noise of uninvited sales calls.
Here’s a plan we put together, designed to overcome this perennial dilemma.
1: Call the company, and ask for the sales department, rather than the named decision maker. You will always be put through. Aim: Avoid immediate rebuttal from gatekeeper.
2: Explain to the salesperson that you’re in sales, just like they are, and you’d appreciate a little help. Aim: Get them to identify with you and open up.
3: Ask them who they currently use for supply of your product or service, and how they feel about that current supplier. Aim: Research the company’s need for change.
4: Ask who the decision maker would be where your product or service is concerned. Always ask for their direct extension number, so you “don’t have to bother them again” Aim: Enable contact with your buyer without risk of being blocked at the switchboard.
5: Contact the decision maker directly at their desk and mention your previous conversation with sales, where they suggested a need for your product or service. Aim: Create a perceived referral from someone else in the company.
We found that this approach increased direct conversations with decision makers by over 40%, and produced a call-to-appointment ratio 32% higher over the next quarter.
Of course, any aspirations to those kinds of improvements assume that your telesales personnel already display the essential attributes of honesty, integrity, credibility and humour, and possess a gentle yet persuasive phone manner.
Add any comments or questions, or e-mail Jonny firstname.lastname@example.org