Are you a B2B telemarketer who is sick of hearing the line, “I’m sorry Mike Parry cannot take your call right now”.
B2B telephone marketing can be an excellent opportunity to build relationships with prospect businesses. However, what happens if you’re B2B calls are failing to progress past the gatekeeper? They are there to protect their colleagues from being harassed by useless, irrelevant or timewasting calls and it can be difficult to progress an idea past them, if not approached in the correct way. Here are our top five tips to reassure a gatekeeper that your call is worthwhile.
Treat them as allies, not enemies
Gatekeepers are not there to make your life difficult. They’re hired to assist their colleagues in being able to progress with their day to day job, which in turn, means that they can receive what they deem to be numerous, unnecessary calls. Make it known to them that your call is valuable by building a rapport with the gatekeeper. Be polite, learn their name and provide them with yours. After being hassled for the best part of the day, a friendly, personal tone can make all the difference. Even if you’re not transferred this time round, call backs will be much easier and more approachable if you know their name and have expressed to them a sincere interest.
Nobody likes a liar and these people are trained to spot them! Don’t try to hide things or lie to gatekeepers in an attempt to get around them. Refusing to identify the reasons for your call will only upset them. Similarly, pretending you’re best friends with the decision maker will only lead to further questions which you are unlikely to know. Be honest and explain straight away the real reasons for your call.
Take what they say on board
If you engage with a gatekeeper properly you’ll know whether or not you’re barking up the right tree. In some cases it may be the case that the decision maker you are trying to get through to is not the most relevant person to speak to. Listen to the information the gatekeeper provides you with and ask them any further enquiries you have. After all, they’re in the most suitable position to point you in the right direction. Just because you have a specific contact name written down, that doesn’t mean that another employee cannot address your enquiry.
Don’t be afraid to pitch to them
You may find yourself having to pitch your idea to the gatekeeper before they will consider passing it on to their boss. Many decision makers value the opinion of their PA’s and Secretaries so don’t shy away from explaining the reason for your call and in turn, highlight the benefits of them giving you the opportunity to pitch to the relevant employee. Your goal is to entice the gatekeeper and encourage them to trust that this is a call they will want to pass on. In most organisations the PA’s are often the hub of company information so may be best placed to understand exactly who the call should be best directed to and whether there may be some initial interest.
Worthwhile calls will get through – is it really relevant?
It’s important to note that whilst a gatekeeper may have a strict policy on whom they should put calls through to; calls which sound worthwhile are more likely to be transferred across. Explain to the gatekeeper why your call is relevant and how it will help their colleagues and the business. Ensure that your data is correct and that you are targeting the right type of individuals, in the right type of companies, with the correct message.
Written by Faresh Maisuria, Managing Director Blueberry Marketing