How to Get Past the Gate Keeper: A Guide for Appointment Setters

How to Get Past the Gate Keeper: A Guide for Appointment Setters

Did you just accept a job as an appointment setter or a salesperson? If so, one of your hardest tasks is going to be getting past the gate keeper. I spent many years working in hospitality sales and have made my way past many gate keepers. With that said, I thought that I would share a few techniques that I used in order to make contact with a company’s decision maker. Here they are:

Rehearse an Introduction

One of the first things that I would do before making a sales telephone call was to sketch out an introductory statement. I would typically find out the name of the decision maker during the qualifying process, so I would include his or her name in the introduction. An example of an introductory statement would be, “Good Morning, may I please speak to Don Decision?” Depending on the gate keeper’s skill, he or she may just connect your call based on that request. Others will ask your name and want to know why you are calling. As such, I would often have a value directed statement prepared. An example of a value directed statement would be, “My name is Suzy Salesperson. I am with the XYZ Hotel and I would like to speak to Don Decision regarding a money saving, corporate rate that my firm is prepared to offer him.”

Develop a Rapport

Developing a rapport with the gate keeper is also helpful and can get you access to the company’s decision maker. Don’t misunderstand me though. I am not talking about chatting with the gate keeper like he or she is your best buddy. I am talking about being professional, polite and respectful of his or her time. Clearly explain to the gate keeper, in as short amount of time as possible, why it is beneficial to the decision maker that you speak with him or her. Sometimes, if your plea is compelling enough, the gate keeper will put you in contact with the decision maker.

Avoid Leaving Messages

Sometimes the gate keeper will transfer your call to the decision maker’s voice mail. I have found that in such a scenario, leaving a voice mail message isn’t always the best route to take. I would suggest that instead of leaving a message that you ask the gate keeper when the decision maker will be in the office. Then call back at that time. In my experience, that method tends to produce better results. It also shows the gate keeper that you are determined to speak to the decision maker. In my opinion, if she knows that you are determined to speak to her boss, she will be less likely to be dishonest with you regarding his whereabouts.

Physically Bypass the Gate Keeper

Based on my experience, there are times when you will need to physically bypass the gate keeper. There are various ways to do this. In the past, I have resorted to sending gift baskets or certified packages that had to be signed for by the decision maker. I have also shown up at a place unexpected and dropped off some kind of token gift for both the gate keeper and the decision maker. Usually it was a coffee mug filled with candy or some form of edible treat. Doing so often made the gate keeper feel obligated to introduce me to the decision maker.

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