People in the B2B telemarketing industry experience it more often than they should. Rather than the target personality, they are met by someone else whose job it is to intercept calls. To many B2B telemarketers, gatekeepers determine who shall or shall not pass. They are the modern incarnation of Gandalf, wielding a telephone and appointment book in place of a staff.
Seriously though, they are there for the personal convenience of the business executive, who may or may not be able to entertain a cold call. Lead generation telemarketing programs are at times put at a great disadvantage due to gatekeepers, but we cannot really do away with them.
What marketers should do is apply effective means in dealing with gatekeepers. Here’s how to do just that.
Be courteous and friendly. Think about it: gatekeepers are just like the typical guardians you see in certain fantasy films, always asking for a password or (better yet) determining if you are “of pure heart” prior to your entry. Hence, adopting an unfriendly tone wouldn’t do you any good, and so is being too persistent.
Be specific and frank. Introduce yourself and the company you are representing. Also, make sure that you are calling the right person and company. Above all, be confident while talking to the gatekeeper. Do not “beat around the bush.”
Do not lie. Make your intentions known to the gatekeeper, and never try out any desperate attempt to get your call channeled. An effective B2B telemarketing program is anchored on good faith. Never take advantage of that. Some gatekeepers have an uncanny ability to decode a bluff. And once they do, then bid goodbye to your only link to the target personality.
Never sell. Business managers are never fans of salesmen. Besides, they have better things to do with the five to ten minutes they spend with a vendor. That is why they need gatekeepers to decide which calls to take. One mistake that B2B telemarketers commit is to sell something to the gatekeeper. It’s okay to be honest, but it’s highly advisable to avoid the word “sell.” Tell gatekeepers you simply want to talk to the manager, only if he or she is available.
Following these four simple rules of basic gatekeeper engagement would make your telemarketing cold calls seem more like a walk in the park than a hike into Mordor. Otherwise, you might want to consider hiring a company that offers telemarketing services.