Any suggestions on how to get around the “gatekeeper?” My job relies on calling and visiting cold leads and getting past the gatekeeper and speaking to someone who can make a decision is becoming nearly impossible.

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There are a couple of tactics Ives used. First people like to help people so ask for their help. Keeping in mind that gate keeper can help or hurt you long term depending on political climate.
That said, I have used this, word for word,
“hi there I’m a sales guy ye probably ought to kick me out.”
Think about the psychology behind this, typically that person giggles putting them in a non defensive frame of mind. Also, I trained many sales people over the years, don’t look like one, empty hands

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That's a great line! Anymore where that came from? Looking to pivot into sales.

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Make friends with the gate keeper

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YESSSSS. I second this. You have to befriend the gatekeeper.

These suggestions are so basic and antiquated, do your research, turn the cold call into a warm lead, do your research. Use LinkedIn to find a name in the company that could get you to the decision maker. Ie. procurement, purchasing, manager, etc. then when you call be confident and ask for a specific name. You can play the lost their extension card if needed, but be specific with your intent.

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This is the way

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“Hey, is ______ (first name only) in the office today?”
“______(first name) who?”
“Oh sorry, ______ (first name, last name)”
“Yes he is, may I tell him who’s calling?”
“Yeah, this is _____ (your first name)… *pause*…”

80% of the time, this works if your tone is right.

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This is my pitch exactly. I’d even research the company a bit on Google or whatever to find a name of the person I’d need to speak to.

“Hi, is Mark in by any chance?” Is much more impactful and effective than “Hi I’m Mark from ABC Company”

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Find out whats in that coffee and keep showing up, not only calling. They always give in at some point !

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Try calling at different times and note when a point of contact is unavailable. LinkedIn is perfect to use to track down employees. You can try messaging them if they add you and introducing yourself and the purpose of your call. Otherwise asking for someone in the department or just to be transferred to that department is a good way in as well, this way you’ve conquered the gatekeeper. Be certain to be friendly and get a name of who you talk to do when you call back they’re familiar with you, usually the someone in that department will give good info, even an email if they’re allowed to give one out. Good luck!

If you’re visiting in person, everybody likes food. Depending on who you need and how many cold calls you’re doing. Dunkin Donuts munchkins was a favorite of mine

Start off with asking them who you’d have to talk too. So get into your pitch for example “I’m calling on behalf of the embassy suites hotel, looking to feature a few local business on the key cards were making for them. Who would I have to talk to about you guys being the featured business for the keycards we’re making for them this year?” Instead of asking directly for the owner.

What I’ve found works is saying “hey it’s NAME from COMPANY, can you please put me through to PROSPECT” they will probably ask what’s the reason for the call, act lost and say “I just have a note/task to call PROSPECT”. Most times they will put you through as they can relate to being asked to do something from a superior.

If you are "dropping in" do not show up empty handed! I cannot stress this enough. Bagels, donuts, Pizzas whatever it is, they will be happy to greet you. Everyone loves snacks!

I find email and LinkedIn messaging works better for that.

Spend more time building warm lead sources through your referall network.

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