To increase sales you will need to get past the “gatekeeper”. What is a gatekeeper? They are the person who answers the phone when you call a business. They could be the assistant to the decision maker or they could be the receptionist. Their job is to filter unnecessary calls from getting to the decision maker in the business. If you want to increase your sales you will need to get to the decision maker. Here are some ways to get past the gatekeeper and increase sales.
Treat The Gatekeeper The Way YOU Would Like To Be Treated
One of the keys to increase sales is to always treat the gatekeeper like they are the CEO of the company. Why? Because they might be! Several times I have had the spouse of the decision maker or the decision maker themselves answer the phone. Treating whoever answers the phone badly can cost you a chance to increase sales. Never be angry with them or insult them. The gatekeeper gets a lot of phone calls each day from bad salespeople. They don’t know that you can really help their company. They often only say “no” because they don’t know YOU are not one of the bad salespeople that call them every day.
Humor is a great tool to use when increasing sales. If the gatekeeper answers the phone laughing I always try to have fun with them. Before I start what I normally say I might say to them “Are we having fun today?” or “It’s great to work with fun people isn’t it?” and laugh. This usually will get them to relax a little with me and makes them more open to put me through to the decision maker.
The first thing you say is important to open doors to increase sales. When the gatekeeper answers the phone say something to get them on your side. I will usually open by saying “(Gatekeepers name), I need your help.” People naturally want to help each other. Saying something like this makes their first instinct to help me and they are more open to put me through to the decision maker.
The gatekeeper’s goal is to get you off the phone with them. Make it easy for them to get you off the phone. If the gatekeeper says they are on a different floor than the decision maker, ask the gatekeeper to page the decision maker. You might say “Please page them. I’ll hold.” This helps the gatekeeper reach their goal of getting off the phone with you.
If the gatekeeper doesn’t know the schedule of the decision maker here are a few questions to ask to give you a better idea of when you can call back and reach the decision maker. “What time do they usually arrive in the morning?” “When do they usually leave in the afternoon?” “Is it best to reach them in the mid morning or in the early afternoon?” “Do they eat lunch in or out?” “What time do they normally have lunch?”
Increase Sales By Asking Smarter Questions
To increase sales you have to get good at being creative and thinking differently. If those questions are not working to get past the gatekeeper you can flip it on them. You can ask “Is there a day or time that I should not call?” This is a great question. If the gatekeeper says that the decision maker is always in a managers meeting on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 to 11 they think they just told you when to NOT call. The truth is that means the decision maker IS available just before 9:30 and just after 11 am. The gatekeeper just told you exactly when to call and reach the decision maker.
The last cool way you can get past a difficult gatekeeper is to ask them. “When do you normally take your lunch break?” The reason you ask is because someone else will be handling the incoming calls during that time and you will be much more likely to get to speak with the decision maker. Having the skill to get past the decision maker will give you an edge on your competition and give you more chances to increase sales.
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