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If there is one thing a salesman can’t stand it’s got to be the dreaded gatekeeper. For me personally I have learned it’s better to work with the secretary than it is to work against them. The gatekeeper is employed to screen calls and help the company president decide which calls are worthy of his or her time. If you follow these basic procedures your success rate of reaching decision makers will be dramatically improved.


You won’t always get through.
Some screeners that don’t budge, even if you make every compelling argument. Don’t get discouraged and don’t waster your time. Sometimes it’s best to move on to the next call.


Only Give Information as Needed
Many sales people have a tendency to just pitch the secretary assuming that she will love the product and instantly put them through to the company President. NOTHING is further from the truth. The screener will usually take your information and pass it on, only with less enthusiasm and with no selling skills. If she asks your name, politely give it to her and ask again to speak with the buyer. If she responds by asking for your company name again you politely give it to her and ask again to speak with the buyer. You’ll be surprised at how often this is effective.


Use Your 30 Second Commercial
In the event that you have a relentless screener that requires you to give a full disclosure about your reason for calling you should refer back to your “30 Second Commercial” discussed later in this book and give it to her word for word. At this point she will either patch you through or tell you that the owner is not interested.


Ask For The Decision Maker by First Name
Unless it’s a Doctor or Pastor always ask for the owner by their first name only. When you ask for Mr. ______ it screams salesman. It says you don’t know this person and your not worthy of the boss’s time. On a very rare occasion a prospect will be offended that you don’t refer to them as Mr. or Mrs., and to that I say “so what”, those people are hard to please and you don’t need to waste your time trying to sell people that are probably extremely demanding of your time and energy and yet appreciates neither. I don’t do it and neither should you. Just thank them for their time and move on.


Treat The Screener With Respect
Always remember, even when the screener goes overboard that they are just doing their job. Treat them with respect and you’ll get a lot further. Beat them up and treat them with disrespect and all you’ll do is put a lock on the door you’re trying to enter.


Call at Different Hours
Sometimes there is no pleasing a screener and you’ll never get past her, but wait there’s still hope. Maybe she doesn’t come in until 9:00am so make your call at 8:45, or call on her lunch break or just after she leaves for the day. Bottom line is she can’t be by the phone 24/7. Work around her schedule.


It’s important to remember that if the Gatekeeper can be your friend or your worst enemy. The above procedures have been tested time and time and they are extremely effective. Remember, it doesn’t really matter how great of a salesman someone is if they can’t get to the decision maker in the first place.


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