Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Help the Gatekeeper Out to Reach the Decision-Maker

As someone who has worked as a receptionist, I know how difficult it can be to evaluate whether or not to transfer a call to your boss - especially when you're told "I'm a close, personal friend" or "He's expecting my call, we spoke this morning" (when you really didn't!).

You don't need to resort to lies to get past the gatekeeper - being friendly and having a concise value proposition does wonders! You can also appeal to the receptionist with the following approach from sales trainer and author Andrea Sittig-Rolf:

Receptionist: "ABC Company, how can I direct your call?"

Salesperson: "Hi, my name is Andrea Sittig-Rolf and I'm with Sittig Incorporated. I'm hoping you can help me. I'm looking for the person in your organization who would make a decision regarding sales training. That wouldn't be John Jones, would it?"

Receptionist: "Oh no, that wouldn't be John Jones, that would be Bob Smith."

Salesperson: "Great! Can I talk to Bob, please?"

Receptionist: "Sure, I'll transfer you."

"Believe it or not, most of the time, this technique works and will get you to the person you need to talk to," says Sittig-Rolf. "The idea is that the receptionist doesn't want to bother John Jones, the CEO, with a cold call from a salesperson. It's almost a relief for her to be able to transfer you to Bob Smith, someone below John Jones on the org chart at the company."

Sittig-Rolf continues, "Even if you are unable to speak to Bob Smith during this particular phone call, at least now you have the name of the person you need to talk to for the next time you call."

Andrea Sittig-Rolf is an author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. Her unique sales training program empowers salespeople to schedule appointments with qualified prospects the day of the training, resulting in a pipeline full of new opportunities at the end of the day. Learn more at www.sittiginc.com.
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