B2B Telemarketing agencies must be able to get past gatekeepers. That’s it, simple. Without the competencies to do so, they would quickly cease to exist. In sales, we generally think of the gatekeeper as the person who is stopping us from gaining access to an organisation’s key decision-making team. They are usually a receptionist or a PA of some kind. You can understand why they are necessary for the efficient running of a business, you might even imagine that if you were the gatekeeper you’d be so diligent that nobody would ever get beyond you. However, when you’re on the receiving end of the gatekeeper stopping your path to your next key account, you might find yourself resenting the role they play in shaping your success that day.
If you manage a sales or telemarketing team, you’ll know that selecting good communicators is key to achieving results. Ideally, you need everyone on your team to be able to connect with a prospect, create rapport and get their message across within moments of having their call answered. If they can’t achieve these objectives, your marketing and communication campaigns will suffer and you might find your company under-performing. If your team members can’t navigate their way past the gatekeeper, they may decide to use some other form of communication, or attempt contact through an influencer in the organisation rather than a decision maker on the basis that influencers are easier to reach and not usually so heavily guarded. For B2B telemarketing agencies, all output is linked with reaching buyers on the phone. Aiming for non-decision makers or using a less effective or compelling medium than the telephone to reach a target buyer is not an option. Therefore, working with employees to create methods and strategies for getting past the gatekeeper is key. If your team can get their foot in the telephonic door, they’ll gain the opportunity to work their magic on the decision maker and all their outstanding communication skills and get on their way to hitting their goals. So here’s how B2B telemarketing agencies propose your teams handle the gatekeeper challenge.
Remind them, gatekeepers are not the enemy
One common mistake telemarketers make is treating the gatekeeper as the enemy. And although it’s true that the gatekeeper can make or break a telemarketing call, it’s important to remind your team that the gatekeeper is simply doing their job. Being friendly, courteous and polite, even in the face of an immovable gatekeeper, will help your team to keep things professional, something that’s good for your company’s reputation and your relationship with other businesses.
See the gatekeeper as an opportunity
All too often, telemarketers see the gatekeeper purely as an obstacle to overcome. However, if you can help your team to see their interaction with the gatekeeper as an opportunity, you can not only improve the quality of their calls, you can also mine a wealth of valuable information. Remind your team that the gatekeeper they’re trying to outsmart knows a lot about the business and the decision maker they’re trying to speak to. Encourage them to take advantage of the conversation to check the person they’re attempting to contact is the decision maker, learn a little more about the decision maker and confirm any unknown facts about the business.
Remind them never to sell to the gatekeeper
Although the gatekeeper is an important person within the organisation, it’s important to make sure your team understands that this person can’t make any purchasing decisions. This means that selling to the gatekeeper is pointless. At best, they’ll waste some of their valuable time, at worst the gatekeeper will decide your product or service isn’t right for the business and cut your company off from the decision maker for good.
Make sure they avoid lying – at all costs
Lying is the worst thing your team can do when trying to navigate past the gatekeeper. If they’re caught out – which is generally the case – it will reflect badly on your business and could well impact on future relations with the decision maker. Ideally, your team should be so skilled at getting past the gatekeeper they won’t need to resort to lying. However, if the gatekeeper is being especially stubborn, telemarketers could try sending an email to the decision maker beforehand. This will allow your team to then legitimately state that they’re following up on initial contact.
Continually working with your team to improve their communication and telemarketing skills is key to achieving impressive and consistent results. For more advice on getting the best out of your telemarketing team, explore our site, or get in touch.