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Secretaries/ Gatekeepers

Please post your scripts(s) for working with: "Secretaries/ Gatekeepers."
- by Jeff Blackwell
Good morning. Would you please tell (Buyer's name) that (Seller's name) is on the phone. - by WobblyBox
Salesperson: This is Jane Seller from ACME Widgets calling for Joe Schmoe.

Screener: What is the nature of your call?

Salesperson: Bo Diddly from XYZ Company asked me to contact Mr. Schmoe. Is he available? - by Agent Smith
This is ________ calling . Please put me through to ________?

Note: Adding the word "calling" as shown will significantly increase your success in reaching the desired party. The wording above is simply an example of usage. - by Gary Boye
Hello, this is _________ calling. I'm not sure I'm if I'm talking to the right person. I want to talk to __________ regarding ___________ . Are you able to put me through? - by Gary Boye
Me:
Hi, this Gary Hart from ABC, how are you today? (pause and engage in conversation)

Secretaries/ Gatekeeper: What can I do for you Gary?

Can you help me arrange a meeting with Mr./Ms. [Name]? - by GSHart
I am afraid I must take exception to the scripts mentioned already (referenced & quoted below), for several reasons.

Short forms: In scripts I use the following ...

Gate Keeper is GK; Gold Calling® rep is GC, Decision Maker is DM

Hi, this Gary Hart from ABC, how are you today? (pause and engage in conversation)
This will be ineffective at most switchboards - not to mention with most personal assistants - because they are simply too busy but, in fairness, within some small company's where the Gate Keeper has not had it mandated to them to SCREEN, it will work.

Personal Assistants are even less likely to warm up - they are the ones who have been trained that HE/SHE, the decision maker, should not be bothered, they are less likely to find you appealing and put you through because they have been told not to - they weren't told; "Only put through friendly people" they were simply mandated not to "put through people who are just calling to waste my time!"

How do I put this except to come right out with it?

Since it is completely unnecessary to make friends with the Gate Keeper to gain access and arrange an appointment with the ultimate decision maker plus potentially a negative, as you open yourself up - we never teach the use of such "friendly demeanor" at this level.

Understand, though, the suggestion to not be friendly is not the same as advice to be unfriendly, not at all, more like direct - as in; to the point.

This is ________ calling
The word CALLING as used above really is an oxymoron (they know you are calling), though I can see what the intent is; to control the conversation and move to the objective of getting through without giving the name of the company or any additional information that might lead to a screening question.

Nonetheless, it is not required when you use correct English - in other words; the script simply continues with who you are calling for, something like this;

Option 1; "Hi, this is Steven Burke, I'm calling for Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

Option 2; "Good morning, my name is Steven Burke and I am calling to speak with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [again the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THIS WILL USUALLY CAUSE A QUESTION - IT IS BETTER TOP CLEAR THAT QUESTION BY SIMPLY TELLING THEM YOUR COMPANY NAME (unless it is Amway! This is humor!) ... that is why this is better;


GC "Good morning, my name is Steven Burke with Gold Calling®, I have called to speak directly with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [again the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

NOTE - do not get hung up on the actually words as much as how they are said. For instance, you might think "... can you connect me ... " is better because "would you" calls for a decision on their part. This is too logical, they are either mandated to screen or not, so don't worry too much on the words - definitely execute the attitude though. Clearly, if you do not believe you have a very strong reason for calling that business owner or decision maker, you are likely working for the wrong company!

---------- the above usually leads to a query-----------

GK; "What is this in regards to?"

GC; "That is what I called to discuss with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], now ... can you connect me please? Thank you [this time the thank you is CURT! Surprised?]!

--- when the appropriate level of irritation does not work ---

GK; "I am sorry sir but unless you tell me what this
is in regards to, I cannot put you through!"

NOTE; the word "cannot" is most often used because they are mandated not to put your through!

GC; "I see, well ... that is irritating for both of us, isn't it? [don't pause, this is a statement, not a question] Look, if I don't get put through to Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker] it will literally cost your firm ________________ [insert tens of thousands/millions - the appropriate loss of profit or cost that could be saved but do not use the word SAVE] in losses/lost revenue. In other words, this is what you might refer to as a very important contact indeed [you have to be believable when you say this!]. Now, please, check with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker] and see if he/she has a moment to take my call? Thank you [ the thank you is totally definite - not curt!].

--- when the GK tries to redirect you ---
This is rare and is almost ridiculous, as an owner of a business
if you did not put a caller through that could cost me LARGE,
I would be irritated with you for OVER SCREENING!

GK; "Perhaps you don't need to speak with
Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker]!
If you will give me a better understanding of
what this is about, I can direct you to the
right person/party."

GC; "Thank you, I do appreciate your assistance but
let me assure you, Mr./Ms. [insert last name of
decision maker] is the correct person. Now, if
he/she is on the phone or in a meeting I understand
entirely and can call back, otherwise, would you connect me
please, thank you [yes, you are entitled to be irritated,
they are wasting your time and possibly their company's money too!]


NOTES; (A) of course, should you still not get through, this would be irrational. If it is due to the GK you should then call early, late or during a coffee or lunch break. That GK has to go to the washroom sometimes!

(B) If the GK goes and speaks to the buyer, comes back & informs you that the call will not be taken and there is anything other than a request by them to call back -weigh up whether you even want this company as a client. REMEMBER, IF THEY ARE THIS DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH WHEN IT WILL COST THEM MILLIONS, HOW TOUGH WILL THEY BE TO SERVICE THEM AFTER YOU HAVE THEM AS A CLIENT? IS IT WORTH IT?? - by Gold Calling
Most of the scripts in this thread do little to get you through....although i do believe the majority of your chances of getting through to the person you are looking to reach is determined by the very first impression....

see when owners of businesses are at work...they two kinds of calls....DUH.... business and personal.... which do you think they are likely to accept?

Also the gatekeeper is usually not privy to everything that boss does....so they arent gonna question if you if you keep it on a certain level...whats important is to keep yourself way above the gate keeper...as if youre another CEO...you know a buddy in the industry...that is well above any gatekeeper...you can essentially treat the gatekeeper as a lackey with no brain...i know that sounds bad.... but if you just use a deep, serious tone and say

"John Winters please?"

that's it....that will actually get you through a lot of times...

if they ask anything...just say

"Just tell him it's Mike, he'll know"

its sounds maybe a little daring ..i dont know but its effective and simple...dont tell them your company name ...util youre talking to a possible decision maker.... until then youre just a major industry business mogul just like the person youre looking for.

Another way is to just use the first name....this assumes you the name of the person you are looking for...

Gatekeeper "How may I help you?"

You "John please?" real matter of fact tone....

then they may say "John who?" you just say "John Winters...." as if to say "who else"

If they ask what it's about, say "Just tell him it's important and confidential"

and even if John comes to the phone knowing you tricked him to get him there... hes actually more likely to respect it than to hang up on you... remember johns a salesperson too...

Once you get him on the phone be respectful of his time and get right to the meat....the point of your call... use quick little curiosity building statements to get him engaged so that you are not taking up his time, but instead he is asking you questions and taking up your time....

"Yes, hi John, this Micah with ABC updates and I was just calling real quick to give you a little bit of free info on a special program supported by major credit card companies...keep in mind it's not for everyone...only for business doing over $100,000 a month. You're business does over 100,000 a month doesnt it...?" (appeal to ego and qualify)

"Ok great, well there a good chance you qualify and if you do, it would probably save you an extra $1-2000 a month....of course I dont know how important $1-2000 is to you.....Pause... - by planrecruiter
I return often to read this statement and it never fails to make me laugh.

As a "gatekeeper" myself I would have hung up on you on the first "tude" you gave me.

What would our company ever want to do anything with someone as abusive and rude as your call would appear to be?




I am afraid I must take exception to the scripts mentioned already (referenced & quoted below), for several reasons.

Short forms: In scripts I use the following ...

Gate Keeper is GK; Gold Calling® rep is GC, Decision Maker is DM



This will be ineffective at most switchboards - not to mention with most personal assistants - because they are simply too busy but, in fairness, within some small company's where the Gate Keeper has not had it mandated to them to SCREEN, it will work.

Personal Assistants are even less likely to warm up - they are the ones who have been trained that HE/SHE, the decision maker, should not be bothered, they are less likely to find you appealing and put you through because they have been told not to - they weren't told; "Only put through friendly people" they were simply mandated not to "put through people who are just calling to waste my time!"

How do I put this except to come right out with it?

Since it is completely unnecessary to make friends with the Gate Keeper to gain access and arrange an appointment with the ultimate decision maker plus potentially a negative, as you open yourself up - we never teach the use of such "friendly demeanor" at this level.

Understand, though, the suggestion to not be friendly is not the same as advice to be unfriendly, not at all, more like direct - as in; to the point.



The word CALLING as used above really is an oxymoron (they know you are calling), though I can see what the intent is; to control the conversation and move to the objective of getting through without giving the name of the company or any additional information that might lead to a screening question.

Nonetheless, it is not required when you use correct English - in other words; the script simply continues with who you are calling for, something like this;

Option 1; "Hi, this is Steven Burke, I'm calling for Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

Option 2; "Good morning, my name is Steven Burke and I am calling to speak with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [again the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THIS WILL USUALLY CAUSE A QUESTION - IT IS BETTER TOP CLEAR THAT QUESTION BY SIMPLY TELLING THEM YOUR COMPANY NAME (unless it is Amway! This is humor!) ... that is why this is better;


GC "Good morning, my name is Steven Burke with Gold Calling®, I have called to speak directly with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], would you connect me please? Thank you [again the thank you is totally assumptive, even staccato - almost CURT!]!"

NOTE - do not get hung up on the actually words as much as how they are said. For instance, you might think "... can you connect me ... " is better because "would you" calls for a decision on their part. This is too logical, they are either mandated to screen or not, so don't worry too much on the words - definitely execute the attitude though. Clearly, if you do not believe you have a very strong reason for calling that business owner or decision maker, you are likely working for the wrong company!

---------- the above usually leads to a query-----------

GK; "What is this in regards to?"

GC; "That is what I called to discuss with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker], now ... can you connect me please? Thank you [this time the thank you is CURT! Surprised?]!

--- when the appropriate level of irritation does not work ---

GK; "I am sorry sir but unless you tell me what this
is in regards to, I cannot put you through!"

NOTE; the word "cannot" is most often used because they are mandated not to put your through!

GC; "I see, well ... that is irritating for both of us, isn't it? [don't pause, this is a statement, not a question] Look, if I don't get put through to Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker] it will literally cost your firm ________________ [insert tens of thousands/millions - the appropriate loss of profit or cost that could be saved but do not use the word SAVE] in losses/lost revenue. In other words, this is what you might refer to as a very important contact indeed [you have to be believable when you say this!]. Now, please, check with Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker] and see if he/she has a moment to take my call? Thank you [ the thank you is totally definite - not curt!].

--- when the GK tries to redirect you ---
This is rare and is almost ridiculous, as an owner of a business
if you did not put a caller through that could cost me LARGE,
I would be irritated with you for OVER SCREENING!

GK; "Perhaps you don't need to speak with
Mr./Ms. [insert last name of decision maker]!
If you will give me a better understanding of
what this is about, I can direct you to the
right person/party."

GC; "Thank you, I do appreciate your assistance but
let me assure you, Mr./Ms. [insert last name of
decision maker] is the correct person. Now, if
he/she is on the phone or in a meeting I understand
entirely and can call back, otherwise, would you connect me
please, thank you [yes, you are entitled to be irritated,
they are wasting your time and possibly their company's money too!]


NOTES; (A) of course, should you still not get through, this would be irrational. If it is due to the GK you should then call early, late or during a coffee or lunch break. That GK has to go to the washroom sometimes!

(B) If the GK goes and speaks to the buyer, comes back & informs you that the call will not be taken and there is anything other than a request by them to call back -weigh up whether you even want this company as a client. REMEMBER, IF THEY ARE THIS DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH WHEN IT WILL COST THEM MILLIONS, HOW TOUGH WILL THEY BE TO SERVICE THEM AFTER YOU HAVE THEM AS A CLIENT? IS IT WORTH IT??
- by Topper
...you can essentially treat the gatekeeper as a lackey with no brain...i know that sounds bad.... but if you just use a deep, serious tone and say
...
Just revisited this thread and I want to make a statement regarding what is quoted above.

In the REAL WORLD--not the fictional world often used as a sales training model, the so-called "gatekeeper" is often the second most powerful and important person in the entire company!

Now--take it from there. - by Ace Coldiron
Be direct, be clear, be polite, be brief, be respectful and ask for what you want. Ask for help. If questions are asked of you be truthful and not evasive and ask questions for clarity back.

Every situation will be a little different.

MitchM - by MitchM
I don't really see it specified here that we're talking about cold calling per se... so if it's ok to talk about warming things up before you call, here:

Using referrals:
  1. Ask a client to send a pre-written e-mail or call ahead to friends he'd like to refer to you. The easier you can make it for people to refer, the better.

    The e-mail could read:

    "Contact's Name,

    I'm writing to introduce you to __________. _________ is currently assisting me with name your favorite benefit and I am confident he/she could assist you as well.

    Please welcome and inform your staff of _________'s call (or forward this message to your staff). You won't regret it!

    After he/she calls I'm looking forward to hearing all about it!

    Best,
    Referrer's Name"

  2. Let the client know when you intend to begin calling on his friends to ensure he sent the message out.

  3. Call the list of referrals with this introduction: "Hello, my name is _________. Would you please tell _______ that I'm the individual _______ mentioned would be calling?"

Keep your referring client in the loop about how things go with your calls and likely that client will continue to refer, making your calls far more comfortable and easy.

This method can be used even for new salespeople when the originating salesperson (perhaps a trainer or manager) asks that a particular introduction is done on behalf of a company instead of an individual salesperson.

My observation is that satisfied clients tend to be more than happy to be helpful and if you tell them that the referral will help to make things easy for a new salesperson to get into the profession, they'll be even more happy to make the referral. - by MarcEnriquez
My recommendation is to make it personal, so you need to do some research on the business and/or the DM first. Not only must you have a genuine business reason for calling (and by the way, the GK will know enough about their boss's hot buttons to screen you effectively), you also need to make it specific to them (that is have a fair idea of the potential financial benefit, cost saving or however your proposition fits in with that company's business objectives, for example as stated in the Chairman's Statement in this company's annual report). Drive up VALUE (with as extravagant a promise as you can keep or prove) and drive down the prospect's RISK (e.g. it would take me just 5 minutes to explain how we saved XYZ company $100k from day 1?) - then just close for the appointment. - by salesxpert
I have to agree with ACE on this... especially in smaller companies.. the 1st person you meet is the 2nd most important and certainly has more of the ear of 1st or co-owner possibly, than you ever will, so be nice.

In my case, I just be myself and try not BS my way into the the discussion with a script on handling who's on the phone. I'm not saying don't use a script, I use scripts with every call, what I'm saying is be real in conversation. I joke around with people a lot, but I'm honest in my joking... for example, if someone is adamant that they won't let me through, I'll ask/say "they pay you a lot to keep people like me from talking to Joe don't they.... how much would a bribe cost me.... Ok... kidding... Ms... I sell specialized insurance products meant to be offered to employees with discounts sometimes ovre 40%. How else can you pay mortgages, rents, and medical bills for a heart attock or stroke or any disabiltiy for that matter without ruining your savings?

Your competitors probably have expanded benefit plans to keep their best employees, that's what we're offering you too, but at little or no cost to the company directly, so how can I get an audience with Joe?

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Hello, I'm Ganesan from eZynes Communications. My company helps businesses increase their sales and profits by up to 100%. I want to talk to __________ and explain how I could help your company increase your sales by 25% in the next one year. Can you please put me through to __________?

Ganesan. - by ezynes
Read the Gatekeeper's post.

That one is most important.

Surprises most to know that the Gatekeeper can be your strongest ally IF you know the rules for talking with Gatekeepers.

On a final note - as corny as this may sound you really do have the script in your head already - a unique script that makes you shine above all other callers. If you look for cold calling coaches make sure you find one who understands that.

My concern with canned-scripts that are written for you is that they sound canned when you use them. The goal is to be conversational and to connect with the Gatekeeper - not to push past him/her.

Leslie Buterin (like butterin' bread) - by The Top Dog
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