Since I started in sales almost 20 years ago, I have not stopped cold calling or sending outbound emails to prospects where I felt we had a solution that could benefit them.
To be honest, I really enjoy it. There’s a certain level of tangibility and fulfillment one garners from making a call that is received by another party and ultimately leads to new business.
A consistent challenge faced by myself and any sales person is getting through the gatekeeper of an organization to reach the correct contact person and tell your story. In some cases, some gatekeepers are very proactive and will work with you to find the right person to speak with. In other cases, it’s like hitting a stone wall. There’s just no give. This is where you need to get resourceful to get through the gatekeeper.
Recently while cold calling for a client, I encountered a gatekeeper who wanted no part in what I was selling. She simply said there was no interest in the solution being pitched (even though it would take a current expenditure and remove it and at the same time, generate a new revenue stream).
Having made other calls to organizations both large and small about our client’s solution and getting good results, I was a bit surprised and honestly got a bit peeved – particularly from a business-owner perspective. It bothered me that this person wasn’t even giving me the time of day when there was real tangible value in what I was selling and it would enhance this firms profitability. So now being fired up, I did a bit more research on the company, found a senior contact through the web, leveraged that into LinkedIn, and than used “InMail” to contact this individual. Within a 12 hour period, I had received a note back expressing interest in exploring the opportunity and identifying their internal decision maker. That felt good to be honest!
Here are some key points to consider when selling through the gatekeeper on B2B cold calls.
1. When One Road is Blocked, Look for Another
There are numerous ways to get in touch with prospects, don’t be afraid to look for them or try a couple different attempts. Alternatives to phone and email, include LinkedIn, Twitter or their blogs.
2. Don’t Take No for an Answer
Try calling at different times of the day, call from your mobile and your office line. You can also try sending emails with different subject lines or at different times of the week.
3. Stay High Within an Account
Call at a high level when possible the first time (avoiding entirely having to go through the gatekeeper in the way). See if you have a LinkedIn connection who is connected to them and ask your connection for an introduction.
4. Qualify Before You Call
Make sure you’re only cold calling accounts where there could be a mutual benefit for the prospect and your business. There’s no point in wasting time and resources trying to get in touch with someone who isn’t an ideal customer or who won’t find value in product/service.
If you require help selling your product or service (or are looking for more tips on selling through the gatekeeper), please don’t hesitate to call me. I am always happy to see if we can help you drive your revenue faster. For more great startup sales insights, review our white papers on cold calling and other sales related topics.