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Minimizing the Gatekeeper

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Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by kleanerdude on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:42 am

I have been calling restaurants because it is very easy to get directly to the Manager. I am running out of restaurants and would like to know if anyone has any ideas on what the best businesses might be to call that don't have the ever-present "gatekeeper" that seems to have to know everything about you before they will
let you get close to "their" Mgr or owner.

Like "Is Mr. Jones expecting your call?" "Do you have an appointment with Mr' Jones?" "Maybe you can tell me more about what you are calling about?" I mean some of these "gatekeepers" can be ok and may even help but many of them simply are playing "keep [me] away" and so I would like to do my best to avoid calling them, and when I do run across them, it would also help to know your ideas on how to circumvent/navigate my way around or through or over or under them.

The good thing about calling restaurants is/was that the waiter/waitress is working and just wants to move you along, so they can get back to serving their customers, i.e. who might be giving them a BIG tip, so they generally don't want to spend time with any phone call, no matter who it is, and just pass you to the Manager, easily.

So, anyone who has some experience in cold calling businesses, what businesses have you called where you have found that the person or receptionist picking up is most likely to pass you on to the Office Manager, General Manager or maybe even the owner, without grilling you or putting you through an inquisition Any feedback is appreciated.

I would like to add that I know there are many who believe that cold calling is unworkable. For me, though, that is not true. Some of us are quite capable of engaging people on the phone whom we have never met while, for many others, cold-calling is terrifying. I guess you could liken it to going in front of an audience onstage. Aversion to cold calling for some is like stage-fright. And, that's ok - but PLEASE, remember, there are many of us who have no problem with cold-calling, even look forward to it.

It is simply another way of socializing, in this case, business socializing and a heck of a lot cheaper than having to spend the gas prices we have now to go face to face, and besides the face to face is for my owner, I'm just setting it up on the phone for him to go and personally engage the business or homeowner. So, if you don't like cold-calling, even if you strongly believe it doesn't work, that's ok...for you. Just let those of us who can cold-call, do so - and your ideas are welcome here, as well.

It would also be nice if there were a forum in here that was strictly 100% dedicated to cold-calling because cold-calling is, indeed, very much alive and well, extremely healthy, even.

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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by milspec6 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:15 pm

For me, the best way to get to any manger is to become a customer of theirs first. Short of that, you will run into the "gatekeeper" as that is how things are designed.

You are good at cold calls, so you already have a method that works, but for me, the method I use is talk to the gatekeeper like a friend instead of a salesman.

A casual friendly demeanor will often get the gatekeeper to believe that you are a friend of the boss and will be more than helpful in getting you patched through....making the boss happy is a key element in everyone's working life.

I guess that would be my advice. The employee doesn't want to anger the boss and many bosses don't want sales calls, so there is little incentive to get you two together. But if you sound like a friend, then they are motivated to help.

No great help, I'm afraid, but my 2 cents worth.
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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by kleanerdude on Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:46 pm

your help is always greatly appreciated.  I agree, be casual and speak like a friend.  I have tried calling some attorneys, today and was put through 2x and spoke withe 2 attorneys AND was put through voicemail 2x as well - so the attorneys may turn out to good sources.  We'll see.  

Thank you, again, milspec6

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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by milspec6 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:43 pm

That was a very good move, attorneys often answer their own phones....in fact, that might be the best answer to your question: Target customers that tend to answer their own phones.

Attorneys, small shopkeepers, Accountants, Small Car Dealers, Daycare centers, Military Recruiters, Bakeries, Photographers, etc.

Just think outside the box and list all the types that would fall into that category and you will be rocking.
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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by kleanerdude on Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:14 pm

As always, your suggestions warrant pursuit. Tomorrow, I will spend about 4 hours calling attorneys, again. Even if I leave no more than messages at some, I know I will record that and follow up with them. I also like getting their emails and sending them a really good outline of the company.

By the way, I am no longer working for the guy I originally had started with; my wife told me I was being ripped, but me, i'm the hard-headed guy and my wife was right.

Anyway, the guy i am with now is very considerate, got me a really great cellphone right off the bat and is paying me a very fair commission. I am much happier with my new employer.

Thank you and keep your great suggestions coming. I AM good on the phone but I still have a little bit of cold feet at times and who doesn't prefer acceptance to rejection - and great suggestions help to make it all much easier.

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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by Mo on Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:16 pm

Dental offices and doctors are good to. 

Who ever said you need to get past the gate keeper anyways. A lot of times especially in smaller offices they are the once picking the service providers anyway. So go ahead and sell to them.

The gate keeper is your friend and ally. If you establish a rapport and build relationship with them rest assured you will be the one they call when the office needs a cleaning.

So be nice and send the gate keeper something. It will give you the opportunity to break the ice and make multiple contacts with that person.

" Hello Ms Gatekeeper my name is Kleaner dude from Kleener Dude Cleaning. I was wondering if you could help with something. I wanted to send your office 16 oz solution of our best carpet spot remover who should I address it to?"

If you notice there are no open ended questions in that statement. No opportunity for them to give you a "Yes" or "No" answer. That will increase you chances of getting the name of the gate keeper or decision maker.

So now you have a name of someone at the office and they will be receiving a spot remover with your name and phone number for the office and the employees to see. And if you happen to be cold calling for someone else next year they'll call you and not your former employer

So you just built some rapport and laid the ground work for The Law of reciprocity, that way they won't hang up on you the next time you call Very Happy

Now you're no longer cold calling this office, you just converted them to warm leads. You can make a follow up call to see if the receive it, a call to see if the tried it, a call to see if the need more. The more contacts you make the higher your close ratio gets.

As you know Ms Gate Keeper if you don't have your teeth cleaned by a dentist on a regular basis your teeth will deteriorate same thing applies to carpet. When would be a good time for a free demo?

You can get a damm good spotter from Vackaway for about $1.30. Good luck!!
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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by kleanerdude on Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:48 am

I like that, Mo - that's a "keeper" Peace

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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by dp1 on Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:06 pm

Unfortunately I have no answer to your latest inquiry, however I have a question for you, how much are you getting paid ? Is it strictly commission ? If you don't mind sharing that, it would be greatly appreciated, if you prefer you can pm me, I may be interested in your service, however in my experience I had 2 - 3 angry people called me and accused our company of cold calling them, so I don't think I would feel comfortable of you mentioning our company's name unless if they are interested
in using our service.
Another question is how do you deal with angry people that demanded you to tell them who hired you ?
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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

Post by kleanerdude on Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:13 pm

First of all, the Do Not Call does not include businesses and I will probably not call residential without a 100% scrubbed list that would probably have to be purchased and guaranteed and I am working on commission only but have someone i am working for, now - so not available but thanks for asking and all businesses I have called have been 100% positive - NO - ZERO negative dialog on the phone from either my end or on the business side, it's generally no or no thank you and have a great day.  I do not have bad days on the phone and some people i call MAY have a problem with my call, but i have not heard it from them.

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Re: Minimizing the Gatekeeper

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