Getting Connected

In a telephone intensive business like ours, getting through the gatekeepers (GK) can be a major problem. The magazine Selling Power ran an article on the subject with some interesting points:

  • Honor the gatekeeper. Respecting their position goes a long way towards getting their help.
  • Reveal your identity. No camouflage here. Letting them know who you are before they ask shows you have nothing to hide and they may lower their guard a bit.
  • Leave a message. It legitimizes your call.
  • Rudeness repels. “Please” and “thank you” go a long way.
  • Act professional. Convince the GK of your professionalism and they’ll be more likely to put you through.
  • Be truthful. They’ve heard every bob and weave in the book.
  • Team up with the GK. Make them an ally.
  • Make their job easier. Leave voice mail messages instead of having the GK take the message.

Other tips:

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  • Don’t pretend to know your prospects or say they’ll know why you’re calling.
  • Don’t be a bully.
  • Don’t hang-up on them.
  • Don’t make excessive demands.
  • Don’t be excessively sweet. It can compromise your sincerity.

Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.

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