Cold Calling—Shift from Gatekeeper to Concierge

Important tip to improve cold-calling efforts

Many organizations are increasing their cold calling efforts in order to stay competitive in today’s market. Here are some solutions to be mindful of for you to use when you run into the barrier that may prevent you from connecting with your desired prospect—the elusive gatekeeper.

8-Steps to Creating a Coaching Culture by Keith RosenThink about your reaction to the word “gatekeeper.” What thoughts does it conjure up for you?

Now, think about the word “concierge.” What comes to mind? When you go to the mall and you need to find a specific store, who do you ask? The concierge. When you are staying at a hotel on vacation and are looking for directions, the hotel’s amenities, somewhere to eat or need tickets to a show, who do you ask? The concierge.

How good are you at making friends? Instead of “getting through the gatekeeper” how about “making friends with the concierge”? Now, doesn’t that just sound (and feel) better?

Consider this for a moment. The concierge secretly wants to help you. The only caveat is, you have to give them a reason to.

After all, if you try to sneak behind their back and get busted for doing so, you have succeeded in creating an adversary. Not only that but you’ve now fueled their justification as to why they need to screen all incoming calls! Now, when you need them in the future, it’s a safe bet that they probably won’t welcome you with open arms. Instead, focus on making the gatekeeper your concierge and internal advocate. Here’s how.

Strategy #1: Brutal Honesty that Complements

The old adage, “Honesty is the best policy” certainly holds true when trying to befriend the gatekeeper, I mean, the concierge. When calling to speak with your prospect or to find out exactly who the prospect is, try this approach in the following example.

You: “Hi, I can really use your help. I’m calling to speak with the person who is in charge of (software engineering/product development/ programming, etc) would that be you?”

Here’s What You Have Accomplished: Asking the concierge, “Would that be you?” or, “Are you the expert in that area?” comes across as a complement and makes the concierge feel important. As such, they are now more likely to give you the name of the contact you are looking for.

Photo Credit: Witt Instanbul Suites