Recently I had a conversation with a veteran seller who hit a wall. While prospecting she faced the dreaded gatekeeper and couldn't find a way to bypass them. I suggested she start fresh and first go back to our course titled, Cold Calling and review the five essential tips that Bryan Marriott discusses when calling upon new prospects. It's a GREAT course and handles gatekeepers. Here's a few notes from the course.
Remember it's the gatekeeper's job to keep you from bothering their boss. So how do you get over the wall? You have two options.
1) Tell them your name, and tell them that no one was actually expecting your call, but you were looking to set up an appointment (This works most of the time).
2) Skip the first step completely and act like you’re supposed to be speaking with them. Tell them your name, and company. Then, shut up! (Most of the time they will transfer you in immediately without question). At this point, they are going to either let you into their phone, or ask you another question. If they ask you another question, go back to step one and tell them that they were not expecting your call. The key is to tell them the truth. You don't want to lie to a potential client. Your reputation is your number one asset and starting with a lie is no way represent yourself.
If you need to shake off a few nerves, practice what you're going to say. Call your spouse or someone you respect and then role-play. Don't take the rejection personally. The gatekeeper’s job is to protect the person that you need to unlock.
Oh and by the way, the veteran seller that I mentioned. She's doing great! She found out she went to high school with one of the gatekeepers. Let's just say that she got the appointment.