As a sales rep, there are few things worse than hearing, “I’m sorry, he isn’t available. Why don’t you leave your name and number and I’ll have so-and-so call you back” from a gatekeeper. This is especially true if that gatekeeper has absolutely no intention of delivering your message onto the decision maker – ever.
What do you do?
There are a few different options which lead to very different outcomes:
Option 1: You accept defeat and don’t try calling back again.
Probable Outcome: You lose a potential sale and accept that you wasted your time with the original call.
Option 2: If you haven’t heard back in a few days (which you probably won’t) try calling back.
Probable Outcome: Much like Option 1
Option 3: Try to reach the decision maker directly.
Probable Outcome: You either make contact directly with the decision maker or you leave a voicemail on their direct line.. Either way, the odds of them actually hearing your message are exponentially higher.
Getting a Direct Dial Number
Option 3 is a best practice for cold-calling. Calling a number that goes through a gatekeeper is never the optimum approach. But how to get a direct number? This is something most entry and mid-level sales reps don’t know. It’s actually a very simply process – ever heard of a Google ‘wildcard’ search?
This search function within Google allows users to search based on information they do know in order to find information they don’t. For example, say I wanted to find a direct line for an executive at XANT named Joe Sales, instead of calling into his pesky receptionist. Within Google, I could type in “Joe Sales (801)***-**** XANT” and retrieve all results with Joe Sales at XANT followed by likely phone numbers. You might be surprised at how accurate the results are! Imagine how much time you could save by implementing this practice into your sales routine.
What are some of the best practices you have used to help avoid gatekeepers and contact decision makers directly? Share your tips with us in the comment box below.
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