Well hello there gorgeous, how’s your day going? If I smooth talk you enough, you’ll put me through to the boss, won’t you? If only it were that easy. We’ve discussed in the past how gatekeepers can actually help you, but it seems like some just have a wall built up and they’re not letting anyone in. So how can you get in the big guy’s ear, through someone trained to manage the decision-maker’s time? Here are some answers to common questions you’ll face:
Can I take a message for them?
“No thank you, not now. I would like to discuss some business that’s a little too complex for a message. Can you tell me when I should call back? I only need about 2 minutes of Mr. Miller’s time.” Leaving a message could mean they ignore you next time, because they already know why you’re calling.
Mail over some information, and I’ll make sure they get it.
“I appreciate that, and will send some papers right over for him. And that’s actually the reason why I’d like to speak with Mr. Miller. I know his time is valuable; instead of wasting both his time and yours, I just wanted to go through the highlights of what we can do to help your business. Does that sound okay?” From here, you can schedule a time to call back or an appointment. Either way, you’re getting your information in the decision-maker’s hands and a time to talk about it.
I’m actually the person in charge of that.
“Great! Just to make sure I understand it’s you that handles the review of products and vendors? Mr. Miller is only there for final approval?” If they are in fact “in charge of that,” then you’ve got your decision-maker on the phone! Otherwise, ask to speak with Mr. Miller in case; explain you’re just hoping he fully understands the final decision he’s in charge of making.
Looks like he’s in a meeting, I’m sorry.
“Not a problem. When will he be out of the meeting? Or, when could he be available to take my call? Or even, what time does he usually arrive in the morning?” Let the gatekeeper know that you’re not going anywhere, and you’ll keep trying, and trying.
Remember, these gatekeepers deal with calls like this all the time. Be human, kind and polite. Watch your tone. The more kind you are, the more likely they are to help you, and also remember you next time you call.