prospecting past gatekeepersI’ve been looking at 10 Ways to Get Past Gatekeepers When Prospecting on the Phone, and today we come to number 5, which may surprise a few people:

Call one or two digits off from the phone number you’ve been calling.

When the person answers, be upfront and say who you’re trying to reach.

It’s not unusual for me to get stares from people when I share this idea with a group of salespeople, but before you pass judgement, let me explain.

I don’t see this technique as a game or some form of misleading. The reason is simple — if you believe in what you’re selling and you believe you can help the person you’re trying to reach, and other approaches aren’t working, then this is a great option to try!

Notice I’m not saying to mislead the person who does answer the phone. Be upfront and state you’re merely trying to reach a particular person.   Nothing misleading at all about that approach. Remember that what you have to offer is going to help!

This approach works well when the only number you have is some general office number that ends in several zeros.   Clearly a general number that ends in several zeros is going to be an indication that if you were to call a few numbers up or down from the general number, you’ll most likely reach somebody in the company.

Although I’m a big fan of leaving voicemail messages, I do not advocate leaving a voicemail message when using this technique, as I feel it would be asking the person far too much to call you back.

Even though the number you’re calling may not amount to anybody significant, be sure to still record the number and any information about the call in your CRM system.

I’m always surprised at how a contact made one year can wind up materializing down the road into a major piece of business.




Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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