Gatekeepers: Six Things NOT to Do

gatekeepers what not to do, prospecting, sales tips,

If you’re getting screened out by gatekeepers, then chances are you’re probably causing that screening. Before we get into the things you may be doing to cause them to begin interrogating you, let’s quickly define some terms.

First, not all gatekeepers are the same. About 30% of the gatekeepers you get are closer to being assistants, or office managers, or influencers. The other 70% are straight receptionists or operators. With both groups, you shouldn’t do any of the six things you’re going to learn today, but adjustments will need to be made in the kind—and amount—of information you give (to the 30% group).

That said, we’re going to concentrate on the 70% of the gatekeepers you get, and I bet you would love to learn what not to do to antagonize or encourage that 70% to screen you out.

Key Point: The vast majority of receptionists and operators would prefer not to screen you or interrogate you. Their job isn’t to “vet” you, but rather, it’s to find out your name, company name, and a brief reason why you’re calling. They need this complete info to give to the person you’re trying to reach.

Failure to give this complete info—coupled with not being polite and not using instructional statements—is what triggers the screening you get now.

The first step to getting put through to decision makers is to make the receptionist’s job easy. And that means you need to stop doing some (or all) of the six things you’re about to learn next.

Each of these six points just cause the gatekeeper to begin interrogating you, so if you stop doing these things, you’ll have a much better chance at being put through—without screening! As you read these, ask yourself which of them (or most of them!) you’re doing now and adjust your approach accordingly. You’ll be amazed by how much easier it will be to get through:

#1: Only giving your name when asked who is calling (and not giving your company name). If you only give your name, the natural thing the gatekeeper is thinking is, “And from what company??”

Making the gatekeeper ask you what company you’re from immediately triggers her/him to begin screening you. And why would you want that?

#2: Pausing after giving any information (like your name or company name, or even the reason for the call). As soon as you stop or pause without giving an instructional statement, you’re handing control over to the gatekeeper. And guess what? She will begin interrogating you!

#3: Pitching the gatekeeper. With the other 30%, a little bit of info must be given, but with receptionists, the moment you start pitching, that’s the moment you raise a big Red Flag that says, “I’m a salesperson!” As that point, they will begin to screen you out…

#4: Just giving your first name (and then pausing). Every gatekeeper knows this trick, and nothing will get them interrogating you faster than this.

#5: Being pushy or rude. Some sales people think that if they just bully their way in, the gatekeeper will step aside and let them through. Yeah, right. How’s that going for you? Truth is, being courteous and polite will get you much further than almost anything, and you’d do well to get on their good side—right away.

#6: Opening your call with, “Hi, how are you?” This puts gatekeepers (and everyone else) on the immediate defensive because they don’t know who you are! And it also triggers them to begin screening you because it telegraphs that you are a salesperson. By the way, it’s especially annoying when you greet the decision maker this way as well.

So, how many of these mistakes are you making every day? The more mistakes you’re making, the more you’re getting screened out.

If you’d like to know exactly what you could be doing and saying, then you can view a special (short) webinar I put together to teach you, word-for-word, what you should be doing instead.

Once you watch that, and begin using the scripts and technique in it, you’ll immediately begin breezing past gatekeepers 70% of the time. And I know that will make your life easier and improve your results!

So watch the video today.

How to Deal with the Price Objection (Webinar)

Even though the price objection is nearly as old as time itself, sales people still struggle to overcome it. Think about it: in the markets of ancient Egypt, a shopper at a stall objected to a vendor selling something, and their objection was that it cost too much! With centuries of experience at getting this objection, you’d think we, as sales professionals, would be better at handling it.

The good news is that there are some proven strategies and techniques that will help you deal with and overcome this age old objection.

Sign up for Mike Brooks’ new Webinar “How to Overcome the Price Objection” this Thursday, April 27th, at 1pm EST/10am PST Sign Up Here

But let’s start at the beginning. First, if you are getting this objection at the end of your presentation, then you haven’t done a thorough enough job of qualifying for it in the beginning of your sales cycle. You should never be ambushed by, “It costs too much” when you ask for the sale. To avoid that, use any of the following wording during your qualifying stage:

“And just to let you know, the range of participation is anywhere from $5,000 for our introductory service, up to $25,000 for the full suite of services. Where would you fit, again, if you like what you see?”

If your prospect comes right out and asks you for the price, respond with:

“The good news is that this service is only $250 to get set up, and then just $199 per month on a no obligation, month to month basis. Is that something that would work for you if you liked what you see?”

So that is on the front end. At the close of your presentation, if you get the price objection, you can use a variety of closes, including my favorite:

“{Prospect’s name}, let’s put price aside for a moment. Assuming this were something you could afford (or were more within your budget), does this solution look like something you would choose?”

As you can see, the key to qualifying for and handling the price objection is in being prepared with good scripts.

To help you get even more prepared to handle this objection, join Mike for a full webinar where he will give you even more proven word-for-word responses to help you successfully overcome this objection.

In this proven webinar, you’ll learn:

1) How Top Producers across all industries handle this objection
2) Why your best option is to NOT answer it at all!
3) The proven technique of what to say – and three examples of how to say it
4) How you can use this technique to deal effectively with other objections as well
5) An email script to use when prospects aren’t responding to you any more

If you want to stop struggling with the price objection…

Then Register Now for Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales: “How to Overcome the Price Objection”. You’ll be glad you did!

Goal Planning for 2017 Made Easy (Webinar: Dec 8)

It’s that time of the year again – goal planning for the New Year!

If that task seems intimidating to you, or, if you didn’t make any of your goals this year because they were either too ambitious or hard to follow, then I’ve got great news for you.

Nest Thursday, my colleague, Laura Posey, is going to give my readers a free Webinar entitled: “Goal Planning for 2017 on One Sheet of Paper.”

Now who wouldn’t want to do that?

I’ve been using Laura’s method for years and it’s fantastic! Hey, goal setting doesn’t have to be difficult if you just get focused on what’s going to get you into the Top 20% of earners at your company.

Sign Up Here

The Webinar is next Thursday, December 8th, 2016, at 3 PM Eastern. Don’t miss it.

Laura is a master of cutting through the crap and getting to the most productive, result-producing impact in the fastest time possible.

And she makes it so easy to do the things she teaches.

In this webinar, you will discover:

*  How to work less and increase your sales
*  Why goal setting is killing your results… and what to do instead
*  How to cut through the chaos and become laser-focused on the most profitable actions you can take to increase sales in 2017
*  How to tap into your “hidden creativity” to solve your biggest problems, quickly and effectively
*  How to get your entire team working at their highest levels of productivity – without micromanaging or stress
*  And much, much more

If you plan on goal setting for 2017, then you need to Join Us on Thursday, December 8th, at 3 PM Eastern.

A little bit about Laura Posey:

Laura is Chief Instigator at Simple Success Plans. She works with entrepreneurial companies to get them focused, aligned and driving higher profits with less stress.

Laura is a sought after international speaker and facilitator. She strategic planning clients range from a $27 billion multi-national IT distributor to a small, local mold testing lab and everything in between. In addition to her strategic planning work, she is called on to improve sales and marketing results for companies throughout the US and Canada.

Laura has over 20 years of experience in driving results for her clients but she has also “done the work in the trenches”. From making over 30,000 cold calls at dinnertime to sell insurance to maxing out her credit cards to launch her first business, Laura has the real-life experience to know what it takes to succeed.

She has done the work so she can show you the shortcuts.

So join us next Thursday.

You’ll be glad you did!

Mike Brooks

Selling to Influencers (New Webinar: Nov 17th, 3pm EST)

These days, there can be a lot of people standing between you and the ultimate decision maker. There are assistants, office managers, purchasing agents, other C level managers, and in the case of B to C, even spouses and other family members. In some cases, you may be speaking with part of the decision making team, but that person may then have to present to a committee or other body of decision makers. With all the potential people standing between you and the “real decision maker,” how can you effectively move the sale forward?

In the phone calls I listen to each week, I hear many reps struggle with this exact scenario. Unfortunately, what I hear isn’t encouraging. To start with, what I find is that half the time reps don’t even know they are dealing with an influencer and so make the mistake of assuming they are the final decision maker. These closing calls often end with an objection I am sure you are familiar with: “I’ll have to run it by X.”

And you know how frustrating that is.

[Sign Up Here to learn how to “Deal More Effectively and Even Close the Influencer” during our new Webinar this Thursday, November 17th, at 3pm Eastern, Noon Pacific]

Next, on those closing calls when the rep does know they are speaking with an influencer, I find they often give up at the end of the close. They seem resigned to the fact that the prospect isn’t going to make a decision, and so they end their closing calls with something like, “So when will you speak with X?”

Not very empowering either.

The good news is that there are proven scripts and techniques you can use to both identify who you are speaking with, what their level of influence is, and even move towards closing them during your demo or presentation.

If you would like to know how to do that, then join me this Thursday, and I’ll give you all the tools and techniques you will need to both qualify the influencer during your prospecting call, and set them up to make a decision during your close.

Register Here If you deal with influencers, then this is one Webinar you and your team won’t want to miss!

How to Get Your Voice Mails Returned

When voice mail first came out, it was the hottest thing in business. Everyone anxiously checked and even responded to their voice mail no matter who was calling. It was a beautiful thing…

After a while though, prospects stopped returning voice mail and turned their attention to email. And then that pretty much dried up, too.

Today, sales reps are asking if it’s even worth it to leave a voice mail, and I’m here to tell you that you CAN get effective results from voice mails IF you follow a few proven rules.

[Register Now for Mike’s All New Webinar: “5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned” this Thursday, September 15th, at Noon Pacific / 3PM Eastern]

There are two strategies that will set your voice mails apart and give them the best chance of being returned. The first is to combine a set number of voice mails with a set number of dedicated emails to form a “touch point” plan that keeps you in front of a prospect for a specific length of time.

Studies have shown that repeated attempts to reach new contacts is crucial in not only creating a brand awareness, but also in increasing the odds of that prospect reaching back out to you. In addition, by making repeated attempts and leaving your contact information, you create a familiarity with that prospect so when you do finally connect, the conversation is more “warm” than “cold.” How long should this touch point plan or campaign be? Studies differ, but the best strategy tends to run from 22 days to a month.

When you compare that to how many messages – both voice mails and emails – you may be sending out now, your low contact rates may be the direct result of not enough attempts to contact your prospects. If you’re interested in learning exactly how to develop that touch point plan, make sure and sign up to my ezine as I’ll be publishing an article on how to do just that in the next week.

The other strategy is to leave a carefully crafted stand alone voice mail that follows some specific rules. I will be covering what those specific rules are in my upcoming Webinar, “5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned” on Thursday (Register Here). Here are some of the important points and what we’ll cover in the Webinar:

1) First you need to know whether you should even leave a voice mail or not? Believe it or not, there are some best practices regarding this…
2) The next thing you need to do is use a script and stop with the um’s and uh’s. Furthermore, the right script will ensure that your voice mail is compelling. “What’s in it for them, etc.? Whatever you do, don’t say.
3) Stop making the one mistake 99% of people make that almost guarantee that a voice mail is not returned. In our free webinar, you’ll find out what that is!
4) Make sure and use the one technique that will motivate your prospect to pick up the phone and call you.
5) Sometimes leaving a voice mail might NOT be a good idea. You should make sure you’re familiar with the alternatives…

If you want to know the 5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned, then… Register Now for Mike’s All New Webinar: “5 Proven Techniques That Get Your Calls Returned” this Thursday, September 15th, at Noon Pacific / 3PM Eastern.

How to Make Cold Calling Easy

Anyone who has to cold call as part of their sales career knows how hard it can be. Many sales reps cringe as they dial a number and wait for the receptionist to answer:

“Who’s calling?”

“Will he know what this call is regarding?”

These and other questions create such call reluctance that it’s no wonder the programs that claim “Cold calling is dead!” are such big sellers.

Unfortunately, if you’re in sales, you know that cold calling is NOT dead and you have to do it day in and day out to keep your pipeline full.

So how can you make cold calling easy?

By attending this free webinar: “The 5 Secrets to Effective Cold Calling,” held on Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific, Register Now

In addition, here are a few simple tips to help make cold calling easy for you:

Tip #1: Use a script. You absolutely must script out what you’re going to say and the questions you’re going to ask. Doing so will give you the confidence to overcome the gatekeeper’s interrogation and help you eliminate the um’s and uh’s that make you sound unprofessional.

Tip #2: Be prepared for the brush offs and blow offs you’re going to always get like: “Just email me something…” Instead of asking for their email address and ending the call, say:

“I’d be happy to. I’ve got several different things I can send to you, let me just ask you a couple of questions so I send you the right one. Now how are you currently handling….”

Tip #3: Learn how to quickly engage the decision maker by asking them a question as early as possible. Most sales reps start by delivering a much too long monologue on their product or service and this just turns off the prospect.

Tip #4: Change your attitude to begin expecting the no’s. Believe it or not, most sales people actually expect everyone to love what they’re selling. That’s not going to happen (as you’ve found out), so expect it! When someone tells you no, be prepared for it and end the call with the “Next In Line” script:

“No problem, but let me ask you: If you ever find the need to look for a different supplier in the future, could I be the first in line you reach out to?”

Then get their contact info and email them yours. This allows you to end each call with a success which makes it easier to keep calling…

Tip #5: Pick up the phone. Although this may sound obvious, the way to make cold calling easy is to stop putting it off. Instead, make it the first thing you do in the morning, and then stay on the phone until you hit your call numbers for the day. You’ll find that as you get into a rhythm, it gets easier and easier to make those calls.

If you’d like more detailed scripts and techniques on making cold calling easy, you will benefit from learning these “5 Secrets to Effective Cold Calling”:

1) How to avoid getting screened out by the gatekeeper
2) A better opening that will set you apart and get your prospect to engage with you
3) How to build rapport in 5 seconds
4) How to overcome brush off objections
5) How to qualify for timeline and interest

Register Here for this FREE webinar on Wednesday, November 18th 2015 at 12pm Eastern, 9am Pacific. Space is limited, so sign up today!