Gatekeeper tactics – Tricks for reaching your contact

reaching decision makers

Gatekeeper tactics – Tricks for reaching your contact

Getting past the gatekeeper for successful calls: What tricks do you have up your sleeve? This is a survey of our current staff members and how they use their years of experience with the infamous gatekeepers.



My favorite trick to get past the gatekeeper is to make them my business partner and acknowledge that they might know as much if not more than the decision maker!


Whereas my trying to reach that decision maker winds up being fruitless, I attempt to build rapport with that gatekeeper; maybe she can “clothesline” him and get his attention!



I prefer to solicit the help of the receptionist in determining who is the correct contact. By sounding somewhat lost, her natural instinct to help people allows her to provide more information that she might not otherwise.


For example, if you state “I was hoping you could …… me, could you tell me who handles your ……..contracts (for example)”, they tend to believe that you are lost and seeking help and tend to provide a contact name quite quickly in order to help you.


If you sound too professional and state “I would like to speak with someone in the Purchasing Department”, receptionists tend to ask questions in order to screen the call and you may not get the results that you need.


If I have a contact name, I try to sound very casual in asking for that person with a simple statement like “Hey is John in?” Once again, if you sound too professional and state “Yes…….is Mr. John Smith available today?” it may indicate that this is a sales call and they will tend to ask questions in order to screen the call.



The gatekeeper can be rather tricky. I always introduce myself as “This is Tracy with XXXXX and I am trying to reach the person in charge of Purchasing (or what dept I am seeking).


I have XXXX listed as the person in charge but I don’t think that is the correct contact”, and the receptionist will say, “You are correct. He is the President, but he has nothing to do with purchasing; you need to speak with XXX in the Procurement Department. Let me see if I can get that number for you.


Befriending the receptionist will usually get you more information than calling and asking for the department you are looking for. Having any name (even the wrong one) will get you in the door a little quicker than calling and asking for a specific title or department.



I use the first name and act as if the call is expected and we are friends. If that does not work, I will try again later and use a different tactic.



One of my best tricks to get past the gate keeper for cold calls is really simple; it’s just being honest and polite. Explain to them what you are trying to do and what your intentions are. I will admit though that there are some very stubborn gate keepers that there is just no getting past.


Deciding which tactics to use to get your foot in the door can be tricky. Use some of the tips listed above and it might ease your efforts.

Rich Enterprises Inc has a team of seasoned marketing professionals that know how to get past the toughest Gatekeepers.

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