Decision makers are bombarded by sales calls every day. Even though talking to you may only take three or four minutes of their time, the thought of having to talk to a sales person when busy is not high on their agenda.
Often times when on a cold call after you have identified yourself, the company you are with and a brief reason for your call; the gatekeeper will tell you the decision maker is busy and you will need to call back later in the day or another day. How many times have we called back to talk to the decision maker after being given a specific call back day and time and they are still not available?
Here are tips on alternate ways in reaching a Decision Maker:
Contact the Receptionist: Let the receptionist know you called earlier and was told the decision maker would be available at (Ex: 10:00 a.m.) and you are calling back. If you have called several times, ask if it’s possible to page the decision maker.
Cell Phone: If the receptionist provides the decision makers cell phone, use this as an alternate method to reach them. If you acquire the cell number by other means, I would not reach out to the contact without permission. Not everyone likes to be contacted via cell.
Direct Line: Ask the gatekeeper for a direct phone line or extension. Try to reach the decision maker via the direct number at peak times when you might catch them at their desk (first thing in the mornings, lunch time and at the end of day). These time frames will vary with professions.
Email: Email is a great tool for communication. Most decision makers have access to email via cell phone or mobile device. Emails allow contacts to respond when they are available.
The receptionist can be helpful or they can hinder your chances of getting through to a decision maker. Often time, we are not aware of the decision-making power of the infamous gatekeeper and we need to keep that in mind when talking with them.
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