How To Get To the Decision Maker

how to get to the decision makerAre you struggling with how to get to the decision maker when you make prospecting calls? If you're getting blocked by gatekeepers and finding yourself tongue-tied when asked, "What's this about?", this sales tactic will help.

One of the top two technical problems salespeople have when making prospecting calls is how to get to the decision maker. This is one of those skills employers incorrectly assume their sales staff have. No one has ever shown them how to do it.

Let's look at a straightforward tactic for getting the decision maker on the line. It's called the "Little Unsure" technique. The goal is to stop the traditional attacker-defender setup that typically happens when you call and a gatekeeper answers. Psychologically, if you are a little less certain than the gatekeeper, they will move to 'rescue' you. It's human nature!

The Little Unsure Technique - How To Get To the Decision Maker

Part 1: Setting it up

"Hi, I'm not sure who I should speak with. Maybe you can help me."

Give a little pause here. The gatekeeper may answer ("Sure!", and now they're locked into helping you), or they may not.

Part 2: The Ask

"I usually talk to the person who's in charge of {whatever it is that you do}. But I'm not sure who that would be there..." and trail off.

The gatekeeper will now very likely tell you who they believe that person is.

Or they may connect you, so fast there's no feedback at all--the phone is ringing again on the potential decision maker's desk.

Don't overact. In fact, don't act at all. Just be a little unsure.

Occasionally a gatekeeper may ask you, "What's this about?" at this point. Don't panic. All they want is a little confirmation to be sure they're doing the right thing. Return to a fully confident tone now:

"Well, like I said, I usually talk to the person who takes care of {whatever you do}. I help companies with that. ...Are they in?"

Usually, the gatekeeper will transfer you after this simple repeat explanation.

Occasionally you will run into an ornery, overprotective gatekeeper. That's fine. Don't take it personally; move on to your next dial. There are too many prospects out there who want to work with you to spend time trying to unlock this particular puzzle.

The "Little Unsure" technique works in helping you with how to get to the decision maker just as well in person as it does over the phone.

For this technique to work, we must get out of the head trash thinking that gatekeepers are our adversary. When you realise they are there to help you, that thought alone will turn your results around. Remember, almost all gatekeepers WANT to connect you. Give them a simple reason to.

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Jason Kanigan