Cold Calling- Getting Past Receptionist & Answering Machines

18 replies
I'm having trouble getting past receptionists when making cold calls, and I'm stuck on answering machines as well. Any suggestions?
#answering #calling #cold #machines #past #receptionist
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
    There are soooo many things you can do. I'll give you a couple here.

    Situation A: Gatekeeper

    Step1: Send the person you're trying to reach a "we need to talk" note / greeting card that says to expect your call in a couple of days.

    Step2: Call the office, tell the gatekeeper your target contact is expecting your call.


    Situation B: Voice mail

    "Hi John, this is Alex calling... uhm... I have a quick question that.. uhm.... only you can answer ha ha. (123) 456-7890"
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxReferrals
    One tip: Try calling very early in the day or late...oftentimes the business owner
    is around and grabs the call.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Zenert
    I have done tons of cold calling and the best way is to NOT sound formal. Use the first name of the business owner. If you don't know it - chat up the person answering the phone - make her/him your friend, empathize with them. Keep it low key, very friendly.

    Best success is straight forward when you know the first name - 'Hi - is Joe there?'
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  • Profile picture of the author ChessTrainer
    make it a warm call
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Zenert
      Originally Posted by ChessTrainer View Post

      make it a warm call
      I agree!

      The first call is often considered a success if all you do is break the ice with the gatekeeper and get the name of the 'Right Person' to talk to.

      Then next call you can ask directly for that person while chatting amiably with the gatekeeper.
      Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author JulioGarabot
    Hello, my name is ------- I am the owner of [your company] We are a marketing consulting firm.
    I would like to talk to the person in charge of marketing.


    When you say you are the owner you are putting your self at the same level as the business owner in the gate keeper mind.

    Julio
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Green
    Great ideas, thanks guys. Ill post some other things I found later when I have time. Im a bit weary of saying Im in marketing though as that seems to scare people off, you know?

    I do have emails, but it doesn't seem to be very effective. I guess I have to redo my script.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael William
    Voicemail is a goldmine if used correclty. Just make all your calls late at night (or outsource) and do nothing but VM marketing. That way you only have to talk to those interested. It all depends on how you leave the message...
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    • Profile picture of the author Adrian John
      Originally Posted by Michael William View Post

      Voicemail is a goldmine if used correclty. Just make all your calls late at night (or outsource) and do nothing but VM marketing. That way you only have to talk to those interested. It all depends on how you leave the message...
      Could you give us some examples? some tips maybe?

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author mancmusicman
    I personally dont leave voicemails

    I research who the decision maker is..and then call and say can I speak with Mr So-So please and 8 out of 10 times they put me through

    If they ask what it is about I just tell them what it is and who I am
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    • Profile picture of the author palmer9999
      Hi I have been cold calling business for little over 2 years now. What I found works really good for me is

      "Hi I was wondering could I speak to the business owner?"

      Receptionist asks
      "May I ask who is calling?"

      Reply
      " Yes its bla from bla bla they requested a call back from our company"

      It does leave you with the awkwardness then though of once you get through to the manager that they say "I never requested a call back."

      Try and smooth talk your way out of this there is various ways but at the end of the day you will talk to more people which in turn will bring more conversions!

      Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianTomlinson
    I think for cold calling it's alot easier if you sound less formal and really just have fun with it. As someone suggested as well, calling early in the morning or just after closing time is when you stand a good chance of getting the business owner on the line.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Makarski
    Here's another scripts that works well and is about offering a free consultation.

    ring ring

    "Hi, this is ______ calling, I'm the owner of a business consulting first here in town and I have a free consultation certificate that I need to send to your company. Could you help me verify the address details? Do you receive your mail at 123 Main St, Sometown? What's your (zip / postal) code? And what's the name of the owner?"

    That's it. I'd ask for the name of the owner last as this is the info they want to protect the most and are more likely to give it up if they have just given you a whole bunch of other info ("consistency" principle).

    If they start drilling you with questions about what it is that you are sending, just say...

    "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I just have here a free consultation certificate that I need to mail to your company and I hoped you could help me verify the information."
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    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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    • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
      Originally Posted by Alex Makarski View Post


      If they start drilling you with questions about what it is that you are sending, just say...

      "Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I just have here a free consultation certificate that I need to mail to your company and I hoped you could help me verify the information."
      Absolutely on the money! Great line! Gatekeepers are all about THEIR authority to keep you out. Use that desire to "know it all" to get the info you need.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    I've been a cold caller/appointment setter for 6 years. There are some good options here, but be careful of a few things and here's some additional tips.

    Never LIE to get through a gatekeeper. It's no use and IF it works, the person you get to is going to know they didn't request a call back and you are immediately on their "warning" list. Who wants to do business with anyone that lies on first contact?

    IF you are going to leave a VM, (which I don't recommend, because it is rare, more rare than a sale that someone will call you back if they don't know you) anyways, if you leave VM, do it only for the purpose of saying "David, this is Melissa with ABC company, please give me a call back at 555-5555, I'd like to speak with you about your mobile text advertising" (or whatever it is you are selling). This is ONLY to allow you to call back the next time (usually 1-3 days) and say "hey David, this is Melissa, I left you a vm the other day, I didn't hear back from you, I'm sure your busy, so I figured I'd try to catch you. I'll just take a second to refresh you and maybe we can set up a time to talk further." This lets them know you already called, and you are interested enough (not just a one time caller) to try again and actually reach them. It also gives them a chance to say "yes, I'm busy, but let's talk on ____" and bam, you have an appt.

    As for how to get past a gatekeeper in general. Call during lunch hours also (in addition to early and late as suggested earlier) Secretaries take lunch and usually have someone cover, sometimes you luck out and get the owner. You can also just be honest when they are rude. "I realize you get lots of solicitation calls, can you tell me the best way to set up a time to talk to _____ about marketing? Should I call, email or LVM for them?" This sometimes gets you into the good graces.

    Finally, sometimes, there's NOTHING you can say if they are absolutely against you talking to whoever it is and you don't have a name. Those you just mark as "gatekeeper" and keep trying your luck at random times.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author blacklisttom07
    It's my first time to come here.
    Haha,Nice to meet everybody.
    I learn from my friends that
    this forum is very interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan B Rusu
    The best way to get past the gatekeeper (which is still hard) is to know the name of the business owner personally. You can find this on the secretary of state business page for your site or jigsaw.com if the companies on there.
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