Getting Past A Tough Gatekeeper Screen

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Hold hand If you are going to be successful in business-to-business sales, you must first learn to recognise a clever and sophisticated gatekeeper screen. Then you must learn how to negotiate the screen successfully to get through to the decision maker.

Here is a simple yet highly effective technique to help you get past a hard screen. Use this and increase your contact rates today!

Don’t Sound Too Professional
The gatekeeper’s job is to block unwanted or unnecessary calls from reaching the decision maker (DM). This usually refers to sales people making cold or warm calls. Gatekeepers train to recognize all kinds of sales people, from the undertrained, smile and dial telemarketer to the high-level stockbroker. Therefore, the first step to getting pass the screen is not to sound like a sales person. Your voice and tone needs to reflect that of a normal, boring, everyday business call from an associate, friend or client.

How to NOT Sound like a Sales Person
The main key to sounding more like a regular acceptable caller and less like a sales person is to make mistakes. You cannot be perfect. As a sales person, you practice your presentation and even rehearse your answers to objections. Then, after speaking to hundreds of prospects, you know exactly what you are going to say. Therefore, your speaking pattern becomes flawless. You speak faster and without a stutter or a misspoken word. In addition, you sound very sure of yourself, confident and sharp.

Be the Opposite
To get pass more gatekeeper screens, sound like the opposite of the professional sales person. Speak slower, stammer and stutter a bit. Do not sound very confident or interested. You do not want to sound like making telephone calls is part of what you do for a living. In fact, you want the GK to think that you sound so bad, that there is no way you could do this for a living.

The less professional and sharp you sound, the less of a threat you are. The less of a threat you are, the more likely you are to get pass the gatekeeper screen and through to the decision maker.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Michal Marcol at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 23 May, 2012

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