B2B telemarketing and getting past the receptionist. Pic of security guard wearing headset.

B2B telemarketing success and getting past the receptionist is reliant on some key skills. None of these is more important than the ability to get beyond the dreaded receptionist, whose brief is often to just say NO, especially to the B2B telemarketing community! Unless you’re lucky enough to have a direct line to every decision maker in your call list, you’ll need to learn how to get past the ‘gatekeeper’ for your sales pitch to find its target. As the person who controls which calls get through and which are blocked, winning over the receptionist is a critical stage in a B2B telemarketing call.

Almost every salesperson will have their own methods for getting past the receptionist or gatekeeper. Blue Donkey have created a well-practiced set of techniques for navigating our way around the receptionist and getting our B2B telemarketing calls to reach the people that matter.

Speak with confidence and authority

The more confident and positive you are when you make a call, the more likely you’ll be to get put through to the person who makes decisions. Speaking with authority and confidence will help your B2B telemarketing calls come across as if you know what you’re talking about, and like you have the right to speak to the decision maker, and there’s a fair chance your confidence will mean the receptionist puts you through without asking too many questions.

You can also use visualisation techniques to increase the chances of getting through. Build an image of the receptionist in your ‘mind’s eye’ and keep this picture in your head as you make your call. This will help your voice sound confident when you’re asking for the person you need to speak with and will help to prevent your call from being blocked.

Unwitting messages are very important in B2B telemarketing, so think about what the tone of your voice communicates; if it unwittingly says, “I’m selling something and this call is not important”, there’s a good chance you’ll be blocked. On the other hand, if your voice suggests you have something to discuss that the decision maker will want to hear, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

It’s important in B2B telemarketing that we remain respectful and professional throughout this stage of the call. Don’t pretend you know the decision maker and don’t make your call out to be something it’s not, just to get through. Remember this initial call is designed to begin a business relationship, build trust and create rapport, so we always suggest you start as you mean to go on.

Don’t pitch

B2B telemarketing is generally more sophisticated and complex than other types of marketing, so even though you’ll probably need to give the gatekeeper some basic information, it’s important you don’t pitch to them. If you give them too much information, you could tempt them into making a decision on the buyer’s behalf, or even to relay your complex pitch to the decision maker instead of putting you through. As both of these scenarios lower your chances of success, keep the introduction brief and be clear that you need to be put through.

Don’t ask for the person who ‘deals with’

If you ask for the person who ‘deals with’ human resources, buying, accounts etc. you’ll probably be put through to the day-to-day administrator, rather than the decision maker themselves. B2B telemarketing only produces successful outcomes in the call is engaging the decision maker themselves. So, instead of asking for the person who ‘deals with’, at Blue Donkey we always suggest asking to speak to the person ‘responsible for’ or ‘in charge of’. This will give your pitch the best possible chance of success in reaching someone who can act on it.

Don’t leave messages

One of the key strategies in B2B sales, and telemarketing in particular, is retaining the element of control. If you leave messages on voicemail or with a receptionist, you’re giving the element of control away. If the decision maker doesn’t call you back – and the chances are they won’t – it’s that much harder for you to call again after you’ve left a message that hasn’t been returned.

When making any B2B telemarketing calls, it’s important to respect the rules of the game. Always check your data against TPS (telephone preference service) or CTPS (corporate telephone preference service) lists and ensure that your calls are consistent with best practice not mere compliance, to ensure your brand is presented in the best possible light.

To find out more about how you can improve your B2B telemarketing, or to learn how the Blue Donkey centre of excellence can boost the quality of your calls, generate new leads, or improve your customer satisfaction scores, contact a member of our team today.

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