Hello! I'm your Gatekeeper!
Me: (Company Name)! This is Shannon!
Phone: Hello, this is Valerie. Can I speak with the owner?
Me: Let me see if he is available. May I tell him who you're with?
Phone: Are you the owner?
Me: No ma'am. I'd like to tell the owner who is calling.
Phone: Ok. Have a nice day. (hangs up)
Lately, I have been literally dumbfounded by some of the sales people on the other end of the line. So much so that I question has sales really changed this much since I stopped doing it full time just a little over a year ago?
When did we stop leaving messages?
Why do we make assumptions that the person on the other end of the line can't help us?
Do you have the correct name or email address for the person you want to reach?
Have companies stopped paying commission and these people simply get paid for putting their butt in a seat, a headset in their ear and making a set number phone calls?
What. is. happening?
In one of my sales trainings, I distinctly remember hearing that it takes on average six-sixteen touches before a new prospect will reach back out to you. I also learned through experience that sometimes the person that you're calling doesn't even know they need something until you call them! So if you're not leaving a message, the person on the other end of the line has ZERO clue that you're trying to get in touch with them! And - if you're selling something legit and ethical and you TRULY believe in your product, you should WANT to let them know that you're calling, right??
For my own mental clarity, I reached out to Mr. James Harper, sales expert, to see if this new strategy of "not leaving a message" was an up and coming trend in sales or something. Perhaps there is a new way of doing things that I do not know about! Confirming my instinct, I was happy to hear that I was not insane and this is, in fact, quite ridiculous! Not to mention a waste of time for the sales person.
This is the first time in my life that I have been the gatekeeper. The person who ultimately makes the decision on whether you get to talk to the person who potentially provides your paycheck or not. You should probably try and be friends with me!!
noun | gate·keep·er | \ ˈgāt-ˌkē-pər \
▼someone who has the power to decide who gets particular resources and opportunities, and who does not: