A B2B Marketing Game of Phones – 5 Tips for Getting Past Gatekeepers
Unless you’re one of the seemingly few people on the planet who’s never seen it, fantasy drama series Game of Thrones is the TV show of the moment. With millions tuning in to each episode, especially the season finale this week, and fans enthusiastically taking to social media to discuss their favourite actors, plot theories, and (spoiler alert) who’s going to die next, the show’s popularity shows no signs of fading[i].
So, what does an epic fantasy TV series have to do with B2B marketing? Well, in Game of Thrones (GoT), most of the characters are trying to get to the King, in order to sit on the Iron Throne and become the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. In B2B marketing however, the King is the decision-maker (DMC) and buyer. Your inside sales teams (telemarketing) are constantly trying to get through to the DMC in order to reach the B2B version of the Iron Throne – the DMC’s buying power. Still with us? In GoT, many have tried to reach the King, but few have been successful. And it’s the same in B2B marketing. Sales are kept from reaching DMC’s by receptionists and administrative assistants that screen the calls – individuals that are known as ‘gatekeepers’.
With the GoT season finale out in the world, we’ve put together some top tips that will help your sales and inside sales team get past these gatekeepers, connect with their prospects/leads, and have access to the full force of their B2B buying power…
1) Avoid using classic closed questions
To start with, it’s important to avoid giving the gatekeeper any opportunities to say ‘no.’ Avoid asking questions such as ‘Is xxxx available?’ and ‘Can I speak with xxxx?’
2) Don’t give the game away
Don’t let the gatekeeper know you’ve tried to contact the DMC before. Avoid phrases like, ‘I’ve been trying to get hold of xxx…’ and ‘I rang earlier for xxx – are they in now?’
3) Use an assertive tone of voice
Speak at a steady pace, and include pauses to increase your authority. Be aware of being over-enthusiastic and giving the gatekeeper your pitch – save this for the DMC.
4) Only answer the question the gatekeeper has asked you
When the gatekeeper asks ‘who’s calling?’ answer with just your name. In many cases, they won’t ask ‘what is the call regarding?’, and by using this simple technique you can be put through to the DMC quickly, and get straight into discussing business with them.
5) Consider ringing at different times
If you’ve previously found your call ‘blocked’ by a gatekeeper, make a note of it, and try ringing at a different time. Don’t overlook ringing before 9.00am, at lunchtime, or after 5.00pm, because receptions are often covered by less experienced people at this time.
In Game of Thrones, only the most authoritative and determined individuals make it to the Iron Throne – the rest are banished to the Wall. And it’s no different in B2B marketing. Gatekeepers are paid to keep you away from their bosses, and they determine whether you’re important enough to be put through. So, it’s your job to convince them that you are. Speak firmly, call at the right times, and be knowledgeable about the product you’re selling, and you’ll find yourself in front of the Iron Throne speaking to the king (or Queen) quicker than you can say ‘Winter is coming.’
For more helpful guides, trends and insights into the world of B2B marketing, visit our Downloads page, or call us on 02392 314498 to discuss your B2B marketing requirements.