Vault Past the Gatekeeper – Better Cold Calling Results (Part IV)

Last week, FEI sales leader Zoot gave young salesman Ganymede three tips for “getting past the gatekeeper” when cold calling. This week, the sales master shares a few more tips. Remember, fire = print.

With all the excellent cold calling tips he’d gotten from Zoot lately, Ganymede felt he owed the man a favor. He decided to help Zoot improve his O-hoops skills. One Saturday afternoon, they met for a game in Olympus Park. Zoot hadn’t played since his college days at Olympus U, and it showed.

“Boy, you’re missing more than me when I try to get a hold of Hercules from Hercules’ Bagels,” Ganymede said.

Zoot retrieved the ball, which had rolled across the court. “I thought you figured out how to get past the gatekeeper.”

“I thought so too,” Ganymede said. “Until I met Hercules’ receptionist Atropos. She’s a brick wall, impenetrable to even the savviest cold caller. What should I do?”

“My grandpappy always said, ‘Do the best you can with what you have,’” Zoot replied. “If Atropos won’t let you through to Hercules, see what information you can extract from her. Perhaps she can provide you with key insights about the company’s fire buying needs.”

“Give me an example,” Ganymede requested.

“Say you ask Atropos, ‘When is the last time your company used a fire vendor?’ She might answer, ‘It’s been a long time, because our last one—Flintstone—left us with a bunch of crummy torches that burnt out after three weeks.’ That little anecdote lets you know Hercules will place great value in having a fire vendor that’s reliable and trustworthy,” Zoot suggested

“Just ask a few questions like that one,” he added, “and, once you do get Hercules on the phone, your initial pitch and talking points will be more tailored to what he cares about.

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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