Telemarketing tips: 5 tips for getting past the gatekeeper


If you are involved in either telemarketing or sales industries, you would have come across a gatekeeper. They are people who are typically receptionists or secretaries who are tasked with the job to filter through who is important enough to speak to their boss, the decision maker. Here are 5 top tips to help you get past the gatekeeper.


1.  Build a rapport

When speaking to a gatekeeper it is vital to build a rapport with them, by getting personal and friendly and generally building a relationship with them, they are more likely to put you through you to the decision maker. A top tip is to note down the gatekeepers name and start addressing them with their name frequently in the conversation, or when you next ring back to add more of a personal touch.

2.  The gatekeeper has a wealth of knowledge

Often the gatekeeper is full of advice and knowledge that could be useful to you. By asking them to clarify some information such as if the decision maker is, in fact, the right person you need to talk to, or if there is someone else appropriate you can talk to can help you not to waste time at a later date. This will also help you build a picture of the structure of the company which can help you when making the appointment or sale.

3.  Sound senior & be confident

Usually, when people think you are important they will treat you differently, by using a confident, relaxed tone and being articulate, the gatekeepers are proven to divulge more information and are less likely to probe what the call is about. A tip to do this effectively is to say “Hi is Sarah there?” Rather than “Hi this is Greg calling from XXX I am looking to speak to Sarah, is she available?”

4.  Don’t sell to the gatekeeper

While the gatekeeper holds power over whether you can speak to the decision maker or not, they do not hold any of the decision making control. So often when the gatekeeper asks what the call is regarding, it is best if you do not try and sell the product or service to them because you will be simply wasting your time and it may irritate them, which could ultimately affect your chance of reaching the decision maker at a later date.

5.  Call during off hours

 With some prospects you may have tried several times but still are not getting past the gatekeeper or keep being told they are busy during the day. However, a good tactic is to ring them during off hours such as early morning or in the evenings. By doing this you have more of a chance to speak to another gatekeeper who may connect you with the decision maker or even take you to their voicemail.


Telemarketing and sales is a unique skill that is cultivated over time and experience, so often what works for some may not work for you. However, these 5 tips for getting past tricky gatekeepers will lay a foundation for you to develop your own approach.

If you are having no luck with these tips on getting past gatekeepers, don’t hesitate to contact us at JEM to see if we can use our expertise to help your business, and get your telemarketing journey on track!

To find out more about how telemarketing can help your business and what telemarketing services we offer, then please call us on 01933 271717 or visit our website here.

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