When the gatekeeper asks something like, “What is this in reference to?” you ask them for their help. Your four magic words are simply “I need your help”. You will then use the same basic process that is used when speaking to a decision maker, you deliver your value proposition and begin to ask questions. You deliver your value proposition so that the gatekeeper knows that your reason for calling the decision maker is compelling. The questions you ask the gatekeeper are designed to gather information that will enable you to find alternate ways to get through to the decision maker. Sometimes they are designed to learn more about the decision maker.

Your entire goal is to win on the margins. Getting to one extra decision maker per day is five a week, 20 month and 240 at the end of the year. The reason why ‘I need your help” will help you to do that is because people like to help other people. Asking for their help appeals to their nobler motives.

Your opening line will sound something like this:

Good morning. This is Steve Johnson with the Next Level for Bill Smith please.

After the opening line you have eliminated the two questions the gatekeeper will ask which are: who are you and what company are you with. The next question they typically ask is something like:

What is this in reference to?

That is when you will use the four magic words “I need your help”. Then state your value proposition and ask for the decision maker. If they are not available, you will begin to ask the gatekeeper questions to gain more information. It might sound something like this.

I need your help. We work with wealth management firms helping them to increase the first-year retention rate of new trainees.  Is Bill Smith in right now?

If the decision maker is not available your goal is to ask questions to determine alternate ways to contact them that do not entail interacting with the gatekeeper. It might sound something like this.

What is the best way to get in contact with Bill? Does he prefer email, cell phone or does he have a direct dial extension?  

If you are unable to determine an alternate way to contact the decision maker you can then ask

What is the best time to reach Bill?

I have learned that many times the best time to reach the decision maker is early, at lunch or late in the day when the gatekeeper potentially is not there. I have also found that when I contact a decision maker at these times, I develop street cred with them because I am grinding. They appreciate the work ethic.

Finally, I end every call by asking the gatekeeper for their name. I have found that by doing this I can establish rapport with the gatekeeper and, if I am politely persistent with my attempts to get through to the decision maker, it can increase my chances of getting access.

I close the call by thanking the gatekeeper for their help. Remember a little difference can make a big difference. Through asking the gatekeeper the four magic words “I need your help”, you will get through to more decision makers, set more meetings and create more opportunities. Using “I need your help” will not get you through to every single decision maker every single time. But what it will do is improve your chances for success.

What to do? Take a yellow sticky note out right now and write “I need your help” on it and place it right above your phone. The time is now!!