How to get past a receptionist
Often I am asked how to get past a receptionist – as this is seen as the crux of why a lot of telemarketing campaigns don’t work. Well…this 3 point plan will make sure you get the receptionist to help you instead of block you.
- Do your research and find the name of the person you think you want to speak to. If you go in cold asking for “the person who is responsible for” then his or her automatic switch flips in their head which says “this is a sales call, they won’t want to take this!” even if the contact in fact does. If you go in asking for someone, their brain assumes you’ve spoken to them before as you know who you need. If you are not prepared to spend the time finding the right person yet then don’t bother calling as it WILL NOT WORK!
- Treat that receptionist with RESPECT. In SMEs you’d be surprised the number of receptionists that are related to the boss. They are the very first port of call. On top of that you’re human and they’re human. If you expect them to block you, they will because the approach you’ll take on the phone may well be harsher and more condescending that you think. That’s human nature too, you can’t help it – think of it this way – if you have a problem neighbour then every time you see them you think “oh God, you’re doing my head in” then it’s most likely that whenever you see them there will be a conflict. We all have to take responsibility for our part in a two way interaction. It is possible that even though you think you’re being OK, if you recorded yourself and listened to how you spoke you wouldn’t be happy with how you spoke to that stranger.
- Get her on side. You can’t get past her, but you CAN get HER TO LEAD YOU to where you want to go which is much more powerful and effective! If you try to sneak past, he or she will throw out their arms and say “excuse me, but where do you think you’re going?” HOWEVER if you get him or her on side it’ll work much better. Some examples are:
- Ask them for the truth about the situation with calling the person you’re asking for. Don’t be afraid to say “is he normally ok to take calls? should I email him first?” and do whatever she says.
- Appreciate that you know they’re just doing their job.
- Show your human side – for example, if I stumble on asking for the right person I’ll say “put your teeth in” to myself and then they laugh, or I say I clearly need another coffee as my son kept me up (they’ll then ask about my son and we’ll engage in a nice conversation on a human level and then she’ll tell you what you need to know.
- Sometimes they’re there to do a job of blocking you – let her, and ask her the best way to get to speak to the boss. If there isn’t one then you’ll have to accept you need to move on.
This 3 point plan will ensure you get the best result from EVERY call if you follow it to a tee. If you would like more help with this, I offer training and can take you through and coach you on how to improve your skills in getting past receptionists.