Cold Calling – Getting Past The Gatekeeper

Ring This Number: +44 (0) 1704 889325

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Over 20 years delivering international training

Trained over 20,000 delegates

Trained in over 80 countries

Delivered training in 8 languages

Courses can be CPD or ITOL Certified

Award winning trainers

Proven return on investment for increasing sales, gaining new clients, reducing costs, saving time

Real cold calling is when you call a potential client whom you have not had any previous contact (i.e. social media, website, email etc.)

There are 2 types of pure cold calls:

  1. You know the name of the person you want to speak to
  2. You don’t know who the right person is to speak to

Cold Calling Scenarios

Scenario 1:

You know their name. This is great as it makes life easier. So, we have 2 outcomes from this type of call.

  1. To be put through and speak to them direct now
  2. To get their direct number and email

You need to remember one of these 2 outcomes is your goal when you get through to the gatekeeper.

We do not want to get into a big conversation with the gatekeeper, simply to get transferred through or get direct contact details.

Remember less is more when it comes to information you give them and when talking to them in general.

Start simple “Can I speak to xxxx please”

If they ask your name, simply say it (maybe just even a first name) and no more.

Only tell them where you are calling from if they ask, and again keep it brief.

So, what if they ask “what’s it about?”

Again, you need to be brief / vague. Be firm and assertive this can help. (They can smell fear!) I normally say “its about training” – as this is not a lie.

If you get through great! Then you can go into more details with the right person.

If they are not available or refuse to transfer you, then simply say “Can you help me. I need to speak to them, so rather than me keep calling back and bothering you, can I have their email / direct line please”

Scenario 2:

You don’t know their name. This is quite different from the above scenario. Generally, the main outcome of this call is to find out their name and contact details.

You can, of course then ask to be transferred through – but I wouldn’t go in to the call expecting this. The reason I say this, is I personally like to go and research (on LinkedIn etc) a little about who I will be speaking to before I speak to them. I prefer to go in prepared.

Start the call by asking “Can you please help me. I would like to find out who deals with xxxx can you give me their name please?”

If they do this follow on by saying “that’s great thanks so much”

The  either:

Option 1: “I would like to send them some information can you please give me their email and direct line, so I am not having to bother you further”

Option 2: “would it be possible to transfer me over now so I can have a quick word with them please”

Whichever you prefer is fine – just be prepared to get transferred through!


Key cold calling tips to remember:

  • Remember less is more with the gatekeeper. You are not selling to them, just getting put through or more information.
  • Asking them to help you works well.
  • Push for direct contact details so you don’t have to deal with a gatekeep next time.
  • Call at the right times – avoid 9am, lunch time and home time. Sometimes calling early or late works – especially if you have the person’s direct line – they are not stuck in the grind of the day.
  • Don’t take anything personally – they don’t know you; they are just doing a job.
  • Finding out the name of the person you need to speak to first makes the task a lot easier.
  • It’s a numbers game: the more calls you make, the more success you will have.
  • Connecting to your prospect on LinkedIn first makes this task even easier, as you can then say you are following up from a LinkedIn conversation you have been having.


If you are interested in telesales training or comprehensive sales training, contact Sales Training International on +44 (0) 1704 889325 or email for more information. 

How to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

How to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

Leadership is not just about building the right team, having good communication skills, being able to motivate and coach them and setting the right strategy and performance targets. These are all essential leadership skills but a vital skill that many leaders over...

read more

Contact Us Here

Download Free Materials

Translate »