How to Get Past the Gatekeeper

The gatekeeper serves an essential purpose for any business – it helps the company they work for focus on their work and avoid sales calls. But as a salesperson, this gatekeeper prevents us from having our product or service heard by those that could buy.

How do we get past such a person? A really good gatekeeper will never allow you to get to the decision maker.

Here’s a few of my favourite methods:

1. Pretend you already have a relationship with the person you are trying to call. This can usually be done by only using a first name and avoiding the last, unless asked for. When we call our friends we don’t call them John Smith, we just ask for John.

2. Use confusion. If you already know what your pitch is, you can say it fast and have the gatekeeper believe that you’ve already had some preliminary conversations with the person you are trying to call. Confusion works best when you use quantifiable numbers, such as, “we’ve already reduced operating spend by 20% for other companies, and I need to clarify a few things with Jim to ensure we can show him those same results”

For even more tips and tricks I use check out my website at and see what others had to say about my Cold Calling Fearlessly course.

Video: 1:48

How do you get past the gatekeeper?


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  • Thanks for sharing, Kim! This is so true! This is something I use personally and that actually works! By being on the first name basis, the gatekeeper would think that you have alaready established a level of relationship with the person you need to talk to and they’d let you. Great tips!

    Brooke Harper

    • awesome, Brooke! Often times when we have our cold call talk track prepared the gatekeeper can easily throw us off that flow. What other methods do you use to get past the gatekeeper quickly?

      • Thanks for replying! Well, If I’m required to call this executive a lot, I also tend to get friendly with the gatekeeper too. Also, sometimes I act as if I was supposed to meet with the executive but was stood up and tell the gatekeeper that I’m just worried if the executive is safe because the executive didn’t show up and of course the gatekeeper would check the executive’s schedule and the rest is history.