How To Get Past A Telephone Gatekeeper

What You Say If The Person You Want To Speak To Is On The Phone

Here’s a business etiquette tip that will help you avoid playing telephone tag.

It is a marvelous way to get past gatekeepers, and speak directly to decision-makers.

If the gatekeeper–secretary, administrative assistant, or his/her colleague–tells you: “Mr. Thompson is on the phone” or “Mr. Thompson is in a meeting,”  here’s what you say.

“I’ll be willing to hold if Mr. Thompson wants me to.  Is there any way you can let him know?”

This tactic won’t work every time, but it does work often enough for you to try it.  The reason is that every time you miss talking with your target individual—unless he/she is a close friend—you reduce your chances of ever getting through.

If this tactic seems overly aggressive, bear in mind that Mr. Thompson’s  call may be winding down, or it may not be an important call.  And the “meeting” Mr. Thompson is in may not be all that important.  In fact, Mr. Thompson may appreciate an excuse to end the call or get out of the meeting

So go ahead and experiment with this approach.  One of our writers tried it recently. The  secretary sent her boss (who was on the phone) a text and he took the call. Bingo!

If the tactic works only one time out of every three or four, it’s worth trying.

And one more business etiquette tip.  Make a note of the gatekeeper’s name, if he/she complies with your request, and express your appreciation:  “Thank you Linda for being so helpful.”

This tip about business telephone etiquette will prove to be a time saver, will result in more success reaching target individuals, less time playing tag

If you’d like to learn more time savers like these, we recommend “Time Tactics Of Very Successful People.”

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Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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