The Name Game

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In an earlier post, I mentioned how advantageous it can be to learn the name of the decision-taker and gatekeeper when approaching a new client. The question is: what’s the “easy” way to uncover this information?

Here’s how it’s done: pick up the phone, call the potential client, and ask.

The technique I use goes like this:

Me: “Hello, I’m calling from Local City Media* to update our mailing list.  Are you still at 1234 Main Street?”

Them: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Me: “And your Zip code is 12345?”

Them: “Yes.”

Me: “And who is the person that makes the final decision on your advertising?”

Them: “That would be Mr. Decision.”

Me: “And his first name is…””

Them: “Bob.”

Me: “Does he prefer Bob or Robert.”

Them: “Bob.”

Me: “And who is his assistant?”

Them: “That would be me.”

Me: “Oh, okay! What’s your name?”

Them: “Phyllis.”

Me: “Alright, thank you very much, Phyllis.”

And that’s it. You are now armed with the decision-taker’s full name, and the name of his gatekeeper. Now, the next time you call, you can comfortably say:

“Hi, Phyllis, his is Roger Ratecard from WXYZ. Is Bob there?”

You use her name immediately, which tends to disarm her, and you ask for the decision-taker by his first name, which implies you know him. You are very likely to get through without having to fight with the gatekeeper and risk immediate rejection.

*Note: be sure to use the name of your parent corporation when making the information call, not the call letters of your station. Getting the information should be a low-key, routine conversation; you’re just filling in the blanks. Also be sure to have the business address and Zip code in advance so you can offer this information for verification. It’s the way these calls actually take place.

Try it. It works!