Getting your prospects on the phone is probably one of the most difficult things that you can do if their contact information isn’t publicly listed anywhere.
But, it’s not impossible.
You can still get your target on the phone if you’re following the right strategy and with a little bit of effort.
In this guide, we take a look at how we can do lead generation and prospecting using a company’s main phone line.
Do a Little Bit of Research
The first thing you have to do is do a little research. Now, they might not list their contact information down publicly but there’s a fine chance that the company website is going to list the names of their DMUs and what departments they’re in.
You want to try and pull out as much information as you can from their website as possible.
After that, run the name through LinkedIn to try and pull up any other info you can get. Knowing their previous roles, educational backgrounds and any other small tidbits can help you paint an overall picture of who they are and what they stand for.
This will help you tweak your messaging when you do get in touch with them eventually.
Take it a step further and try asking people from their old companies about them or run it through your contacts and specialized services.
You never know who might be able to get you a referral and this could be the most valuable one you get.
Related: 7 Most Effective Market Research Tools for Creating Effective Lead Generation
This Might Not Work for General Company Phone Lines
If it’s a toll-free number or the general customer service number for the entire company, then you might not have a shot.
You want to be able to get a specific departmental number or at the very least an office number where someone might be able to help you.
Find Their Extension Number
Once you get through and are talking to someone – not a machine – then you’re in the right place.
Your first best bet is trying to get their extension number if you happened to call the wrong department.
They will probably ask you why you’re trying to reach the DMU and you want to be careful with the way you phrase this. Higher-level DMUs are usually fenced and before you even get to their actual gatekeeper, there might be a lot of barriers from normal staff members.
You can simply tell them that you have urgent business with the DMUs department and politely ask how you can reach them to ask about your concern.
Getting Past a Gatekeeper
Getting their extension number is one thing, but getting past their actual gatekeeper is a whole different ball game. This is where you need to start by developing rapport.
You need to have a different script to run with a gatekeeper.
Don’t just tell the gatekeeper you want to sell their principal a solution, it doesn’t work that way. You can start by asking them what’s the best way to pitch the DMU or if they have a process for procurement.
This helps you start a conversation with them and shows you that you’re not a sleazy marketer trying to rip them off.
You can even ask them about the current needs of the organization or if they would consider a solution such as yours based on their “own” personal experience.
Keep the conversation going and try to establish a follow-up system with them. You can even ask if you can check in with them again if you have any concerns.
You need to develop a rich relationship with them, this helps you more than anything.
…Or Find the Gatekeeper’s Number
If you can’t get to the DMU, try to get in touch with the gatekeeper directly.
Gatekeepers will still have public numbers because they are still required to take in calls and screen them. This should help with your overall process.
Bonus: Try Targeting Via Digital Marketing
While talking to the gatekeeper, make sure you can get some valuable information about the prospect you’re trying to reach.
Sometimes an email is enough, even if it’s a professional one that you know will be screened by the gatekeeper.
Now, it’s just a matter of running retargeting and remarketing ads to get their attention and make sure they are aware of the brand that you have. You can use Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Twitter to get a hold of them.
Trying to reach a prospect using the main company line is actually a good practice because it shows them that you’re making an effort and that you don’t want to bother them by trying to target their personal line.
You want these characteristics of your lead generation to show up because it helps you maintain a good reputation with your prospect. This makes all the difference in your lead generation efforts.