The Gold Call Blog

Calls With Gatekeepers 101

Just the facts…

The following call is REAL, only the name of the individual and the company they work for have been withheld to protect their innocence. 

I don’t know about you, but I sure am having my fair share of challenges reaching sales prospects on the phone. I dial over and over only to get the voice mailing greeting I’ve heard thousands of times throughout my career. “Sorry I missed your call - blah, blah, blah…” 

Seems prospects aren’t spending much time in their office anymore so we salespeople need to be strategic in terms of how we go about tracking our prospects down for a phone call.


Occasionally my call is answered by the executive assistant (a.k.a. Gatekeeper). Now I realize in advance that a gatekeeper’s job is to filter out any threat to stealing the boss’s time and attention, but gatekeepers are also a source of valuable information. So I like to ask questions…

I might add that enlisting the gatekeeper’s help in reaching the sales prospect is worth a try if you know how to go about it. “Ask and ye shall receive”. You get more bees with honey, right? 


Being nice and striking up an amusing and pleasant conversation with a gatekeeper can yield information that not only helps you make direct contact with the prospect, but it also helps you uncover information that helps you avoid wasting time chasing your prospect forever, especially if you find out that making contact is going to be impossible. That was the case with the call recording you are about to hear.


In my conversation with this particular gatekeeper, rather than “break the screen”, I decided this morning to “bond with the screen” and have a conversation - all the while asking relevant questions that might help me make contact with my target prospect. 

As you listen to the call, you’ll hear me use humor to break the ice, and ask questions to get information from the gatekeeper as to the when and where I might be able to finally speak with my sales prospect.  


The lesson to be learned from this call recording is that you should try and make gatekeepers your ally and remember that your job as a sales prospector is to get information, NOT give it away (don’t try to sell the gatekeeper). I also recommend that you don’t leave messages with gatekeepers. Simply be yourself with gatekeepers and make the goal of the call to determine the best time to call back and get your prospect on the phone.


Want to hear more recorded calls with gatekeepers? Checkout  

I’ve assembled a series of recorded conversations I’ve had with gatekeepers over the years. Aside from the lessons learned, I think you’ll find my calls with gatekeepers to be quite entertainingm - at least I hope so...

Pete Ekstrom -

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Gold Calls for Financial Advisors

Listen to me close a new sales appointment to the calendar with a sales prospect to discuss moving the current 401(k) plan over to an LPL Advisor.

My "Gold Calls for Advisors" program is a complete e-learning course and sales prospecting tool that helps financial planners and wealth management professionals get more meetings with decision-makers, build their book of business, increase the share of wallet from existing clients, and generate more referrals.

For more information visit:

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

More Business Schools Offering Sales Courses...

Did you know that there are over 200 prestigious Business Schools in the United States that are offering a direct sales curriculum w/ degree certificationThe Lubin School of Business- Pace University-New York City is now offering a sales course that teaches students how to make a successful cold call to a sales prospect over the telephone. The Lubin School's - Gold Calling Course is helping students get the real world experiences they need to land an inside or outside sales position upon graduation.

See Pace University students "PERFORM" the Gold Call Script on behalf of UPS International Shipping: The Lubin School of Business YouTube Channel

LinkedIn Connection Debate

Should one have an intimate LinkedIn professional network of just a few people OR have a mammoth sized network of thousands? The answer is - It all depends on what business you’re in and what you are using LinkedIn for. Are you prospecting? Are you job hunting or are you selling a book or some other content?

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Ray Kroc - The Process...

Have you seen the movie ‘The Founder’ w/ Michael Keaton? If you did I bet you liked it. If you haven’t - check it out on Netflix - you’ll like it too. Not only will the movie inspire you, it will also help you to understand the importance of having a process for everything you do in business.

If you don’t have a process of your own - you’ll be part of someone else’s.”

The movie is a historical look back at the early years of McDonald’s founder - Ray Kroc. At first you might think this is just a story about a guy that built a billion dollar empire selling hamburgers, but it is much more than. It’s a lesson in how to get things done right when you work the process.
Henry Ford did not invent the automobile - He perfected the process of manufacturing the automobile.

In this video clip of the movie we can see the key reason why McDonald’s is an American success story. Fast forward to 1-minute 30-seconds and you will learn more about the original process that makes McDonald’s what it is today.

To make things work efficiently, The McDonald’s Brothers brought disparate processes together and choreographed everything involved with preparing a finished product on a tennis court. Then they rehearsed it with their employees like a conductor at Carnegie Hall to make it work like clockwork.

Ray Kroc didn’t invent the hamburger. He perfected the process.  Billions served daily…

Process is difficult to come by these days. For some it’s a matter of time - they don’t have any. Here’s the irony - the reason your average person doesn’t have enough time is because they lack a process. They go about things “willy nilly” and wind up never having time for much of anything. They are simply too busy working to make any money.
Feeling stressed out and frustrated that you can’t get things done? Are the things you want most in life basically out of reach? It’s probably because you don’t have an established process for your sales career or business.

Manage your time or time will manage you”!

Next step - Why not take a step back and analyze what you’re doing before jumping into it? Set goals first and then set a time limit for achieving the stated objectives. I guarantee that once you get a better sense of process you’ll find the time you never thought you had to get more things done and enjoy more of what you really want to do.

Those that work the process will await the result in peace”.

Can't Get Your Foot In The Door?

One reason why you’re not getting your foot in the door is because you're having trouble making spontaneous conversation with complete strangers like sales prospects.  I know, you think you’re terrific, but your prospects think otherwise - really.

Years ago I began taking a completely different approach when speaking with gatekeepers and sales prospects. In my mind I’ve got nothing to lose by calling, and I always expect rejection and some degree of resistance in advance. You might say that I’m a worst case scenario player. Whenever I make a cold call to a sales prospect I expect the worst outcome and hope for the better. - when something good happens I’m pleasantly surprised. 
I manage to stay even-keeled with prospects on the phone because I stick to a planned framework of making conversation with both gatekeepers and sales prospects. My conversations avoid the ad hoc “sales talk” and they place more of an emphasis on getting to the point and asking prospects the key business questions that make it easier for prospects to tell me truth.
If you can handle the truth - you will pursue it.

The following recorded phone conversation you are about to hear is a call I made to a company president to see if I can get a scheduled sales call to the calendar on behalf of my client. First, I encounter the “gatekeeper” and you will hear me apply a sense of humor to get my call transferred to Natalie - the company president. When Natalie answers the phone I then try to build some rapport and then move the conversation to main reason I’m calling. (Listen to Natalie’s tone of voice and response to my call - what does it tell you?)

I wish I could say that I landed the sales appointment, but that’s NOT the reason why I’m submitting this post for your perusal. How you get to “No” in conversation has a lot to do with how you get to “Yes”.
Making good conversation and ‘breaking the ice’ with gatekeepers and sales prospects is an art form. In business today you don’t make sales calls you perform them! Your mastery of performing spontaneous conversation will take you places in business you never dreamed of.
So… Dare to be different - you’ve got absolutely NOTHING to lose!

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Close The File?

You know the story - The prospect you thought you had ‘in the bag’ cannot be reached for follow up. For some reason they have disappeared - they’ve gone ‘dark’. They are off the radar. And by now you probably get the feeling that you’re not going to close the sale. Sound familiar?


These days getting prospects to make a decision is like herding cats and chasing pigeons. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, some prospects just seem to “fly away” for no apparent reason, never to be seen or heard from again.


Here’s the worst part… You keep calling and leaving messages and sending e-mails - none of which are returned. Time to get frustrated? No way - no how! You still have one more shot to take before you throw in the towel. It’s called suggesting to: “Close the File”


I have an M.I.A. prospect I’m working on right now. This prospect was a referral from a client and I was told he had genuine interest. I was given contact information, copied on e-mail, and a formal introduction was made by my client. Guess what? My so called prospect has not returned ANY of my calls or e-mail messages. Figures…

So… This morning I decided to take one more shot and sent a carefully crafted "Close the File" message to my “prospect”. Having done so, I feel much better.  At least I tried and I take credit for that. Now I’m on to my next sales prospect leaving the past behind.


Making the suggestion to “Close the File” may seem like a paradox at first, and may make you feel like you’re doing the wrong thing. You’re not! 

As a sales professional you must be objective at all times and face the facts. Some things are just not meant to be. So, if things are not meant to be, you simply want to know that as soon as possible so you don’t waste valuable time, and run yourself ragged trying to make something happen that wasn’t meant to happen in the first place.
The good news is that sometimes your sales prospect will reply back asking that you don't close the file, and then you're back in the 'game' again, only this time you have more control over the proceedings. 
As for how best to suggest “Closing the File” here’s a message I sent to my M.I.A. prospect this morning.


Hello Steve,

Here’s why I’m writing you today… In mid-December I received a message from Cliff _____ through an associate of his, Michael _______ (both clients of mine). Cliff and Mike asked that I follow up with you to discuss what I might do to help you find your way to new business via LinkedIn. To that end, I have tried to reach you via e-mail and I have left a few phone messages - none of which have been returned. That’s OK - I understand that some people are not interested in pursuing new clientele through LinkedIn.

I’m just hoping that’ll you’ll do me a big favor and let me know if you’re not interested in speaking with me. That way I don’t have to continually call you, listen to your voice mail greeting, and leave more messages, and generally make a pest of myself. If you don’t have interest today, perhaps you will in the future, at which time I’d be more than happy to speak with you and see where we may have a fit. That said, if you’d like me to “close the file” because you’re not interested, feel free to let me know. I can take it, although reluctantly.


Thank you for your attention - I hope our paths cross someday!


Never Assume Anything!

noun: assumption; plural noun: assumptions; noun: Assumption
1. A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

Submitted for your perusal. The call recording you are about to hear is a call I had with a telephone sales rep the other day. This call recording sheds light on a common mistake many salespeople make when they speak to prospects on the phone - they make “assumptions”. The sales rep you are about to hear assumed I knew what he was talking about.
What the heck is OSHA? Do I need one?

“Assumptions” are usually wrong as this salesperson clearly demonstrates. Because I didn’t understand what this sales rep was talking about I decided to offer some advice, thus creating a fine Gold Call Lesson on how to avoid making “assumptions” on sales calls to prospects. Enjoy…

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

What 'Stinks' About This 'Elevator-Pitch'?

This particular call a sales rep had with a sales prospect ‘smells’ on several levels, but I do give our telemarketer some credit. She has a nice disposition and knows how to take things in stride even when the prospect objects. She doesn’t collapse under pressure. That’s half the battle…

She also knows how to recite her ‘elevator-pitch', that is up until the time when she encounters an objection from the sales prospect, then it falls apart.

So tell us - What ‘stinks’ about this ‘elevator-pitch’?

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

My Prospect Didn't Show Up!!

Have you ever been “left at the altar” by one of your sales prospects? Who hasn’t? 

It used to make me seethe with anger, but now I’m looking at it differently. It may actually be a good thing!


We all hate whenever we work hard to get a sales appointment scheduled, do our best to confirm, and then without notice, our prospect either cancels last minute, or they don’t even show up on the conference call bridge. I had such an occurrence this morning…


A couple of weeks back I received a referral from a client of mine - a CEO of a tech company in Chicago. We exchanged e-mails, spoke on the phone for a bit, and then we decided to schedule a conference call to the calendar with a couple of other people interested in my services.


Despite my sending a calendar invite, a web meeting invite, coordinating and confirming with the CEO’s executive assistant, and confirming again the day before with another web meeting invite and an e-mail to the CEO’s executive assistant - guess what? My prospect didn’t show up! 

The good news is that it wasn’t the end of the world for me. I actually felt I was moving closer to closing the deal and getting a new client, and that being jilted by my prospect was actually a step forward. Here’s my take on things…

Things happen and you need to be patient with prospects. Despite being “left at the altar”, there could be a very good reason for the “no-show”, and your prospect will feel as if they owe you more “benefit of the doubt” and consideration next time around when you re-schedule the appointment. I absolutely love it when a sales prospect is “on their knees begging for forgiveness”. It gives me a lot more latitude to work with and I know that any mistake I might make won’t work too much against me. Here’s the key benefit when prospects don’t show up - you get an IOU. 


The next time a prospect fails to show for the meeting or the conference, don’t get mad - be glad. Something good is going to come out of it if you play your cards right. For example: Remember to send a message or leave a voice mail apologizing that things didn’t work out and express an understanding that things come up and hope that there will be an opportunity for the two of you to re-schedule if your prospect is still interested. 

Don’t get mad and take your prospect “behind the woodshed” and teach them a lesson. While taking revenge might make you feel better, it won’t put any money in your pocket or advance your business - so why bother? 

"Stage Fright" On Sales Calls?

"Stage Fright" noun: Nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience.
It really doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business, we all experience “stage fright” to some degree whenever we try and assert ourselves in conversation with complete strangers like sales prospects.

It’s been said that the number one phobia people have is the fear of public speaking. Care to guess what the #2 phobia is? Death… Which means that most people would rather die than speak publicly or talk to complete strangers. Jerry Seinfeld parodied public speaking best - “If public speaking were a funeral, most people would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy”.

If you are in a sales career then you've probably recognized your “stage fright” on sales calls. The anxiety begins to set in before you even pick up the phone or walk into a sales meeting. What could go wrongWhat if I screw up? You play out the circumstances of a failed performance in your mind before you’ve had the chance to utter the words, “Hello my name is…”  

“Stage Fright” is self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you’ll screw up - you will.

Imagine yourself as a high-wire act in a circus. While you are walking the high-wire, if you frequently look down and see no net and begin thinking about how hard the fall will be from 50ft. up, and how many broken bones you’ll suffer, do you actually think you’ll make it safely to the other side?

Some Advice To Help You Lose Your “Stage Fright” On Sales Calls:
1) Realize that you’ve got nothing to lose - You only fail if you do not try...
2) Don’t “Wing it” - Have a prepared dialogue syntax committed to memory.
3) Perform. A Lot. - Practice makes perfect
4) Join Toastmasters - Find a club near you -

If you are experiencing a sense of “stage fright” on sales calls it’s probably because you are totally unprepared with what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. 

If you prefer to be an ad hoc speaker you will undoubtedly be battling "stage fright" throughout your entire career in business. The unprepared mind IS NOT a confident mindset, and is susceptible to failure at 10 times the rate of someone who is prepared. 

Lose Your “Stage Fright” On Sales Calls With The Gold Call Script
The Gold Call Script takes into account the fact that most everyone struggles to break the ice with complete strangers, like sales prospects. The Gold Call Script-Builder Kitwill make it easier for you to break the ice with those inattentive and impatient sales prospects you encounter along the way. Thanks to The Gold Call Script - you can have a breakthrough moment with just about anyone. 

Listen to some recorded examples
of how to break the ice with your sales prospects. 

"I Don't Use A Call Script" - Yes You Do!

When asked about Cold Calling and the use of call scripts, many salespeople I speak with tell me that they don’t script their Cold CallsYes they do...

Unbeknownst to many salespeople, they do in fact have a sales call script they use everyday - it's in their head.

While they may not be reading from a written script when calling prospects, they do have a 'script' in mind, and typically say whatever comes to mind when they make a sales call. In other words - they Wing It.


Winging It in conversation with sales prospects is risky and can be dangerous - similar to walking a Circus High-Wire without a net. One false move - lose your balance - and down you go!


If you are Winging It you should be aware of the fact that the first impression you give of yourself to prospects is formed inside of 5-seconds. In a 'blink of an eye' your choice of words and the sound of your voice form the first impression you give to your sales prospects. You need to be careful...

There are NO second chances at making a great first impression!
Saying things like, “Ummm”, “Uhhhh”, "Got a minute"?, talking too fast or talking too much all create the wrong first impression, and confirms to your prospect that YOU are someone to avoid. Is that how you want to be perceived?

Don't Wing It...

Ad-hoc gibberish, improper grammar, incorrect vocabulary, run-on sentences, and closed-end questions ruin your chances of success not long after you say, "Hello, my name is..."


Making direct contact and having meaningful conversations with prospects is hard enough as it is these days without your making it harder on yourself with poorly exected dialogue.

May I suggest that you make a concerted effort to properly calibrate and coreograph how you are speaking to sales prospects? It’s more important to your success than you may think. 
Just because you like how you sound and what you are saying doesn’t necessarily mean that someone else does

Learn how to speak to your sales prospects in the Modern Era.
Check out:


I Like Being Told “NO” - And “NO” I’m Not Crazy…

I heard back from a sales prospect today saying that he wasn’t interested in doing business with me. Why am I not ready to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge or the Empire State Building? Because I have closure. In my ‘book’ it’s better to know where things stand instead of guessing. 

Sure it hurts at first when I hear prospects tell me “No”, or something to that effect. I’m initially disappointed and at times I feel a sense of failure - but I recover quickly - thanks to the newfound value I discovered being told “No” by a sales prospect. The word “No” can actually be a benefit. 


A quick “No” is a benefit because it will save you time and the cost of accrued frustration. A band-aid hurts a lot less when it is removed quickly. The slow pull of the band-aid hurts like hell. So… if the answer is “No” better to find that out quickly and move on to the next sales prospect instead of slowly grinding your way over time to an eventual “No” you could have gotten weeks ago. Why prolong the ‘suffering’? If it’s going to be a “No” - better to get it over with quickly. Tear off that ‘band-aid’!


Don’t be afraid to seek out a “No” from your sales prospects. I do it all the time and I feel so much better for it, and so will you! 

Having trouble getting an answer from a sales prospect? Try going for “No” and see what happens. No matter the outcome - you’ll feel much better with closure.


Here is a recording of a recent conversation I had with a prospect on the phone that demonstrates a simple sales tactic to help you Go for "NO"!

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Exactly What To Do After Someone Views Your LinkedIn Profile...

LinkedIn. It’s a powerful platform that connects you with millions of professionals across the globe. Blah, blah, blah. Sure, that’s amazing and all—but, it’s not even close to my favorite part about this networking tool.

What’s the very best thing about LinkedIn? You already know the answer. It’s easy: The fact that with just one click of a button you can see exactly who’s been creepin’ on you at any given point in time. And nothing makes me transform into Nancy Drew faster than when someone anonymous takes a gander at my perfectly quantified bullet points.

Obviously, those people that looked at your profile were intrigued by something about you, meaning you have a captive audience right at your fingertips. The "Who’s Viewed Your Profile" section is quite literally a treasure trove of strangers just waiting to blossom into full-blown connections.

But, there’s only one problem: Most of us never actually do anything with the information that’s there. Instead, we take a quick scroll through those names, think, "Huh, I wonder what she wanted!" and then move on with our days.

Well, no more, my eager-to-network friends! This sneaky feature is quite literally the crown jewel of LinkedIn. So, it’s time you start leveraging that wealth of knowledge.

"That sounds great!" you’re thinking to yourself, "But . . . uhhh . . . how?" Whether you’re currently hunting for a new gig or are just looking to meet some new people, I’ve got the details on exactly what you should do when someone takes a look at your profile—so that you can start using that information to your advantage.


So, you’re on the lookout for a new opportunity you can dive into. Well, LinkedIn is about to be your new best friend. The people who take a look at your page could very well be the connection you need to an awesome company that’s currently hiring.

When a hiring manager views your profile:You scroll through those names and then immediately gasp with excitement! The hiring manager (or the department head, etc.) for that job you recently applied for looked at your profile—that must be a good sign, right?

Yes, that’s definitely a good sign. You can breathe a sigh of relief that he or she was interested enough in your materials to dig in a little further. But, when it comes to what you should do next, your best bet is to just remain patient.

Don’t let your excitement tempt you into immediately sending an overly eager (read: pesky) message and connection request. Instead, accept that this was likely just another step in the hiring process. If you haven’t heard anything about the job or hiring timeline in a couple of weeks? Well, at least you have the name of someone you can personally follow up with—rather than using that generic email address.

When someone from an awesome company views your profile: You don’t recognize the name or company of that person who took a look at your page. But you did some digging and found out that he actually works for a really awesome employer—an employer that you now want to work for yourself.

First things first, visit the "Careers" page for that company and see if they’re currently hiring for any positions that fall in line with your experience. If so, pull your materials together and apply!

Then, head back to that person’s profile and send a personalized connection request. It doesn’t need to be anything overly complicated. Something simple like this should do the trick:

Hey John,

Great to connect with you here!

I see you work as a Project Manager at Company X. I recently submitted my application for an open Account Executive position there, and am looking forward to finding out more about the opportunity—it seems like an awesome place!




You’re not seeking a traditional full-time job. However, you are hoping to bring in a few extra side projects to refine your skills and boost your monthly income. As a freelancer myself, I can tell you that LinkedIn can be an absolute hotbed for landing extra work. And I’ve used the list of who’s viewed my profile numerous times to my advantage.

Of course, you want to be somewhat selective—meaning you don’t need to send a personalized message to every single person who appears in that section. However, if you see someone that interests you, go ahead and reach out!

"But, what on earth do I say?" you’re likely thinking to yourself now. Don’t panic—a simple introductory message will do just fine. This is just the start of your conversation. Your only goal here is to have your connection request approved, so that you can send longer messages than the 300 characters that LinkedIn allows when sending an invitation. Here’s an example:

Hi Susan,

I hope you’re doing well!

My name is Kat, and I’m a Midwest-based freelance writer. I see you work for Company Z. I’ve admired their work for quite some time, so I thought I’d connect with you here!

Looking forward to keeping in touch, Susan.




You’re not eagerly searching for a new job, and you have enough on your plate already—so, no side gigs for you, thank you very much. Instead, you’re hoping to just use LinkedIn to make some new connections and grow your web of professional contacts.

This is just the start of your conversation. Your only goal here is to have your connection request approved.

Well, LinkedIn was quite literally designed for this purpose—but, you’ll really only see awesome results if you’re willing to put in a little of the legwork. So, if you see someone in the "Who’s Viewed Your Profile" section that piques your interest, it’s definitely beneficial to reach out with a personalized connection request.

Luckily, these types of messages are the easiest to send, as there’s no pressure involved—you aren’t expecting anything other than an accepted request and perhaps a friendly conversation.

Start by perusing that person’s profile to see if you have anything in common (like the same alma mater or the fact that you both volunteer for animal rescues). After you’ve identified that, a simple introduction like this one should help to start things off on the right foot and lay the groundwork for a beneficial connection:

Hey Philip,

Hope you’re having a great week!

My name is Kat, and I’m a Midwest-based freelance writer. I’m always looking to expand my network of contacts (especially with fellow UWM alumni—go Panthers!), so I’d love to connect with you here.

Looking forward to keeping in touch and finding ways to help each other out, Philip.



There you have it—your comprehensive guide to what you should do when someone views your LinkedIn profile.

Again, there’s no law stating that you have to craft the perfectly polished, personalized message to absolutely every single person that takes a gander at your page—that could get exhausting in a hurry. But, if you notice someone who you think could benefit your career, it’s definitely worth it to gather your courage, fire off a message, and kick start a relationship.

After all, the old cliché is true—you never quite know who you’ll meet.

Crazy Eddie Antar - Marketing Genius...

Crazy Eddie Antar died this past Saturday at age 68. Younger people may not recognize the name Crazy Eddie or Eddie Antar, but in the late 1970’s and into the 80’s everyone knew Crazy Eddie. His commercials were on TV every single day and his prices were IN-SAAAANE!!

Crazy Eddie was an electronics retail chain in New York City and sold the same consumer electronics as just about everyone else, but Eddie Antar launched a marketing blitz that crushed the competition with his creative genius - enter former WPIX-FM radio host Jerry Carroll - a.k.a. TV pitchman. 

Jerry Carroll’s ranting and raving about appliances and whatnot, and his absolute guarantee that Crazy Eddie will NOT be undersold helped make Eddie Antar a very rich guy. His delivery was priceless!

Crazy Eddie proved forever that what you sell is not as important as how you sell it to the public.



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