How to Handle Gatekeepers Like an Ad Sales Pro

If you are in advertising sales there is a good chance you run in


Open! Open! Here are some effective ways to deal with gatekeepers and connect with the real decision-makers.

to gatekeepers on a regular basis.

Gatekeepers can deter and discourage the sales psyche, but don’t lose hope! Here are two ways to effectively deal with the gatekeepers that stand between you and that next sale:

The Mike Brooks Method – SAY PLEASE 

Brooks states that a gatekeeper’s job is to prevent you from wasting their time and, more importantly, their boss’ time.

Being less than transparent to get around the gatekeeper will only make it worse and send a red flag to the gatekeeper to screen you.  

Brooks suggests being polite, upfront and direct about why you are calling.

Here are his 3 rules:

  • Say please
  • Give your full name and company name
  • Use instructional statements 


·       Seller: Hello. May I talk to John Smith, please?

·       Gatekeeper: Sure.  May I ask who is calling?

·       Seller: Yes.  Please tell him Daniel Stone from Study Breaks College Media is calling regarding his Back to School Sale.

 I’ve had great success with leaving an instructional statement that is custom to the business.  You can find more scripts at or visit

The Peter Ebner Method – The Rule of 2

Peter Ebner takes a completely different approach and tells the gatekeeper as little as possible. 

Suggesting you don’t drop give-away words such as ” Daniel from Study Break College Media.” 

Instead, he suggests you drop an acronym like ” Daniel from SB.”

Better yet, Peter suggests you don’t mention the company name at all and just give your first name.

Ebner’s Rule of 2 theory states that most receptionists will make a decision after asking 2 screening questions and to respond to the gate keeper by asking a question. 


·       Seller: Hi, is Jon available?

·       Gatekeeper: Sure, may I ask who this is?

·       Seller: Daniel.

·       Gatekeeper: Daniel who?

·       Seller: Daniel Stone, is it best to reach him in the morning? 

There are many approaches out there you can try.  It’s important to experiment and use the approach that works best for YOU. Knowing how to confidently deal with gatekeepers yields results—a connection to the right person who makes the ad-buying decision.

Share with us what has worked for you on Facebook or Twitter.


-1  Daniel Stone is an Innovator and Publisher of Study Breaks Magazine, which is based in Austin, TX. StudyBreaks Magazine very successfully connects advertisers to college students in a hyper-local manner.



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