I've been getting alot of questions lately as to what do I do when the Gatekeeper pushes back. Here is one of the lessons from Module VI of the MagicMethod telephone names sourcing course and I thought those of you who are interested in the subject might enjoy it.

I was calling today looking for Web Analysts in media companies and I called a company in New York and a very nice young woman named Donna answered the phone but as they sometimes do, she did not identify herself. Instead, she stated the name of the company she works for and, “May I help you?”

I took her cue.

“I hope, so, this is Maureen Sharib – I was trying to call Jeremy Black there in your office - I hit his VoiceMail, can you tell me, is there anyone else in Jeremy’s group we might try?”

“What group is he in – do you know?” she queried back.

“Yes, I do, he’s in the Integrated Marketing Solutions group and he’s a Web Analyst,” I answered with the aplomb and confidence of the information I gathered from his VoiceMail (the “Integrated Marketing Solutions group” bit – I already knew his title from LinkedIn!)

“Oh! I call them the SIM group,” she stated. I did not question why there was an S on the beginning of the acronym, rather than the end, recognizing the letters as standing for the words in the group name. She sounded like she was about to talk so I let her go on. “I can try someone else in the group, do you know anyone else?” she curiously asked me.

“You know, I don’t – does he have an Admin?” I casually asked, trying to change the subject.

“No, that group doesn’t have an Admin.” She sounded familiar with the group and I found the info that the group did not have an AA odd. “But tell you what, I can try someone else in the group for you. There’s a James Blow and a Peter Brow and a (incomprehensible foreign sounding name)... let’s try the first one, James Blow. Are you typing these names?” she asked, throwing me off-guard, surprising me and stopping my fingers.

I had been – I’ve been using a normal keyboard lately since my silent one gave up the ghost – they don’t last too long and I haven’t yet ordered my next one. Apparently she could hear the fast clickety-clack of my information gathering through my headset.

“Yes, I am,” I answered truthfully. (“Uh oh,” I thought, starting with the stinkin’ thinkin” I’m always warning you against – “Here we go – she’s going to ask me why...”)

“Do you have James’s last name spelled correctly?” she surprised me again.

“I think I do – is it B-L-O-W?” I answered.

“Most assuredly not!” she exclaimed, through her laughter. Nobody gets that one right – it’s B –L –A –U. I think it’s really important to know how to say, and spell, someone’s name right!”

“This is interesting,” I thought. “Someone after my own heart.”

“I agree, and I’m sorry I didn’t ask and I’m very glad you corrected me!” I chimed back. “It is important to say someone’s name correctly – I know my own name often gets mispronounced – I’m not really fussy about it but I know some people are – are you?” I asked her, deflecting.

“I am,” she answered. People don’t realize this, but I can recognize a lot of things on the phone...I can tell if you’re not smiling, if you’re aggravated, if you’re selling something...”

“What is your name?” I boldly asked.

“Donna. I never give my name out because people use it and say thing like, “Donna said, Donna said...”

I laughed, knowing EXACTLY what she was talking about, but I did not let on that I understood her plight
so completely.

“Oh my goodness - imagine that!” is all I offered.

Then she said, startlingly, “I’m glad you’re laughing because at first you sounded very serious...serious but polite, you told me your name right away – I appreciated that,” she remarked, “I know what you’re doing so it’s okay...”

“She knows what I’m doing?” I thought to myself. I hope not. She’s not THIS good, I hoped. I was beginning to see writing on the wall in front of me. I was uneasy and decided the best thing to do in this situation was to remain silent.

She then went on, filling the silence, to tell me, “I’ll go ahead and transfer you to James now, I’ll stay on the line to be sure he answers,” to which, I acknowledged, “Thank you so much, Donna,” wondering how much she really did know.

James’s line of course went to VoiceMail and thinking she was still on I said, “Donna?” She didn’t answer so I knew she had not stayed on the line with me so I zeroed out back to her. She answered.

“Donna, it’s me, Maureen, again – I got James’s Voicemail too!” I told her, with a slight hint of complaint. “Who else did you say was in that department?” I asked, like I didn’t already have the other name I heard when she recited them off in the beginning.

“Sorry! I didn’t stay on with you – my other line rang and I had to answer that,” she offered in way of an apology, like there was one needed.

“That’s okay, Donna,” I soothed. “Can we try someone else?”

“Sure, the next one on the list is Peter Brow – you know how to spell that?” she asked, testing me.

I could tell she took her job seriously.

“I give up! I’m not even going to attempt to try!” I teased back, breaking into a laugh.

“B-R-A-U,” she informed.

“Well, I wouldn’t have gotten THAT one right – that’s for sure!” I exclaimed, affirming her worth in the process. “Can we try him?”

“Sure – hang on,” and off I go to another VoiceMail, to which once again I listen for any clues to the keys to the kingdom. I zero back again.

“No good?” Donna asks, not even skipping a beat.

“No,” trying to sound as forlorn as possible.

“Allrighty then, let me just try Ellen...” The line goes silent as she swifts me to another VoiceMail and when I arrive back, once again, she offers, “I’m just going to go down the line, ok, hold on...let’s try Samantha...” and she sends me to Samantha.

Samantha answered, and Samantha, being one of the group, was able to detail for me what everyone’s title was and also informed me that Jeremy was the ONLY Web Analyst in the group.

My job here was done.

But this experience was different for me because it gave me a view into a real Gatekeeper’s psyche. She had strong beliefs about how communication should work and took pains to see that the process was well-oiled and functional in her organization. She affirmed for me many things I have held dear in my own process and she also demonstrated, once again, that things may not always be what you think they are. It’s best, when you’re thrown off your footing, to go quiet and watch what emerges. Nine times out of ten it’s not what you think!
This information is not to be re-published for commercial purposes in any form without my prior written permission.
Like what you just read? MagicMethod is brimming with information like this and will show you the inside tips and techniques of true telephone names sourcers! Subscribe today here.
The Book of Sourcers is ready! Get your list of 200+ sourcers now here.
NameSourcer blog.
NEW Join the SourcersGuild Ning network here.
Join the MagicMethod telephone names sourcing group here on RecruitingBlogs here.

Views: 42

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Maureen your comment about the noisy keyboard struck a chord with me. Mine is an old one - nine years old to be exact. It hasn't even come close to giving up the ghost yet but I am starting to get feedback from people that it is noisy. One candidate actually told me that it was quite distracting.

Part of the problem seems to stem from my new wireless headset which is a tad sensitive. But I was thinking of getting a newer quiet keyboard. The main criterion other than less noise for me is that it has to be ergonomic.

Anyone out there with any suggestions?
Do a search on "silent keyboard" on google. There are a lot of them being offered nowadays. When I first started using them I had to order one from Europe!
Yeah, I did a search yesterday lots of silent keyboards very few ergonomic silent ones it seems.

Reply to Discussion



All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service