This is a great thread with some excellent replies.
Of course no sales call is ever the same, but its essential to always be polite, yes even to those gatekeepers who keep blocking you.
I have a sales force that I manage and I also get cold called a lot. So I sit on both sides here.
Only last week I was calling a prospect when a very snobby gatekeeper (it was in Britain and us Brits can really get snobby when we want) and she asked me `what the nature of the call was` in a very condescending fashion.
I was basically very honest with her and said ` we provide Company X (who are a household name in the same industry) with X services and I wanted to introduce our company to you and demonstrate how we are making great revenues for Company X and how we can generate the same for you`
Some gatekeepers wont get it and fob you off but the fact I was able to mention such a big name (and it was true because us sales guys dont lie right!) meant she had to mentally change her attitude and she actually put me through to the correct dept. Had I been arrogant back, or tried to hide the fact I was a salesman I dont think I would have got anywhere.
In my experience most cold calls I get are about advertising. I think its these kinds of calls that are being screened, so I take my hats off to you advertising guys because it must be a tough sale.
Following on from that whenever I get a cold call, I always listen to those who bother to introduce themselves and ask me if I have a moment. If I get a cold call and they steam straight into the pitch then I am absolutely not interested - so bear that in mind as well.