I'm cold calling businesses we're interested in acquiring. Usually the phone is answered by customer service/office manager/etc. When I ask for the owner by name, I'm often asked what the call is in regards to (especially if they're trying to take a message because the owner is out).

For those that have used cold outreach to hit up ownerns, how do you respond to this?

It feels weird to me to tell an employee that I'm asking whether the owner might sell thier business. I might be freaking them out about potentialy losing their job, which may even make them hesitant to pass on the message. Or even if they do, they could confront the owenr afterwards about it and that feels like a bad way to start a relationship.

Am I overthinking this, or is there a more discreet way to get passed on to the owner that other searchers have used?