Many sales and business professionals feel that gatekeepers are the bane of their existence, but complaining about them or giving up is the wrong approach. Instead, the most successful sales professionals think of creative ways to get around the gatekeeper and sometimes even leverage the gatekeeper as a resource. In this blog, we cover some of the best tactics for working with and getting around gatekeepers.
Who is the Gatekeeper?
There are two ways you can look at this situation: Gatekeepers may be deemed a stumbling block when the individual themselves may be unfamiliar with the company’s organizational structure. These gatekeepers may also be unfamiliar with the company’s vision, mission, values, and brand, making your job as a salesperson more difficult.
On the other hand, gatekeepers act as a screening tool, carefully sifting out any deals or interactions they deem non-viable to go through to their higher ups. They act as a shield, keeping away any unwelcome distractions or potential time wasters that would otherwise divert their attention away from their primary obligations. They are the ones who establish a positive or negative image and the subsequent customer experience.
Getting past a Gatekeeper
Gatekeepers are bombarded with countless salespeople throughout the day. To them, you could just be another distraction the decision-maker doesn’t need to hear. So, what’s the solution? Keep these next few things in mind–they could help you get around a gatekeeper later down the line.
Be Respectful: Respect the receptionists, assistants, and phone operators. They are the first contact with sales teams, so it’s essential to be polite. Getting angry or nasty will blow your chances of getting the sale. Be kind and express your gratitude for their assistance, whether or not they connect you with their supervisor.
Be understanding: Show them that you understand and relate to where they are coming from. The best way to get anyone to open up is by making them feel at ease and that they can trust you! Show some empathy. You do this every day when studying and trying to understand your target prospects better. Therefore, it shouldn’t be challenging to do the same with gatekeepers.
Research: Thanks to the rise of technology, clients and salespeople can now communicate directly through social platforms such as LinkedIn. It also happens to be a gold mine for information that will benefit you when dealing with the gatekeeper in sales.
Confidence is key: When you sound apprehensive or stressed, you raise red flags right away. Maintain a relaxed demeanor, speak slowly and authoritatively, and provide only the information required. If the gatekeeper thinks you’re important, they’ll be less likely to pry for information.
Need more Information?
There are plenty of great tactics out there – the video below covers a couple more that can be helpful if implemented correctly.
For more great tips on improving your sales strategy and growing your business check out our Talent, Sales, & Scales Podcast here.