If you’ve ever tried to get in touch with a busy person, you know how frustrating it can be to run into roadblocks. The first line of defense is often the gatekeeper – whether it’s an assistant, colleague, or even an automated voice menu. Here are some tips on how to get past the gatekeeper and make a lasting impression.
Who is a Gatekeeper in Sales?
Before we learn how to get past the gatekeeper, let’s first look at who a “gatekeeper” is in the business world.
A gatekeeper is a person who screens salespeople before they speak to company owners or leaders. They listen to a salesperson’s material and determine if it is worthwhile for the company.
They typically work in large, corporate environments where they review sales pitches to determine whether they’re worth pursuing.
The gatekeeper is the person who controls whether your company will approve your sales materials. They are the first person you contact when trying to sell your product, and their job is either to set up an appointment with you or to tell you that the company is not interested.
They include things like:
- Spouses or relatives
- Secretaries or Personal assistants
Is Gatekeeping a Bad Thing?
There are two ways we can look at this issue:
If an employee is blocking you from speaking to their supervisor, it may help to keep in mind that they may be inexperienced or new to the company. They could also be unfamiliar with how the company is structured. In these instances, asking to speak with their manager or a more senior person can be helpful.
These receptionists may not be familiar with your company’s mission statement, vision, and core values, making your job harder.
On the other hand, gatekeepers can be seen as screening tools. They carefully assess deals and interactions to determine which ones are worth passing on to their seniors. This helps to save time and energy by filtering out any non-viable options.
Gatekeepers keep people focused and on task. They prevent people from wasting time on things that aren’t important.
They play a pivotal role in establishing a company’s image and customer experience – positive or negative.
How to Get Past the Gatekeeper
Here are some helpful hints for avoiding getting hung up on by receptionists:
Be polite to the receptionist. They are the first point of contact for salespeople, so you must treat them respectfully.
Being polite will get you far. Even if the person you’re talking to can’t connect you with their manager, be nice to them and express your gratitude for their time.
The best way to connect with someone is by showing them that you truly understand their place. They will feel more inclined to open up to you by letting them know that you care about them.
Be empathetic. You always do this when researching and better understanding your target audience.
So, it should be easy to send the call to a gatekeeper.
Don’t pitch to the reception even if you think you won’t get through. They are unlikely to have any say in the final decision.
If the person you are trying to reach does not face the same challenge, they are less likely to understand the value of your solution.
Thanks to the rise in social media, clients can now communicate with their salesperson directly through platforms such as Linkedin. This is the perfect opportunity to do background research on the person you’re trying to reach to bypass the gatekeepers.
If you need a way to compile all the information collected during this task, consider using data collection software. This can make things a lot easier for everyone.
Then, use your research to wow your prospective client, and get past their gatekeepers.
When you’re nervous about making sales, you tend to speak too quickly, and your tone of voice can sound more frantic than authoritative. Instead, try speaking slowly and clearly, and only provide the information with your prospect’s needs.
If you want to get past the gatekeeper, try to sound important. The gatekeeper is likely more interested in talking to someone who seems to have something important to say.
Provide the gatekeepers with the information they need before asking, and make it clear what your call is about.
Before asking any questions, provide them with the information they may need. Guide them towards what you want them to do.
It can be frustrating when a gatekeeper repeatedly deters you, but it’s important to remember that they’re just doing their job. Be friendly, courteous, and professional when you pick up the phone. If you follow these tips on how to get past the gatekeeper, you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression and seal the deal.