Does it sometimes feel as though the decision makers you need to speak with are residing in a gated community? As a salesperson, you often have to battle your way past a phalanx of receptionists, secretaries, administrative assistants, and the like. Here are 3 quick tips for getting past the gatekeeper so you can enter the gates of sales success.
- Understand the perspective of the gatekeeper. In most small to medium size businesses, the person labeled as “gatekeeper” has many responsibilities, and answering the phone is only a small part of his or her daily duties. With so much on their plate, the gatekeeper’s main concern is incorrectly keeping the right person from reaching the decision maker. Which leads us to:
- When trying to reach the decision maker, make sure you sound like the “right person.” The gatekeeper is going to have questions for you, typically of the “Who is calling?” “Who are you with?” and “What is this regarding?” variety. Make sure you are prepared with good answers. Above all, you want to sound positive and confident. Any hint of surprise or uncertainty can be fatal! Finally:
- Maintain control of the conversation. The most effective way of doing this is to redirect the gatekeeper’s questions with questions of your own. For example, if the gatekeeper asks you to send them an email with your information, you can redirect with “Certainly. So that I know exactly what to send, do you mind if I ask… [insert qualifying question here]. By maintaining control, you keep the call going, gather valuable information, and ask a question that the gatekeeper does not know the answer to. You can then proceed with “I see, that’s why I’m trying to connect with Richard. What is the best way to get on his calendar?”
While it can be frustrating trying to get past the gatekeeper to the decision maker, it is important to remember that they are only doing their job. For more detailed advice on getting past the gatekeeper, click the link view the SELLect Sales Development online training seminar Getting Past Gatekeepers, available as part of our Sales Training Packages.Posted by