How to get past the gatekeeper, Part 4

getting past the gatekeeperIn parts 1 through 3 of this post, I shared with you videos from experts on how to get past the gatekeeper.

What are some of the key takeaways that we have learned?

1). No tricks. Don’ waste your time trying to trick the gatekeeper. Most gatekeepers are receptionist and secretaries who know all the games played by salespeople. By using tricks, you are only hurting your credibility and could undermine your chances of reaching the decision-maker. For example, I once had a salesperson who called me and wanted to speak with the CEO. When I inquired why he wanted to speak with the CEO, he replied that he “just sent him an email” and needed to speak with him. Well, sending an email to the CEO doesn’t give you an automatic pass to speak to anyone. I told him that and the salesperson hung up on me.

So forget trying to be clever. And even if you are clever and get through, what have you really accomplished? All you are going to do is make the decision-maker angry at you, which means you end up losing the sale before you even had a fighting chance to win.

Tricks are for trick ponies. Just be yourself.

2). Don’t sound like a salesperson. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is they sound like salespeople when they call. They are overly polite, sound desperate, and just downright needy. Instead of sounding like that, take a more business tone when you call. Sound like the decision-maker is expecting your call and knows who you are. For example, I once worked for a small publishing company where the senior Ad salesperson would always call and sound professional and direct. You usually got through.

3). Make the gatekeeper your ally. Rather than try to “get past” the gatekeeper, make her (and it’s usually a woman) your ally. Let her know that you have a solution that you think her employer will need, and ask for the best way to reach the decision-maker. I’ve tried this method, and sometimes they will either let you through, or encourage you to email the decision-maker, or recommend someone else to call at the company. On a side note, when it comes to reaching the decision-maker, I always start at the top and work my way down to the bottom. It’s usually faster and easier that way rather than playing guessing games on who to call. Sometimes decision-makers will tell you upfront they are not the right people to contact; instead, they will recommend someone else to call in their company.

4). Be patient. Gatekeepers are busy. You’re not the only salesperson trying to reach the decision-maker. Contrary to popular belief, a gatekeepers only job isn’t fielding calls from salespeople. She is usually busy doing a lot of administrative work, and managing her boss’s time so that she can keep her job. I’ve actually had gatekeepers tell me how polite I was when dealing with them. Gatekeepers are human beings – treat them with respect.

The gatekeeper can be your ally or enemy. Make her your ally and you will have a better chance of generating more sales.

How to get past the gatekeeper, Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 of this post, I shared with you videos from experts on how to get past the gatekeeper. Here is another selection of videos to help you.

Jeffrey Gitomer, a sales expert, argues that the best way to get around the gatekeeper is to stop wasting your time going after lower-level people. Instead, focus on going after the higher-level people by offering them ideas that will improve their business. In short, don’t promote your product or service, but offer something of value that will gain the interest of the decision-maker and get you the appointment.

Here is his video –

Warren Greshes, a best-selling author, argues that one of the best ways of getting around the gatekeeper is to call when they are not in the office, e.g., early in the morning, during lunch or after hours. He makes a strong point that you should never argue with the gatekeeper – try to get them on your side.

Here is his video –

Claude Whitacre, an author, argues that the best way of getting past the gatekeeper is not to sound like a salesperson when you call. Instead, you should sound like someone the decision-maker has already spoken to and is expecting a call.

Here is his video –

How to get past the gatekeeper, Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I shared with you two videos from sales experts on how to get past the gatekeeper. In this post, I will share with you two more videos from YouTube.

Melilizwe Gqobo from Hubspace Khayelistsha has an entertaining video below on how to get past the gatekeeper. He argues that if you ask directly for something, people are inclined to give that information to you. Mr. Gqobo also advises you to always be polite and friendly because that will work in your favor.

Here is his video –

Cesar L. Rodriguez, a sales consultant, offers some strategies to get past the gatekeeper. For example, he argues that you shouldn’t sound like a salesperson or be too professional. Instead, sound casual and conversational with the gatekeeper, and try to bluff your way around the gatekeeper by pretending that you are calling to solve a problem. Your goal, Mr. Rodriguez argues, is to go to the top and work your way down until you find the decision-maker.

Here is his video below –