At some point, all salespeople have been confronted (or will be confronted) with the dreaded “gatekeeper”: that office assistant, receptionist, or secretary who intercepts sales calls, blocking you from talking to the prospect you want to reach. The conversation typically goes something like this:
Salespeople: “Hello, may I speak with _____, please?”
Gatekeeper: “Can I ask who’s calling?”
Salespeople: “This is _______ with _______, Inc.”
Gatekeeper: “What is this call regarding?”
Obviously, no salesperson wants to be stuck in telephone like this when prospecting for new business. Once the gatekeeper has a salesperson on the defense, the call is as good as over.
You could try to win over the gatekeeper with your irresistible wit and charm, but… rather than trying to get past the gatekeeper, just avoid the gatekeeper altogether. Sound simple? That’s because it is.
But first, let’s break down what a gatekeeper is. A gatekeeper is a generally an administrator whose job it is to keep unnecessary distractions away from high-level decision-makers. If your prospects are high-level, they will likely have a gatekeeper to protect them from unsolicited callers. So try to be nice to them.
I remember when I was working as a receptionist, there was a particular salesman who always came to our office wanting to speak to our General Manager. I always turned him away, telling him that the manager wasn’t available. The reason I never gave him an appointment was because he was always rude; he never wanted to leave any information other than his name and company name. And when he tried to call and make an appointment, he would hang up on me as soon as I answered the phone. He tried to call at different times to see if someone else would answer the phone.
But he never got past me.
Don’t follow the example of this salesman; you don’t want to be rude or mean to any gatekeeper. Instead, check out the following article from Forbes, The 7 Strategies For Getting Past Gatekeepers, and you’ll be well on your way to more successful sales experiences.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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