Gatekeeper Tactics For Greatest Success
All sales people have experience working with the “infamous gatekeeper”. What is a gatekeeper? The definition of a gatekeeper is: a person in charge of a gate, usually to identify, count, supervise, etc., the traffic or flow through it.
What is the role of the gatekeeper? All gatekeepers do not have the same role. The gatekeeper can be a great asset to someone in a sales position. They can guide you to the correct person or department or could be the first point of contact in getting to a decision maker. The gatekeeper might rank higher in the company due to her relationship within the company and have some decision making power.
Always use caution when addressing a gatekeeper. They could be very helpful or could prevent you from moving forward with the business at hand.
Here are a few tactics to getting around the gatekeeper:
1. Use an even, friendly tone. People are more likely to help a nice person than one that tries to steamroll them.
2. Ask for help. Sometimes sounding lost or asking for direction can build rapport with the gatekeeper and get you where you need to be. For example: “I am trying to reach the CEO and I have John Smith listed but I am not sure if he is who I need to speak with, Can you help me?”
3. When contacting a company where the gatekeeper states “It is our policy not to transfer without a contact name”, ask for any department; HR or sales are great choices since most companies will have a Human Resources or Sales department.
Once you have acquired updated contact information for the person you are trying to reach from the gatekeeper, be sure to document your findings appropriately. If you have a contact name and the contact is not available at the time of call or you have left multiple voicemails for them, ask the gatekeeper for an email address.
Since we are all part of the electronic age, people are more likely to respond via email or text rather than a phone call. Sending an email also gives prospects time to respond at their leisure.
Keep in mind that you will encounter situations with tough gatekeepers where tactics will not work. I have found in my years in sales that being personable with my southern approach and being conversation like benefits me more than being short with gatekeepers. After all, they are just doing their job just like we are.
How do you get past gatekeepers? Do you utilize the information harvested from the gatekeeper? Are you able to update your sales database with newly acquired contact information?