More than often, when reaching a decision-maker in the B2B community, you face stiff resistance from their executive assistants, receptionist, a subordinate, or someone else. This person is the direct contact between the executive access everyone desires and is known as a ‘Gatekeeper’. The phenomenon of getting past a gatekeeper is a constant chase between a salesperson and his sales targets.
For many sales professionals, an interaction with a gatekeeper can be quite daunting. However, if you turn this awkward moment into a positive one, a gatekeeper can be your greatest asset in reaching the decision-maker and be the link between a seamless connection.
Before you reach out to your target audience, there are a few elements you should keep in mind else your efforts could simply get wasted. For better outcome and establishing long-lasting credibility, let’s run through a quick “to-do” and “not-to-do” list:
- Always introduce yourself with your full name followed by the company you represent. You might feel it is not that important, but it is, especially if you intend on building a rapport.
- Grace your call with a smile, yes, even if the person on the other end cannot see you. It boosts your tone; makes you sound confident and brings positivity to the words you speak.
- Respect goes a long way, especially with a gatekeeper. Make sure you acknowledge the assistance they provide, thank them for it, and if you get a chance mention it to their boss as well.
- Prepare a pitch, not a sales one though. You mustn't sound nervous or clueless if the gatekeeper asks you the reason for your call.
- Make the gatekeeper feel important. You may have to interact with them a few more times before you get to connect with the decision-maker. Share your thoughts on the solution you provide but do not sell. The gatekeeper can act as your brand advocate and bridges the gap between you and the decision-maker quickly.
- The gatekeeper is a research key for understanding the decision-maker. Learn more from them about the decision-maker, the trends, and the mechanics of the organization to use in building a comprehensive plan to present.
- Do not at all costs lose your temper or sound demeaning to a gatekeeper. No matter how long it may take to convince them, be patient. A negative attitude can easily push you to the “blacklisted” file.
- If a gatekeeper does not dismiss you in the first ten seconds, make use of it. There is no harm in sharing pleasantries, engaging in small talk, and then putting your purpose forward.
- Always use the first name, it shows you have taken note of their presence and does make them feel equally important in the role they serve.
- Have an honest approach. The best way to initiate a fruitful connection is by dropping an email to the decision-maker introducing yourself and the reason for your outreach. Then when you follow up, you can let the gatekeeper know that you are following up on the email you shared before.
- Pro-Tip* There are tons of things we can advise you on to ensure you have smooth sailing with a gatekeeper. However, if you still do not find any luck, try connecting with your decision-maker a little before or after work hours. This is one window where usually decision-makers might answer the call themselves and be the perfect opportunity for you to get the call you have been working towards.
These are some effective tips and tricks that are bound to help you out. However, make sure you are prepared with all the right information and make a lasting impression. A gatekeeper is usually busy and does not entertain professionals who take too much time to explain or have too much information to share. Keep it short, simple, and definitely with a smile!
Collaborate with Beyond Codes and have more time on your hands. With skilled networking through trained professionals who follow best practices and are equipped to handle a variety of situations that one may come across while dealing with gatekeepers, setting appointments, and establishing connections will be effortless.