8 Tips for Getting Round a Gatekeeper | The Sales Manager
8 Tips for Getting Round a Gatekeeper by The Sales Manager

8 Tips for Getting Round a Gatekeeper

Does the thought of making a sales call bring you out in a cold sweat?
Are you constantly recounting the times you’ve fallen at the first hurdle?
Do you dread having to dance the gatekeeper shuffle?
Well, fear not and have a look at our 8 top tips for getting round the gatekeeper…

Who is the gatekeeper?

First up, who even is a gatekeeper and why do you need to get round them?
A gatekeeper is anyone who forms a barrier between you and the decision-maker. It’s a person whose job it is to filter calls and prevent sales calls like yours from getting through.
They could be a receptionist, a switchboard operator, a PA or a lower-level employee. Anyone who you need to get through in order to speak to your target client is a gatekeeper.
So how do you navigate your way past the gatekeeper and into to waiting ear of your decision-maker?
#1. Know your names
Know the full name of the person you’re trying to reach but also remember the name of the gatekeeper you’re speaking to. As soon as they tell you their name, make a note of it and use it throughout that conversation. Also, remember to use it the next time you call back.
#2. Do your research
Remember, it’s the gatekeeper’s job to stop you from reaching their employer and they’re good at it! Going in blind, without researching the business or planning your call will inevitably lead to a pretty speedy shutdown. So, spend 5-10 minutes before you call to find out about the company and its employees.
#3. Don’t think of gatekeepers as the enemy
On the contrary, if you play it right gatekeepers can be an ally in the business. With each call, spend some time chatting and getting to know them - without being annoying or intrusive - and they’ll become a powerful advocate when you do make it through to speak to the decision-maker.
#4. Don’t waste time pitching to them
Another really common mistake people make is trying to pitch or sell to the gatekeeper. I’ll let you in on a secret… they find it incredibly annoying and, even if they were interested, don’t have the authority to move anything forward. So, don’t waste your time trying to explain too much about your product or service to the gatekeeper. Just give them enough of an insight into the benefits of your product or service that they’ll make a note and pass it on to the right person.
#5. Spend some time building trust outside the phone call
Are you connected with the prospect on LinkedIn?
Are you interacting with them online?
Have you sent an email beforehand?
The more time you invest building trust with the prospect outside the phone call itself, the more likely they are to advise the gatekeeper to let you through.
#6. Be specific
Again, know what you want and who you want to talk to. Being very specific and authoritative with your requests increases the likelihood of the gatekeeper letting you through.
#7. Can you get a referral?
Reach out to your network and ask for a referral or introduction into the company. That way, if the gatekeeper asks whether your call is expected, you can confidently say ‘Yes’ and they’ll open the gates.
#8. Keep going
They say it takes an average of 7 calls to reach a decision-maker, so don’t give up on the first try. Keep connecting and keep interacting through other channels. Eventually, your persistence will pay off.
So, hopefully, you’ll have found something there to help you through those difficult gatekeeper conversations and inspire you to pick up that phone! As always, if you have questions, comments or training requirements get in touch:
E: julie@thesales-manager.co.uk
T: 01604 532004