This person is the boogeyman to most salespeople, I personally know that I’ve stayed up with sleepless nights thinking about this monster. Strangely, this person can actually be very nice, but they are always the bane of our existence. Of course, I’m talking about the dreaded gatekeeper. Questions like, may I ask the nature of this call, keep most salespeople away from those most valuable prospects? In this chapter, I’m going to show you three ways to deal with a gatekeeper in sales. Check it out.
Number one, avoid them altogether. Here’s the thing. People always asked me about gatekeeper strategies. And what do I say once I get a gatekeeper on the phone? Or how do I get past the gatekeeper? How do I get through the gatekeeper, you know what the best strategy is always to go around the gatekeeper, don’t go through them if you can avoid them. So the way we do that is by calling at times when the gatekeeper actually isn’t in the office. Now let’s look at the life of a typical gatekeeper. They are usually a nine to fiver, they’re typically an administrator, and they are not someone who has a tremendous amount of responsibility in that they do not have usually bottom line responsibilities. So their bonus is based on more arbitrary indicators, whether they just did a good job with their work, but because of the way they are compensated and the type of job they have, they’re typically not there before 8:30 in the morning and they’re usually not there at 6:30 at night. And they’re also not there on Saturdays. But you know, who is at the office at all those times your prospect, because your prospect is the economic buyer, your prospect does usually have a bottom line or top line responsibilities, they are bonus based on the performance of the organization. And so this person is very likely to be there at eight in the morning, or they’re very likely to be there at 7 pm, at night, or even on Saturday. So get to those decision makers, those economic buyers by just avoiding the gatekeeper altogether, call your prospects early, call them late. Try them on the weekend, you’re going to be amazed at how many times you can actually just avoid the gatekeeper altogether and get through to the decision maker at a time when the decision maker has a lot less going on because there are fewer distractions early in the morning, late at night or even on Saturdays, avoid the gatekeeper altogether.
Number two, be firm. Let’s pretend that we couldn’t avoid the gatekeeper for one reason or another, we had to go through the gatekeeper. The first key idea is that you are very firm when speaking with a gatekeeper. Remember, put yourself in the mind of a typical gatekeeper. They have two competing responsibilities. One is that they don’t want to let through the salesperson, they don’t. They want to keep out all the salespeople. But they also don’t want to keep out the right person. And so what I mean by that is that sometimes a CEO or a VP is receiving a call from someone who’s important to that VP, or to that CEO and the gatekeeper is very nervous about accidentally keeping out that important contact. So use that to your advantage. Keep them on their toes when you call. A typical salesperson is going to be really schmoozing and friendly and very nice and quite frankly somewhat gentle. When talking to a gatekeeper. I challenge you to be the exact opposite. Don’t be rude, but be firm and authoritative. So next time you get a gatekeeper on the phone rather than saying hey, Darren Mark WayShack calling for George. Instead, just be to the point and firm. Yes, Darren Mark way shack calling for George, this approach is going to make the gatekeeper think to themselves. Oh, wow, this sounds like an important person, maybe I should put them through. Number three, be vague when asked questions, a lot of gatekeepers, I mean, some of these people, particularly if you’re calling on a high-level prospect, let’s say the CEO of a Fortune 1000 company or even a VP at a fortune 1000 company, these gatekeepers are going to be pros. And so they’re still even when your firm they’re going to start asking you questions, you need to be prepared for those questions. So a typical question might be, for example, yes, may ask where you’re calling from now, if you say, Oh, well, I’m calling with ABC Company, immediately, you’re done. You are dead. So instead be vague, in your response, answer the question, but in a way that is going to throw the gatekeeper off a little bit. So next time, the gatekeeper, where are you calling from, simply say, Boston, or whatever city you’re in, your goal is to let them fear that you’re the right person. Now, I already know that a lot of people who are watching this video are saying to themselves, whoa, that’s really intense. You know what, though? It’s not. If you weren’t able to get through the gatekeeper in the first place, you have nothing to lose. And again, I’m not suggesting that you’re ever rude, or mean, because these are nice people, and they deserve respect. But if you want to get through those gatekeepers, you need to play the game. Let them always be nervous that you are the right person.