It can be difficult to get past the gatekeeper. How often have you left a voicemail and never received a response? How many times have you been transferred on the phone, only to be placed on hold for like eternity? How much time and energy have you spent trying to contact decision-makers?
These are all important questions that every business owner needs an answer to. And this guide will discuss how to get past the gatekeeper and start making more phone calls that turn into sales!
Gatekeepers are the people in an organization responsible for screening incoming phone calls or emails. They determine whether to send the incoming communication to the high-level decision-maker of the company, a certain department, or through the entire company.
For example, suppose you call a small business without an appointment. In that case, whoever receives the call will likely transfer you to voicemail or ask you to send an email instead of trying to get in touch with someone who can help right away, such as the company's decision-maker.
Because of this, Gatekeepers are sometimes referred to as "the gate."
A gatekeeper can be anyone from receptionists and secretaries to department managers. The important thing to remember is that almost all businesses have them! So, it's critical to understand how to pass them by without being aloof or rude efficiently.
Let's be honest, getting past gatekeepers might feel impossible at times!
How many times have you had to deal with obnoxious, pushy gatekeepers who simply want your information so they can pass your call to someone else? Or how frustrating it is to leave a voicemail again and again before someone returns your call?
All these issues are common problems when it comes to getting past the gatekeeper. However, there are strategies that work! Here are some tips on how to get past any sales gatekeeper:
Avoid making the call sound like a cold one. How? By doing some research beforehand can help you identify the right person to talk to, how to ask them the right questions, and what the gatekeeper might be interested in talking about.
Even learning about the startup information such as the company name, their social media accounts, who is the decision maker's secretary, and many more!
If you've done your homework, it will make them feel better to know that someone has considered their time before trying to sell them something over the phone. It will also help you determine how much information is too much or too little for this process.
Remember, you did not call just to pitch into the gatekeepers. As much as possible, directly ask to talk to whoever has the final say over the decision-making process.
But, if you believe they are too far up the chain of command, request someone else who has authority over your industry. They could be a different manager, supervisor, or other company authority figure.
If it still sounds like the gatekeeper is attempting to keep you from finding out who you should speak with next, then you might try asking them whom you think could help or whether they know who usually deals with customers like you.
In other words, getting past the gatekeepers is possible by being persistent and asking questions that disclose who should be managing your transaction, so you don't waste time on someone who isn't a decision-maker or has no influence over what happens next in the process.
Gatekeepers, decision-makers, and salespeople are all looking for trust. Trust is what they're after the most!
So do not push things too fast. When you do, the gatekeeper might think there isn't anything else in store for them once you've gotten through.
Instead, begin by making small talk in building rapport. Ask them about their job, talk about the weather and whatnot. Yet, void any questions that might lead to talking more about your product or service.
Building trust is all up to getting yourself known as someone reliable without pressuring too much for sale. Just make sure that whatever topic comes up during the course of the conversation has something to do with what you're offering and is something the gatekeeper would be interested in learning more about.
If you've built rapport quickly enough, then the gatekeeper might be willing to give you an opportunity that will help you get past the gate.
If they say yes, then continue with your original plan of action (whatever that is), but if they say no, just thank them for their time and move on until another idea or when someone else comes along.
Gatekeepers can make or break your sale, but it doesn't mean you should give up on them too easily.
Be confident that they'll be able to understand what you're talking about and why your product or service is worth their time. Yet, respect them by not to try getting past them by being annoying or pressuring for a quick answer, even if another 50 people are waiting behind you, dying for an opportunity like yours.
Before you make any hasty conclusions, keep in mind that these people can actually help you get closer to success by letting them know who else would benefit from hearing about your service directly.
Be confident and respectful, but don't forget to have a goal in mind before calling them up - no matter how long it takes.
A brief email or phone conversation can be enough to establish a relationship instead of wasting time on long conversations that don't lead anywhere. Keep your sales pitch short and sweet as much as possible. In other words, less is more!
You can get past by being concise and getting right down to it without going into any unnecessary detail about what a prospect doesn't need or care about knowing yet.
You don't want to overwhelm them with too much information about what you're offering because that will result in wasted time and wasted energy, and other opportunities.
Keep in mind that anyone you're speaking with is the company's gatekeeper and should be regarded as such.
Make sure you don't come across as a pushy or desperate salesperson who might get you fired. You don't want to make them feel any more intimidated than they already are.
It's not simply about attaining your desired outcome. It's also about ensuring that everyone involved benefits from each step along the route without things becoming overly complicated down the road.
Before reacting angrily, attempt to figure out why the gatekeeper has 'that' particular viewpoint on what you're presenting.
Consider what the gatekeeper must go through when they allow you to pass through. This may have an impact on their reliability as an employee entrusted by their company.
Even if they were rude to you, consider how many phone calls they undoubtedly field every day, in addition to dealing with a variety of other company obligations, including whatever else is going on inside or outside their office.
We're all confident they're weary and only want the best for the company's sake. Ensure that the sales pitch you're giving isn't just another item for these people to deal with but something worth investing part of their time in.
One thing you certainly don't want to do is waste too much time talking with someone who has little to no power over the company's purchasing decision.
Even though they seem like the person in charge, the gatekeeper doesn't have the final say. Focus on reaching the people who can make a real difference!
There's no point in trying with anyone else further down the chain of command. Just move on and come back another time.
As the old saying goes, "practice makes perfect."
Talking to the gatekeepers can be very intimidating. When you're not prepared, it's easy to feel like you're wasting your time and the gatekeeper is too busy for you.
But when you keep practising, it helps improve your skills and boost your morale even when things don't go according to plan. After all, rejection is an inevitable part of the process.
It's never easy to get past the gatekeeper. It's a concern that many marketers struggle with as well. So how do you make it happen? How can you sell your product or service in just a few sentences when a gatekeeper is busy and have no time for small talk, let alone explanations about what they do or don't want?
Making it work all boils down to understanding who they are and their perspective on the items or services you're selling.
Whatever you do, don't give up. It'll take some time to get past any gatekeeper that might be stopping you from getting in touch with who actually matters at the company!
But if this sounds like too much hard work, then let us know - we'll be happy to help!
By outsourcing to virtual receptionists with a high proportion of success in closing business, our amazing sales partners at Appointment Setting UK can help you utilize the principles you need in efficiently getting past the gatekeepers!
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation. We guarantee we won't waste any of your valuable time on small talk, but instead get right down to business - just the way it should be when talking about sales!