If you are involved in sales, chances are you are familiar with “The Gatekeepers,” people whose job are maintaining a tight schedule for “The Decision Maker” and prevent people from gaining direct access to them. In some cases, The Gatekeepers are receptionists or assistants. Even if you are a great salesperson or telemarketer, getting past a gatekeeper can still be a challenge, especially if you have never interacted before. If you’re trying to contact The Decision Maker for the first time, the “No, I cannot put you through directly, but I can take a message for you” reaction is far too common. After getting several of these responses from the same gatekeeper, your enthusiasm for this client eventually begins to wane and you move on to another gatekeeper.
Here are some tips to help you get past The Gatekeeper:
- Remember that The Gatekeeper is a person too. At the end of the day, The Gatekeeper is just doing their job and part of it is to manage their boss’ time. Next time, try asking for their name and the name of The Decision Maker. If you’re asking, “I would like to talk to your boss or manager. Is now a good time?” it sounds like you haven’t done the appropriate research. It also sounds like you’re trying to talk down to The Gatekeeper
- Sound authoritative. Let’s face it: managers do not get treated the same way as employees. When you talk to The Gatekeeper, sound confident and important. To sound authoritative, try speaking slowly and calmly.
- Ease into a conversation. Gently engage in a casual conversation by asking how their day is going. Remember to sound positive and friendly, but don’t get personal. Even if you do not successfully get directed to The Decision Maker, you and The Gatekeeper can create a nice relationship where neither one of you will dread the conversation.
- Make a plan: Instead of writing a script for trying to get past The Gatekeeper, develop a plan that allows you room to improvise. Scripted conversations are usually pretty obvious to gatekeepers. Try planning an approach based on how they respond to you. This makes it easier to transition to being directed to The Decision Maker.
If you’re still having trouble with getting past The Gatekeepers, perhaps you should consider outsourcing your appointment setting. Abstrakt Marketing Group can guarantee you appointments for your company. Contact us today and we’ll make your goals a reality.