Do you ever feel like receptionists, administrative assistants or department operators are screening your calls and keeping you from reaching the decision-maker? They are. Anyone between you and the person with whom you need to speak is a gatekeeper. In marketing and sales, this can be detrimental to closing a deal. Read on to find out how to get past the gatekeeper with these seven must-do tips.
What Is a Gatekeeper In Business?
A gatekeeper, in business, is paid to keep you away from their boss. Gatekeepers could be in administrative or operations roles, but they are anyone who functions as a barrier between you and the upper-level decision-maker. They hold your key to success by deciding whether or not you are important enough to speak with their employer. In determining how to get past gatekeepers, it is your job to convince them that you are worthy. Better yet, let us at LeadJen share with you our proven appointment setting process and tricks on getting past the gatekeeper.
The 7 Must-Do Tips for Getting Past Gatekeepers
It’s not easy to learn how to get past gatekeepers: cold calling, email campaigns, and other forms of sales and marketing communication can quickly raise red flags that tell them to avoid letting you speak to their employer. However, the following must-do’s can help you break down those walls and show gatekeepers that you have information worth sharing.
1. Get Personal with the Gatekeeper
Gatekeepers are not your enemy. They are simply doing their job of blocking unwanted calls from decision-makers. Stop trying to push past them as if they are automated telephone systems. Instead, focus on building a relationship and rapport with gatekeepers. Try to get them to become your ally and personal advocate.
2. Be on a First-Name Basis
The moment you learn the gatekeeper’s name, write it down, and start using it to address them. In fact, you should be using the gatekeeper’s name at least two times during every conversation. Be sure to put it with the rest of the information on your prospect so you can use it properly the next time you call.
3. Be Specific When Speaking to the Gatekeeper
Getting past gatekeepers is hard because they constantly receive phone calls from sales and marketing people every day. To avoid getting shut down immediately, explain precisely why you are calling, provide your full name, and identify your company’s name. If you want to learn how we avoid the shutdowns, contact us, we are more than happy to share our expertise.
4. Stay Polite
No matter how frustrated you may become leaving repeated messages with a gatekeeper, you must remain polite. You are guaranteed to fail if you are pushy, rude, and arrogant with a gatekeeper. Remember, it is their job to keep you out, so be cheerful and positive when you speak with them. Use please and thank you, and address them with respect.
5. Leverage Their Knowledge
No one is going to openly provide you with information unless you specifically ask for something. By asking the gatekeeper for advice, you are showing that you respect their knowledge and value their suggestions. Try asking if there is someone else you should be speaking with or if there is a better time to reach the prospect.
6. Call During Off-Hours
If you feel like you have done everything and still aren’t getting past gatekeepers, start dialing your prospect during off-hours, like early mornings, lunch, or late evenings. Chances are, you will reach another administrator who may connect you to the prospect, or you will reach the prospect’s voicemail.
7. Be Persistent
Don’t give up so easily. While nobody likes to get rejected by a gatekeeper, marketing and sales rely on persistence. After all, rejection is part of the process. However, nearly half of salespeople never follow up. Remind yourself that 80% of sales are accomplished somewhere between the 5th and 12th contact.
Getting Past Gatekeepers Isn’t Easy — But There’s Always Hope
While it can be frustrating to leave numerous messages, knowing how to get past gatekeepers isn’t about tricking anyone — it’s about understanding. If you understand that it’s their job to keep unwanted calls away from their boss, then you can help them understand why they should let you through. So, the next time you reach a gatekeeper instead of a decision-maker, keep these seven must-do’s in mind to get your call connected.