How to Get Past Gatekeepers

April 27, 2012 — 995 views  
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The term "gate keepers" is sometimes used to refer to secretaries, receptionists or personal assistants. Their job is to screen calls from salespeople, preventing them from pestering a company's leading figures. A highly trained salesperson can penetrate this wall by understanding the type of screen that is being deployed, but in order to do so, the professional needs to fine-tune his or her delivery and word choice.

It's essential to remember that gatekeepers are not the enemy. If a salesperson inadvertently offends the professional who screens his or her calls, the likelihood of getting through to the manager or CEO in question is minimal.

Gatekeepers ask a lot of questions, hoping to uncover the reasons behind incoming calls. An effective salesperson engages with the professional without giving up too much information. New salespeople often make the mistake of selling to gatekeepers. This is an easy way to get the door closed on the opportunity, as the recipient of the call immediately knows the purpose of the communication and can eliminate its chances of reaching the decision maker.

The best strategy is to be persistent, authoritative and confident. When a professional embodies those characteristics, their window for success stays open much longer.