Defeating the Gatekeeper: How to Reach the Decision Maker Every Time
Anyone who has worked in sales, more specifically telephone sales, knows just how difficult it can be to reach the intended target. Generally speaking, if you are selling or marketing something the person you really want to talk to, doesn’t want to talk to you. But don’t take it personally. Why? Because they have other things to do, and that is why they employ a gatekeeper. Hiring someone to filter calls, saves the big guy (or gal) valuable time.
Although this is all great for the boss, if you just so happen to be calling with aspirations to market a product, service or brand, this is going to create some problems for you.
Approaching an enterprise is easy, it is getting in that requires the work. You could have a stellar pitch, visual presentation, and fantastic product, but none of this matters if you are denied access at the gate.
So how do you go about avoiding red flagging yourself as a sales call?
Here are some tips and tricks to help you turn your cold calls, into hot prospects! Continue reading to learn how to get past the guard and make your pitch!
Prepare for Battle:
Show up to the battle ready to go. This means being prepared, by having done your homework and research! Never, I repeat, never whimsically call with hopes of giving a pitch to someone you know nothing about. This is a recipe for failure. Enterprise executives get off on feeling important, so if you know things about them, they often get excited. Also, homework allows you to identify exactly who it is you should be pitching to at a specific business, so as not the waste your time or theirs.
Learn to Improvise:
Every gate-keeper will be different in their defensive style. Plan but don’t script your entire pitch to the gatekeeper. You will likely be required to spontaneously manifest responses to questions that you hadn’t foreseen. The best way to be ready for this is to develop the skills required to improvise on demand based off what you have available.
Be Confident and Self-Assured:
Preparedness, as result of having done your homework will provide you confidence with your call. Utilize the art of persuasion and influence to change the behaviour of the gatekeeper. Your level of outward confidence can have the power to make others see you in a more positive light, thus, rendering them more susceptible to liking and trusting you.
Honesty is the Best Policy:
Be transparent in your pitch. Do not make up a bunch of stuff just to get to your pitch. This will leave people unsure of your intentions. Trust is key.
Jazz it up with Personality:
It isn’t just about being nice, but it’s about being like-able and relatable. Show some personality, and make the gate-keeper your friend. Ally’s are always easier to work with.
Motivate, Don’t Manipulate:
People feel better about things, and generally a greater level of comfort with a decision if they feel as though they have made that decision themselves. As such, motivate your target to think the intended way. But be careful not to come across as manipulative or deceiving as this triggers a red flag of dishonesty.
By learning which strategies work, and replacing the strategies do not, you will be one step closer to getting into the gate like you have a VIP pass!
By: Amberly Martin
Project Manager at Generation Digital Corp.