How to Get Past Gatekeepers

Are you or members of your sales team having trouble getting past gatekeepers?

I’ve noticed a trend. In my latest workshops and training working with top sales performers, one issue that keeps coming to the surface is how to get past gatekeepers.

It’s an obvious struggle.

If you can’t get to the individual who has the power to buy and sign purchase orders and checks, it’s going to be a long and tough road to making sales (and that road can very well lead to a dead-end).

So, how can salespeople get past gatekeepers? There are three important points that you need to consider:

1. Always Call High First

Yes, you may get pushed down. But, you always want to make contact with the senior-level individual and you want to build high, wide and deep relationships within the organization. This doesn’t mean you even have to necessarily get them on the other end of the phone. You can leave a voicemail or simply send an email to make contact.

2. Don’t Make Things Exclusive!

Gatekeepers often don’t like things going over their head. If you make your conversation with them solely about “getting in touch with (contact X),” they’ll automatically feel “cut out” of the conversation and will be more likely to lead you down a road that ends up nowhere.

Try a more inclusive approach and use your expertise. You could say:

“(Gatekeeper name), (contact X) will want to see this proposal. How would you suggest we take this to them? Can we schedule a time for all of us to talk?”

Observe the subtle but powerful change in this approach. Suddenly, we are not treating the gatekeeper as an obstacle in the way of bigger and better things, we are treating them as an ally and including them in the process.

Wouldn’t you rather work with someone who is including you instead of trying to jump over you?

3. Connect on Social Media

Your social networks are a great way to build familiarity and trust with your prospects. We’ve discussed the omnimedia approach in the past, and connecting with key individuals via social is a great way to breed familiarity and build trust while reaching out to senior-level individuals.

Don’t treat a gatekeeper like a nuisance. When you shift your approach from “making a call” to building relationships, people take note.

[bctt tweet=”Treat your contacts like real people, and you will be rewarded with their trust and time. ” username=”EngageColleen”]

Engage Selling helps organizations develop and review sales strategies to ensure they meet their business objectives. Learn more.