Who Is The Gatekeeper In Marketing?
Are you in the B2B sales game? If yes, then we are sure that you have at least once tried to reach a managing director and then found yourself just talking to a receptionist or to their administrative assistant, and never actually getting to them. In this case, you have just been in contact with a “gatekeeper”. A gatekeeper’s job is to ensure that the person with the time-sensitive schedule just gets the important calls and does not waste his or her time with unnecessary ones. This could be a bit daunting if you are trying to reach that person, and that is why we have a few tips for you today to help you do just that.
Soon as the gatekeeper answers, dive into the conversation, introduce yourself and lead the conversation. It is always good to leave a little element of mystery regarding what you want. This will confuse the gatekeeper just enough that they may fear that this is an important call, and hence will connect you to the person you need. However, please proceed with caution when it comes to this tip because a lot of those gatekeepers have dealt with many sales reps previously, therefore, if they sense that you are not being 100 percent genuine then this could backfire.
There is a very big difference between just saying “Hello there” versus “Hello Sally”. If you are able to find the name of the gatekeeper, this would do wonders for your chances. This is because it will make them feel special and appreciated and will instantly help you build the necessary rapport that is needed to advance the deal.
That best way to achieve this is simply by being honest. Maybe start by saying, “this is a cold call, can I have just 30 seconds of your time? It is totally fine if you decide to hang up now”. Saying something like that will show the potential client your authenticity and they will really appreciate your honesty. Also, adding the part where you give them the option to just hang up will likely get a little chuckle out of them. This really helps alleviate some of the awkwardness that usually occurs with these calls, and it also increases the likelihood that it will be a fruitful conversation.
As you can see in the example sentence above, the client was asked for “30 seconds” of their time. Avoid using phrases like “a bit of your time” or “a few minutes of you time”. The people you are dealing with usually have a thousand other things going on, and so it is quite disrespectful to their time schedule for you to just call out of the blue and demand a large chunk of their time.
Landing a client is no easy task. That is why do not expect that you will pick up the phone and close a deal right then and there. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay persistent. This leads up to the last point.
Let us say you tried to reach a certain client and their assistant turned you down. How about you try to call at a different time of the day, maybe someone else would answer. Even if the same person answered, maybe it was a better time for them. For instance, calling on a Monday morning is probably a bad idea, therefore giving it another try on a Friday afternoon might actually yield better results.
At the end of the day, getting past the gatekeeper does not guarantee closing a client. This is a whole different ball game, where your product/service and offer come into play. That is why the purpose of the tips given above is just to make sure that the decision of turning you down is not made by the gatekeeper, and that you at least get your fair shot at closing the deal with the main decision maker.