One of your toughest challenges in sales is learning how to get past the gatekeeper.
You start your day with a list of twenty cold calls you plan on prospecting to in the field. You’re hopeful of the future and every stop could be the next big account you break into.
Then you face that pro gatekeeper. That one gatekeeper that sizes you up in seconds and leaves you running back to your car terrified.
It’s enough to make you question if you want to continue choosing sales as your profession.
This is typically the moment that results in a phone call from the sales reps to their manager saying, “Hey Boss, you know, figuring out how to get past the gatekeeper at these accounts is tough. I don’t know if I can handle doing this every single day.” Quite often that call is right after the sales rep called their family and their friends, to vent about how difficult their sales job is. All because they experienced a difficult gatekeeper.
Learning how to get past the gatekeeper in sales is definitely possible when you know how to prospect on foot. You just need to know a few things beforehand. The first piece of information you need to understand is how to identify the skill of the gatekeeper.
You’re only going to have seconds walking into an account during a cold call to size up the skill level of the gatekeeper. So prepare to be observant.
Pro gatekeepers are going to look at you walking through their door and immediately say:
Yikes! Any of those sound familiar?
These are normal sound bites from the pro gatekeepers as they can see right through you as you walk in. They know you’re not supposed to be there.
What you need are some proven strategies on how to get past the gatekeeper. These are tactics used by the very best B2B (business-to-business) salespeople and currently taught inside of the Modern Sales Training Academy.
See Related: The Fearless Prospector Sales Training Course
Now just because you’re walking into their office like you’re supposed to be there, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. You have to not wake the sleeping bear. The pro gatekeeper, once they’re on to you, will shut you down in seconds. The secret here is to not let them catch you.
The way you do this is to keep them in their zone.
All day long, the gatekeeper has a routine. They greet people that come in the door and ask certain questions. They answer the phones and ask certain questions. They do this hundreds of times a day. You need to blend right in with what normally happens.
Act like you’re supposed to be there. Walk up with confidence and with purpose.
The best way to show do this is to avoid any chit chat with the gatekeeper and to simply say these words, “I’m here to see (your contact’s first name), will you let them know I’m here.” That’s it. Don’t say anything else.
You will be surprised about how much power there is in that message. You aren’t saying you have an appointment. You are saying you are here to see someone that works there.
Once you open with this statement, you will keep the gatekeeper in the zone and they will begin to ask you the routine questions.
The gatekeeper has questions that they ask everyone so they can quickly get ahold of the party you are looking for. These questions are routine! They aren’t asking you these questions to see if you’re a salesperson. These are reasonable questions so be prepared to respond as one would who was supposed to be there.
Your answers should be quick and to the point. No explanations needed.
So they ask you, “what is your name,” you should respond with your name only. You should act like they would know who you were based upon saying your name.
When they ask you, “what company are you with,” you should respond with your company name only. Again that’s a normal piece of information to connect with a name.
When they ask you, “did you have an appointment,” you should respond here with confidence. You should not be mentioning that you have an appointment. It’s best to say, “It’s regarding an appointment.” That implies that there is purpose to you showing up and you are not a stranger. Maybe you are talking about a future appointment or a previous appointment. It’s a little vague and will slip past even the best gatekeepers.
The better you are at keeping the discipline of asking these questions and only answering what they ask you, the better your outcome. Remember your goal is to set an appointment. This will give you the best odds.
The only thing to get ready for now is for your contact to come out and see you. Which you should be expecting them to. So get your messaging ready and your objection handling skills and hold on for a wild ride!
In summary, the pro gatekeeper is the toughest opponent you will have when you prospect on foot. They will chew you up and spit you out in seconds.
However, they have a weakness. If you follow these four tips, you will give yourself the best odds of setting an appointment with your contact, and possibly having a little fun while you’re at it.
In addition to these tips, Modern Sales Training developed a full sales training course designed to turn you into a cold calling master and unstoppable against gatekeepers. It’s called The Fearless Prospector. The Fearless Prospector is an online sales training course that teaches new or tenured salespeople how to get past the gatekeeper, how to conquer fear in prospecting, proven strategies to flood their calendars and how to get in control of their destiny.
Related Link: The Fearless Prospector Sales Training Course
Learn more techniques on how to get past the gatekeeper inside of our Modern Sales Academy.