Getting past gatekeepers could be one of the most difficult thing to do when it comes to selling to corporations or bigger companies. Most of the time, these gatekeepers are trained to throw you around and prevent you from getting to the person that matters. Luckily with some creative strategies and modern technology, getting past gatekeepers is a lot easier.
P.S. I hateeeeee gatekeepers at medical offices. It’s tough and tricky, but the challenge is what makes things fun!
1. Research into the gatekeeper
If SDRs spents 3–4 hours a day researching into prospect and leads, then why not take the time to learn more about the gatekeeper themselves as well?
Just as you would approach a prospect, try to learn everything you can about the gatekeeper and find something unique about them that you can relate them to. This can be someone that you both share a mutual connection with, or maybe both of you guys went to the same school together. Whatever it is, find something unique to make the connection more warm and personal.
Most gatekeeper post a lot of their personal bio in their Linkedin profiles. It helps to take a few minutes to glance through their history, connection, bio, and recommendations.
2. Understand their pain
Gatekeepers are human with a job too. The last thing you want to do is get frustrated over a gatekeeper for no reason. When the gatekeeper says something like, “I’m working on it. Give me one second.” Tell them that they are doing an excellent job and that you understand their pain. Have a quick off topic side conversation with them to ease their stress.
I always do that with all gatekeepers and non decision makers. First, I tell them what I’m offering and how it could help them. Most of the time they have a “silence moment”, but this just means that they’re taking notes. Then I bump in some casual conversation to ease their stress.
I’ve had many gatekeepers tell me that they have a “hard stop” in 5–10 minutes, but the conversation lasts over 30 minutes…everyone needs a break at some point!
3. Do not pitch or sell to the gatekeepers
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make. A lot of sales rep calls up the company and goes on for a whole minute about their product and how it can help them.
Gatekeepers aren’t decision makers and their job is to keep sales reps like yourself away from their boss. Do not pitch your idea to them. You could however, give a brief one line introduction of what your company does, and ask for the “right” person to speak with. It is much more effective to know before hand who you are looking for.
4. Know who you are looking for
Sometime, you just have to try and find out the decision maker’s name within the organization, but you always want to know who you are looking for. With modern technology like Linkedin and services like us, it isn’t too difficult to find out who you are looking for. Running a quick company search on Linkedin should show you a list of the employees within that organization. You could also use other sources like Crunchbase or tools like Salesloft to find your targeted lead.
If you already know who you are trying to get in contact with, then it is more effective to be as straight forward as possible and ask directly for that person. If the gatekeeper says that, “this person is not in my department.” You could always get creative and say, “Oh, I’m Sorry, I thought this was the marketing department. Do you by any chance know “this person”‘s direct extension or department number?” This has worked for us many times and continue to work for us.
5. Email the person you are trying to contact after you call the gatekeeper
Sometime gatekeepers are just too good, no matter what you do you can’t get around them. That is okay, as long as you tried your best. We don’t like to stop until they say no :). If nothing works, we try to email the executive we are trying to contact after our phone call with the gatekeeper and mention that we already spoke with their assistant and wasn’t sure if the executive is the correct person to contact. This works like a charm 8 out of 10 times. Usually, we would get a response with something along the lines of, “Yep, I’m the correct person to speak with, what do you have to offer?”
Of course, the hard part is finding the email or the correct number to call, but that’s what we’re here for! Reach out to us at GrowthOK if you need those type of data.
6. Instead of selling the product ask for feedback
Another powerful way to get around gatekeepers is to ask for feedback from a lower position person within the department. For example if you are selling a marketing software to big corporations, try to aim for the marketing specialist or people in the marketing department without decision making powers.
You should do this because it is easier to connect with them than with a VP of marketing at a huge corporation. Connect directly with the marketing specialist and tell them about your product. Then ask for their feedback and whether or not their team would be interested in using it.
9 out of 10 times, this marketing specialist will refer you to the correct person to speak with.
7. Send them some gummy bears
Business is business, but relationship is important. We all know that a LTV of a customer can be huge and a few dollars of investment for some tasty gummy bears is worth it.
I send my customers gifts like gummy bears, t-shirts, etc. on a regular basis. It helps maintain the relationship and at the same time reminds them that you’re still around!
I hope this article helped all those hustlers out there! If you don’t want to do all the grunt work of researching, finding quality data, and filtering old lists, then reach out to us at GrowthOK
P.S. Check out some of our amazing resources that we have for free HERE