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Working Through Gatekeepers - How to Get That Appointment

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 119

The number one way to get around a gatekeeper is through using warm leads and networking. If you can get the phone number of the person you want to call you can go directly into their line and avoid the gatekeeper altogether in most cases.

Another technique to bypass a gatekeeper is to simply ask for voicemail. I also found that if you call early in the morning, or later at night, there will be no live gatekeeper and you can potentially navigate the voicemail system to get your message to your prospect. When you do call back later you can mention that you are simply following up. The idea that you are following up helps the gatekeeper relax and allows you through the "gate."

Let's say you are directly confronted by the gatekeeper and that person will not let you pass without what they consider to be a valid reason. It is time for the elevator pitch. If you have networked into this contact, you can use the name of the person with whom you networked. Always be honest about this - never make up a contact name. Those who do are eventually discovered and labeled inauthentic. Trust will be decimated. To the gatekeeper you might say

"Joe Diamond from XYZ company referred me to Mr. Frank."

Initially, that's about all you need to say. When the gatekeeper asks for more information, i.e., what is it about (which, by the way the gatekeeper is suppose to do) you can then say

"Joe Diamond thought Mr. Frank would want to hear _______________" (insert elevator pitch modified to the situation).

It is important to be friendly and to get to know the gatekeeper. Call him or her by their first name, know a little about them. Having that information will provide an appearance of closeness. Never try to upstage or embarrass the gatekeeper. They are just doing their job. As a last resort, you may have to first sell to the gatekeeper. While not preferable, it is still an opportunity. Get the gatekeeper on your side and help that person understand the value-proposition you can bring. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the research you have conducted.

The gatekeeper can be an important person in your own sales process and is someone you want on your side. The gatekeeper often knows what the boss's frustrations and challenges are. If you can demonstrate an ability to help solve an important problem, the gatekeeper may be just the person to help get your message through. You might be surprised at the pull the gatekeeper has with the boss. Have a strong value proposition identified and have a great elevator pitch prepared.

The overriding point to remember here is simple: Treat everyone with respect and be sincere.

Dr. Gordon E. Whitehead is a leader with experience in business management, business development, information technology, and bringing new products to market. He graduated from George Fox University, a private liberal arts university in Newberg, Oregon, with a Doctorate in Management and as a Richter Scholar. His professional highlights include: United Sates Marine Corps Captain, Director of IT at Nike, Varsity Football Offensive Coordinator for a championship team, Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, and an Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach. He is an experienced business leader in technology, business development, and organizational management.

Source: EzineArticles
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