Business-to-business (B2B) salespersons often focus on their sales efforts on decision-makers, such as top-level executives. In doing so, however, they overlook some of the lower-level employees of a prospect's company: the gatekeepers. If a salesperson isn't able to get past the gatekeeper, he or she won't be able to reach the company's decision-maker, let alone effectively sell their product or service.
Gatekeepers can best be described as professionals in a company who handle the initial correspondences with suppliers or vendors. This includes receptionists, front desk assistants, telephone operators, etc. When you contact a prospect, you'll probably encounter a gatekeeper before the actual prospect. Therefore, it's essential that you know how to get past gatekeepers; otherwise, you'll have a difficult time converting prospects into paying customers.
If you have a direct phone line for a decision maker at a target account, you will be able to by-pass the gatekeeper as a whole. If you do some digging, you may be able to find this information. SalesLeads' Target Account Intelligence platform is loaded with million of contacts with direct phone lines and emials. Learn More Here
You can greatly increase your chances of success when dealing with gatekeepers by treating them with respect. Conventional wisdom should tell you that receptionists or other gatekeepers are more likely to reject your correspondence if you treat them poorly. Regardless of when and how you contact them, treat all gatekeepers with the utmost of respect, as a little kindness goes a long ways in B2B sales.
Additionally, be sure to tell the gatekeeper why you are calling their company. Some salespersons are reluctant to share this information, fearing it could hurt their chances to score a sale. You don't have to reveal the details of your offer, but you should be open and transparent about your intentions. If you're looking to sell the prospect a product or service, let the gatekeeper know.
Try to add a personal touch when dealing with gatekeepers. Rather than simply revealing the business for whom you work, tell the gatekeeper your name and for how long you've worked at your business. Another idea is to ask the gatekeeper for his or her name. By turning generic correspondences into personal ones, gatekeepers will feel more comfortable allowing you into their company.
No matter how hard you try, some gatekeepers will turn you away -- and that's okay. B2B sales is a numbers game. You may receive some rejections, but as long as you continue to reach out to prospects, you'll get past some of the gatekeepers and eventually generate a sale. Just remember to use the tips listed above to increase your chances of success when dealing with gatekeepers.