Here’s a startling statistic: When you’re cold-calling, you may have to make an average of eight calls to an organisation before you get through to the right person. Now, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound good to me. That’s why people hate cold calls because they’re cold. To get past the gatekeepers, we need to find out how the company and its process are structured. In this short article, we’ll explain precisely how to get past the gatekeeper.
1. Treat the gatekeeper with respect!
Remember that you’re taking time out of your gatekeeper’s busy day. Do the right thing and begin by asking if they have time to talk with you. By asking permission, you show respect, and the person is more likely to be receptive to your questions. It’s also important to build rapport with the first line of defence. Even though you’re trying to get past them, you need to treat them with respect as they could still influence the decision makers.
2. Use the gatekeeper as your resource
If you think about challenges as opportunities, it will help you view the gatekeeper as a resource rather than an obstacle. Think about it-gatekeepers possess valuable information, particularly about where your prospect is, their schedule, phone number, email and so on.
Therefore, get to know the gatekeeper and use what they can provide you with; you can ask questions to do this. For example, does your company work with any of my competitors? What are your most significant pain points? And hopefully, build some rapport in the meantime to help prepare for your conversation with the prospect.
3. Don’t sell to the gatekeeper
Not only are you wasting your time and theirs, but because they don’t have any relation to purchasing decisions, gatekeepers are unlikely to understand the value you’re offering. Meaning that they won’t report back to your prospect, so don’t sell to your gatekeeper!
4. Check if you’re connected
The brilliant thing about social media is that you can use search tools to identify the key people you should be trying to start a conversation with. Here’s where LinkedIn can come in really handy. Say you want to speak with the VP of Sales, the Marketing Director or the CEO of a particular company. Go on LinkedIn and do an advanced search on those titles and that company. Doing so will call up a list of individuals who match these criteria.
The next thing to do is to see whether you are already connected to them on social media. If the two of you are not connected, find out whether you have any connections in common with them. This is huge. We all know that when you are introduced or recommended by someone, that third party introduction brings so much credibility.
5. Reach out
Reach out to your mutual connection. There’s an excellent feature on LinkedIn called “Get Introduced”. Click that button, tell them you want to be introduced to this particular person, and explain why. If you have a good relationship with that mutual connection, they’ll gladly help you out. At the click of a button, you’ve connected with that decision-maker. No more cold calls, no more buying lists, and no more gatekeepers. Social media has changed the way we sell because it has changed the way customers buy. People are going online to look for people like you.
6. Be direct
People know when you’re not honest, and it ruins any rapport you did have previously if they detect you are deceiving them. So when you talk with a gatekeeper, just be honest and direct. Make it clear that your intentions are good; otherwise, you could end up just wasting your own time.
The world has evolved. Now, it’s your turn.
The way people buy and the way people sell has changed. In today’s world, sales professionals and small business owners need to be harnessing the abundance of social media and technology to enhance their sales process: whether that’s by utilising LinkedIn, Facebook, online communities or chat groups.
In this new course, sales expert Tom Abbott will show you how to utilise the power of social media to generate leads and close more sales online.