Peggy’s Pointers – GateKeepers and How to get Past

How do you to Get Past the GateKeeper?

Gatekeeper - picture

Being in sales for over 30 years I’ve had my fair share of cold calling and furthermore my fair share of trying to get past the GateKeeper…that person who holds the keys to the door to the most important person on my call list for the day.

The most interesting conversation with a GateKeeper I’ve ever had involved me walking into a company one day and asking the receptionist who I would need to talk to who purchased their packaging products.  The lady said, “Well that would be Joe Bob.”  So I asked, “Would it be possible to visit with him today?”  Her response was, “Do you have an appointment?”

Now I had just walked in cold off of the street and asked her who I would need to speak with regarding my products.  She had told me who it was.  I know I must have been speechless and had a “deer-in-the-headlight” look about me as well as the question mark on my face as to “duh” if I don’t who I need to talk to, then how on earth would I possibly already have an appointment with them?

Bless her little heart, she was so programmed to give that “canned” answer that she had no clue what she had said.  But being the wild crazy redhead that I am, I said, “I’m not sure but I don’t think so!  Would you check for me?”

Here are just a few pointers on getting thru:

*  Remember it is their job to keep the gate closed.

*  Act like you are senior to them….not superior to them.  For example, if they think you are someone of importance or someone who the boss would want to see then there is more likely of a chance you will get into to see him.  This doesn’t mean that you should ever act as if you are above them.  There is a fine line in the difference.

*  They have a wealth of knowledge about the person you are trying to see.  Your job is to use your wits and charm to find out what you need to know that they know.

*  Never, ever pre-sell to them.  In other words, if they ask what it is that you want to speak to Joe Bob about, keep it brief.  Do not go into sales pitch mode.

*  Learn to ask for folks on a first name basis.  Don’t ask for Mr. Jones, ask for Joe Bob.

*  If Joe Bob is on the phone, just say, I’ll wait a few minutes to see if he is available.  Quite often people will see you if they know you have had to wait on them for some reason.  This tip works for either an in-person cold call or a phone call.

*  Always, always, always, be thankful before and after.  Most especially after you have met with Joe Bob as you are leaving the premises, make sure that you find Lucy Jane and thank her for helping you today.

These are just a few techniques that I’ve used over the years.  By all means they are not all inclusive but you might be able to use one or two of these tips to help you get your “Edge Over Your Competition.”

Peggy P. Edge (c) 2013.  All rights reserved.