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Dealing with the iron fisted gate keeper?

Hey all,

I have a situation I could use some advice on how to handle.

I recently took over a new territory from a rep that had handled it for about twelve years.

Most of the accounts I picked up our existing customers that have on-going business with us so I usually can get meetings pretty easily by just using the new rep angle but I have an account in which the gate keeper keeps responding to me but refuses to meet with me no matter what.

What is a bit frustrating here is that I really do need to be able to get into this account because they are using an out dated version of our software and they need to be upgraded. On top of that the gate keeper is not a user of our solution nor is he a decision maker.

I have tried calling and just asking for the decision makers but my call ends up routed to this guy. I was planning on just calling on the company in person but he specifically requested that I just not stop by

Anyway, this is really a bit frustrating and I do understand that he probably feels he is doing his job but he is really doing a disservice to the company he works for by not lettiing me come in to do an upgrade.

I am thinking that I need to figure out some reason that would benefit him in allowing me in but with him refusing to be very responsive it's a bit difficult to know his motivation. - by kenpo1980
Hi

Without knowing everything the first thing that springs to my mind would be to say to this guy. "i need to drop you in an update software package for your computer, your company is using an outdated version and they aren't enjoying the benefits that they should be. As you aren't a user you'll be quickly able to see the upside for your business

By doing this you may:
1. Get him to see you
2. Turn him into an advocate for your product
3. Get the chance to build some rapport & mutual understanding
4. Give him the ownership and backslapping internally for bringing in the upgrade

You'd need to go an install the update yourself or bring in a tech but either way you get your chance to show him the differences and get your foot in the door. - by Tony Dunne
Hey all,

I have a situation I could use some advice on how to handle.
I feel Tony gave you some good advice. However, if that does not work write his superior a letter following Tony's format and hand write the envelope. In the bottom corner write attn: Mr X.

This may come across our guy's desk but he would not open a what appears to be a personal letter to his boss.

If this does not work--move on. It is not worth pounding your head against the wall over one account. (Also, they may have internal conflicts you are not aware of.) - by John Voris
Thanks for the responses guys, the both are great!

As to your response John, I would love to just move on from this account but unfortunately my company has so drastically cut our territories that I can't afford not to turn over every stone. - by kenpo1980
Thanks for the responses guys, the both are great!

As to your response John, I would love to just move on from this account but unfortunately my company has so drastically cut our territories that I can't afford not to turn over every stone.

I understand your situation. For the tough ones, I studied the company from its history, to its mission and vision statements, to their executive level composition and financial projections. Doing a little "homework" has been my key to the "untouchable."

To do this I gathered all of their promotional materials including their prospectus if possible. This gave me a sense of their direction including what the company perceives as progress.

Next, I would examine their competition and conduct and informal comparative study.

What if someone contacted a company you owned and began describing to you your particular situation within your market?

What if that person offered information that you were not aware of?

What if that person explained your advantage over the competition, revealing where you should focus your efforts?

What if that person then offered their service or product that would assist you in overcoming marketing obstacles and generated an increased profit margin by reducing costs?

This person would get your attention because there was honest interest in your business and a genuine desire to see you succeed. And--he was the only sales rep to go this distance.

Write the exec a short note with some or your ideas that include new information and see what happens. - by John Voris
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