Home > Cold Calling > Creative Ways Past the GateKeeper!

Creative Ways Past the GateKeeper!

I would very much like to hear some of the Creative Ways that have worked to get you past the GateKeepers. - by MPrince
I like FedEx my letter to decision-makers. In most cases gatekeepers and other flunkies don't open FedEx letters. They are perceived to be too personal.

I know this is not too diplomatic, but since I've never had any interaction with the gatekeeper, it cannot be perceived as an intruder bypassing the gatekeeper.

Saying it differently, I have no intention to use the gate at all. I come down with a parachute and enter the building through a trap door on the roof. By the time the gatekeeper realises I'm in, it's too late. I'm in.

So, I suggest direct mail. It's amazing. No logo and no fancy stuff on the envelope. Hand-addressed envelope from person to person. No company name. And the letter is low key.

At this point I usually offer a white paper related to the prospect's industry's problems. Then the person comes into my sales funnel on his own volition.

Would this work for you?

Cheers

BD - by Bald Dog
Pretty creative I'd say! I like it! - by MPrince
I too like Bald Dog's approach.....but.....

Let's say that we are forced to work with a gatekeeper.

I would do away with the idea that anyone in a company is a flunky. Each and every person I come into contact with has value as a person and you never know what information they can provide you.

I remeber one time I walked into a company and the only guy there was the guy in overalls shipping boxes. I asked who ordered all the products and he told me he did but I didn't believe him at first. But I didn't dismiss him and I asked him about the company and the products and his customers. With all this information I got a $20,000 order.

Oh yeah, the shipping clerk was also the business owner who was shipping because his regular clerk was on vacation. He didn't tell me he was the owner and I am glad that I didn't dismiss him as a flunky.

Good Selling! - by Sell4alivn
Great Story!!! Because of your patience, willingness to listen without prejudging you got a great order. - by MPrince
First, stop calling this person the "gatekeeper", it sounds so negative. Remember one thing, their just doing what they've been told.

Become their friend. Wine and dine them like a prospect. They do hold the 'key' to whether you get to see the boss or not. - by Jim Klein
Jim

I totally agree. It is their job to protect their boss and they are doing what they have been told to do. You can only imagine what they have to endure in the course of a day so my hat is off to them. They hold one of the most difficult positions in a company. It has been my experience when I give the "GateKeeper" the respect they deserve then I am respected in return and most often given the information I need and even given access to the decision maker. Lets face it, more often than not this person between you and the decision maker wields much power and it would behoove you to have that power on your side.

MP - by MPrince
I cannot remember the last time I ever failed to gain access to someone I wished to speak to. Perhaps that puts me in the minority. Perhaps the fact that I have never referred to another human being as "gatekeeper" puts me in the minority here. Perhaps somehow those two facts are related.

For those who truly believe that selling is a people business, you might want to consider if labeling people is congruent with that outlook.

My "creative way" to "get past" anybody is to treat them with the respect that I would want be treated with. Four decades of success tells me it works. - by Ace Coldiron
Let's hope it works with Saint Peter as well! - by MPrince
I think the name gatekeeper is pretty neutral, and it's us who it meaning.

I treat them with respect, when a gatekeepers tells me "Send your stuff to me and if it passes my assessment, I'll pass it on to the boss" I don't send anything.

Especially if we sell complex stuff, gatekeepers don't have the expertise to evaluate them.

The sad fact is that overpowered gatekeepers keep the best solutions out of organisations just as HR departments keep the most talented people away.

So, I just try to clarify that my meaning of "gatekeeper" or "flunky" is not derogatory, but rather an opinion-maker not a decision-maker. So, I do my best to - respectfully - go past them.

But just like in other areas, we do things the way that suits us the best.

BD - by Bald Dog
The sad fact is that overpowered gatekeepers keep the best solutions out of organisations just as HR departments keep the most talented people away.
Yes, very likely true. And--there is another aspect that the pretenders in leadership roles can be oblivious to. A good illustration would be a friend of mine. Andy is the GM with a third generation car dealership that bears his surname. The company has a solid reputation. Andy accepts every phone call--no screening. He also will greet anyone cold calling in person, and if he has time, hear their story. In spite of his management role, he is the leading producer in the dealership while attending to no walk-in traffic. He is smart enough to realize that the salesperson or organization he/she represents could also be a potential customer for his dealership. - by Ace Coldiron
...there is another aspect that the pretenders in leadership roles can be oblivious to.
Who are the "pretenders in leadership roles" Ace? - by Skip Anderson
There are 2 things that I have been doing that work, and you can use them whether you refer to them as 'Gatekeepers' or not...

1) When I have NO idea who I need to speak to, I tell the 'operator' that I have a questions about doing business with their company and wonder if they can just get me in the right direction. More often than not they say 'what do you do' or 'what department do you want' or the like. I tell them that I'm interested in partnering with their firm on (put topic here) and I just want to share some information with the (put presumed title here). More often than not, they tell ME who I want to talk to. Now, I have started to bond with 'the gatekeeper' as well as qualified the first contact I am going to try to talk to.

2) lately, I have been called at C-level whether my service calls for it or not. Most often, I will be given to the CEO's assistant/secretary. Even though I got transferred to them when I asked for Mr. Big, I act like it was intentional. I tell them that I was going to ask Mr. Big about partnering, but I thought I should check with her first. After I tell Mr. Big's assistant what I am trying to accomplish, she either asks to see my info, suggests I call Mr. Big back 'whenever', or tells me who I REALLY want to talk to.

In either case, I now have a good referral. When I call the Director of 'X' and tell them that Mr. Big's office suggested I call...I am not lying at all. If I have to call back for Mr. Big, Mrs. Big already remembers me, and I am sweeter than jam with her, showing her the utmost respect for her knowledge and position in the company.

I don't close every sale, but I always talk to the right person in the process. - by Defmall
Who are the "pretenders in leadership roles" Ace?
Within the context of my post, I guess you could say they are those who don't realize the obvious fact that the salesperson calling on them or the organization he/she represents could also be a potential customer.

Within the context of the daily news....well...got a few hours to discuss? I didn't think so. - by Ace Coldiron
Getting past the gatekeeper is achieved by having a sales process that will be of benefit to the prospect even if they donít do business with you right away.

If you can effectively communicate to the gatekeeper that the company will benefit no matter what the buying decision is and that they (the gatekeeper) will be the person that has introduced this benefit to the company then the barriers will come down. - by Tony Dunne
Here is a perfect example of "be careful of how you treat a sales person cause they may be a customer"; I had two weddings coming up in my family. My daughter and my son were planning weddings so I was looking at florists that I might use. I called on one florist in person because I had heard they did good work and I wanted to meet them and see their work for myself. When I walked into the store I was met by a someone who worked there. I handed her my business card, told her my name and asked if I could speak to the owner. When she seen my business card all she saw was the fact that I worked for a television station and automatically assumed I wanted to sell them advertising. Instead of giving me a chance to tell her I had two weddings coming up and I was looking for a florist she treated me rudely and pushed me out the door. If I had to buy flower arrangements from the Dollar Store I would never buy from that florist.

MP - by MPrince
Here is a perfect example of "be careful of how you treat a sales person cause they may be a customer"; I had two weddings coming up in my family. My daughter and my son were planning weddings so I was looking at florists that I might use. I called on one florist in person because I had heard they did good work and I wanted to meet them and see their work for myself. When I walked into the store I was met by a someone who worked there. I handed her my business card, told her my name and asked if I could speak to the owner. When she seen my business card all she saw was the fact that I worked for a television station and automatically assumed I wanted to sell them advertising. Instead of giving me a chance to tell her I had two weddings coming up and I was looking for a florist she treated me rudely and pushed me out the door. If I had to buy flower arrangements from the Dollar Store I would never buy from that florist.

MP
An excellent illustration of what I was talking about. In my view, the owner is at fault because the clerk was probably carrying out a very dumb policy that came from the top. They think they are in the floral business. We are all in the people business. And people buy. - by Ace Coldiron
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