There are many objections a B2B salesperson can come across in their journey in sales. They can spend their time trying to perfect their speech, write-up long scripts, and think of the most difficult situations they face, but it is easy for them to forget the most common and least avoided objection; the “Gatekeeper”. The Gatekeeper is the person that most reps will come across before they ever get to the decision maker, and is also the person that can make sure they never get to the correct person.
Build an Ally Toward “Yes”
In sales, it is your job to reach the decision maker and get that final “yes” from them to close the sale. Often times, it feels as if it is the Gatekeepers job to say “no”, regardless of what you may have to offer. At the end of the day, it is your job to turn them into you’re an ally rather than an enemy. You need to sell the gatekeeper on why they should put you through to the right person. There are numerous ways to go about getting someone on your side; ask for their help, stay in control of the conversation, and make them feel they are important to this process. You will have to deal with this person time and time again, and making them feel needed will help you achieve your goals.
Gatekeepers Need Details, but Not a Pitch
It is okay for you to give small details or briefly explain that you need help finding the best contact you need to be speaking with. Keep it simple and high level (why would the DM want to talk to you?) This does not mean you should be giving Gatekeepers your “spiel” or “hook” though. The Gatekeeper is not the decision maker in this process, and giving them your speech only gives them more ammunition to say no to you. Keeping the conversation high-level and benefit-oriented while remaining polite with the gatekeeper can carry you a long way with them.
Lastly, it is vital to make the Gatekeeper understand that your product is important to whomever you may be reaching out to. You don’t “want” to speak with Mr. Smith, you “need” to speak with Mr. Smith. Your goal in sales isn’t to settle for the decision maker’s voicemail or email every time you call, you need to ask when they will be available and when you can reach out. Stand out from the other salespeople by embracing the gatekeeper and making them see you as a person rather than a salesman. In doing so, you will greatly increase your potential and will be much more likely to get through to the decision maker and make the sale.