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Whether you are new to sales or deep in the game, getting past the gatekeeper remains one of the most challenging aspects of the sales process. In-depth strategy to get past the gatekeeper is also one of our most requested and viewed types of posts. Whether it be ways to coddle or navigate the gatekeeper, or having the fortitude to deal with these interactions, there are plenty of ways to turn these people from skeptical of what you have to offer to a helpful ally in your quest to get a sale.

Below are just a few of the tactics we have cobbled together to help you get your sales off the ground. We’ve found that these posts have a universal appeal regardless of skill level: from managers looking to train their team to peak efficiency to salespeople looking to hone their craft. Of Acquirent’s five pillars, we recommend utilizing a positive attitude and grit to get past these calls.

Four Key Strategies When Navigating Gatekeepers

To get what you need out of a gatekeeper, you must go in with a plan or a strategy. Finding out what makes them tick, and making sure that they are on your side will ensure your success when navigating gatekeepers.

It never hurts to ask for help.  Coming across as confused or lost can often be an effective strategy when navigating gatekeepers.  By saying things like “I might be in the wrong spot…” or “You can probably help me out.”, it shows vulnerability and helps you come across as a genuine person.  Gatekeepers pick up the phone all day and encounter salespeople who talk down to them and fail to treat them with the respect they deserve.  By asking for help, you show that you respect their opinion and value their assistance.  The gatekeeper has the power anyway, so it is beneficial to show you understand that.

To Succeed in Sales, Treat the Gatekeeper with Respect

Just because a person is standing between you and your target for a sale doesn’t mean that you can treat them like dirt. Gatekeepers have to deal with dozens, if not hundreds of people per day, and their job is to make sure that the interests of the people in their company come first. Treating gatekeepers with respect is essential not only for establishing a rapport with a company, but getting the people you need on the inside.

When cold calling companies, the first person you talk to is normally the receptionist or administrator for the company—the gatekeeper. They may not have much say in the large-scale business dealings of their employer. However, during that first cold call, they’re in control. Gatekeepers decide whether or not to put you through to a decision maker, and it can take as little as the wrong tone of voice for them to decide to block you from having that potentially lucrative conversation.

When making a sale, salespeople often must speak several times with the decision maker of the prospective company. They are the person with whom it is most important to foster a strong relationship. In the end, they control the fate of the sale. But while this relationship should rightly be prioritized, too often new salespeople fall into the trap of ignoring the importance of their interactions with other people—people whose actions can have big implications for the deal as well.

Characteristics of a Successful Salesperson

In this video, Joe Flanagan chats about the things that he sees as essential elements in any sales person.

Everyone has something that motivates them more than anything else. In recruiting, it’s our job to find out what exactly that drive is for each person. At Acquirent, we’re working with 25 different clients. A certain team member might fail with one client but be a great fit for another. It’s all about finding the right balance, which is why open communication is essential.

At a sales outsourcing company like Acquirent, our business varies so much from client to client that hiring a mix of personality types as salespeople is essential. When recruiting, we have to continue to look for all different types of salespeople and learn the best ways to match them with clients for success.