I hate gatekeepers as much as I hate cold calls. I’ve done my best to avoid having to deal with either. Sure, when I was coming up, I’d dealt with plenty of both, but these days, I’d rather get right to the decision maker. I’m sure you’re the same way.
My first few years in the mortgage business put me in front of a lot of gatekeepers. No matter how good my pitch was, some were just too dumb to get it. That’s the thing about gatekeepers, they aren’t necessarily supposed to be smart. They are hired to be stubborn. Their main job is to make sure the decision maker isn’t disturbed.
Getting past the gatekeeper can be frustrating as negotiating with a two year old. No matter what you say, they can always come back with “NO” For people like us, it’s one of the most frustrating parts of being in sales.
Theses days, if I talk to gatekeeper, it’s by accident. I refuse to pitch anyone who has no intention or ability to buy from me. It makes no sense and is a complete waste of time. This doesn’t mean I talk to less decision makers though. It means I’ve found a few ways to get past the gatekeeper, so I can close the sale with the decision maker.
The first, and my favorite way to get around the gatekeeper, is to look the decision maker up on social media. On sites like Linkedin and Facebook, you can pretty much find anyone. Simply typing the decision maker’s name into the search bar will bring up their profile. This also gives you a chance to see what kind of things they post about online, so you can bond with them later.
Sometimes you have to pay a couple bucks to pass the spam filters on social media, but it’s been my experience that it’s always worth it. I’d rather pay one to two dollars to get my pitch in front of the right set of eyes, than waste my pitch on the gatekeeper. Think of it as paying for a lead. You pay for coffee, letters, and all sorts of swag, why not pay a dollar to get your message read?
Also, since you’re on social media you can hit up their company and fan pages too.
Another technology I use to get past the gatekeeper is kickfire.com. Kick Fire is a plugin you add to your browser that pulls up contact information of employees on the company’s site. In other words if you go to apple.com and hit the KickFire button, it pulls up the entire company and their emails and phone numbers. If you get the email address, it’s just like getting them on social media. Put your pitch in front of them.
You may be thinking that I’m wasting a lot of time by tracking down decision makers online. You can’t look at it that way. Instead of me making 300 cold calls to gatekeepers every day and making 3 sales. I make contact with 20 decision makers each day and close 4-10 of them. I go in like a sniper, not a machine gunner.
Now that I’ve told you a couple ways to get past the gatekeeper, let’s talk about something more important. if you’re going to get a decision from a decision maker, you need a solid pitch. You need to hone your writing skills. The sales platform is changing. We are doing less face to face, less phone sales, and more communication via text, chat and email. You need to get as good on messages and email as you are on the phone.
Selling is changing rapidly. The way we humans communicate is changing just as fast. It’s 2016, most of us that are 40 years old and less have spent at least 10 years online. It’s where we hangout. It’s where we do business. It’s the only place the gatekeeper can’t protect us.
Lastly, I’m looking for a few badasses to take on as personal clients. If that’s you, fill out the form by clicking the banner below. I’ve helped a lot of salespeople earn multiple 6 and 7 figures annually. Are you next?
*Shout out to Kyle Pearsall for coming up with the topic for this post.
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