The greatest barrier many salespeople face is known as the “gatekeeper,” the one who figuratively holds the key to the decision-maker’s door.
A gatekeeper can be a public relations person, an executive or the company’s receptionist.
Usually the gatekeeper is a valued employee who is charged with screening an executive’s calls and callers.
Remind your salespeople that gatekeepers are people who are just trying to do their jobs. They shouldn’t see them merely as barriers to be breached.
Here are some tips to share with your salespeople:
- Form a relationship. Give the gatekeeper the same respect you would give to the CEO. You never know how much power the gatekeeper has – not necessarily the authority to buy your product or service, but the power to influence the decision.
- Ask for help. You might ask a gatekeeper for insights and ideas about how to do your job more efficiently without wasting an executive’s time. If you can get the gatekeeper’s trust, you may gain some inside information that will help close the sale.