Just about every sales training program focuses on marketing to C-levels, VPs, Directors, Managers and other influencers. Grabbing their attention. Informing them. Conversing with them. Securing their open-mindedness to learn more. Eventually hopefully to commit and buy.
All well and good. But that only works if you reach them. Only one thing stands in the way. A highly influencial gatekeeper you won’t find listed in Google, the company website, or anywhere else.
When I teach salesreps, I emphasize that it is often more difficult scaling the outer wall than the inside executive office.
Gatekeepers are the first line of defense against vendors and time-wasters. They are paid and promoted to block frivolous intruders so if you sound like one, you’re doomed.
The gatekeeper remedy:
SOUND LIKE A PROFESSIONAL SO THE GATEKEEPER CAN BE CONFIDENT YOU WILL BE LOW-RISK AND VALUABLE TO THE C-LEVEL.
No cute phrases. No chit chat. No artificial messaging.
- Tell who you are and where you are calling from. (city)
- Tell the company you are representing.
- Ask their advice as to the best way to get information to the executive assistant of your target
- Mention ‘breaking news’ from your company that the executive will likely want to learn about as he/she prepares for year-end and the start of 2018.
Yours will be the 40th incoming call that they received today so don’t waste their time. BE DIFFERENT. BE AT EXECUTIVE LEVEL. BE RELEVANT TO THEIR FIRM.
And remember, provide your name at the start and the end of the dialog, leave your email and website details. Once gatekeeper hangs up, you want your call to be remembered.
OFFER TO COPY THE GATEKEEPER ON ANY EMAIL YOU SEND TO HIGHER-UPS. This underscores your respect for his/her position in the org chart.