Gatekeepers and sellers

Who are you? No, not a blog about football chants or The Who’s 1978 classic album, it’s about the whole seller vs. gatekeeper piece.

“Gatekeeper”. I’m not a fan of the word; no issue with the people, it’s the word. Actually, you know what, it’s less the word, it’s more about what it now represents and how it gets used. Not by everyone…but by enough. It’s the whole negativity around it; blaming the “gatekeeper” for not being able to speak to the decision maker. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the posts that appear on LinkedIn…the ones with unflattering memes.

And yet, who is the gatekeeper? I’ve been around the business block a couple of times and am yet to see a business card with this title on, or meet someone at a networking event introducing themselves as a gatekeeper. It’s a catch-all title that lazily groups receptionists, switchboard, PAs, colleagues, etc. They each bring something to the selling/buying process that deserves credit. They equally require a different approach when the seller calls.

Ah yes, the seller.

I love selling, sellers and all things sales. Which is just as well given what I do for a living. Thing is, the sellers must understand that they are accountable for the call. If the “gatekeeper” doesn’t put them through to the decision maker, then guess who was responsible for that? Be mature enough to realise that you probably didn’t deserve to be put through.

Put it this way: what had you, the seller, done to go from unknown to known? What reason did you give to be put through?

And don’t tell me that companies that have a “block their calls” policy are all evil and deserve to go under…blah, blah, blah…just because you can’t be bothered building a relationship ahead of the call. Yes, they might miss an amazing opportunity that your company could offer to them. Yet, if your company’s offer is so amazing, give it the credit it deserves. Imagine if every call from every seller was put through to every decision maker. What would happen to their company then? What would happen to all your prospects, eh?

The gatekeeper is doing their job when they prevent unprepared amateurs from being put through to folk who have better things to do. So if you want them to invest in what you’re selling, invest some time in building a relationship and shaping a reason to be put through to the decision maker.

Want to find out more about how to be more effective when you are on the phone making sales calls? Why not get in touch or check out one of our open courses?

Image sourced via Pixabay

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