The Gatekeeper

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The End of the Gatekeeper | EDUCAUSE

Thank you so much for taking my call. Can you please help direct me? Using manners goes a long way in building rapport with gatekeepers. Just as well, it reminds gatekeepers that they are important and helpful. This is no different for gatekeepers. Can I take a message?

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You: Okay, thank you. I value that. In the meantime, if you can think of a better way for me to get him this information, I really appreciate your perspective. Another strategy at the opposite end of the spectrum is to ditch the small talk altogether — particularly if you are dealing with a busy and focused gatekeeper. By starting the conversation with confidence and demonstrating that the decision maker is either expecting or will appreciate your call, you may avoid triggering a defensive response.

I was going to send it via email but wanted to take a few minutes to explain some of the important points. The key here is not to be dishonest, but to set a tone that your call is important and anticipated. If the gatekeeper presses harder, be direct and firm.

GateKeeper - Official POV

Thank you. This is more important and easier than ever with the vast amount of information available online. Do your research and learn as much as you can about the decision maker and the gatekeeper before reaching out.


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Did the decision maker mention exceeding sales goals as their top accomplishment on LinkedIn? This indicates that exceeding sales goals is something they value and find important.

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In this case, you may want to lead the conversation by mentioning that your offering will help the gatekeeper and the decision maker knock their sales targets out of the park in the coming year. While getting past the gatekeeper is known to be one of the most challenging aspects of sales, it all starts with the basics.

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Lead with respect and integrity 2. Add a personal touch 3. Use basic manners 4. Ditch the small talk 6.

Do your research. Questions or comments?


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    October 29, Share this post: Twitter Facebook Linkedin Email. A good gatekeeper is intuitive and can detect an unimportant interruption in a heartbeat. It usually comes from someone who does not have a complaint, is not calling to purchase goods or services, but who wants something for themselves. For example, to make a sale.

    The Gatekeeper

    This is understandable if you consider that salespeople frequently resort to trickery or outright lying to get past gatekeepers in order to reach the decision-maker. It's vital to treat the gatekeeper with respect and integrity. Hopefully, you'll gain their cooperation, and this can make your sale far easier to close. The alternative is to antagonize them to the point that you'll have no chance of ever speaking to the decision-maker.

    They're rarely involved in the decision-making process, so your best tactic may be to use the system to your advantage. Don't try to get past him or her. Instead, let them do their job and arrange an appointment to see the decision-maker. Executive assistants often become involved in the buying process, at least on an advisory level, so you might want to take a different approach with this kind of gatekeeper. You need to sell him or her, then give them some time to sell you to the boss. It's best to treat these kinds of gatekeepers as extensions of the decision-maker.

    B2C salespeople also have to deal with gatekeepers, although the gatekeeper function is less formal. For example, a parent might act as a gatekeeper for their child, or a husband might do it for his wife.