Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Sales Tips: Tales from a Gatekeeper

by Trish Bertuzzi on Wed, Apr 09, 2008

I love to read blogs that make me laugh and I read a post on The Sales Wars that was interesting and funny.  It was written by Michelle Doucette who is a gatekeeper for a software company in the Boston area.  Take a peek here and find an excerpt below:

DO. Before calling, find the company's website and see if they have a "Management Team" link in their "About Us" section. This way you may actually discover the name of the executive you need to reach BEFORE you contact the front desk. READ THIS AGAIN, absorb it into your pores, maybe even write it down. There's nothing more annoying than hearing a LAZY cubiclemonkey ask, "Can I speak to whoever is in charge of making your (fill in the blank) decisions?"

DO. Do speak to us nicely, we have feelings, and more authority than you can even begin to imagine. We deal with awkward phone calls and harassment ALL DAY LONG. We take a lot of abuse from telemarketers, recruiting agencies, irate clients, and occasionally our co-workers. Ask us how our day is going, how the weather is, etc. TRY to sound sincere; it can go a long way in helping you get where you need to go.

I think the topic is one of interest to everyone in sales.  Times have changed and where we used to think we had to "get past" the gatekeeper, now we should figure out how to "work with" the gatekeeper. 

As inside sales practitioners, how much time do we spend on crafting a compelling elevator pitch for the gatekeeper? 

After all, we wouldn't be calling at all if we didn't believe we could help the company solve a business problem, but how do we convey that to the gatekeeper in way that is relevant to them?  Their immediate issues don't include getting their applications to market faster or SOX compliance.  They do care about being viewed as an asset and a contributor to the overall success of the company.  How do we help them to help us?

I would love to hear from the Inside Sales Experts community.  What have you found to be effective in working with the gatekeeper?

Topics: sales process, sales tips, cold calling, sales tools

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