Break Down Sales Barriers: How to Get Past the Gatekeeper

Posted on in Service Solutions

BuildingRelationshipsBy Jennifer Heller, VGM Corporate Specialties There it is again, that stony glare from the other side of the counter, the barrier that is the gatekeeper. Seemingly more difficult to get past than St. Peter, you approach in a friendly way with confidence that your products and services can help their patients. Yet again, no matter the niceties in their reply, you know where you were just told to go. You ask yourself, “Where did I go wrong?” “How do I gain entry?” “Are these visits worth my investment?” Very good questions, but the wrong ones, asked too late. Start with what you don’t know. What’s their squidgy? A tough exterior at work doesn’t mean they don’t have a squidgy side. Get to know them better. Their squidgy is not just their softer side but their fun, adventurous and passionate sides outside of work. Be genuine, find something in common, don’t fabricate something in common and strive to evoke their squidgy, this approach can open doors. How do I figure out their squidgy? Social media, of course! Even if their profile on Facebook is private there is still valuable intel. Is their profile picture a picture of a pet, car or destination? If they are on LinkedIn, you can get their previous job, university and community involvement information from their profile. Being in the same industry, you may even find a common LinkedIn connection you can ask for help. Now translate the information you gathered into relationship building strategies that appeal to their squidgy. Ask about their personal interests, an organization they support, or give them a thoughtful promotional product that speaks to their personal interests, not their job duties. Taking a genuine interest in the gatekeeper’s squidgy can persuade them to help you reach your goal of assisting their patients. A key contact appointment was your goal? The goal cannot be as short-sighted as an opportunity to close a sale. Insincerity has a way of bubbling to the top and deteriorating the relationship, which will ultimately lead your key contact to believe you cannot be trusted with their patients. Be sincere in all you do. Focus on the relationship and how you can benefit their business and patients; a generous nature will help you not only reach your goal but sustain it. Has a poor first approach locked the gate? Eternity aside, the gates are not generally locked forever. How many times has a company you worked with failed to show up, so you called in a competitor? Simply being genuinely interested in their success and showing up can break down barriers. Circumstances change daily. If your company offers something unique (as it should) then eventually they may try to locate you. By providing a functional promotional product for use in their office, your information will be readily available when their need arises. This evolved approach to selling means instead of working to get past the gatekeeper, you build genuine relationships by appealing to their squidgy, give thoughtful and functional promotional products and simply show up, which will help you work through the gatekeeper, transforming them from a barrier in to an advocate. Jennifer mentioned LinkedIn as a way to learn more about the gatekeeper. Here are some more articles about LinkedIn. LinkedIn Advice: Drive Traffic to Your Website by Posting Great Content Advice for Networking with HME Professionals on LinkedIn