Scoring a meeting with the decision-maker can be challenging, but creating allies within the target company can be your strategy for making progress. Sometimes all it takes to get past the gatekeeper is to build a solid relationship with them. In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re going to do just that with the help of today’s guest Kevin Cummings.
Kevin has worked in many different sales spaces, from industrial to medical to tech.
- .Throughout all his sales interactions, Kevin feels most confident when revisiting offices.
- But even if it’s the second, third, or fourth visit, he’ll sometimes end up talking to people who act like it’s his first (even if he’s spoken to them several times.)
- To avoid that, Kevin makes an active effort to loop those people into the conversation.
- Make them feel as important as possible because while they aren’t the “decision-maker,” they can make your job tremendously more difficult.
Make connections with the gatekeeper:
- Ask them what the best method is is to talk with them. Then, stop talking and let them identify how they want to interact with you.
- Many salespeople know the gatekeeper is essential, yet we treat them as if they aren’t.
- You can’t always determine who has the influence, so be nice to everyone. Beyonce says “hello” and “thank you” to everyone she meets. Be like Beyonce.
- When you’re genuine with someone, they can feel it. But, conversely, being fake won’t generate the results you want.
Don’t be afraid to interact with the gatekeeper.
- Especially in the tech and medical fields, the actual decision-maker might not have the time or bandwidth to go out to lunch or have drinks with the salesperson. So why not do it with the gatekeeper?
- When Kevin does this, it’s usually only about 15 minutes of business talk. The rest is just building a relationship and connection with the gatekeeper.
- While that person can’t make the decision, they’ll remember you and want to get you in contact with the person that can.
- Your ultimate goal? Make everyone in the office your champion and advocate.
Help them, don’t help yourself.
- Since Covid, many people in companies across the country have had to and continue to wear many hats.
- Don’t try to sell immediately, and instead ask how you can take things off their plate.
- Be human, and do the thing that a good human would do.
- Don’t put your title first. You might be a salesperson, but humanity comes before titles.
Kevin’s major takeaway? Understand that your customers’ objective in their job is not to buy your product or service. Everything you do should be about them, not about you.
National Sales Network, a nonprofit organization for black people in sales and marketing, has 17 chapters across the country. Visit the website to find networking events, skill workshops, and hiring opportunities on their website.
To get in touch with Kevin, connect with him on LinkedIn.
This episode is brought to you in part by Skipio.
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