A decision-maker is oftentimes protected by a gatekeeper or insulated. So how do you actually get to them?
Getting past the gatekeeper is a pretty common challenge among salespeople. It’s all too common. But it remains a challenge until now. So we’re bringing in the man who’s got the key to the gate as he shares with us today some strategies on how to get to your decision-makers.
EksAyn “Eks” Anderson has been in sales for years. Eks also does speaking, training, and coaching for different organizations. He is the author of the book, The Key to the Gate which is a great introduction for someone getting into sales or even someone in sales who finds it quite challenging to get to the decision-maker.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Eks:
Why Eks decided to write this book:
- A challenge to get in front of the right people
- Only one or two or a handful of people that can actually write the check
Why people have a hard time getting to the decision-makers:
- Decision-makers don’t have time to talk to every single salesperson who wants to talk to them.
- They employ gatekeepers (secretary, receptionist, employee, etc.) to weed out people that shouldn’t have time with the decision-makers.
Strategies to get past the gatekeeper:
- Know that no organization is the same.
What might work in one organization might work completely differently in a different organization.
- Apply the principle of positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior. So when somebody does something to help you out, you immediately reward them. Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement or punishment, not only in sales, but in all areas.
- Start higher than you think you need.
Influence flows downhill. If you’re in doubt about where to start in the organization, call the higher person than you think you need. Oftentimes, they will tell you exactly who you need to speak to then politely ask them to forward your well-crafted email down to the other people within the organization.
Is cold calling dead?
It’s so easy to send mass emails. There are so many different ways to connect. From a decision-maker’s perspective, there may be some really valuable services that they would really like to look into but they have no time with so many emails and social media connections. So it’s important to differentiate yourself. And it’s as small as giving the secretary a compliment to his/her boss. It’s doing the little things. Get on the phone with people more than you do your research. Getting on the phone is one of the best ways to do research.
Using the familiar first name basis:
When the person you talk to rattles some names, take note of those names and if you can, take note of their positions in the organization. So the next time you call in, you can mention the first names. A lot of times when you mention first names, it almost sounds like you’re an insider.
On creating scripts:
- Call the person by their first name.
You have a right to talk to the person so ask confidently to speak to that person you want to talk with.
- Don’t sell your product right then and there.
Your aim is to initially get the appointment solidified. Leave the selling for the appointment. Don’t do it right there and then.
Connect with Eks through his website on www.xfactoredge.com or call him directly at 801-669-2425.
Eks’ Major Takeaway:
Find out the principles of human relations to sales and then base your techniques around real principles that work. If you truly understand a certain principle, you might come up with a thousand different techniques to use that principle. Techniques work because they’re backed by real principles.
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Check out Eks Anderson’s’ book, The Key to the Gate