Gatekeeper - The Sales Evangelist

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales Podcast

TSE 580: TSE Hustler’s League-“Executive Language Part 2”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Sales PodcastToday’s episode is another snippet pulled out from one of our training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League where we focused on speaking the language of executives. This is actually part 2 of this two-part series. If you haven’t yet, check out part 1 of this episode back in TSE 575. Our upcoming semester is in June and we’d love for you to join us!

Strategies for Reaching Out to Executives:

  1. Learn the language.

Prepare as much as possible in understanding business acumen and business strategy, what they’re trying to do and how they’re trying to grow the company.

You want to focus on the top level so you have to increase your competency in business and financial acumen, which means understanding financial documents. Learn the difference between a balance sheet and the profit and loss statement, or an income statement. How can you speak with an executive who is focused on that? This increases your confidence so you won’t be a fish out of water when they start talking to you about that.

Especially if it’s a publicly traded company, you can look into their website and check out their balance sheets, income statement, profit, and loss. Look at those things to learn some stuff. You can also check out YouTube for some tutorials on how to read a balance sheet, etc. Your goal here is to increase the quality of the story to make it more compelling.

  1. Bring value to the table.

Use social tools that you may introduce into their company. Try to find a way that you can bring in your product or service.

  1. Talk about the things that managers talk about.

Look at the company responsibilities of a manager on LinkedIn and instead of talking about those things, talk about it and they may just refer you to their executives.

  1. Practice.

Do some role plays within your company or with someone as you’re trying to have those executive conversations. If it sounds like you’re only speaking to a manager, tweak yourself and improve. Make a bunch of phone calls and try to speak to these executives so you’re able to practice it.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Find ways to have more strategic conversations and this will lead to more discussions and eventually to conversations about your product.

We’re doing an online workshop next week, 5 Simple Strategies to Increase Your Win Rate, where you will get specific takeaway actions you can readily apply to your own sales process.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League!

TSE 575: Executive Language Part 1

The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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Cold Calling, Donald Kelly, Eksayn Anderson The Sales Evangelist Podcast,

TSE 254: The Key To The Gate!

Cold Calling, Donald Kelly, Eksayn Anderson The Sales Evangelist Podcast, 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:

  1. Know that no organization is the same.

What might work in one organization might work completely differently in a different organization.

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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 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.

Episode Resources:

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Check out Eks Anderson’s’ book, The Key to the Gate

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Sales Person, Cold Calling, Cristina Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast , Donald Kelly

TSE 183: Sales From The Street-“You Have To Do Better”

Sales Person, Cold Calling, Cristina Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast , Donald KellySales people always have a difficult time getting past the gate keeper and speaking with the decision maker. Many times they don’t know that they sound like to everyone else and as such, come off as a “salesperson”…Someone who is interrupting the potential customer’s day, trying to sell some thing they don’t need.

Obviously as a seller, we know that’s not exactly the case, however, its the perception that the “potential buyer” has! That perception to them is reality and thus will always be a hindrance to a seller’s success unless they can prove to the gatekeeper of the decision maker aka “potential customer” otherwise.

For this episode I brought on my wife, Cristina Kelly, to share some of her thoughts on what sellers should and should NOT do as they are prospecting. She has the opportunity to work closely with executives in her company and as such, get’s plenty of requests, soliciting opportunities to speak with the decision maker. Listen to some of her thoughts.

If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to comment and share them in our private Facebook Group “The Sales Evangelizers”…Come join the discussion, click here. 

The Sales Evangelizers, Donald Kelly, Sales Facebook Group