Need I say more?
It seems their sole mission in their professional life is to protect the time of your prospect.
Sometimes they’ve been told to “screen all calls,” and other times they’re given full control to manage their boss’s inbox.
Whether the role has been assigned or is simply seen as a way of helping their boss, gatekeepers can make prospecting a challenge.
For years there have been discussions on how to get around the gatekeeper.
You’ve likely heard ideas like “bring them a coffee” or “become their friend.”
Sometimes these strategies work, but in my experience, it’s rare.
What you need to do is go over the gatekeepers. Act as if they aren’t there.
Sound harsh? If it works, then it doesn’t matter.
Why Do Gatekeepers Block Salespeople?
Gatekeeper take pride in their responsibility. They believe that by protecting the time of their boss, they in turn are being a loyal and supportive employee.
This is important to remember.
Their efforts to block you and keep you away from their boss is something they take seriously, so efforts to befriend them are often a complete waste of time.
Furthermore, they get requests and inquiries from salespeople all the time. So they already have their guard up when you call.
Going over gatekeepers is the fastest way to reach your prospect.
Might the gatekeeper’s feelings be hurt? Sure. But if you know you can help your prospect with your product or service, then you owe it to them to ignore the gatekeeper.
There are 10 ways you can go over the gatekeeper that I’ve used, my clients have used, and that work.
It’s important to mention that, depending on the level of accessibility the gatekeeper has been given, you may need to try more than one of these approaches to reach your prospect.
Also, using these strategies takes courage.
But if you have something of value to offer, then you have nothing to worry about.
10 Ways to Get to the Gatekeepers
Send Direct Mail:
- Registered letter: Send a registered letter directly to the attention of your prospect. By law they can be the only person to receive the letter.
- FedEx a package: Send a package marked “confidential” via FedEx requiring a signature. This typically makes it directly past the gatekeeper to the desk of your prospect—but the “confidential” markings are key to this working.
- Alternate address: Find your prospect’s home address and use it to send a letter or package to their attention. Mention that you weren’t able to reach them at the office but believed your package (specifically its contents) was important.
Contact by Phone:
- Send a text message: Obtain your prospect’s cell phone number and send them a personalized text message.
- Send a WhatsApp message: Check if your prospect is using WhatsApp and send them a video message using the platform (you can also send a text or audio message, but I’ve found video messages are the most effective).
- Call them at home: Search and obtain your prospect’s home number and contact them there. The best time to contact them, in my experience, is on a weekday between 6 and 7 p.m.
Send an Email:
- Use their personal email: Everyone has a Gmail or Hotmail account they use personally and that is NOT managed by a gatekeeper. Do your research to find out what it is and send a personalized email suggesting it was the only email you could find. Sometimes you can find these using software like RocketReach.
- Mark the email “Confidential”: This one doesn’t always work, but if the gatekeeper is managing the inbox of your prospect, in some situations they will leave emails titled “*Confidential*” alone for their boss to review.
- Send a telegram: If you want to have some fun and go over the gatekeeper, send a telegram. You’ll have full control over what is said and how it is said, and can provide direct instructions to only give the telegram to a specific individual.
- Pay someone: If you’ve ever been served, you’ll know that the person serving you is often just someone paid to deliver a letter. They are paid to ensure the letter reaches your hands. You can pay someone to do the same thing for you to get a letter (or other package) in the hands of your prospect.
Bonus: Send Uber Eats: Why not send a tasty treat by Uber Eats directly to your prospect? Although the gatekeeper might receive the food, they are unlikely to open its packaging. This is a great chance for you to add a note or card for your prospect.
Not for the Faint of Heart
As mentioned earlier, these strategies aren’t for the faint of heart.
Typically, I advise my coaching clients to use these strategies only after they’ve attempted to reach their prospect through normal means and have been blocked by a gatekeeper.
But if you have something of value to sell, then you owe it to your prospect to do everything you can to get their attention.
© Shawn Casemore 2021. All Rights Reserved.