In today’s B2B markets, as the political landscape becomes more complex, the chances of being stuck with a powerless gatekeeper who has no power and no potential of making anything happen is a reality. This video explores the various gatekeepers that can either help or hurt your sales efforts. We will discuss the red flags that help you recognize you are hanging out with the No-Po gatekeeper
- Do you feel like there is an army of gatekeepers blocking you from getting through to the decision maker? Are you frustrated when you're denied access to the decision maker? A gatekeeper is someone whose sole job is to protect the decision makers time and keep you out. In your sales efforts there will always be gatekeepers that you'll run into, and there is two that you need to learn to manage well. The first one is the executive assistant.
They usually work with high level decision makers in the C-suite. This includes the CEO, the CFO, the CTO, and the COO. Their sole interest is in protecting their decision makers time and keeping you out. Rather than trying to bull doze your way past them, it's much more effective and a lot less frustrating to create allies with them. Often, that means engaging with this influential executive assistant.
If you approach them the right way you can get a lot of information from them. They give you information about the company, the hierarchy of decision makers, and they can confirm the power structure, but it's all about how they are approached. You must approach them the right way. If you sound too pushy, too desperate, they'll shut you down and keep you away. Your pace should be quick, your tone confident, and you must treat them with respect and sound genuine.
Always start your questions by asking this magic phrase, I'm wondering if you can help me. Don't forget to give them verbal hugs, such as oh you've been great, I really appreciate your help. The other gatekeeper is much tougher to identify, and I refer to them with a term I've coined called the no-po, and no-po stands for no power, no potential, and you'll never receive a purchase order.
Very often, sales reps mistake a high level gatekeeper for someone who has real power and they're wrong. These no-pos are friendly, charming, and helpful people. They're smart, attentive, responsive, and they're legitimately interested in your product and solution. They're very sales-minded, they ask lots of great questions and they all require additional legwork on your part. And they love talking with vendors.
They act as though they have power, but the truth is they keep you down and keep you out. It's easy to be fooled by their impressive and prestigious titles, such as engineers, administrators, consultants, executives, managers, and even directors, but they lack influence when it comes to budgets or to making anything happen. They will make a lot of empty promises that never materialize.
They have less power and influence than they're telling you. The danger is when they insist that vendors only speak with them and discourage any contact with their boss. You'll hear them saying things such as, no I'm the one that makes all the decisions here, or you can contact my boss, but they'll send you right back to me. They usually don't like to give their bosses name, and they'll assure you that they are your main contact.
The problem with many sales people is they stick to their no-po like Velcro, and they never move away. They have false hope by believing that they can even change their no-pos mind, and that'll never be the case because the no-po cannot make anything happen, remember, because they lack influence. Instead, the longer you stick with them the more they will drag your sale down. The best solution is once you discover you're in the no-po zone and confirm it through LinkedIn by checking their career trajectory and observing their job responsibilities are more task master oriented versus leader focused, move away from them as fast as possible.
Start building up a list of more influential contacts that you plan reaching out to within their company. So, are you stuck with a few prospects you've been chasing too long and hoping something will happen? You might be in the no-po zone, so go back to some of those accounts you've been working on and start strategizing on how you're gonna break up with them.
- Understanding the qualities of successful inside sales pros
- Using the right sales tools
- Social selling with LinkedIn
- Improving your response rate
- Building a foolproof qualification plan
- Getting past gatekeepers
- Handling objections
- Closing the sale