We’ve all been there before. You’re out prospecting, walk into a business and there sits the “Office Gatekeeper”. Your job is to find out who the decision maker is and if possible, meet them! Part of the Gatekeeper’s job description is to “protect” the decision maker.
Let the game begin!
You have three strategic alternatives to getting past these sales preventers:
1.) Go around them.
2.) Wait until they die or leave the company.
3.) Win them over.
In reality, option three, winning them over, is your only viable option. The process of winning over the Gatekeeper begins with respect.
Before you even introduce yourself, say these words…“I’m hopeful that you can help me”, then pause … and wait for them to reply. Once they commit to helping, you’re halfway there. See, people love to help other people, and if you ask for their help, chances are they will do what they can.
The Gatekeeper can actually be a great supporter of you. Depending upon how well you treat them, they can play a major factor in determining if you get to see the decision maker. They can also answer many questions for you, and you are more apt to get an answer if you ask for their help.
Show them respect, ask their opinion, and above all ask … “Can you help me?”
…and on your way out, ALWAYS say to the Gatekeeper, “Thank You for your HELP”!
Q1 is in the books and regardless of how it went for your individual reps or your team, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it now. It is, what it is!
If you met or surpassed your goals, look back and see what was done to make it a great first quarter, take advantage of the synergies, celebrate the victory, and then … get back to work!
If it was less than expected, it’s time to analyze and figure out where and why they came up short. Was it that they didn’t prospect enough, make enough presentations, or maybe they didn’t approach renewals in the right manner and lost some.
I suggest having your reps write down what was “out of their control” and what was “in their control”. By doing this, if they are honest, they will see their own shortcomings and know exactly what they need to do to get better. They will also see that in some cases there is absolutely nothing they could have done differently, but in the future, they need to prepare for this. Prospecting!
If they are not honest and blame it all on something or someone else, you have a whole different fish to fry.
Together, plan how they can improve in the areas they are lacking …and then get back to work!
The end of each quarter is a checkpoint. Take advantage of this opportunity to evaluate each individual rep and the team as a whole …and Good Luck in Q2!
Here’s a scenario. You’re in a meeting with a potential client, and like magic, you come up with a “BIG IDEA” that you know is the answer to helping the client make a ton of money, no less yourself. In your enthusiasm to show the client how smart you are as a marketing and advertising professional, you blurt out your “BIG IDEA”!
You’re a genius, right? Wrong!
If you do have a good idea, as in this situation, and you throw it out spontaneously, the chances of it being excepted are greatly diminished. There’s a much better time to reveal you’re a real genius. It’s when you make your presentation!
Ask yourself this question. Do you think your client would put more value on a great idea that someone came up with on the fly, or one that took a week or two to come up with after much consideration and brainstorming? The client will think, “Wow, they really put some time and thought into this idea!”
Instead of blurting out your “BIG IDEA” during the first meeting, say something like, “I think I may have some good ideas, but I want to do some additional research and give some extra thought to these ideas before deciding and making our recommendations”.
While most good ideas take time to develop, we also know that occasionally we get lucky and come up with that GREAT idea on the spot.
It’ll take discipline, bite your lip, but whatever you do, WAIT, and don’t give away that “BIG IDEA” so quickly!