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Get Past The Gate Keeper

Recently in my SalesQuickstarter Group one of participants, asked how to manage a situation that he was encountering far too often.

It seems that often when he called on a prospective account that he believed would be a good fit, he was not able to gain access to the decision makers. The best he could do was provide his solution presentation to the “gatekeeper” guarding access to the decision maker.

The “gatekeeper” then delivered his message to the decision maker and well, nothing happened.

The next time he called back, he was informed that the information he provided was shared and there was no interest.

This was so frustrating because as the Sales Professional shared in the group, “I know that there was no way that she could have explained the opportunity that this solution would give to this business. Our solutions have a technical aspect and being able to communicate this is what I do better than anyone which is a huge value for our clients.”

He also shared that this situation was happening to him a lot!

Unfortunately, it will continue to happen unless he makes some significant changes to his process and establishes some boundaries for engaging with prospects.

The scariest boundary for a Sales Professional to establish is saying “no” to get to “yes”. 

Sales professionals that are unwilling or afraid to say “no” to giving a sales pitch to a gatekeeper waste a lot of precious time. Providing a value proposition to anyone other than the decision maker is often the contributing factor that dilutes and distorts the best benefits of our products and solutions.

Nobody knows how awesome our solutions are better than we do. It’s our story to tell. We lose control of the story and the sale when we let someone else do the telling.

Don’t sell the gatekeeper on the solution, sell her on introducing you to the decision maker!

Use relationship building, leveraging names of recognizable industry reference accounts and proofs in the form of introductions, testimonials and referrals. The case you should be creating for the “gatekeeper” is that not giving access would be worse than doing what she is very likely paid to do, which is keep the leader from being interrupted by sales people.

The reason my client and perhaps you are not making it past the gatekeeper is that you are reserving all your Ninja sales charm and skills exclusively for the buyer.

That’s just silly. Most conversations are sales conversations in that we are convincing someone to adopt our desires as their desires. It’s the same with the gatekeeper. We need to create a human connection and nurture that connection to create trust. Once you’re trusted, she’s more likely to let you know that her boss gets into the office at 7:30 am and answers the calls that come in himself until she arrives at 8!

Selling is fun! Now go have some fun building human connections with the gatekeepers of all those companies who need your products and services.

Cathleen Mancino is a former Tech CEO and Award-Winning Sales Professional. As an internationally certified, ICF ACC Peak Productivity Coach, Cathleen works with professionals to take action on their goals and implement winning game plans for Sales and Life. Cathleen is the founder of the Slingshot Method for achieving what was formerly known as impossible. Contact Cathleen at

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