“I always hit a road-block when I connect with a gate-keeper. If I was better in those situations my connection rate would improve, and I’d schedule more sales engagements.”
Here’s a cheat sheet on how to prevail with a positive outcome when you engage with a tricky gate-keeper.
1. Always smile and check your body language – approach this the same way you would pitching a CEO.
2. Ask the gate-keeper how their day is going. So often they are facilitating conversations for others – when you take the time out to be friendly; naturally, this increases the likelihood you will be helped along your way.
3. An over-familiar ask really helps – use the first name of the prospect only. You’ll be prompted immediately: “Jane who..?”, then respond, “Oh sorry – Jane Smith in Procurement“- appearing as if you know the prospect has a positive impact on your conversation rate.
4. Empower them. If you are hitting a wall then ask this question; “If you were in my position what would you recommend as the best way to connect with Jane?”
5. Ask more questions; When did you last see them? What time do they normally take their lunch? What’s the office setup? Are you based at the same location? Are they on annual leave at the moment? Who works alongside them? When does their meeting finish? Have they asked you not to connect anyone, or are they genuinely busy right now?
6. Don’t ask to be connected first time out, ask direct for the prospect’s mobile number – often you will be given it outright and then you cut out the gate-keeper moving forward. If you don’t get the number, you’ll often be connected instead – which is the outcome you wanted right?
7. Take the hint to change your approach – if the above aren’t working and you are met with generic disinterested responses then take note that you are better off sending an email or InMail.
All of these points will help increase your conversation rate.