In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is moments away from winning the Triwizard Tournament when he is brought to a screeching halt by a sphinx. Inches from victory, the sphinx tells Harry he cannot pass and reach the finish line unless he can answer a complicated, multipart riddle.
Okay, maybe not. But mythical creatures and wizards aside, this story isn’t a far cry from the challenges sales reps face every day. To make a sale, they need to reach a decision maker, but a gatekeeper often stops them in their tracks.
Decision makers are busy, and gatekeepers are rightfully cautious about restricting outsiders’ access to their time. Salespeople hoping to get on a decision maker’s calendar will have to prove that they and their product are worthy of a phone call or meeting.
This does not mean you should unload your elevator pitch on the gatekeeper or dive into a hard sell. Not only do executive assistants and schedulers lack the authority to buy, they’ll probably come away thinking you’re unable to read a situation and react appropriately (which, if you’re selling the gatekeeper, is probably true).
The Center for Sales Strategy put together the SlideShare below with 10 tips on how to bypass a gatekeeper and get one step closer to closing the deal.
Spoiler alert: for anybody who’s wondering, Harry gets the riddle right and is able to get past the gatekeeper. Arm yourselves with the techniques below and you’ll be able to as well.