Tag Archives: negotiation

Four tips to handle gatekeepers to reach the decision maker

Sales people should be essentially the agents of charity. Charity means charity of empowering the customers with the right information and insight over the solution. In our journey for meeting decision makers (DM), gatekeepers are the people who the first contacts are prior reaching DM.
Gatekeepers are mostly viewed as the problem creators in any sales process. Satisfying their egos, convincing them to connect, matching their moods and creating impressions are major issue associated with. Here are four ideas that have helped me to get through many gatekeepers to present my points to decision makers as the first step.
1. Sharing the objective
In most of the cases the sales people approach gatekeepers as a problem child. In fact convincing a gatekeeper to reach the decision maker involves a sales process. One of the strategies which worked with me is to being straight with them introducing who you are, the reason to meet up with the decision maker and briefing about the company. This will help you in positioning with the customer.
2. Tone
“ Its not what you say but How you say it.” An authoritative tone will mostly work with gatekeepers as the tone should reflect such that the person calling has an authority, possessing a passion on the subject and mirroring an image as if he has every right to speak to the decision maker. Elements of the tones like voice projection, pitch, definitive statement and pacing the words will play huge role in converting the gatekeeper to pass the call. Right tone will arose the interest to engage the gatekeeper and they starts listening to you thinking you as a senior person.
3. Conveying the value proposition
It is highly recommended to convey the value proposition along with the objective of the meeting. The value proposition could be the factors like cost saving, reducing the turnaround time, citing an example of how you have helped the competition to gain productivity, saving bottom line, focusing on the value added activities and so on. Many times gatekeeper connects you in this scenario as they would love to see their company thriving in the market and smiling face of their boss. Using of the right adjectives and the management jargon in the communication would support your efforts.
4. Drawing cues
Having set your tone, established your objectives, value proposition in place and the gatekeeper didn’t turn up as you expect. What is the next step?
Cues! Sales person should ensure that he is probing gatekeeper to fetch more information on the decision makers. The questioning techniques has to build in such a way that you are getting the information on the recently implemented solutions and the challenges solved, pitch using references of decision maker from other verticals whom you have already networked with, timing of the office etc.
Cues will helps you with reasons to get back to the person again. Also try making tele calls in the early part of the day or the late part of the work time as this the essential time (where the gatekeepers who would not have joined/ left by that time) to circumvent gatekeepers.


4 sales tips for uncovering the needs of customer

4 sales tips for uncovering the needs of customer

Best solution wins business. Solution comes though the thorough understanding of the needs and understanding needs should be backed by great questioning. The following tips help sales people to uncover the needs of companies before preparing the presentation.
1.) Create a mood match with the customer
Its interesting to know that the secret of success in any business deals lies in ‘You’ and not in ‘I’ or ‘My’. This makes customer feel that you are thinking about him and his issues, develops positive vibe in the conversation ultimately allow customer to open up more before the sales person. This in turn helps to establish a relationship with the customer.
2.) Where do we find the information about the customer?
The vision, mission, investor relation and press release are the not to miss pages in the website. The industry knowledge and the positioning of the company do matter. Word with the competitors decision makers (if you know any) and dealers help in understanding issues. Probing gatekeeper does add value to the final draft. It is recommended to directly call the decision maker during the appointment fixing to pull out information if required.
3.) How to frame questions?
A question has to be prepared from decision maker personal perspective and link his likes to products. Relevant questions can be framed from the goal, history and lifestyle of the customer. Questioning is the most obvious way to demonstrate our interest in their needs.
4.) Be prepared to listen
Listening is the key as the smallest detail could be the hottest button. Don’t think about your next question while your customer speaks. Size Up your listening skills by listening to the emotions in the story. Talk with the prospect.