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How to “work with” (not against) the Gate Keeper

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secretary gate keeperWe’ve focused lately on the vital “first 30 seconds” when meeting a new customer. The first impressions you (and your employees) give have a HUGE impact on your success!

The “first 30 seconds” is essential in breaking through commercial inertia too! But likely your biggest challenge/ question in commercial (and restoration) sales is…

“How can I break through with the ‘Dreaded Gate Keeper’?”

Remember, the Gate Keeper protects commercial (and restoration) Decision Makers from “pesky sales people”! (Like you!) So you must convince them that your visit will A) be valuable and B) won’t take too much time. Here’s how to do it:

1. Change your viewpoint/ terminology. Stop viewing the “Gate Keeper” as an enemy. NOTE: In my company we called the Gate Keeper our “Initial Contact”. (I/C)

2. “Intrigue” your new Initial Contact. How? A) Dress up and B) relax and keep a “self-deprecating sense of humor”.

3. Display “Bemused Confusion”. Your I/C will normally greet you with “How can I help you?” (Remember you’re dressed up so you just might be a client!) You smile and say 3 Magic Words: “I’m not sure…” Now “hook” your I/C by crisply getting to the point…

4. Disarming Commercial Reply: “My name is… with… (hand them your business card and keep the case open) and we specialize in floor maintenance programs that save companies at least 30% over what they are spending now. If I can’t save you folks at least 30% it isn’t worth my time or yours.” Smile and “sink the hook” by saying…

5. “Maybe you could help me learn whether I should leave or not…” Now smoothly start asking your Initial Contact “Valid Business Questions” about their carpet maintenance and…

6. ALWAYS jot down their responses. (It is highly flattering when you take notes on your I/C’s answers to your questions. They will love you forever!)

What sort of “Valid Business Questions” can you ask? Let’s talk about that real soon!

Steve

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