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Sales Glossary

The sales industry is always changing and evolving. Keeping on top of those changes can be tough. The Vidyard Sales Glossary is your ultimate guide to important sales terms, definitions, concepts, slang, insider business jargon and more to keep you up to date with the latest in sales industry lingo.

What is a Gatekeeper?

Gatekeepers are the people within a company that stand between sales reps and decision-makers. They’re typically executive assistants or office managers, who you need to book a meeting with in order to get time with a decision maker to make a sales pitch.

A gatekeeper’s role is to protect the decision maker’s time. They are inundated with meeting requests and calls from numerous sales reps every day, and are responsible for ensuring people aren’t wasting a decision maker’s time.

How to Get Past a Gatekeeper

Every sales rep will encounter gatekeepers and need to get past them to speak with a decision maker. An experienced sales rep will know what tactics to use, but if you’re new to sales, this can be intimidating. Follow these tips to help build rapport with gatekeepers and use them to your advantage when conducting sales outreach.

Always Show Respect

Having to get through a gatekeeper may be annoying, but it’s important to always respect them and their position. If you communicate with them in a brash, up-front, or frustrated tone, they won’t respond well. At the end of the day, they’re simply doing their job. Be kind and courteous and you’ll receive the same in return.

Humanize Your Interactions

Gatekeepers are people, too, and they want to be treated as such. Take the time to make small talk, when appropriate, and get to know them. If you have a good relationship with them, they’ll be more receptive to your messages.

If you’re reaching out for the first time, incorporate a video to introduce yourself and quickly explain why you’re reaching out.

Do Your Research

If possible, do some research and find out who exactly the gatekeeper is. Find out how long they’ve been at the company, where they worked previously, and any other information that will give you an edge when talking to them. Show them you’ve done your research and are serious about helping them and their company.

Being able to name-drop a mutual connection can also be beneficial. If you know someone else they work with, let them know. Lean on existing relationships to help create new ones.

Ask Them Questions

Gatekeepers aren’t just a person you need to get past – they are also a valuable resource. Sales reps tend to forget this and focus solely on securing time with decision makers. However, gatekeepers can provide valuable information you can use to help make a sale.

Ask them if their company uses a similar product to yours, what types of pain points they’ve been struggling with, or what other businesses they currently work with.

Tell the Truth

This may seem obvious, but don’t lie to gatekeepers. If you create an elaborate story, or even a small fib, to get past a gatekeeper, it will inevitably come back to haunt you. Being up front and honest is key and will contribute to building a good working relationship. If you’re caught in a lie, all trust is broken, and you can say goodbye to working with that company ever again.

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