Gatekeepers and Consequences
IT marketing will be a lot more successful with the right attitude. When it comes to sourcing new clients, one thing to consider is those who are called “gatekeepers.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term, this word basically refers to individuals who are hired to “screen” calls. You’re not often going to get someone on the line who can make a decision regarding your products or services on the first call. More likely, you’re going to get individuals whose job it is to rebuff that which isn’t directly useful to the company in question. These are the gatekeepers, so what you need to do is ply them.
Don’t think of them as a faceless, inhuman obstacle. Think of these gatekeepers as additional human beings who have feelings, joys, wants, strengths, weaknesses, desires–you get the idea. Convince the gatekeeper, and the gatekeeper may do the work of the salesman for you. So, following are three strategies to help you ply these people with professionalism:
- Ensure You Communicate the Value of Your MSP
- Trust: Build It and Expand It
- Learn How to Handle Objections
Ensure You Communicate Value
When it comes to communicating value, your IT marketing needs to remember that you’re not just communicating the value that your particular business can bring to a prospective client. You need to communicate the value that being a facilitating agent can have for the gatekeepers you contact.
Your MSP can likely save a prospective client thousands of dollars a month and tens of thousands of dollars annually. Someone who answers the phones and can give that information to a deciding agent in the company you’re targeting stands to benefit almost as much as you do. The individual who brings the “king”–because that’s who a person with the ability to acquire such services really represents in a given organization–a cost-saving opportunity may get a promotion. So, communicate the value of your company to gatekeepers in a way that suggests possible benefits to them as well. They’re going to weigh the pros and cons of passing you along to their superior. If there are more pros than cons, they’ll do it. Give them those pros.
Trust: Build It and Expand It
Do you know the best way to build trust? Tell the truth consistently, and as you do this, ensure that those to whom you give this information have the ability to vet what you’ve said. A good way to do this is to give an example of a situation where your business went “above and beyond,” as the term goes. Reviews can help accomplish this. Make them available to prospective clients.
Something else that can do this is providing a template that demonstrates prospective current costs of clients as opposed to prospective future costs with your MSP.
Finally, you want to communicate with the individual. Many sellers know what companies need. They know what departments need but they don’t know what individuals need. If you’re dealing with a gatekeeper, perhaps give them some limited access to a demo that helps them get their mind around your services. Try to fill one of their needs, and they’ll go to acquisition personnel to help you fill yours–but this definitely requires trust.
Learn How to Handle Objections
You’re going to have objections. There’s no way around it. Now, there are two main ways you can handle objections: successfully and unsuccessfully. An unsuccessful objection conversation will result in your salespeople getting annoyed should any services be questioned. Successful objection handling empathizes with customer needs and demonstrates how MSP provisions not only meet them but can and often do exceed them.
Something else your sales staff should do is go through clientele lists, find what common objections characterize sales pitches, and work at addressing those common objections beforehand. Think of it as an objection FAQ.
IT marketing that can properly handle objections, build trust, and provide tangible value to clients will likely do a much better job of getting past “gatekeepers” than their competition. The better you strategically plan, the more reliable your selling is likely to be over time.