When the CEO says: Yes, but the Gatekeeper says: NO

There’s a communication problem in B2B, and it’s not YOU. You are cold calling for business to business development. The only way you are going to get to a decision maker to let you in to pitch your product or service is:

A. Call the Owner of the company yourself and hope he is the end of all decisions. Or…

B. Call the gatekeeper.


Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But what happens when you actually reach the owner or CEO of the company you are trying to penetrate and he/she says: “Yea! Send me your information”, only to find the one whom you have to send the information to says: “NO!”

I have seen the owners of company’s say: “Send me your info, I may be interested.” And then when you email the one sheeter or a proposal info, the gatekeeper email’s back a negative response like this one: “This business does not set appointments. Thank you for your time.”

In other words what they are really saying is: Go shove off. I don’t want your information. I am not open to anything new. Stop wasting my time.

This is an issue in the cold calling initiative to try to get in through the gatekeeper. In reality, the owner of the company may see real value in what you have to offer, but the gatekeeper (or marketing manager) may roll his eyes and huff. And it’s hard to get past him when after all in his eyes, the business doesn’t need you.

But you know businesses always need more ways to drum up business. How else do their profits grow?


Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the problem: The gatekeeper has seen this before. He knows your tactics. In reality, he doesn’t want your services, regardless of what the owner or CEO says he may be interested in. Unless you get the gatekeeper’s approval, you are dead in the water of the B2B development.

So what do you do? You could pop off a smart elect reply to that negative email or say: “Hey, you do know the owner said to send you my info, right?” Wrong.

The professional response would maybe be to reply to the email that you had kindly spoken with the owner/CEO and he stated to send your info over. By the way, this hardly works because the gatekeeper has seen this marketing tactic before too. There are too many sleazy cold callers that say things like that but the owner never talked to them. So the gatekeepers are cautious for a reason, and since time is money, you better have a good reason.

In situations like this, the best way to deal with it is to move on. In reality, when situations like this happen it should make you see the lack of communication within that business between the Owner/CEO and gatekeeper. You have to realize business owners are pressed for time. They don’t have time to dilly dally. They may tell you to send your info over to let the gatekeeper deal with it, only to be slammed in your face because at the end of the day, the gatekeeper doesn’t give a crap about what you can do.

If you are lucky, you will get a gatekeeper that sees real value in what you can offer to their business. It’s not the end of the world, other than it may be the end of that company’s opportunities with the lack of communication that is apparent. And if a company is that hard pressed to penetrate, you may see in a year or two they are closing shop. Why? Because the gatekeeper did not see value in what you presented to the company, and has no clue about business development or how to grow it.

But you know business development takes time. I have seen companies on the brink of closing and firing everyone, but with the perseverance of a professional cold calling initiative they start prospering. Why? Because that cold caller was given a chance by the gatekeeper to build relationships and market that business to potential clients/customers and drum up contracts and sales within time.


Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just remember: cold calling is a masterful art in initiation. You are taking the initiative to reach out, hoping the gatekeeper sees your value. If they don’t, take that company off your list. Why do you want to sell your services to people who fail to have adequate communication within the ranks? If they take you on anyway, you may be at the end of those communication fails one way or another, which will make your job harder.

There are a ton more businesses out there that need help. That’s what you do. You help companies build business. You help them keep people employed. You help them build relationships, and along the way, you solidify yourself in the ranks of B2B development.








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