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Five Tips To Help You Get Past A Gatekeeper

Getting past the gatekeeper is one of the most common challenges membership salespeople face.

Rather than try to outsmart or con your way through to the person you are trying to reach, we recommend an honest and forthright approach. 

Here are five tips to help you get to the other side.


The moment you learn the gatekeeper’s name, write it down.  Make every effort to use their name at least two times during every conversation.  Be sure to notate the gatekeeper’s name in the chamber database so you can refer to him/her appropriately the next time you call.


Let’s face it, repeatedly leaving messages and being turned away by gatekeepers is frustrating. However, you must remain calm and always be polite.  Getting pushy, curt, or showing any annoyance is the most surefire way to fail.

Remember, the gatekeeper is merely doing their job.  Keep your cool and remain optimistic and upbeat at all times.


Gatekeepers answer dozens of calls on a daily basis.  Many from salespeople who try to outsmart or mislead them.  These evasive tactics cause doubt and prompt a good gatekeeper to ask more questions.

Provide your first and last name along with the name of your chamber and explain exactly why you are calling.  Your chamber’s reputation in your community can often add the credibility needed to gain favorable attention.


Of course, nobody likes to be rebuffed, but it’s part of the recruiting process.  Managing gatekeepers is a key skill to find your way to larger investments.  Hang in there and keep trying.  Your skills will improve, confidence will grow, and you will find success.  


When you have exhausted every effort and just can’t get past a gatekeeper, try calling or emailing your prospect during off hours.  

If you’re an early riser, call your prospect an hour before the gatekeeper typically starts his/her day. There’s a good chance your prospect gets in early and s/he may pick up the phone.  Calling after hours is equally as effective.

Another work around is to send a late-night or very early morning email.  Your prospect may be impressed with your work ethic and send a reply.  A Saturday morning call or email may also do the trick.

It’s your choice to view a gatekeeper as an enemy or an ally.  If you choose to see them as an obstacle between you and your prospect, you will likely never make your way through the gate. Instead, use respect, honesty and transparency to build rapport that will improve your chances of connecting with the person you are trying to reach.

As always, we encourage you to practice these techniques, make them your own, and let us know how it goes.

Remember, we're easy to talk to.  Feel free to reach out with questions about these techniques or other issues.

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