Effective Approaches for Gatekeepers

By: Michael Berg, Every Ancillary

Dealing with gatekeepers is one of the biggest challenges that medical reps face. Having a good strategy makes a huge difference in your sales success.

These are four practical tips on how to handle gatekeepers in medical sales:

Tip #1 – Get Information

How – Have good questions ready to ask

You do not need to get past the gatekeeper to make it a successful sales call. Doing a reconnaissance mission to find out information that can be useful in developing a strategy for that practice is also extremely useful.

New protocols stemming from the pandemic may present an opportunity as it gives you good questions to ask them.

“Have you guys changed your protocols for sales reps? If so, how does your doctor go about checking out new opportunities?”

Tip #2 – Create Curiosity

How – Sell the benefits

It is important to be mindful of what the role of the gatekeeper is to a clinic, which is to protect the doctor’s time. Most of the time, this means screening out reps. However, if you can intrigue them, they will feel negligent by not helping you get to the decision-maker.

As a caveat, DO NOT give your sales pitch to a gatekeeper. This gives them too much power to say no. Instead, touch on 1-2 of the key benefits that the practice and/or the patient will get.

“I know a lot of practices have been hurt financially from the pandemic. That is why I’m here…we work with practices like yours to show you a simple way to add 25% to each patient visit.”

Tip #3 – Be Persistent

How – Create a schedule for call frequency

Being an annoying person is not without its perks! One of the secrets of success in medical sales is persistence. The vast majority of reps are terrible at follow-ups, and the gatekeepers are aware of this. They know that if they blow you off, 90% of the time you will not come back.

Just like an email drip campaign, you should have a cold-calling campaign for your practices that you have not gotten past the gatekeeper. If they know you are going to keep coming back, they are more likely to help you get to the decision-maker, if for no other reason than to get you out of their hair!

“Hey, I know I keep popping in each week at bad times, and I’m sure you get bombarded with sales reps. As you can see, I am persistent…I’m here for a reason, because I know your doctor is going to be very intrigued with how our technology can improve your patient’s lives. If you can help me get 3-5 minutes, if they are not interested, I promise I won’t bug you anymore!”

Tip #4 – Ask for Help

How – Get advice from the gatekeeper

In my experience, in life, there are more givers than takers. I have always found the best approach is to be as genuine as possible and just ask for help.

If you have engaged with the gatekeeper more than once and you are a likable person, you have probably developed some amount of trust and you can just level with them.

“Nancy, let me ask you advice. You know I’ve been popping my head in here for the past few weeks, and I’m sure dealing with reps must get annoying. But I have something that I think your doctor is really going to be intrigued by as it is really going to help your patients. If you were in my shoes, how do you think you would approach your doctor?”

Some people will blow you off. These are the same types of people who would feel comfortable working at the DMV! However, most people are decent and will feel compelled to help you just because you asked.

For additional tips on growing your medical sales business in the post-pandemic world, you can download our Virtual Medical Sales Guide.

If you are looking for additional products or services to complement your sales portfolio, visit everyancillary.com.