In business, understanding the dynamics of influence and decision-making is crucial for success. One of the most powerful roles in the selling process is that of the “Gatekeeper.” The Gatekeeper holds the key to educating and guiding the economic end user towards making informed decisions. This person has the ability to filter information, influence choices, and significantly impact the buying process. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of the Gatekeeper, its relevance in various industries, and how businesses can leverage this powerful role to gain their “unfair share” of the market.
- Defining the Gatekeeper
The Gatekeeper is the individual who educates the end user about available options and influences their decision-making process. This influential role holds the power to shape opinions and build trust, making them critical to the selling process. While the ultimate decision rests with the end user, the Gatekeeper’s guidance and recommendations significantly impact their choices.
- The Gatekeeper in Action
To better understand the Gatekeeper’s role, let’s consider the example of a roofing contractor. When a homeowner faces a roofing issue, they seek advice from a contractor. The contractor conducts an inspection and educates the homeowner on available solutions. Though the homeowner makes the final decision, the information provided by the contractor strongly influences their choices. During the interaction, the contractor not only presents options but also subtly showcases their expertise, experience, and trustworthiness. The homeowner places trust in the contractor’s advice and relies on their recommendations to make an informed decision.
- Identifying the Gatekeeper in Your Field
Recognizing the Gatekeeper in your industry is crucial for targeting marketing efforts effectively. By focusing on the Gatekeeper, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies and gain a competitive advantage. Unlike broad-based consumer advertising, a targeted business-to-business approach proves to be more efficient and cost-effective.
- Marketing to the Gatekeeper
To effectively market to the Gatekeeper, businesses must identify where in the selling cycle this influential role appears. Once identified, the focus should shift towards meeting their needs and offering programs that drive mutual growth.For instance, roofing contractors provide more than just products; they offer a range of services that enhance their reputation and credibility. Savvy companies in this field have developed tools and resources tailored to support each step of the contractor’s selling process, from lead development to in-home selling, closing the sale, and building referrals.
- Educating the Gatekeeper
To gain the Gatekeeper’s support, businesses should develop tools that prioritize their needs. For example, in the case of roofing contractors, a pitch book is an essential tool used during in-home selling. By shifting the focus to the contractor and their company, rather than the product, businesses can foster greater engagement and loyalty.When interacting with the Gatekeeper, it is essential to understand their objectives and identify their hot buttons. Offering comprehensive support that goes beyond price, quality, and delivery will win their loyalty and drive business growth.
- The Power of Support
The key to success in gaining the Gatekeeper’s support lies in the breadth of resources and assistance offered by businesses. By creating a range of valuable resources tailored to the Gatekeeper’s needs, businesses can present a compelling total business proposition that contributes to their growth and success.
The Gatekeeper holds significant power in the selling process, guiding economic end users towards informed decisions. Understanding the Gatekeeper’s role in your industry and customizing marketing efforts to meet their needs can lead to a competitive advantage and an “unfair share” of the market. By focusing on building trust, providing support, and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships, businesses can thrive in the competitive landscape and establish themselves as the preferred choice of the Gatekeeper and the end user alike.