Gatekeepers have gotten very good at their job which is protecting that key decision maker from the vendors, their partners, and the salespeople who are calling on them every day.


So, of course, they’re going to say, “Send us some more information or shoot us an e-mail, I’ll make sure it gets to him or her.” And once we’re in that position, we’ve lost control of the conversation.


So you know there are a lot of suggestions out there that say, well we should make sure we’re in the driver seat and call him by first name. We should be presumptuous and call in as if we’ve already got the appointment. The problem is most gatekeepers know all those tactics, all those drills and in fact, we’ve probably had them performed on us. Oftentimes it is pretty irritating to have somebody call us by first name or assume that we’re just going to take the call. So I’d like to rethink that a little bit and this goes to the compelling reason that the decision maker wants to talk to you.


Unless we’ve thought that through and have that in our mind before we call, I don’t think we should expect a phone call to go through or for them to respond to our email or voice message.


So, some of the things we might do to make that compelling case and create that interest is to provide a gift of content in advance. So maybe we’ve sent an article or a white paper, and we’re calling to follow up on that. I especially like the idea of sending them a letter. Maybe that’s a handwritten note, or a copy of an article with our note on top so that when we’re calling, we’re saying, “I’m following up on the letter I sent on September 15th that he should have received two days ago.”


Now that’s a much more compelling and much more interesting way of capturing the interest. I think also an invitation. So, I’m following up on the invitation that I sent on September 15th. I’d like to see if Tom is interested in responding or being part of this executive only session that we’re holding. If you have an article or a book that you published, being able to send that in advance and then follow up, is another great way of getting their attention.


To recap, we’re putting it in a context that the gatekeeper can’t say no because that information’s already out there. They’re going to be hopefully thinking to themselves, “Well, is my boss (my decision maker) going to be upset if they don’t get this information or if they don’t get this request?”


This is so compelling that they will probably want to take the phone call or at least be put through to have that conversation. So again, I think beyond some of those tips and tricks we may have heard in the past, we need to think hard about what’s going to be compelling.


What piece of interesting information can we make that’s going to cause that person to take notice—and give us the opportunity to have a conversation.


So those are some of the thoughts on how we get past that gatekeeper. If they say “just send an email”, if we do that, realize you’ve lost control of the conversation. They’re probably not going to respond. Let’s give them a reason, let’s give them that compelling reason for them to actually want to take your call and return the message.


From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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