Radio Sales Today

RAB Sales Tips

How Do I Get Past the Gatekeeper?

This week I had an email exchange with Super-Seller Milton. He is not alone in his struggle, and I thought by sharing his issue and suggested solution, you too might gain some value.

From: Milton

Subject: Question

The folks on the chat thought you might be a great resource. Here’s my challenge.

I’m finding that more and more gatekeepers are either just taking a message or giving me the client’s (decision-maker) email address so I can email them why I’m calling.

I’d like help creating better sales emails. I’m afraid that either I give too much information and it turns the prospect off or I give too little and I just sound like one of the many sales emails that I get in my inbox.

I’m hoping you guys can direct me to some information about crafting an email that has the best chance to sufficiently pique the interest of the client and gets me an appointment. All I’m asking from them is for an appointment. I rarely send blind proposals.



Super-Seller Milton,

Getting past the gatekeeper is never easy and random emails, no matter how carefully worded, are too easy to delete. In my experience, an effective strategy is something called seeding. You find articles that you think might be relevant to the client you are trying to reach. Articles about their category of business, the general economy, something happening locally – anything you think might resonate with your prospect. You print them out if you find them online or cut them out if you find them in a publication. You staple your business card to the top of the article and write somewhere in the white space: “[client name], I found this article that I thought might be interesting and useful to you. - Milton.”

Over the course of three weeks, you send an article a week. Always handwrite the envelope, and preferably not using envelopes with your station logo. People don’t get much handwritten mail these days, and you taking the time to handwrite an envelope and note inside will stand out. Then on the final one, you include a letter that says: “Dear [client name], for the past several weeks I’ve been researching your business and your business category. I’ve sent you a few articles, but I have much more information that I think might be of value to you. I will call you at 2:15 p.m. this Tuesday to set up a time so that I can share this information with you. I look forward to meeting you. - Milton.”

Then at precisely 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, you call and tell the gate keeper: “Hi, this is Milton, I have a phone appointment with [client name], can I speak with her please? If the gatekeeper pushes back, you tell them that you have been corresponding by mail with [client name] and you set up a phone appointment to follow up on that information.

End of email…

Seeding gets its name from farming. A farmer would never expect a crop in the fall if they didn’t plant the seeds in the spring. Seeding takes time, planning and patience. It also shows your dedication and persistence to try and help your client’s and prospects. See if planting some seeds can help you earn a great harvest.

Super-Seller Milton confirmed that he is excited to try this approach, and I’m excited to share his results. We’d love it if you would also like to try this approach and report back.

Just email me at

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB