Salesman and Customer


When I first got into HVAC Maintenance sales 32 years ago, my target customers (the Building Manager) used to welcome both cold callers turning up at the office reception, as well as cold calls by phone. In those days it was easy to get an appointment. The reasons were simple. The Building Managers needed to keep with the latest advances in anything to do with HVACR, and other services relating to the improvement in the running of their building. They relied on information from knowledgeable salespeople about the latest widget or service and how it could benefit them, their occupants and the building(s), so they used to welcome Sales People with welcome arms.

When I used to physically turn up in these buildings, the only people (in the way) of speaking directly to the customer –  was the old fashioned Commissionaire (who remembers them?) or sometimes a receptionist and rarely a security guard.

Well obviously times have changed hugely. Now there is the dreaded gatekeeper! Getting past the gatekeeper is a whole new world and needs a different approach.

Why Gatekeepers?

Put yourself in your customers shoes for a moment. The sheer number of contractors trying to get through to the same responsible person every day of the week is countless. When you consider the number of contractors in FM/HVAC maintenance, Security, Cleaning, Landscaping etc. etc. If they were to take these calls then they would be doing it full time day in/out and never get their main job done! You can see now why they have put in place an extra layer (the beloved gatekeeper) to stop the calls coming through. Top that off with well trained and clued up receptionists/security etc. It’s even harder.

The focus has now completely changed in favour of the responsible person being able to do their research of their needs using the power of the Internet. No longer do they have to put up with Mr/Mrs super enthusiastic salesperson turning up or calling – insisting that their M&E Maintenance,cleaning or landscaping is the best there is (which it might well be!) These customers can do their research online when they are actually in the market for those aforementioned services.

That being said there is still a place for Professional M&E Businesses being able to contact the decision makers and there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. This video shows how well it can be done

This article by Hubspot goes some way to helping you to avoid the pitfalls along the way, however I do think that ultimately it comes down to making sure that firstly you know who the responsible person(s) or decision maker is when it comes down to making sure that their Building(s) run as smoothly as possible i.e Facilities Manager, FD, MD etc.

If you want to connect with them, then you must have an accurate database with their full contact information – especially their email address. As many people have said before “the money is in the list” so make sure that your database is up to date, and include any other decision makers and influencers. Obviously if you are selling a service, then most importantly you need the contract renewal date.

Then send them (and other people in their team) useful relevant emails every 3-4 months only. Don’t Piss them off by sending too much too often! The information cannot be about your Company or product. The Gatekeeper will then filter those emails and review whether the responsible person should receive them or not. In other words your email must have to have great content. You can find plenty of useful information online.

The bottom line is that whoever receives your emails then they must trust what you say, what you do and who else you do it for and that your company should be at the front of mind when deciding who they will invite to quote/tender when the contract is due for renewal.

Make a gatekeeper and other influencers your allies, they hold many of the keys to your future success.

Why not call us today on 01252 413596 to get a free evaluation of your current marketing? You will find our complete “done for you” marketing system takes away the headache of trying to do it yourself. Once we have had our discussion you will come away with a full action plan and objective for generating new sales leads and orders.