How to By-pass the Gatekeeper
We have all seen them. Those steadfast front office gatekeepers who are trained to ‘protect’ the decision maker from you.
You have three strategic alternatives to getting past these sales preventers;
1.) Go around them.
2.) Wait until they die or leave the company.
3.) Win them over.
In reality, option three, winning them over, is your only viable option. The process of winning over the gatekeeper begins with respect. They are doing their job. Heck, some of them might be the spouse or son or daughter of the owner!
Your job is to sell the gatekeeper first.
The process begins by showing respect for their position and determining what is in it for them to introduce you to the decision maker.
Perhaps it’s job security as a result of the increased business your advertising will attract. Perhaps it’s discussing an ad idea they told you about and giving them credit for that idea when you meet the decision maker. It may be simply doing a favor for their friend who referred you to them.
It’s your job as a professional communicator to uncover what’s in it from the gatekeeper’s perspective to give you the key to the decision maker’s office. The respect you show the gatekeeper when you open dialogue to uncover their needs, pays off in more ways than one.
Very often it is that very gatekeeper who is assigned to conduct a customer survey or is asked their opinion of which media is driving customers to the business. Somehow, I don’t think the media rep who trampled over the gatekeeper will get the same fair shake as you when the gatekeeper conducts their customer survey.