I was talking to one of my clients recently about a problem he was having with gatekeepers.
What is a gatekeeper I hear you ask?
Well, it’s a person whose job it is to protect, control and help optimise their boss’s time. Make no mistake they are important people.
So, if we are wise we need to be respectful of the gatekeeper’s position, time and authority. Gatekeepers can be either your friend or foe. Gatekeepers are sometimes known as: personal assistants, executive assistants or receptionists, and they can be influential in some really important areas. They:
- normally have control over their boss’s calendar;
- can can influence your access to their boss;
- can help or hinder your access to relevant information etc.
Never try to get around them by use of deception:
- some people call pretending that they are a friend of their boss;
- others may say they are in the neighbourhood and thought their boss would be happy to see them again etc.
Things like starting a conversation dishonestly never work.
So, what is the best question?
When you find yourself dealing with a gatekeeper the idea is not to get around them, it’s to request their help and support. Recognise that their job is to protect their boss’s time, and if you can show them that you are also respectful of that time, they may be willing to help you. The best way to do that is to work with the gatekeeper by helping them appreciate that you can help their boss, solve a really important problem, optimise an opportunity, or improve results.
You need to get the gatekeeper to appreciate that your product or service can solve a specific and relevant problem, why it’s important to their company to have you solve it, and what the likely outcome will be.
You could approach a gatekeeper by saying:
Hi, my name is Terry, I am the founder of Construction Leaders Club. Our company helps businesses improve their sales results and I would appreciate your assistance. I would like to meet your boss.
Because, when I talk to other small businesses associated with the construction industry, they tell me that they often struggle with how they improve their sales results, and they tell us when they get it wrong it ends up costing them a great deal of money. As a result they find they are leaving a lot of money on the table. Now, I don’t know if the same amazing results we’ve achieved for other companies would apply to your boss his business, however, if truly effective sales training is something that’s important to your boss, I’d be happy to talk to him to see whether or not we might be able to help.
Would it be possible to arrange a mutually beneficial date and time for me to meet your boss to discuss how I can help him?
And the takeaway is …
that gatekeepers play an important role. They hold a great deal of power and sway within companies. So don’t try to get around them; rather join forces with them to help their boss solve difficult business problems that you are experts at solving!
And whenever you’re ready… there are several ways we can help you to build your business:
- Work with me One-on-One.
If you’d like to learn more about working with me on a one-to-one basis and understand how I can help you build your ideal business… just send an email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “One-on-One” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and we’ll discuss how it might be a fit.
- Join one of our Mastermind-Style Programmes.
Our Mastermind and Rising Stars programmes are designed to help small groups of like-minded business owners and senior decision-makers to grow and develop their businesses and themselves.
- Join our Bizboard
This high level, intensive and ongoing programme is delivered to a small group of business owners associated with the construction industry. Like a traditional ‘Board Meeting’ so that CLC BizBoard Members can take time out of their business to discuss their current business challenges and ways forward; benefit from the experience of others; gain new perspectives and share ideas; whilst at the same time taking new knowledge and information back into their business.
- Become part of my exclusive coaching group – BizCoaching
My favourite thing to do is help small business owners ,entrepreneurs and senior decision makers build their Ideal Business, if you’d like to learn more and determine whether you might be a fit, reply and put ‘BizCoaching’ in the subject line.
- Attend one of our Networking Events
They are held monthly in the East Midlands. Register here for 2018 and 2019 events.