It’s sales prospecting confession time. Have you ever tried to “get past” a gatekeeper by:

  • Insisting that the information you have is so important that you can only share it with the decision maker?
  • Implying that the gatekeeper isn’t qualified enough, or smart enough, or experienced enough, to judge the value of what you have to offer?
  • Hinting that the gatekeeper could get in trouble if he or she doesn’t put you through to the boss right now?

In our weaker moments, we’ve all tried sales prospecting tricks like these and had our heads handed to us by a tough, smart assistant who’s seen it all before.

Here’s the truth: You can’t bully your way past a good gatekeeper. You shouldn’t even try. But you can get them on your side. Simply by asking them to do what they do best: Help.

They answer the phone by saying, “Can I help you?” Instead of trying to brush them aside, why not take them up on their offer? “I sure hope so,” you might say. “I could really use your help.” It could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

photo credit: alancleaver_2000

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