Beware the gatekeeper is a common theme in business to business sales. Everywhere you look, there is a new list or method, such as “The 7 Strategies For Getting Past Gatekeepers“, or “10 tips for getting past the gatekeeper“, etc. Beware all of these all in one methods of circumventing the gatekeeper.
Do these sound familiar:
- Set appointments,
- Qualify leads,
- Direct mail,
- Don’t waste time on the gate keeper,
- Build a relationship with the gate keeper,
- Be calm,
- Be confident,
- Get the right decision maker,
- Always listen,
- Make phone appointments,
- Do cold calls, cold calls are dead
- Send email, don’t send email
We have all heard all of these “tips and tricks” to get past the gatekeeper and speak to the appropriate decision maker.
There are so many methods, lists, advice columns, or suggestions. How do you keep it all straight? Which one is the correct one? What is the best method? Which one should you follow? My answer is all of them, and none of them.
Business development is not a method, or a plan, nor is it simple. It is a fluid process that constantly changes. There is an inherent need to constantly be learning and educating yourself. Read people, situations, and trends, then adjust your behaviors accordingly. I highly doubt that any one industry could be “solved” with a single published “method”.
Just as you are learning, so are your potential clients. They are training their gatekeepers at the same time that you are trying to find methods around them. It is a corporate game of cat and mouse. Don’t fear the gatekeeper!
Become a student of your craft, always learning and forever changing. There is nothing wrong with experimenting with your interactions. Most business have come 50% of the way on most decisions before you even walk through the door, so adaptation is essential. It will allow you to develop and find your own way. Absorb everything, but adhere to nothing. Take responsibility of your craft, and do not resign to the laziness of following a short list of tips. Find your own path, and build the foundation of your brand. I believe that is the only way to add value to the brand that you are building. So, as your career moves, shifts, and changes, as your industry or company goes in a different direction…so will you…without hesitation…and you will become the Key Master!