When I worked in a corporate office — I’ve tried to block out that part of my life — a vendor called my office and thought I was the receptionist. He was rude, condescending and had no trouble showing his true colors.
He never knew why, but I did business with his competitor instead of with him.
No matter how talented you are, or how great your business reputation is, at some point you’re going to have to get past business gatekeepers. Consider these three gate-crashing tips.
Don’t push harder
When you can’t get through to someone, your first thought may be to push harder. Instead of making progress, you’ll aggravate the person on the other end of the line. At that point you essentially squelch any chance you may have had of seeing or talking with the person they’re protecting. And by the way, yelling, “Don’t you know who I am?” rarely works.
Make a list
If you don’t know it already, personal assistants and receptionists should be at the top of your list…the “be extra nice” list. They’re the gatekeepers and they can mean the difference between letting your calls go through, answering your e-mails, and giving you access to key contacts.
Get to know the gatekeeper
The more you call a company to try to reach a key contact, take the time to get to know the gatekeeper’s name. It’s even better if you can learn more about him or her. Keep good notes and when you call, ask the gatekeeper about his or her kids, talk about the weather, or ask the person about anything else to keep the conversation going.
Gatekeepers can make your business life a bit easier. By taking the time to get to know the person who can potentially block your way, you can break down barriers between you and your key contacts.
How do you get past gatekeepers?