Everyone in a selling capacity, including non-profit fundraising, or job hunting runs into gatekeepers from time to time. Titles for gatekeepers are often assistant, admintistrative assistant, or executive assistant. I like to think of a gatekeeper as someone to get to know – a potential new coach into connecting me with my ultimate contact beyond the virtual gate. They often can move you forward, and can also dump you in the dust if you don’t treat them with respect and understanding.
Think of the gatekeeper as one who is doing an extremely important job – keeping the top executives or head of company (or division) free from unwanted communication and time wasting. It is a critical position in their company, since these decision makers have only so much time.
Remove the personal aspect. It is not about you not getting in, or to your contact. It IS about you providing clear, articulated thoughts on why your conversation might be of great value to your intended recipient.
Do your homework first – learn how to be concise and clear – AND know the value of your offer, not from your standpoint but from your potential customers’ viewpoint.
Learn about internal and external leverage. One of the best books on this topic is The Power To Get In, by Michael Boylan.
This is part of the art of selling, and can be mastered. Post your ideas on gatekeepers and how you best work with them.