Three strategies I’ve used personally.
Be funny with self-effacing humor.
Gatekeeper says, “Can I help you?” I say, “Yes I’m here for my hair transplant.” She laughs and I can begin a communication. If you’re not losing your hair, you can respond, “Yes, I need help with my mortgage payment and I wonder if you could lend me a few grand?” If you get a smile, add on, “Please – I’ll be your best friend!”
SUCCESS HINT: If you can start with a friendly smile, you have a chance. If you walk in “all business” you’re swimming upstream and the gatekeeper is the big bear on the rock.
Engage their support and put them on your side – ask for their help.
Example: “I have a great program about – and your boss probably won’t want to hear about it, but it’s the most unbelievable plan ever devised to help your business grow. If you were me, how would you approach the boss to get his positive attention?”
Ask if they DON’T use your product – then say GREAT!
Example: “You don’t use AT&T Wireless do you? No? GREAT? Cause I have a special package for non users – who is the person in charge of maximizing sales productivity?”
SUCCESS HINT: Get off your high horse. Your name and who you represent is the least important aspect of the presentation. They don’t care about you. They don’t care if you drop dead in the office. They only care about getting THEIR needs met….”
The key is to ENGAGE. If you walk in and give the gatekeeper your name and business card, how have you engaged anyone so far? You’ve only annoyed her and put her on guard. Get creative, get funny, get engaging, get in.
Want more? Read Help, I’m at the Gatekeeper and I Can’t Get Through!