While we may know who it is we would like a warm introduction to, say a top executive at a local firm, there is usually another person we need to have a warm introduction to first. That first person is the one who controls the access to that top executive. This person is affectionately known as the gatekeeper.
The gatekeeper holds the keys within a company and it is imperative that we understand the chain of command, even if it’s not formally written in any organizational chart. In the business world this person could be a receptionist, an administrative assistant, CFO, an executive assistance, or even an office manager. Salary, titles, and offices do not dictate the role a person plays when it comes to vendors looking for a way in. Because of this, a little detective work is in order for those of us who work within this target market.
Learning the company politics and culture can save you a lot of time and speed up the selling cycle if done properly. It can lead to a more lucrative project because you took the time to understand the people. The gatekeeper is the one who has the pulse of an organization. If this relationship is properly identified and developed, you have found your oasis, but the key is keeping it authentic. You must always be genuine, for a gatekeeper knows who isn’t.
When selling we can say that our business is B2B or B2C, but a better way to look at it is P2P – or Person to Person. And the gatekeeper is that person.
Keep it targeted.