If you think getting past the gatekeeper is your biggest problem, then you’ve got bigger problems!
The most common challenge I’m asked to address during live presentations, workshops, and that I receive numerous emails and phone calls about is, “How do I get past the gatekeeper?”
I’m happy to help. I’ve written about it. Shot a video about it. I often spend a couple of hours discussing it and addressing it in simulations during my workshop. But I believe that if you think your biggest problem is getting past the gatekeeper, then you’ve got bigger problems!
Think about it…the gatekeeper in a doctor’s office for example, is often the receptionist—usually the lowest paid employee. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not demeaning this person; I’m just trying to put your challenge in perspective. If you can’t present a value proposition or influence the least-skilled, lowest paid employee to let you in to see the doctor or other decision-maker, then how effective are you going to be when selling to someone at the higher level?
Getting past the gatekeeper requires persistence and selling skills. Do you know what a receptionist’s main job functions are?
- Receive patients, either in person or by answering phones
- Keep out salespeople who suck time out of their boss’s day
When you first walk in the door or call on the phone and the receptionist suddenly discerns that you’re a sales rep, you’re automatically lumped into category number 2 above…at least until you un-categorize yourself into someone that she is convinced her boss should know about.
If you can’t persuade the gatekeeper to let you in, then how will you convince a highly-educated, highly-cynical, and highly-overworked medical professional that he or she should invest some of their valuable time and resources in what you sell?
If you haven’t mastered the ability to get past the gatekeeper, then you’re probably not ready for primetime sales time with a healthcare decision-maker.