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Guide to Getting by the Gatekeepers

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 236 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

There was a very interesting section in the “Big Moo” by Seth’s group of 33 wonderful authors. It was about the fact that most authors or folks you respect are fairly approachable, or that if they’re not, you can often find a way to contact them.

I thought this was a very interesting and inspired idea for a couple reasons. Firstly, it is really cool to be able to have a discussions with someone you highly respect. For me, search conferences have offered this great opportunity, and I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Godin during a small seminar at his office. He’s also been kind enough to respond to e-mails that I’ve sent on occasion. I’m sure he probably gets mountains of e-mails, but the fact that he hasn’t went far from his readership is one of the reasons he will continue to have great ideas and many will continue to respect and proselytize his work.

The second reason I thought that this is an interesting idea, is that every company has gatekeepers. There have been plenty of times that I have really thought that if I got to give my elevator pitch to the right person, I could probably do business with that company. Nothing drives me crazy more than when I see a web site with mountains of potential and no one will listen. While I have not always been right and often times unsuccessful, I have learned some techniques for finding and approaching the right person, and getting by the “gatekeepers”. This is helpful both for salespeople, or even for those trying to get information about the competition, or shopping for services.

Getting past the gatekeeper is important in both job hunting, sales, competitive analysis, and other aspects of business. It is not intended to be sneaky or tricky from a sales standpoint, but rather a solution to the problems created those using it for competitive analysis or other such selfish motives . The true art comes in when you get by the gatekeeper and have to give you elevator pitch that is life changing enough to get the attention (or admiration) of your target. If you sound like something they’ve heard before you’re dead in the water. They’re “not interested” before you get five sentences out of your mouth.

I’m glad to say that most our business now comes word of mouth, or from our own SEO efforts. It’s not always fun, but getting by the gatekeepers is an essential skill for those who are ambitious in their field. Remember also that there is a fine line between persistence, being annoying, and stalking.

Guide to getting by the gatekeepers

  • Always be friendly with the gatekeepers – if they learn to not like you you’re in trouble
  • If you talk with them often, try to joke with them and be friendly
  • Try calling after hours – sometimes the person you are looking for may answer
  • Learn to use their phone (or e-mail system – if you find a direct line you’ve got much better odds

Resources for getting by the gatekeepers:

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