Lead Generation: Five Effective Methods to Successfully Engage Executive Gatekeepers
By Jim McAvoy Founder & President, JWMcAvoy & Company Ltd. | November 21, 2010
The gatekeeper. Yes, the mis-perceived dreaded gatekeeper (i.e. the executive assistant). Not like the receptionist at the front desk of a luxury hotel, waiting to check you in and cater to your every need. No, the wall between you and an executive with whom you'd like to do business.
Stop! First of all, realize that you are dealing with an intelligent individual, who is intuitive and knows how to traverse the waters of shark-ridden corporate life. Is this gatekeeper friend or foe? That depends on your approach.
For many of us working within the sales process, just the word gatekeeper conjures up emotions of anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. Many will attest that trying to curry favor with the executive's assistant is daunting at best.
Yet, it just doesn't have to be that way. It is simply another myth that can be dispelled with real-life situations (played out in the right way), resulting in a higher conversion of cold approaches to warm approaches.
Below, I've listed five methods that, if appropriately utilized, should increase the likelihood that you will successfully engage the executive gatekeeper in a mutually positive and productive dialogue.
The net result, if done correctly, will be the successful delivery of your firm's introductory offering to your targeted buyer's e-mail and/or desk via hard copy. As a result, this will increase your probability of establishing new dialogues resulting in additional pipeline situations and, in turn, adding necessary incremental revenue to help you make your numbers for the next month/quarter and or year.
Method #1: Approach with Empathy
A useful prompt, when initiating a dialogue with someone, is the old adage about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. Executive assistants have a number of tasks and minimizing distractions for their executive is of paramount importance. Scores of sales people are bombarding them all day long, trying to tug on the cape to gain access. On top of that, their task of keeping an up-to-date calendar with priority internal/external meetings is enough to exhaust anyone.