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Corporate Liaisoning | Powerful Techniques to Get Past the Gatekeeper

by Rajesh Gotan

“I am not getting the meeting with the CEO” – Does this sound like a common problem faced by customer facing people? It’s an important part of corporate liaisoning.

Most of the leaders at top rung keep an assistant to filter the unnecessary calls and sales pitches.  The assistant in some cases could be a receptionist. They are called Gatekeepers. Their role is to guard the time and productivity of senior leaders by filtering and preventing unrequired people from reaching them who could cause disruption to their busy schedule.

However, no critical or strategic decision is taken by the organization without the involvement of the concerned senior leader. The sale or business people who sell high value product have a larger objective of forming Strategic Alliances need to carve out a way to reach the decision maker to be able to participate in the opportunity – the efforts made at the bottom rung are good to build an overall rapport with the larger group of stake holders but things will not move forward unless the participation of concerned business/functional leader is there.

The Gatekeepers are a road block to corporate liaisoning and can be intimidating, but if you know the art of handling the person, he or she can be your great ally and asset to gain information. There are some time tested techniques that work well for corporate liaisoning and are as below. 

corporate behaviour

Correct corporate behaviour is an important element of growth

There are some time tested techniques that work well and are as below:

Be Respectful with the Gatekeeper

The gatekeepers have good rapport and respect for the organization they work for. Never treat them anything less. They are the ones who will open doors of opportunities for you. Treat them the way you treat the business/functional leader. Express your gratitude to them and appreciate them. Never miss to appreciate them in front of their boss.

Maintain Your Cool

The role of the Gatekeepers is to guard their bosses. In the process they may ask some questions, which may irritate you. Answer them and never get irritated. If you display a negative or non-cooperative attitude, they make “blacklist” you.

Communicate with Confidence

Never undermine the assessment capabilities of the Gatekeeper – He or She is a seasoned expert to filter out unwanted callers or visitors. Be absolutely calm with a steady voice while speaking. Be courteous and always be smiling. Act with confidence and let not nervousness overtake you. 

Display Friendly Behaviour

A little amount of small talk is ok and will help you break the ice. However, avoid being too personal or waste Gatekeeper times with idle chatter. Ask how is you day going on? Give some common reference of a person and initiate the talk from there. In some cases, even the Gatekeeper is authorized to take decisions for products or services. Therefore be always polite and friendly. 

Address the Executive and the Gatekeeper by First Name

While conversing, always use the first name of the Gatekeeper and the Executive you are trying to reach. The sound of the first name is the sweetest sound to anyone’s ear.

For example – “Hi Leena, this is Tony here, may I speak with Rosy?

Such a practice helps in building a better human to human connect.

Build a Pretext Prior to Calling

Building a pretext provides a thread to get a meeting. You may send an email to executive prior to calling. So you may go like this – “Hi Leena, this is Tony here, I dropped an email to Rosy few days ago, and I wanted to follow up on the same. May I speak with her?

Or you can build any other reference of pretext – “My boss met Rosy during the IT conference in Delhi, he asked me speak to Rosy to take things forward. May I speak with her?

Similarly, there are a lot of ways to build the pretext, and they help a great deal. However, always be honest with the Gatekeeper as it may backfire.

Gatekeeper is a Gateway and Not the Buyer

Never sell to the Gatekeeper. In majority of the cases, they are an interface to corporate liaisoning and to guard the executive. They do not take the purchase decision. Never make a sales pitch to them. Just confine your conversation to get the meeting with the executive.

Call in Non-Office Hours

Your chances of getting a proper hearing increase when you call before or after office hours. The gatekeepers and executives generally leave late from the office. Their external workload is less and hence the chances of your call getting entertained increase.

Build Digital Engagement with the Gatekeeper

If you have obtained the email and mobile number of the Gatekeeper. Keep it in the company’s data base so that the festive greetings, newsletters or any important announcement can reach him or her. You may also send one to one festive greetings and morning wishes with motivation quotes – but do not overdo it. This will help build the recall value with the Gatekeeper and you will not look like a stranger to him or her.

Gatekeeper is an inevitable part in the process of corporate liaisoning. Adopting above practices will smoothen the process.    

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1 comment

Al-Nusr December 30, 2022 - 6:05 pm

thats correct .. what a write up


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