Hug a “gatekeeper.”

Make friends with the executive assistants of those you want to create a relationship with.  Executive assistants can become solid allies or your worst nightmare.  Do not make the mistake of taking them for granted or seeing them as obstacles to be overcome. 

Heck, they’re the ones who set up appointments for the decision maker.  And in a lot of cases…           THEY ARE THE DECISION MAKERS.

Get to know everyone in the office as individuals.  Talk with them.  Learn all the front-office folks’ names, special interests and hobbies, the names of their kids, and stuff like that.  Check for clues from what they display on their desks. 

Be dependable and genuine.  If you can build a solid bond with these key individuals, you will differentiate yourself from run-of-the-mill sales punks who ignore gatekeepers and just try to barge in to see the big chief. 

If gatekeepers know and respect you, they can recommend you when the need for your service arises.  They can keep you in the loop.  They can be your greatest champion.  Plus, executives respect you more if you have an authentic interest in their whole staff.  Most executives like and respect their assistants and value their insight, so if the assistant likes you, so will the person in charge.

To gain a possible inside track, ask assistants what groups their boss is active in.  Join those groups and get involved.  When decision makers see you engaged in activities outside of the office, they develop more confidence and respect for you.  That’s good.

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker