Notice that I did not call this chapter “How to Get Past or Go around, over, through, or under Screeners and Gatekeepers.” Yet that is precisely what much of the literature and instruction on the topic suggests.
What garbage that is!
I suggest the opposite. I could sum up my stance in a short sentence: Treat the screener as you would the buyer.
I personally don’t like the monikers “screener” and “gatekeeper.” They seem to imply something negative to me, almost as though it is their job to keep everyone away from the people you’re attempting to contact. However, I’ll use them here, since they are the common terms used to describe the people who protect decision makers.
First—just in case you have been or might be exposed to bad information about screeners—let’s take a look at some of the nonsense that has been taught about screeners so we know what not to do. For example,
“Don’t give them any information. They can’t buy from you.”
Wrong. Sometimes they can indeed buy from you, and often, they may influence a decision. The one thing they can do is make sure that no one will buy from you.
“Answer their question abruptly, and make a demand of your own. As in ‘I’m with AB Company. Will you connect me please?’”
Oh, so that will intimidate them into putting you through? Right. People generally don’t respond all that favorably to a rude demeanor.
“Just tell them, ‘It’s a business matter that I need to speak with him personally ...