Friday Faves – 7.15.16

071516Hot Hot Hot!  It is where I am and I hope you describe your pipeline the same way.  Here are some good ideas to help heat it up at various stages.

The top of the pile – Woody Allen said “Half of success is merely showing up.”  The other half is people noticing you.

Dissonance Creates a Compelling Case for Change – The arts, music in particular, creates drama with tension and release. Ddim6 G7b9 Cmaj7 Tension and release, in which dissonance (notes that clang in your ear) are frequently present.  Dissonance demands resolution, which you provide.

3 Foolproof Ways to Get Past Gatekeepers – The “foolproof”  is a misnomer that almost prevented me from listening.  But, these are 3 Great Ideas, though not foolproof IMHO.

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I HEART Gatekeepers, but not as much as Ed did.

Ed KochEd Koch, the beloved Mayor of New York, who led the city out of its darkest days, passed away last week at age 88.  He leaves behind a huge legacy, which like him, was in some ways larger than life.  For those of you who did not live in the Greater New York area during his Mayoralty, it is difficult to describe how he made us feel.  

Koch loved his city as much as he loved life itself.  He gave his all, every day, to serving all the people of  the city.  His trademark tagline “How my doing?” was not just a slogan.  He wanted to engage the residents of New York, every demographic, from every borough.  And he LISTENED.

Now, after his death, he continues to teach us.  A New York Times article reported that Koch left his longtime secretary $100,000 in his will.  The article reported “He trusted her more than any single person on his staff,” George Arzt, Mr. Koch’s former press secretary, said of Ms. Garrigan. “She knew everything and she never spoke about anything.”

So be dismissive and condescending to gatekeepers at your own peril.  Had you behaved so to Ms. Garrigan, you would never have gotten to meet the Mayor.

I never did, but from all I saw and read of him, that would have been a huge loss.

I HEART Gatekeepers

gatekeeperMost sellers regard gatekeepers as a threat, or an obstacle to be overcome.  They prevent you from getting to the decision maker, blocking your access at every turn.  Some even screen their boss’ email so they block you there too.

There is also no shortage of writings and opinions about how to “work” gatekeepers to get where you want to go.  Personally, I have always found these techniques, frankly, manipulative and prone to backfire.  I also find them a bit demeaning to the gatekeepers, so I’d like to change the paradigm here.

First, assistants are highly skilled important assets to their bosses and companies.  They do WAY more than just keep the sales riff raff at bay.  Many, in fact, are highly empowered by their boss and their company.  The work they do is critical to their boss’ success and the success of the department and company.  (I bet some of them make even make more than you do, hotshot.)

So the first thing you must do is to acknowledge and recognize their professional status.  Treat them, in every way, as if you are talking with their boss.  Empathize genuinely with the myriad of things they have on their plate and they will with you.  Establishing a cooperative professional relationship with your decider’s gatekeeper empowers the both of you.

Inane sweet-talking presents you as a manipulator, insincere and not someone their boss would want to partner with, so this WILL get you blocked.  Try to trick them with BS like “your boss asked me to call her today, so would you just put me through” won’t work either.

Throw out those gatekeeper tricks and try the non-trick: respect.  A key part of their role is HELPING their boss to be more productive and successful.  Approached as a fellow professional, you will find they can be very willing to help you, too.  Sometimes, I don’t even call my client or decision maker, I call their assistant to get or convey the information I need.

Sometimes, they can even function as YOUR assistant, too.  Wow, what a concept, huh?