Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unhinging the Gatekeepers

I suffered three rejections in the phone calls I made today. In the past these would have been crushing rejections, but today they are rich fodder for my digestion.

My goal is to arrange face-to-face meetings with people. I ask if we can meet for 15 minutes over coffee.

One spent 20 minutes with me on the phone explaining that she couldn't set aside 15 minutes to actually meet someone face to face.

Draw your own conclusions.

One came up with a few excuses for not meeting me before she got around to asking what I do.

Draw your own conclusions.

One told me flat out that they had their own in-house trainer. I OK'ed that, then asked her what sort of training I offered. I enjoyed the five seconds of silence while she tried to dream up an answer that complemented her previous statement.

Draw your own conclusions.

Bit of a let-down, because I know I can help firms - because the firms that ask me in say that they are greatly helped, and they ask me in because they have met me; so if only I can arrange a meeting, they'll ask me in, then I can help them.

Out of all of this I learned that many gatekeepers have set scripts in their heads - how to straight-arm the caller, and since now I can recognize some of the scripts, I can brace myself for them.

This afternoon we were both surprised by the 5-second silence

Next time, the gatekeeper will still be surprised, but I'll be prepared.

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