The Positive Power of Gatekeepers

Young Female Receptionist Talking On Phone In Office

“Start with the problem they already know they have – especially when you’re talking to gatekeepers.”

~ Chandell Labbozzetta

Life Without Gates and Fences

One of the things people complain about these days with so many people working from home, is that it’s harder than ever to get past gatekeepers.

It’s not actually a new problem because over the past few years many sales people and business owners have found that it’s increasingly difficult to talk to the decision-makers and get them in the room for a presentation. In fact, it may not be a problem at all – if you use this behaviour to your advantage.

Think for a moment about life without gates and fences. You would have a constant onslaught of demands, messages, opportunities, and so on and you would never get any of your own work done because you would be at the mercy of OPE (Other People’s Emergencies) – and some of your colleagues may work that way. However, if you’re not in customer service you should have gates and fences around your own time, energy, and availability and I assume that you already do.

Imagine the decision maker who doesn’t have anything stopping the onslaught of messages. Unless you are a business or development coach that probably isn’t someone you want to work with because you already know a few things about them:

  • They are easily distracted;
  • They are inundated with options;
  • They are probably not going to be fun to work with.


If you are looking for coaching clients then you absolutely need to make certain that the person with no gates or fences in place wants to change that situation and is fully aware of the price they are paying for their ‘open door’ policy.

In my experience, the person with an effective gatekeeper makes a fantastic long-term client once you have the opportunity to talk to them.

Entering the Conversation in Their Heads

One of my team members has the amazing gift of solving problems I didn’t even realise that I had. She makes my life so much easier because she anticipates problems in advance and solves them for me.

That is an awesome gift for a team member, and I hope that each of you has someone just like her, but it’s a terrible sales tactic!

That’s what gatekeepers are there for: to help you solve the problems you already know you have.

Here’s the reality:

  • Prospects are busy.
  • Their receptionists are busy too.
  • Your call is seen as an interruption.
  • Unless…

You are able to enter the conversation they’re already having in their head and demonstrate that you can solve a problem that is top-of-mind – their mind, not yours!

When you do that in your opening sentence, suddenly you find yourself talking to decision makers and prospects almost 100% of the time. You may not always get a sale, but you’re far closer to one than you can possibly get if you never get past the gatekeeper and no-one returns your voicemails.

Open Doors and Invitations to Engage

In a recent Mastermind we were talking about this problem and I shared my own, virtually infallible method of handling this situation.

Another participant laughed and said, “Yes. I remember when you used that to get to me. My very well-trained PA put the call through and said that I had to take your call now… And I’m so glad she did!”

You see, my elevator pitch and sales system was designed to open doors to people who were already wrestling with the problem I solved. I learned this strategy back in the days when I was the star sales representative and then led the highest performing teams in the corporate world. My colleagues were amazed at my call to appointment rates and shocked at my close rate. I knew that if people didn’t respond to my pitch, they were either not going to buy at all, or they were going to be difficult clients.

I even had a voice mail message that got me a high percentage of call backs.

You Do Leave Voicemails Don’t You?

Many gatekeepers and professionals have a habit of blocking unknown numbers if the caller doesn’t leave a voicemail… And a great many people have developed the habit of letting calls go to voicemail if they don’t know who is calling.

An intriguing voicemail message that resonates with your ideal client enough that they call you back when they are able is an extremely effective sales tool. It means that they are calling you, and that they have enough interest in your product to do so.

This is one of the most popular modules in my Confident Conversion online course. Students find the simple technique I teach for crafting a voice mail that will get people to call you back more than pays for the price of the course… AND, it makes calling prospects fun!

Confident Conversion Online

Life Puzzle’s Confident Conversion group study course has proved its effectiveness over and over again. Over the past few sessions we’ve had people from all over the world sign up just so they could listen to the recordings, and we’ve had other people ask if they could start right away.

In response to this interest, we’ve made a self-study version available for you to start when you’re ready, and complete at your own pace. The popular group study versions will run twice a year with strictly limited number to ensure that every participant gets the personal attention they want.

For more details visit:

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