The biggest problem I’ve helped designers solve in the past two months, through coaching to get corporate orders (and they received lots of them!), is getting past gatekeepers in the corporate world.
Those gatekeepers are the same individuals you just met during Administrative Professionals Week.
Their titles are commonly known as executive assistant, administrative assistant, and secretary.
Is that a problem for you, too?
It was a problem for me many years ago and is the reason why chapter 6 in the book, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, was written to explain great techniques to get sales.
This may come as a surprise to you, but I have to share it. Your mission is not to get past the gatekeeper, it’s to turn that person into your cheerleader so she’s happy to speak with you whenever your call arrives.
The gatekeeper is your friend. She’s the person who opens a virtual gate to access her boss. The gatekeeper needs you to make her job easier. She needs you to help keep the boss happy. When you position yourself as her ally and not a pest looking for sales, the gatekeeper will be your friend for life.
That adds up to a lot of cash in the bank and referrals from the gatekeeper. She has friends in the same corporate positions who also need help.
What I’m sharing is not creative thinking – this is a fact.
I know this first hand because I was not only a gatekeeper for many years, I still have friends whose profession is one of the above titles.
Everyone in the company comes to the gatekeeper because her desk is the central hub of activity for that boss, supervisor, or manager.
She has expense reports to calculate, schedules to manage, and phone calls to make.
The last thing she wants to do is stop everything and figure out what gift to order for someone on the boss’s gift list.
She needs you, so your mission is to get to know her. If you do it wrong, she’ll tell her friends not to speak with you. That’s the reason why your coaching calls with me are important to keep the lines of communication open with the gatekeeper as you start a relationship.
When you get to know the gatekeeper, she makes one call to you – not to the fruit company down the street or flower shop around the corner.
She wants you on speed dial
What steps will you take with the gatekeeper to be her one-stop shop for gifts?
Which gatekeepers will you call? What will you say when she picks up the phone? How will you position your message so she doesn’t hang up?
Now is the season to speak with support staff. If you don’t do it now, the odds are against you for getting lucrative corporate orders at year’s end.
If you can go through another year of low to no sales, then you won’t concern yourself with this problem. However, if you’re prepared to succeed in what competitors fear to try, then you’ll find yourself swimming in a pile of cash before and after the holidays.
As mentioned earlier, I was a gatekeeper for many years before entering the gift basket world. I remember how they think and what they want, and I have an entire blueprint for you to follow that I will share as we discuss how to get the gatekeeper to love your gift baskets.
The gatekeeper will soon be your friend if you want her to be. Are you ready?