How to Interact with Gatekeepers


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Gatekeepers are important contacts who may be able to make or break your opportunity to connect with the decision-makers that you need to talk to within a potential partnering organization.




  • Always be honest.
  • Establish rapport by taking a genuine interest in the person.
  • Be appreciative- acknowledge that you know the person is busy, and express your gratitude for his/her time.
  • Obtain the contact information in advance so you don’t have to waste the gatekeeper's time.




  • Sound defensive or offended if the gatekeeper asks, “What’s the call about?”
  • Overload the gatekeeper with too many questions. Do your homework in advance to narrow down your questions.
  • Get long-winded.
  • Stretch the truth or exaggerate.
  • Claim to know people you do not know.
  • Adopt a condescending manner.
  • Go ballistic over phone hang-ups.
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