Using Boss Mode to Get Past the Gatekeepers
I have become a huge Apprentice fan.
The original US series may have ended (Donald Trump is now busy with other matters), but the show is still running in the UK with business tycoon, Sir Alan Sugar, at the helm.
As I am often away from home, I watch them whenever I get the chance in catchup on BBC iPlayer.
Sitting in an airport lounge, or on a train, in fact whenever I get a spare moment, you’ll find me glued to my iPad, excited, focused and wondering who will be fired next.
I’m willing to bet if you are an entrepreneur, you will share this obsession.
Whenever I talk about Getting Past the Gatekeepers; the secretaries, receptionists, assistants, voice mail, anyone and/or anything that blocks access, I’ve taken to pointing to Sir Alan Sugar.
The question I ask: “If Sir Alan Sugar were to call your prospect and that prospect’s secretary were to say to him, ‘What is this in reference to?’ what do you think Sir Alan Sugar would say?”
This question always creates great conversation.
The general consensus of opinion is that Sir Alan Sugar would most likely say, “This is Sir Alan Sugar. Is she there?”
Another example: If Madonna calls Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks and Steven’s secretary says to her, “What is this in reference to?”
Here is what Madonna will not say: “I’m a singer and an actress and a producer and maybe you’ve seen some of my movies?”
She would probably say, “This is Madonna. Is he there?”
I know that many of you will now say to me, “But Peter, I’m not famous.”
It doesn’t matter.
I’m willing to bet that Sir Alan Sugar and Madonna would have said exactly the same thing 30 years ago before they were famous.
I’m willing to bet that 30 years ago they had almost the same self-confidence, assurance and sense of entitlement that they have now.
It was that self-confidence, assurance and sense of entitlement that helped them get to where they are now.
Let’s switch gears for a moment and talk about your prospects.
What type of people are they?
They are bosses.
What does it mean to be a boss?
How does a boss behave?
First of all, bosses are decision-makers.
That’s what we call them and that’s what they do.
Bosses are used to making decisions.
Bosses also have at least some authority to implement their decisions.
Bosses give direction and expect the direction to be followed.
More than likely, at least in their business persona, they have self-confidence and assurance.
These are all traits that bosses or leaders share and these traits influence how a boss or a leader behaves.
There have been many, many books and articles written about the art of creating rapport with prospects.
Usually what it boils down to is being as like the prospect as you can be without mimicking or imitating them.
When you are able to do this well, your prospect will see you as being like them.
That prospect is then more likely to feel comfortable with you and want to spend time with you and do business with you.
Let’s take that a step further and talk about secretaries and assistants.
When you behave like a boss, i.e., with authority, self-confidence and assurance, the secretary will see you as being a boss.
Other bosses are peers with her boss.
The secretary will give more value, importance and urgency to your call when she believes you to be a peer of her boss.
Here is my recommendation for speaking with the Gatekeeper:
Go into Boss Mode.
Speak with authority, self-confidence and assurance.
Give direction to that secretary.
Say, “Please tell (your prospect) that (your name) from (your company) is on the line.”
Give direction as if you were speaking with your own secretary. (It’s alright if you do not have a secretary or assistant today. One day you very well might. Look at this as practice.)
Be polite and firm.
Give your directions in a manner that says you expect your direction to be followed. (How do you think Sir Alan Sugar would say it?)
I know that I will get some comments below, from people who will tell me this approach is rude.
It’s not rude to speak with confidence and self-assurance.
If you use this approach you will be able to reach past the Gatekeepers and get your prospects on the phone.