In most sales situations, if you’re treating the administrative assistant who supports the decision-maker as a gatekeeper, you’re introducing unnecessary friction into your sales process. You may actually lengthen your sales process, and decrease your chances of winning the deal.
If you’re thinking about the assistant as gatekeeper, you’re going about it all wrong. That assistant is an extension of their boss. They are intimately familiar with the organizations priorities, and their boss’s priorities. They also know the organizational and external challenges that exist as roadblocks to achieving results.
That assistant may be able to articulate the organizations challenges and needs more precisely than the decision-maker herself.
What’s more, that assistant stands to gain quite a bit if their boss succeeds. The assistant’s own success, recognition, raise and promotion is directly tied to their boss’s success.
And the icing on the cake? The assistant will pick up the phone. They’ll more likely answer their email. And they’re so used to having salespeople try to get around them, that if you take the time to address them directly – they’ll likely give you all the time you want and need.
Use that time not just to gain insights into the selling environment, but to convert the assistant into an ally. There’s no reason the assistant can’t become the antithesis of the stereotypical gatekeeper.
Think of them not as an obstacle to the decision-maker, but as a catalyst to getting your deal done.