One of the reasons people stop making cold calls is fear of the doorman. Guardians seem to wield extraordinary power over the minds of cold callers.

Doormen are receptionists and part of their job is to prevent others from wasting the person who pays their wages. Unfortunately, sellers often view Guardians in such a one-dimensional way that they end up giving them all their power.

Recently one of my clients, who is a very powerful and successful man in his own right, expressed how fearful he was of goalies. I asked him why and he couldn’t explain it logically.

He seemed to believe that the gatekeeper had all the power rather than seeing the receptionist as a person who is simply employed to perform a job and who has no interest in preventing him from talking to a decision maker.

When asked to reconsider the situation and recall that he was the CEO of a successful company, he realized that he had been handing over his power to a guardian. Surrendering our power occurs when we allow others to make us feel less than we really are. When we allow anyone, including a guardian, to change the way U.S we feel that we are also giving up our power.

Goalkeepers are not our enemies. In fact, it would help us to befriend them and treat them with respect. Whenever I meet an unfriendly doorman who seems hell-bent on being as blunt as possible, I choose to strike up a conversation with them.

Asking questions helps keep the conversation going and allows you to be in control of the conversation. Depending on the type of organization you are calling and the nature of the call, it is wise to do your research before calling, so that you can ask relevant questions.

‘I see on your website that you don’t offer … Is it something you’ve tried or …?’ or ‘Do you know anyone else who might be interested in …?’

With a rude or gruff doorman, the trick is to make sure you never succumb to his emotional tone. I describe it as ‘not falling into the well with them’. I even asked one of those guardians once if everything was really okay because she sounded like she was angry. That certainly caused the situation to blur and his tone changed immediately.

Always treat goalies as if they were your best friends. Use your first name whenever possible. Use humor to defuse any tension, and always make sure to treat them with the utmost respect.

If you continue to view receptionists as your adversary, they will live up to that reputation. It is wiser to view them as potential advocates and even silent business partners. Don’t be afraid of goalies. They are not in this world to sabotage the success of your business. Begin to change your perception of these hard-working people, often underpaid, but very important as sources of information and holders of the key to the door you want to open.

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