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The Gatekeeper Isn’t the Enemy

Overcoming the gatekeeper is part of the recruiting equation –– particularly when seeking higher membership investments from middle-market companies and larger employers.

We understand that it can be frustrating to feel like there is someone standing between you and the person that has the power to make a decision about chamber membership. Some membership reps try to employ tricks to get around the gatekeeper. But that is a short-sighted strategy bound to backfire.

What you need to do is to stop thinking about the gatekeeper as an enemy that must be overcome. Instead, accept that they have an important role in their companies, just like membership pros have an important role at their chambers.

Believe it or not, there is also risk attached for the gatekeeper. Every time they choose to put a call through, their credibility is at stake with their boss. So, how do you think the gatekeeper will react if you merely call and interrupt them with a tired pitch about membership? Sorry, it just isn’t good enough. You have to capture their interest.

Before you pick up the phone, ask yourself –– is my reason for calling compelling and worthy enough of being put through? Don’t worry it’s not difficult. Business leaders are motivated by things that affect them. They worry about issues that impact their business interests.


Register now for our webinar on March 25 at 11 a.m. PDT to learn practical, focused techniques and strategies to get past gatekeepers — and start connecting with more decision-makers.

The way to gain a favorable response, comes through identifying what your chamber is currently working on that will have the most profound impact on your prospect’s business. To put it another way, what policy action, economic initiative or program will help their company, their industry or their employees the most? Is your chamber fighting a regulation or law that impacts their company or industry? Might your prospect have workforce concerns, and your chamber has job creation or workforce expansion initiatives that can or will help? You get the picture. Your role is to uncover how your chamber’s various priorities and actions can help each prospect –– and select the most compelling reason for a decision-maker to take your call.

We recognize that preparing like this may take a little longer when you first implement this approach, but your skill will naturally improve over time.  And the number of doors you open will be well worth the effort.

Give it a try and let us know how it works. If you have questions about this or other membership recruitment and retention issues, get in touch. We’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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