The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) equips entrepreneurs with the tools, ideas and strategies they need to realize their full potential. Amie Milner is Executive Vice President of Sales Enablement at Abstract Marketing Group, a business growth company providing lead generation solutions. We asked Amie how entrepreneurs can benefit from a professional gatekeeper as they take steps to grow and scale their business.
What are professional gatekeepers? They are screeners, shields and repositories of corporate knowledge. They are also badly needed if you want to optimize your business and pursue your goal of serious, consistent growth.
You don’t know the term or the position? The best way to visualize a gatekeeper is to think of your business as a building with an entry point. The porter guards the door and decides whether strangers — vendors, vendors, customers, unscheduled job seekers — should enter.
In traditional personal offices, the gatekeeper literally sits front and center, serving as the director of first impressions. In remote businesses, gatekeepers can answer the phones and check all incoming general email. If you’re a busy executive, you may have two gatekeepers: one for your organization as a whole and one specifically for you. That way, you’re less likely to be interrupted from your work by low-priority conversations or requests.
Good gatekeepers tend to earn a reputation for being decisive and maybe even a little intimidating. After all, they hold all the keys and are empowered to say the word “no” more often than most employees. As such, they are integral actors and worthy of being incorporated into your workplace.
Embracing the benefits of the gatekeeper culture
Not sure how your company could possibly use an experienced gatekeeper? Here are four ways a gatekeeper could benefit you and your business:
1. Prevent incoming messages from overwhelming everyone.
You might want to onboard a gatekeeper when you and your co-workers just can’t keep up with all the calls coming in at your business. For example, you may find that your business is starting to grow. That’s great, but it opens the door for sellers to ask for appointments. Each week you may find that your to-do list grows longer. At some point you won’t be able to keep up. A gatekeeper gives you a little breathing room and a chance to focus on higher-level initiatives like growth and scaling.
2. Acknowledge that opportunities are worthwhile.
Gatekeepers often review sales presentations and listen carefully to pitches before deciding if they pass the muster. Though welcoming, gatekeepers are strategic. As long as you’ve taught your gatekeeper how to evaluate sales pitches, you can bet they’ll let only the most important opportunities land on your desk. Remember that gatekeepers are not perfect; They can occasionally slip “duds” through. However, you’re guaranteed to spend less time on lackluster opportunities.
3. Ensure information is properly communicated and managed.
Does it seem like calls keep getting missed? Are team members constantly short of time to monitor workflow progress or forward emails? A gatekeeper can keep things running smoothly by acting as a kind of long-range project manager for multiple departments. In some cases, the gatekeeper can take on specific tasks, such as B. setting dates for certain titles. While not decision-makers per se, gatekeepers can provide helpful insight into what’s happening in your organization.
4. Serve as your company’s brand voice.
Some of the best gatekeepers end up being the voice and face of companies. Because they are so closely associated with the company, they are seen as part of its legacy. Of course, you need to find the right gatekeeper that you can trust with that kind of authority. But once you find someone who catches the eye, do your best to keep them. This person can become invaluable to your company’s image and voice.
When your business was just starting out, you probably accepted all visitors. Now might be the time to get a little stingy with filling your schedule. If this is the case, consider whether a professional gatekeeper could be beneficial for you and your team.