Telephone etiquette with the gatekeeper or secretarial screen . . . professional ways of speaking with, and maybe even winning the gatekeeper as an ally.
People with the kind of positive decision making authority you need --- that is, those who have Authority, Need, and Dollars --- tend to be busy people with many responsibilities. To minimize interruptions, they often set up various types of "Gatekeepers" or "Screens" around themselves in order to shield them from interruptions so they can focus on what is of real importance.
Here we'll be examining the how-to of telephone etiquette with gatekeepers and screens.
The gatekeepers or screens you encounter may extend from the security guard at the gate, to the telephone receptionist, to the executive secretary who guards the door to the prospect's office.
An answering machine or other form of voice mail can also serve as a screen, or which you need to prepare. From this telephone etiquette with gatekeeper or screen, link to our post on working with voice-mail
Important: The Screen's function is to minimize distractions so the Decision Maker can focus on what is truly significant to the well-being of the organization.
That means that the Screen will open for you if, and only if, you communicate, through your words and professionalism, that you have the potential of bringing something of significant value to the organization. That is, if you present a sound business purpose for seeing the Decision Maker.
Another way of putting it: telephone etiquette with the gatekeeper means, first of all, not coming across as rude or arrogant: they are only doing their job of shielding the person for whom they work.
Hence proper telephone etiquette with the gatekeeper focuses on helping them see why you and what you offer will be important to that executive: that is, by making it clear to the gatekeeper why this meeting is important to their boss.