At a recent peer group meeting, one of the attendees, a highly decorated business coach, explained that there are ‘4 Fatal Fears’ that create blockages within business management.  These were a fear of…

  • Failure
  • Being wrong
  • Emotional discomfort
  • Rejection

An interesting discussion resulted regarding broader existential fears such as death, taxes and birds.  Our resident coaching guru gently explained the ‘4 Fatal Fears’ were the issues that, whilst often held within peoples’ personal lives, were really about business management and that calling them the ‘4 Fatal Fears’ was how the consultant sector likes to be dramatic.  Also, a fear of birds is actually a phobia.  The hubbub subsided and we all reflected that issues we associate with our business lives seem a bit less scary when contextualised around what is important.

James Smith of Yard Act said it best when the protagonist in the song ‘Rich’, contemplating their fear of losing their newly found wealth, said “I will return once again to the life I used to live, with the things I didn’t have before I had become rich”.

As a more coherent discussion emerged, the common agreement was that ‘rejection’ is the greatest barrier to the new business development activity – it really gets in the way of prospecting and cold calling. Despite the ‘peer’ group name, I have often felt in awe of my cohorts as they all seem to really have their ‘stuff’ together with their respective businesses – so it was nice for me to be reminded that my comfort with cold calling and prospecting is a real strength. I probed for more information, partly to reinforce to my ‘peers’ how this is one of Tempest Cosgrave’s strengths and also to explore what the real problem is.

In short,  the key issue is getting told ‘no’ before one has even explained the offering, especially by ‘nasty gatekeepers’. One of the first training modules we cover for new account managers, regardless of experience, is ‘Dealing with Gatekeepers’.  As with most things, mindset is key…

‘Nasty’?  That’s subjective, isn’t it? Part of their job is to ensure the senior team’s (i.e. decision makers) time is protected.  Is it fair to call someone ‘nasty’ when they are just doing their job of fielding a phone call? Seeing a Gatekeeper as a person who, like you, is just doing their job, invokes compassion.  The more compassionate we are with each other, especially strangers, the easier it is to establish common ground.

Tempest Cosgrave training has technical aspects ranging from ‘linguistic phrasing’ (choice of words and language sequences) to ‘agreement staircasing’ (aka ‘stacking the yes’s’) but, in reality, it really is a case of ‘not what you say, it’s how’.

A human with compassion for another human makes for better outcomes.

Finally, why Gatekeepers are a ‘good’ thing.  They keep your competition out.  That’s worth repeating.  THEY stop YOUR prospects receiving YOUR competitors value offering.

And this is why Telemarketing is the number one method for proactively engaging prospects.  Gatekeepers are human spam filters – professionalism, compassion, tenacity and skill will eventually triumph.

By contrast an email spam filter is indefatigable, now that IS something to be scared of.