So how do you get past the gatekeeper when making cold calling law firms?
The short answer is you don’t try in the first place. In fact, the best advice I can give you, having been a top-producing, legal sales rep for over 8 years, is eliminate the word “gatekeeper” from your vocabulary altogether. Stop using that word entirely.
It is unfortunate, but all of the other sales representatives prior to your visit have trained that secretary to think that ALL sales people are unrespectful, jerks and a complete waste of their boss’ time. You have to bring that wall down first in order to be able to gain access to the attorney or office manager who will listen to your pitch.
Almost all legal sales reps are trained to think of legal secretaries or receptionists as the “gatekeeper.” This is a huge mistake and that thinking is a major obstacle to gaining access to key attorney prospects. You must eliminate this mind set if you want to have a successful legal sales career.
Have you ever met someone and you knew right away this person had a negative impression of you? It is a subtle, subconscious feel that this person doesn’t like you very much. That is what you are giving off every time you are face to face or on the phone cold calling a law firm. Let me change your approach and your career.
By changing your thinking toward legal secretaries and receptionists, you will find that they are really helpful if you treat them with respect. They will help you as long as you are genuinely respectful toward them. In order for you to convey effectively that you are genuinely respectful of her time and her position, the receptionist will trust you with her boss’ time as well.
The receptionist knows that you are here to speak with the attorney. They deal with all types of sales people everyday. My attitude toward law firm receptionists is that they are important. They often call the shots. They are valued employees and they can make or break your sales career.
Another key point to make is: Stop trying to dodge the legal secretary or receptionist. Instead, be different. Ask them for help and you will be surprised how much more you will be able to obtain access to your prospective clients.
Rep: Hi, I am James Jones here to see Bob (attorney).
Sec: Well he is busy you can leave your card and if he is interested he will call you.
Rep: Hi, my name is James and I was hoping you could help me.
Sec: Help you with what?
Rep: I am sorry, I didn’t catch you name.?.
Rep: Well Julie, it’s nice to meet you. I represent XYZ Company and I know I can help your boss, Mr. Davis save a lot of time and money. Could you help me with an introduction?
Sec: Sure, Have a seat and I will let him know you are here. Do you have a card?
People like to be helpful and feel valued. Change your thinking about legal receptionists and change your career.
Here is a video I found after writing this post. Different approach but helpful.