Could Your Gatekeeper Metamorphose?

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The other afternoon I was waiting in a reception. As is the modern way, there was a telly on the wall. Rather than rolling news, this one was showing daytime tv. Of the quiz show variety. In the picture above, you’d be forgiven for thinking the host displays his kind’s usual faux sincerity.

It is the question that struck me.

Gatekeeper and Lulworth skipper are varieties of which insect?

You know the answer?

The contestants reckoned ‘grasshoppers’.

They were wrong.

They’re butterflies.

I learned something new. There is a butterfly called a Gatekeeper.

A discovery that many a winning salesperson would ponder upon.

Another name for a Gatekeeper is apparently Hedge Brown. They live in southerly England. They’re particularly partial to the nectar of the blackberry plant.

I’ve posted a pic with both larvae and adult on my instagram. It’d make an interesting slide if you were running a bit of canvassing training internally.

When I’ve done this myself lately, I’ve used ‘receptionist roulette’ as one headline, complete with casino stock imagery.

A gatekeeper though is not always someone secretarial.

Anyone that mystifyingly scuppers through negative screening your contact with someone you deem more senior, and more desirable to your cause, can be a gatekeeper.

They are overwhelmingly viewed in Sales circles with disdain. The butterfly’s scientific name is Pyronia tythonus. Perhaps in selling they’d be known as Draco scutum (dragon shield).

It occurs to me here that most salespeople see such in adversarial terms.

They’re stuck in the caterpillar view. Yet that prickly larvae does pupate.

And so can a corporate gatekeeper.

The butterfly analogy is a gem because there is a metamorphosis at play.

One of my coaching battles can be in convincing prospectors their gatekeepers can turn into a beautiful creature with wings.

As a starting point you simply must treat them with the respect and sense with which you’d bestow on their boss.

It’s not easy. It requires a change of mindset. And you will receive knock-backs along the way. But persevere and results will rise.

I gather that the young Gatekeeper grub moults four times. You too can have to muster such quartet of attempts before your bug can be ready to pupate.

And that’s either side of a hibernation. Another state you might need to manage.

A change to the traditional order can take place. You can get to see the golden wings happily bask.

Confide, request, understand, involve, value, truly engage.

And then they can enjoy the blackberry nectar of your effective audience and progression with their boss.

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