Reaching a Gatekeeper

One of a gatekeeper’s key roles is to decide which calls to put through. This assistant uses knowledge of the boss’s wishes, his or her friends, and workload in handling somebody unknown. The gatekeeper wants to know whether the caller has an appropriate connection to the boss and a legitimate need to speak with him or her.
Further information you may be asked to give are the following:

Whether the boss expects your call
Whether the boss knows you personally
Whether the boss will know what the call is about

Doing research on the referral is important to get past the gatekeeper and gain access to the referral, as well as for the interview itself. Getting information about these people can be difficult. Your best source is to ask your original contact about the referral:
How do you spell the person’s name (if unusual)?
What’s the name of his or her company and his or her position?
What’s your relationship with him or her?
Why do you feel this person could help me? (You’re looking for an answer such as, “He’s an expert on the networking industry’s problems in the P acific Rim.”)

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