“Gatekeepers” Getting in the Way of Growing Your Network?

Mar 28, 2019 | Physician Liaison Marketing

3 Simple Ways to Help You Get Past The “Gatekeepers”

“The doctor is in clinic and can’t see you right now.”

“I’m sorry they are at lunch (at 3pm…) but I can give that to them.”

“We are really busy and the doctor (or office manager) can’t see you right now, but I’ll pass the information along.”

“We don’t meet with reps (urggghhhh, I hate this one) unless you do a lunch.”

Just some examples of the dreaded, no from a gatekeeper.

A common challenge that physician liaison’s face is overcoming the hurdle of getting past the front desk or not so sweetly referred to as, “gatekeepers”.

Front desk employees at a medical practice can sometimes be referred to as ,“gatekeepers” . This is because they are the first blockade a physician liaison meets when trying to speak with a physician.

The truth is that as a physician liaison you’re visiting their medical practice, during their business hours, and requesting their time away from their patients.

So, the first priority for front desk staff is to protect their physicians from every individual who is not a patient requesting they take time out of clinic. And let’s be honest, you are not first visitor they have had and trust me not the last.

This is because they have the responsibility to make sure patients are coming first and there isn’t a disturbance in the day’s schedule that could lead to long wait times.

The most important thing to a physician is top quality patient care and you don’t want to hinder that experience by becoming a bother or in the way.

This is important to remember when dealing with the front desk because they have an important job and that position does deserve respect.

So, keep that in mind as I walk you through the three key moves of getting past the front desk and back to speak to a physician. 

The 3 Key Moves:

  1. Purpose
  2. Persistence
  3. Patience

Okay that’s it, that’s all you need!

But for those who want more clarity follow along with me…

  1. Purpose

Keeping in mind the fact that you are ANOTHER non-scheduled visitor during their clinic hours…

You need to be quick and clear who you are, why it matters, and your purpose for the visit.

This is your opportunity to define your role and purpose. This is important because not only does it affect your visit in the moment but your follow-up visits as well.

This is an opportunity to differentiate yourself and communicate that your role is one of importance and worth the physician’s time.

In my online course, Physician Liaison University, I talk more in depth on easy sayings and example scripts to deliver this message of purpose and how to differentiate yourself to get to past the front.

  1. Persistence

This is a tough one for some physician liaisons and can be the reason to lackluster results.

Trust me when I say I know it’s not easy to stay persistent after the dreaded “no”. It’s honestly one of the most uncomfortable parts of being a physician liaison.

I know, I have been there and it’s not fun to hear, but staying persistent after no is what separates average physician liaisons from great physician liaisons.

It may seem daunting but approach a “no” with an opportunity for you to excel. Excel from the competitors and get past where others would move on.

Persistence is the foundation to lasting referral relationship and will define your success as physician liaison.

There are simple and affective steps you can take that can help you remain persistent and get to your goals.

  1. Patience

This may be the most effective tool to navigating your way past the gatekeeper and to the referring doctor.

And it all goes back to the beginning of the blog, remember when I said keep it mind? Well this step in particular relates to that.

As a physician liaison you will do a lot of waiting so patience is essential.

I did SO MUCH WAITING as a physician liaison, but that patience always paid off.

Using patience as my secret weapon, I was able to successfully meet with physicians and built strong physician referral relationships.

There is an important balance between quality and quantity when it comes to physician liaison marketing and patience is a big factor in that equation.

For more insightful tips and physician liaison training sign up for my blog, subscribe to my newsletter, or join the amazing community of Physician Liaison University.

Where I dive deep into effective physician liaison marketing strategies, give you a behind-the-scenes insight, provide on-going training and support and you join a community of physician liaisons!



Kelley Knott is an expert Physician Liaison Trainer and consultant. Her passion is the help liaisons and practices maximize their effectiveness to improve patient care and revenue new revenue streams for their practice or hospital system. She is one of the first people in the US to develop online courses specifically geared toward physician liaison marketing. She is a published author, entrepreneur, and speaker.

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