Getting Past the Gatekeeper #107

Dec 11, 2019 | Podcast Episodes

In today’s episode, Kelley Knott is joined by her husband, Justin Knott, together they both have grown not only an award-winning healthcare marketing agency but also successful 8 figure physician liaison programs to boot. Today they are going to discuss business development, building referral relationships, and increasing those referrals.

Check out the show notes below and download the full transcript.

Ahh, the challenge of the beloved gatekeeper. 

What is a gatekeeper?

The gatekeeper is the front desk. They are the people that are blocking you from meeting with the doctor due to the fact they are trying to keep the physician’s on time, patients happy, and gatekeepers get in trouble when they interrupt that workflow.

When representatives continuously come into the office to talk to the physicians, that takes their already busy schedule away from the physician. Make it brief.

If you can’t figure out how to get past the front desk, you won’t get anywhere.

Medical Sales:

You know the gatekeeper is keeping you from your objective: What next?

Know your stuff!! Don’t settle on your craft. Make sure you gain  the knowledge, learn the lingo, and figure it out step by step.

How to win with Physician Liaison Marketing?

Get the front desk up to ask the doctor if he can meet with you. This step highly increases the likelihood of success with your meeting.

Mistake #1: Letting the front desk dictate your meeting with the physician

You can’t let the front desk dictate if you are going to see the referring physician. Have confidence and insist you are not a sales rep, you have something that is beneficial not only to their practice, but also the physician’s time.

All it takes is a handshake with the physician to get a referral. Don’t abuse the time with the doctor.

Mistake #2: Wasting the Physicians time

When you are finally granted the access to the physician the worst thing you can do is waste their time self-promoting or advertising your practice. Answer their questions, their hesitation, and their objections and address their needs and wants. Do your validation research.

Mistake #3: Bribing your way back

Bribing your way back already leads you into the office on the wrong foot. Lose the treats, the candies, cupcakes, expensive lunches. When it comes to your potential patient their patient’s symptoms and conditions.. not what snacks you are bringing to the office. 95% of physicians do not want lunch. It’s Awkward & expensive. Moral of the story: it wears them out.

Liaisons are not medical & pharmaceutical sales reps – YOU are different

95% of physicians would love to speak with a liaison, but will not speak with a rep.


My Fast-Pass the Front Desk Formula

#1 Position: Research & Clinical knowledge

You need to feel comfortable & confident with your knowledge to have a message that the front desk realizes that you are a professional and knowledgeable enough to speak with the provider.

Shadow physicians, read books, test yourself, interview physicians. 10

#2 Be persistent

Your time is not more important than their time. Be willing to wait it out to meet with the physicians. If you show you are willing to wait they will see that this is important enough to speak with the physician.

#3 Patience

Be patient, your time is not more valuable than theirs. Be willing to wait, but also think of the physician. If they have a time slot you can come back in, make sure to take action and come back!

Take pride in what you are doing. Use the marketing budget for community events, digital marketing, or anything else that give you a better ROI

It is rewarding to grow these relationships with physicians and their office staff. There is a time and a place to talk about things, but not when there are patients waiting to be seen. The front desk time is valuable ‘

Remember this: Physicians think about: Quality of life, patient care, symptoms & patients.

Looking for more information than just getting past the gatekeeper for physician liaisons? Check out Physician Liaison University!

Episode Links:

Read Or Download Full Transcript for Episode #105

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode

Subscribed Yet? Now you can

Subscribe to the Patient Convert Podcast and never miss a new episode!

Subscribe for emails or using your favorite podcast app via:


Apple Podcasts

Google Play



Leave a Rating & Review for Other Listeners!

I hope that you have found this episode and any others you have listened to to be helpful in your growth as a healthcare marketer or practice owner. Please consider leaving a review on one of the channels above.

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher as well.

Your ratings and reviews help get the podcast in front of new listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thanks for listening. Kelley Knott



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.

Want to become a better medical marketer?

Don’t miss out on the latest content I am creating. Sign up for my monthly newsletter and join 1,000s of medical professionals.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.