Some seven years ago Saatchi was taken over by Publicis headed up, then and now, by Maurice Levy. At the time a story about him was in circulation, maybe apochryphal but I like to think it is true. On hearing a major potential client was staying in the same hotel, he arranged for a ‘chance’ introduction in, yes, the elevator. The win followed.
This one example of his flair did more to make us, at Saatchi, feel relaxed about the takeover than any of his many other achievments!
Another story relates to New York’s bid to be Olympic host city during the period when formal presentations were forbidden by the IOC protocol police. No lesser person than the Deputy Mayor would spend hours lurking in five star hotel lobbies, and no doubt their elevators, for apparently accidental encounters to deliver his apparently off-the cuff pitch.
The point is, of course, that they were prepared. In the current newsletter of “pitchcoach partner” GBP Consulting, Carl Schneider makes some interesting observations.
” An elevator pitch is a pre-packaged speech ready to be delivered whenever the opportunity comes along……a short self-promotion speech consisting of about 100 words….with a structure of this is what we do, here’s how you benefit”.
He gives a personal example: ” I coach business development for financial advisers so that they can improve their conversion rate and so win more business”. Think I might use that one the next time I am in the right lift.
Incidentally, according to Carl the antecedent of the elevator pitch can be traced back to “ordo naturalis”, a similar speech device introduced in Ad Herrenium, circa 86-82 BC!
But they weren’t blogging then…