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Ackert Advisory Blog

Going Up?

Little known fact: Most office buildings provide a special room for private power-meetings with prospective clients. It's called an elevator.

elevator business development

Here's how not to use it:

  1. Step on to the elevator.
  2. Push a button.
  3. Ignore the person standing next to you.

Who was that person? The CEO of the company on the 14th floor. And you had her all to yourself for 60 seconds. Too bad you were checking your email the whole time.

Here's how to use the power room:

  1. Step on to the elevator.
  2. Wait for the other person to push a button.
  3. Ask them, "What's on the 14th floor?"

They will respond with the name of their company and possibly what they do there. Then, they'll ask you what you do on the 10th floor. If you have a decent elevator speech at the ready, this is quite literally the perfect forum for it.

Last week, I used this technique and discovered that the person on the elevator was a partner at a large firm. When he learned what I do, he asked for my business card. It may not lead to business right away, but the next time I run into him on the elevator, you can bet I'll pick up where we left off.

So, the next time you're going up, make sure you're tuned in to the opportunities around you. The time you spend getting to know the person on the elevator could be the best meeting of the day.

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