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Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business by Jon Steel

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Facts—and the Fiction

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In 1984, Jon Steel wrote to 20 London advertising agencies seeking a job in account management. He was rejected by 19 of them, in one case with the words that he “looked and spoke as if he'd just come up from the country.” At the twentieth, Boase Massimi Pollitt, he was fourth on a shortlist of three, until the first-choice candidate withdrew his application to take a betterpaid job in the City.

Twenty-one years later, he is still in the business that was so reticent to accept him, and he has played a strategic and leadership role in new business wins totaling more than a billion dollars in client billings. After five years at BMP (in which time he became the agency's youngest ever Board Director), he moved to San Francisco as fledgling agency Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein's first director of account planning. There he helped grow the agency from $35 million in billings to more than $750 million, becoming a partner and vice-chairman along the way. The agency won National Agency of the Year accolades for its unique blend of strategy and creativity, and Jon was elected to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Achievement for executives under the age of forty (although it's quite likely that this was a case of mistaken identity).

Since leaving San Francisco, he has worked for Sir Martin Sorrell at WPP's parent company in London, providing ...

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