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Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top (Business Books) Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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From the Back Cover
CEOs Reveal the Secrets for Selling to the Top
“The business world is drowning in a flood of sales books. The trouble is that most of these books are about how to sell, without a clue about how customers buy. . . . This book is different. It is firmly rooted in how people buy and so it works.”
―NEIL RACKHAM, author of SPIN Selling
“Those new to executive sales will find a game plan they can use immediately. Veterans who regularly call on executives will use this book to sharpen their game.”
―CHIP BRUBAKER, Vice President-Americas Sales Readiness, CA, Inc.
“If you’ve always wondered how the other sales guy got to the CEO and you didn’t, start reading this book and earn serious commissions!”
―LINDSAY LYON, CEO, Mobilarm, and former GM Commercial Sales for Hewlett-Packard Australia
“Nic Read and Dr. Bistritz have done a masterful job summarizing how to approach and sell to executives. If you read this and apply its secrets, you’ll win more, more of the time.”
―MICHAEL GALLAGHER, President, The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service
“Practical advice on how to get to the decision-makers in the context of sales . . . Having learned these lessons the hard way while transforming a Chinese state-owned enterprise into a globally competitive business, I wish this book had been available when I first started!”
―GEOFF WATSON, former Vice President, Alcoa China
"We hear a lot about being a Trusted Advisor, but what does that really mean? The authors clearly define that role with the insight, definition and actions required to establish and sustain credible value-based engagements with senior executives. If your success depends on being engaged early in your customer’s decision process and you’re in a market that demands value based differentiation then this is a must read."
―GARY SUMMY, Direct Sales Development, Trane Commercial Systems, and Directors of the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA)
"Selling to the C-Suite uncovers what were once 'mysterious secrets' of effectively approaching and building long lasting relationships with relevant executives. It is a no-nonsense playbook for a win-win sales approach, credible, applicable and powerful.”
―RAFAELA REYES, Senior Training & Development Manager, Brother International
"As an educator on the college level teaching professional selling, I found this book to be invaluable if you are interested in learning how to sell to the top executives. Not only does it help you understand when to engage the executive, it also tells you how to get access. If that was not enough the book also focuses on how to create value and build credibility with the executives."
―DAN C. WEILBAKER, Ph.D., McKesson Pharmaceutical Group Professor of Sales, Northern Illinois University
"Steve and Nic provide a great history lesson that helps us understand why Marketing and Sales is different in the new millennium and provides the research background to prove their points. If you want to become effective at the C-Suite, this book--its references, models, and tools--[is] incredible."
―JIM GRAHAM, former Chief Learning Officer, R.R. Donnelley
"To not adopt these concepts puts you at risk to being left out in the lobby, while your competitor is in the client’s boardroom."
―MICHAEL BOLAND, coauthor of Get-Real Selling
"Too many salespeople have no idea if they're winning or losing, and it's usually because they're meeting the wrong people and asking the wrong questions too low down the food chain. As a result, their sales forecasts are no better than a lottery. This book pulls no punches in showing why sales and marketing fails to connect to executives, and what to do about it."
―GORDON CLUBB, Managing Director, SAS Institute Australia & New Zealand
"This is a very practical approach to calling on executives. The authors tell us why it is important and how to do it. Getting access to the executive level is one battle, but knowing what to talk to them about when you get there is another. . . . Every organization calling on Fortune 1000 companies needs this information."
―RENIE MCCLAY, former president of the Professional Society for Sales and Marketing Training (SMT)
“Great information on a critical topic for all salespeople. The sale to an executive is made during the questioning process, not in your product presentation. You can’t sell anything to an executive until you have first sold yourself.”
―DUANE SPARKS, author of Action Selling and Chairman of The Sales Board
About the Author
Nicholas A.C. Read is president of SalesLabs, which helps companies drive predictable and repeatable revenue growth through the application of improved process, measurement, and skills. In 2005, he was awarded Winner of the Best Sales Trainer category in the International Business Awards, an annual awards show that has been dubbed “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post. He splits his time between North America, Asia, and Europe. For more information, go to www.saleslabs.com.
Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D., has more than four decades of high-technology sales, sales management, and training management experience dealing with companies ranging from start-ups to global leaders. He is currently president of his own sales training and consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, go to www.sellxl.com.
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Top customer reviews
I like many things about this work by Read and Bistritz, but one of the best things is that it is based on evidence and not just the sometimes unique, and often dated, sales experiences of individual Salespeople that you find in other books.
For example, tracking through the section on When Do Individuals Get Involved in the Decision Process?, based on my personal experience of large, long cycle service selling this is 100% spot on. I'm glad to see that the book doesn't offer some cheap trick as a solution to winning over C-Suite Executives, but rather focuses on the way that we can develop value, thereby making ourselves, as Salespeople, true 'Trusted Advisors'.
This is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to rise above the pack, and who wants to go beyond the level of commodity selling.
Two main points emerge from the study. First, top executives, the "C" level, aren't interested in products. They are problem oriented and they are looking for solutions to their problems, not in the specific products. Second, their involvement in a sale tends to be stronger at the beginning and end of the sales process. The middle time frame, when most sales contacts are made, is more likely to be left to juniors.
An auxiliary point is that C level executives expect the sales person to be well informed about their company, its strategy and their challenges. Further, they expect the sales person to "get it" about their company.
In short, top level executives need a different sales approach and a different philosophy than the lower-level prospects the sales force spends most of its time dealing with. The "solution sale" is much more than a buzzword at this level.
No there isn't some magic sales bullet that you will find in here and a lot of it is really sales common sense. What you will find is research based techniques based on the executives themselves. What a novel idea, ask the people you are selling to how they like to engage with sales professionals.
Now I just need to get my sales managers to read this and hopefully come to the same conclusion I did, which is is most of their "techniques" are dated and hated by the vast majority of the C-Suite.
Incorporate this invaluable knowledge and wisdom into curriculums and at the workplace.