Selling to the C-SUite

Updated: October 30, 2009

Selling to the C-Suite is a book I co-authored that was just published by McGraw Hill, with a Foreword written by Neil Rackham.

It's the goal of every salesperson. Getting access to senior client executives - the C-Level decision makers responsible for approving top-dollar deals. Selling to the C-Suite is the first book that reveals how to land those career-making sales in the words of CEOs themselves!

The authors couldn't find any books written on this topic that held anything more than personal anecdotes of what the writers of those books did in their glory days as a salesperson. So they commissioned groundbreaking research of their own, and joined other projects where executive buying habits were the focus of study. Their efforts were joined by Hewlett Packard in North America, the Hewlett Packard Business School in Beijing China, Target Marketing Systems, the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina, and the Center for Business & Industrial Marketing at Georgia State University. After ten years of asking CXO-level executives about their relationships with professional salespeople, this book now reveals what C-Suite leaders in 500 diverse companies and government bodies said in response to those interviews and surveys.

One thing they learned might surprise you: Leaders at the highest corporate levels don't always avoid sales pitches; in fact, they welcome them - provided the salesperson approaches them the right way. Inside this invaluable book, these CEOs reveal which sales techniques they react best to, as well as those that you should avoid.

In addition, one of the key concepts discussed in the book is the identification of the relevant executive for the sales opportunity. The relevant client executive is defined as the executive who stands to gain the most or lose the most as a result of the application or project associated with the sales opportunity. The need to align with the relevant executive is another of the key concepts disclosed.

Selling to the C-Suite provides all the insight you need to:

  • Gain access to senior-level client executives
  • Establish trust and credibility, so that you get return access
  • Leverage relationships with senior-level client executives
  • Create and communicate value at the executive level

It also reveals when executives personally enter the buying process and sheds light on what role they play at crucial steps in that process.

Answers to the following questions are direct benefits of reading this book:

  • When and why do executives get involved in the decision process for major purchases?
  • How do salespeople gain access to senior executives?
  • How can salespeople establish credibility with executives?
  • How can salespeople create value at the executive level?
  • Is executive buying behavior consistent across cultures?

"It's our observation that most traditional wisdom about selling to executives is actually at odds with what executives themselves tell us that works," write Read and Bistritz. Selling to the C-Suite reveals field-tested techniques to put you well ahead of the competition when it comes to making those multi-million dollar sales you never thought possible.

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