Summary of Selling to the C-Suite

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Selling to the C-Suite book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


If you are in sales, getAbstract thinks you’ll like this book by Nicholas A.C. Read and Stephen J. Bistritz, who offer solid advice on how to sell to senior-level executives. They start by helping you identify and gain access to the “C-Suite” denizen – that is, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer or other chiefs – you want to approach. The authors base their suggestions on hard data: the results of surveys conducted by Target Marketing Systems, Hewlett-Packard, the business school at the University of North Carolina and other institutions. Hundreds of senior-level executives answered survey questions about how they work with the “buying cycle” and with sales professionals. The authors derive useful lessons from this research to help salespeople transform themselves from “Commodity Suppliers” to “Trusted Advisers.” They explain the best tactics for getting to know executives, establishing credibility and making sales as an insider who has earned the boss’s confidence. The question is whether you can get upstairs the way they advise – by cultivating mid-level managers who can make that crucial suggestion to the top boss: “I know a salesperson you should meet.”

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to target your sales message to the right senior executives
  • How to gain access to the "C-suite"
  • How to build your relationship with a top executive in six steps
  • How to become a “Trusted Adviser”

About the Authors

Nicholas A.C. Read, winner of the 2005 Independent Business Awards’ “Best Sales Trainer” recognition, leads a sales consulting firm. Stephen J. Bistritz, Ed.D., who has more than 40 years of sales experience, heads a sales training firm.



Deliver Value, Not Product Details
If you are trying to make sales by being a “talking brochure,” you are missing the elevator to the executive office. C-level executives can learn all they want about your offering on your website. To sell, you must deliver more. Create value by helping...

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    Florian Schreiegg 3 years ago
    Although most salespeople know that discussing features and functions does not win a deal, many fail to paint a bigger picture and sell strategic value instead of products. I liked the book!
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    Jerry Armijo 3 years ago
    Many salespeople don't advance their sales cycles properly because they are not engaging C-level contacts. I agree with the summary and found the book very relevant.

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