Sales Psychology Front CoverThe biggest challenge facing salespeople today is securing meetings with C-level executives and convincing them to buy in the life-or-death meetings that determine who will win the deal. Based upon comprehensive interviews with more than 500 C-level executives, Steve Martin’s Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology will help you understand how C-level executives think, how they communicate, and how to adapt your use of language to match executive decision makers’. Steve W. Martin provides language-based strategies that enable your message to rise above your competitors’ and impactful psychological suggestions that compel executives to take action. Inside, you will find expert advice on

  • Strategies and tactics to penetrate the C-level executive’s office
  • What to say, do, and present in face-to-face meetings with C-level executives
  • Building rapport using sales linguistics, the study of how the customer’s mind uses and interprets language
  • Anticipating how the C-level mind-set impacts organizational politics and influences the complex decision-making process
  • Extensive real-world examples, illustrations, and exercises to help you apply the techniques immediately

Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology is for senior salespeople, those who have been in the field for five, ten, and fifteen plus years. The Heavy Hitter sales philosophy has helped over 100,000 salespeople become top revenue producers at companies including IBM, NEC, Akamai, BEA Systems, and McAfee Software.

What Sales Leaders Say About Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology

“A fascinating instruction manual for securing meetings with C-level executives and persuading them to buy!”
Steve Clarence, Vice President of Sales, Intervoice Division of Convergys

“The first book that truly teaches salespeople how to converse with CEOs. Pray your competitors don’t read it first.”
Craig Eckstrom, Vice President of North America Sales, PayPal

“Steve Martin has done it again, giving you more real world sales strategies to make sales at the highest levels.”
Brian Tracy, President, Brian Tracy International, author The Psychology of Selling

“A must read for underdog sales organizations that have to compete against the mindshare of 800 pound gorillas.”
Benedetto A. Miele, Executive Vice President of Sales, Globoforce

“Breaking into the C-level executive suite is an absolute must for sales success today and this book provides the strategic road map to open up one big deal after another.”
Scott Raskin, CEO, Mindjet Software

“This isn’t just another book, it’s an investment in your future. Whether you manage direct, indirect, inside, or major accounts sales, Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology break downs sales psychology into simple techniques that work.”
Joe Vitalone, Vice President of Sales, Shoretel

“This brilliant and practical book dissects the minds of C-level executives so you know how they think and make purchase decisions.”
Teck Ho, Haas Business School Marketing Chair, University of California, Berkeley

“Most sales books provide rudimentary sales tips for beginning salespeople. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology provides sophisticated sales advice for senior salespeople on how to penetrate the C-level executive suite.”
Chip Terry, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Solutions, Zoominfo

“Steve brings a whole new light to the golden rule of sales…  People buy from people who understand how they are wired!”
Gene Gainey, SVP Sales,

“This not your typical book on sales scripts, it is a lesson on how to use language to create relationships at the highest levels of organizations.”
Tom Furey, Vice President & General Manager, Standard Register

“Steve Martin brings a new level of thoughtfulness to the psychology of sales. Understanding your own linguistic profile and uncovering the “bully with the juice” will help you achieve success in the ever changing landscape of complex selling.”
Sam Adams, Senior Vice President of Sales, Picis

"Now more than ever, you need an unprecedented understanding of the customer's perspective, motivation and true intent. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology provides the path to build more meaningful executive relationships that will separate you from your competition."
Charley Knight, Vice President of Sales, Shaw Industries

“Star salespeople are not always cognizant of how they go about closing C-level deals. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology does a great job describing the foundation and process that comes naturally to successful Heavy Hitter salespeople.”
Todd DeBonis, Vice President of Global Sales, TriQuint Semiconductors

“Steve’s latest book is a good combination of high brow science and tactical examples. Unlike most one dimensional sales textbooks, Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology will keep your interest throughout.”
Garth Moulton, Vice President of Community and Co-Founder, Jigsaw

"The key to any successful sales is understanding the individuals you are selling to.... and none more important that the C-Level. This book provides an excellent foundation and a step-by-step guide to ensure success at the highest levels of an organization"
Lisa Pope, Vice President, Global Sales Strategy, QAD Software

Overview and Table of Contents

Although closing a complex enterprise account may take many months to complete, every deal has a critical moment when it is won or lost. While you will frequently meet with lower-level and midlevel employees at companies whose business you're trying to secure, the rare face-to-face conversations you have with C-level decision makers will directly determine whether you win or lose the deal. Even though you have most likely been in sales for years, you have probably neglected to improve your most important competitive sales weapon—your mouth and the words you speak!

Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology presents a revolutionary new C-level sales philosophy based upon the interrelationship between psychology and language. It is the first book to fully explain how to master sales linguistics, the study of how the customer's mind uses and interprets language during the decision-making process. Contrary to traditional sales psychology books that rely on generic personality assessments, Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology focuses on language-based interactions with C-level executives and how to convince both the rational and emotional minds of senior decision makers.

Based upon more than 500 interviews with C-Level executives, this book provides psychological strategies and linguistic tactics to secure C-level meetings, expert advice on how to prepare for and conduct C-level sales calls and presentations, and specific instructions on what to say and do during meetings. Martin also supplies the psychological models behind organizational politics to help you understand how senior executives think and act in group decision-making environments.

The conversations you have with C-level executives are quite complex. They consist of verbal and nonverbal messages that are sent consciously and subconsciously. As a result, Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology includes nineteen practical exercises, thirty-seven illustrations, and extensive real-world examples to help you internalize the concepts and apply them on your next executive sales call.


Part I—The Foundation of Selling to   C-Level Executives

    1. Comprehend: Understanding Sales Linguistics
      • The Customer’s World
      • How People Receive and Transmit Information
      • How Are You Wired?
      • Determining the C-Level Executive’s Word Catalog Language
      • VAK Keyword Count Patterns
      • Sayings and Clichés
      • Speaking Characteristics
      • Rapport Is Harmonious Communication
      • Conclusion   
    2. Communicate: The Seven Different Languages C-Level Executives Speak
      • Word Catalog Language
      • Calibrating Eye Movements to Determine Truthfulness
      • Internal Dialogue Language
      • Physical Language
      • Intersecting Activity Language
      • Technical Specification Language
      • Business Operations Language (What Executives Do)
      • C-Level Language (What Executives Want to Do)
      • The Lexical Dictionary: Did I Understand You?
      • Conclusion
    3. Calibrate: Fear and Stress Are at the Heart of the C-Level Sell
      • When Strangers Meet
      • Dominant and Submissive Conversations
      • Fight or Flight
      • All Buyers Are Liars (Even C-Level Executives)
      • The Stressed-Out C-Level Executive
      • What Senior Executives Dread
      • FEAR and FUD
      • Conclusion

Part II—Penetrating the C-Level Executive Suite

    1. Control: Three Enterprise Sales Cycles and the Fortress
      • The Concept of the Metaphor
      • Grand Strategy, Battles, and Battlefield Maneuvers
      • “Direct” Brute Force versus “Indirect” Psychology
      • Renewal, Persuasion, and Creation Enterprise Sales Cycles
      • Charting Your Sales Cycle Position
      • Battlefield Tactics Based on Position
      • Should We Pursue the Deal?
      • Conclusion
    2. Consider: Organizational Buying Psychology and Value
      • Organizational Buying Types
      • Types of Product Value
      • The Bully with the Juice and the Emperor
      • The Coach
      • Conclusion
    3. Contact: Strategies to Penetrate the C-Level Executive Suite
      • Comprehension
      • The “1, 2, 3, Rest, Repeat” Campaign
      • Communication Vehicles
      • Investigative Research
      • Message Structure
      • Conclusion

Part III—How to Convince Company Leaders to Buy

  1. Calculate: Preparing Yourself for the C-Level Sales Call
    • Group Decision-Making Roles
    • C-Level Executive Coping Mechanisms
    • Questions to Ask Your Coach
    • Conclusion
  2. Converse: The Successful C-Level Executive Sales Call
    • The C-Level Executive Model
    • Applying the C-Level Executive Model
    • The Five Steps to a Successful C-Level Sales Call
    • Handling Tough Questions
    • Congruence
    • Conclusion
  3. Close: The Conscious and Subconscious C-Level Sell
    • Who Are You?
    • Customer Metaphors and the Subconscious Mind
    • Structuring the C-Level Presentation
    • The Subconscious Decision Maker
    • Elevator Pitch: Your Words Are Your Weapons
    • You Are a Walking, Talking Metaphor
    • Anchor Yourself to Success
    • C-Level Executive Meeting Preparation Checklist
    • What I Have Learned from Five Thousand C-Level Executives
    • Epilogue: If Sigmund Freud Was Your Sales Manager

What is "Sales Linguistics"

Traditional sales psychology based upon the assessment of the customer’s personality traits is obsolete. The typical descriptions of personality types have little relevance to C-level sales calls and presentations. In reality, the most important psychological factor is the language that the prospective customer uses. Sales Linguistics --the study of how the customer’s mind creates and interprets language during the decision-making process-- is the new sales psychology!

In Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-Level Executive Suite and Convince C-Level Executives to Buy, Steve W. Martin teaches salespeople how to winover senior executives using Sales Linguistics. But what exactly is Sales Linguistics?

Every day, you speak and listen to thousands of words. Through the words you speak, you are able to explain your ideas, recount your past experiences, and share your personality with others. Since the communication process comes so naturally, you assume you are understood. However, the most important words you speak during the entire year are those you say to C-level executives during the make-or-break meetings that determine if you will win a deal.

Most of the time, you probably don’t think about the specific meaning of the words you are using. Since the words are so integrated with your being, they just seem to happen. However, your words represent your attitude, outlook, and perspective about life. But language doesn’t consist solely of spoken words, it has an entirely nonverbal dimension as well. You actually use a series of different languages to communicate to the others and to understand what they are saying to you. The seven languages that are at the foundation of Sales Linguistics are:

1. Word catalog language. The mind’s method for receiving and interpreting information based upon the three sensory channels—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (feelings and a sense of the body).

2. Internal dialogue language. The never-ending stream of communication inside the mind that represents honest, unedited, and deep feelings.

3. Physical language. Also known as body language, the nonverbal communication that is constantly being emitted by the executive’s body posture.

4. Intersecting activity language. Interests, hobbies, and personal pursuits by which the executive displays his personality, beliefs, and values.

5. Technical specification language. The androgynous, nonpersonal, and technical communication that is based upon the nomenclature and technical terms of the executive’s industry. For example, the computer industry terms RAM, CPU an megabyte.

6. Business operations language. The language that is specific to the daily running of the executive’s business and his role in the organization.

7. Confidential C-Level language. The most powerful trust-based language by which the executive explains his personal needs, desires, and plans along with the strategy by which he hopes to fulfill them.

The ultimate goal for the C-level meeting is simple: you want the executive to expose his internal dialogue to you. You want him to honestly explain what he is trying to accomplish and why he is doing it from a business and, more importantly, personal standpoint. You want him to tell you about his personal naeeds and career desires along

with how he plans to fulfill them. You want him to speak the confidential C-level language with you. In order to do so, you must progress through the various languages represented by the figure below.

Sales Strategy and Language


Unfortunately, the majority of executive conversations never reach the confidential C-level language. The discussion gets stuck at the technical specification language or the business operations language.

Remember, your most important competitive weapon is your mouth and the words you speak. While you will frequently meet with lower-level and midlevel employees at companies whose business you’re trying to secure, the rare conversations you have with C-level decision makers will directly determine whether you win or lose the deal. Therefore, it is critical that you understand how C-level executives think and how they communicate and that you are able to adapt your use of language to match C-level decision makers’.  Now more than ever, you need to understand and master Sales Linguistics.