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Steve W. Martin

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Steve W. Martin
Steve W. Martin is the foremost expert on “Sales Linguistics,” the study of how customers use language during the complex decision-making process. Steve began his career programming computers as a teenager in the late ’70s. Through working with computers, he became acutely aware of the preciseness and structure of language. In addition, programming is built upon models - verbal descriptions and visual representations of how systems work and processes flow. Models enable repeatable and predictable experiences.

Early in his career, he was also introduced to the concepts of neurolinguistics (the science of how the human brain constructs and interprets language). When he transitioned his career into sales, he realized that he could build models to create successful relationships based upon customers’ language and thought processes. Without any sales experience to speak of, he was the number one salesperson in his company for the following four years.

Steve went on to be a top sales producer for a billion-dollar company and was promoted into management to imprint his “selling model” on other salespeople within the organization. As vice president of sales later, Steve successfully trained his salespeople on the sales strategies and communication skills that are necessary to close large complex accounts.

He is the author of critically acclaimed “Heavy Hitter” series of books about enterprise sales strategies for senior salespeople.
Heavy Hitter Sales Linguistics: 101 Advanced Sales Call Strategies for Senior Salespeople (2011) is the most comprehensive book about “sales linguistics,” the revolutionary new field of study about how customers and salespeople use and interpret language during the decision making process. Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-Level Suite and Persuade Company Leaders to Buy (2009) is the first book to truly explain what to say and do in meetings with C-Level executives. The book is based upon extensive interviews with over 500 C-level executives. Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom: Proven Sales Warfare Strategies, Secrets of Persuasion, and Common-Sense Tips for Success (2006) is considered mandatory reading by Selling Power Magazine and Customer Relationship Magazine. Heavy Hitter Selling: How Successful Salespeople Use Language and Intuition to Persuade Customers to Buy (2004) is recommended reading by the Harvard Business School and has been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

Steve is also the author of The Real Story of Informix Software and Phil White: Lessons in Business and Leadership for the Executive Team (2005). Based upon the six years he worked at Informix, the book is a Silicon Valley sales, marketing, and executive leadership case study. It chronicles the meteoric rise of Informix Software, how it became a technology giant, and the scandal that ultimately led to its spectacular fall.

A highly sought-after sales trainer and keynote speaker, Steve is both entertaining and enlightening. He has had the privilege of helping more than 100,000 salespeople become top revenue producers at companies including IBM, NEC, McAfee, Akamai, BEA Systems, Acxiom, Convergys, DHL, Standard Register, and Allstate Insurance.

Steve is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Sales and Marketing Management, and the Software Sales Journal. His “Heavy Hitter Sales Blog” is the top-ranked business-to-business sales blog and one of the most popular sales blogs according to Alltop.com and Blogs.com.

Today, Steve is a lifetime student of the human nature of customer behavior. When not working with his clients, he teaches sales strategy at the University of Southern California Marshall Business School MBA Program. In 2012 he was awarded the USC Marshall Golden Apple Teaching Award presented to the professor who has had the greatest impact on their students as voted by the members of the graduating class. He previously taught at the University of California Berkeley, Haas Business School MBA Program.

About the “Heavy Hitter” Sales Philosophy

Steve W. Martin is the founder of the Heavy Hitter sales philosophy. The philosophy is based upon understanding, anticipating, and influencing the human nature of complex enterprise sales. There are four underlying principles of the philosophy:

1. The Heavy Hitter sales philosophy is for senior salespeople who have been in the field 5, 10 and 15 years or more. It provides advanced sales strategies and real-world tactics to influence the people, politics, and executive decision making process. It is not an elementary sales program for beginning salespeople.

2. The Heavy Hitter sales philosophy is for underdog sales organizations that have to compete against the mindshare of 800 pound gorillas in their marketplace. Because there are typically little differences between the competing products and their price, the philosophy seeks to optimize the most important weapon a salesperson has — his mouth and the words he speaks.

3. The Heavy Hitter sales philosophy focuses on the most important aspect of sales: what salespeople do and say when they are face to face with prospective customers. It is predicated on preparing a psychological strategy before meetings and executing language-based tactics during calls to winover the hearts and minds of C-Level decision makers.

4. The Heavy Hitter philosophy complements and enhances your existing sales process methodology regardless of the framework your sales organization has adopted (Miller-Heiman, Sandler, Complex Sale, CustomerCenteric Selling, etc.). It provides immediate results since it concentrates onpersonal interactions with prospective customers, not the internal processesof the sales organization.

The Heavy Hitter sales philosophy focuses on the most important aspect of sales: how to penetrate, navigate, and conquer complex enterprise accounts. It provides the missing piece of the sales training puzzle - how salespeople formulate an account strategy based upon customer politics, evaluator psychology, and the human nature of executive decision makers that are unique to every major account.
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