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Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales

From Everest to Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance

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About the Book

Two experts who have summited the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents—and scaled the highest peaks in corporate sales—examine what it takes to achieve sales success, drawing on the techniques and determination it takes to climb the world’s highest peaks.

When Susan Ershler and John Waechter each made the grueling journey to the top of Mount Everest, they were motivated by the desire to join the elite group of climbers that had conquered the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. It was this same determination that made them star performers in corporate sales, one of the toughest jobs in global business. They both cherish the deep satisfaction that only comes from attaining a seemingly impossible goal through focus, determination, and persistence.

In this unique and inspiring guide, Susan and John draw on their experiences to inspire sales professionals to overcome their perceived limitations and reach new heights of success, illustrating how any sales professional can achieve peak performance. They show how to clearly define goals, “choose the right Sherpa” (build the right team), commit to a vision, “travel light” (manage your time), and “measure the mountain” (track your progress).

Interweaving concrete, tested methods for high achievement in sales, with stories of harrowing climbs and perseverance, Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales proves that anyone can experience the tremendous sense of closure and satisfaction that comes with overcoming perceived limitations and achieve something real and meaningful.

About the Authors

Susan Ershler

Susan Ershler and her husband, Phil, became the first couple in history to climb the Seven Summits. She is an international speaker and award-winning executive who has served in leadership positions for Fortune 500 companies for more than two decades. Susan is the author of Together on Top of the World.

John Waechter

John Waechter serves as managing director and partner at Delafield Ham-brecht, an investment firm in Seattle. He began his career in sales with the Xerox Corporation and GTE (Verizon). He has held senior management positions at Northland Communications and was CEO of Saltmine. John has also climbed the Seven Summits.


“Climbing high, in business or on mountains, is risky but great fun. One needs skill, perseverance and luck to reach the top. The authors can’t help you with luck but they show what it takes to overcome obstacles and reach the highest summits of both the Earth and global business.” —-Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Mt. Everest and former CEO of REI

“Sue and John have taken their amazing accomplishments of climbing the seven summits and applied the principles that helped them achieve that success to their business and personal lives. Business is about serving the customer. They have provided meaningful suggestions that are fundamental to anyone in business.” —Blake W. Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom, Inc.

“Sue’s ability to translate her climbing lessons into business lessons is truly impressive. And it’s clear that she is equally skilled as an author. I dog-eared so many pages and made so many notes in the margins that I’ll have to buy a new copy.” —--Troy Peple, CEO of Accelerent

“This book is fantastic! A refreshing read in which Susan and John’s story inspires climbers and business people alike to conquer their career ‘Seven Summits.’” —--Heather Clark, VP, Sales Coverage Strategy & Execution, W.W. Grainger, Inc.

“A fantastic read that both thrills and teaches. Being able to transform all the experiences and death defying moments, into clear and deep lessons for business, has never been done before, with this clarity and perfection. A must read both for the thrill seeker and the responsible businessman.” —Nando Parrado, author of Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home

“Learn some of the most effective sales strategies based on the rare experiences of Susan and John, who have not only climbed the tallest mountains but made it in corporate America. In this simple, easy to read, and entertaining book, you’ll sell more and reach your full potential faster!” —--Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself

“Susan and John have put these ideas into a book that we can all share. I recommend it to anyone who wants a better view on how to instill commitment and success in your personal and business life.” —Ritchie Straff, Vice President Strategic Planning, Daikin America, Inc.

“Susan and John truly know what it takes to succeed in business and life and this book will inspire you to reach new heights. I am certain you will find renewed strength in your approach to tackling adversity and persevering on your way to achieving your most important goals.” —--Sam Reese, CEO, Miller Heiman, Inc. - The Sales Performance Company

“Susan understands better than anyone how reaching the pinnacle of sales success requires the same mental discipline and strategy as scaling Everest. If you love climbing mountains of any kind, Susan’s message will guide and inspire you to reach your personal peak.” —--Tom Hull, Vice President Sales Americas, Precor