Steve Marx devoted nearly his entire career to selling, studying how and why people buy, understanding which sales practices work, helping salespeople and their managers, and consulting on the development of sales organizations.
He conceived and established The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) in 1983 and led its growth as CEO for 25 years, from a one-man shop to a roster of 30 full-time staff, stepping back in 2008 into the role of Chairman Emeritus. He created much of the company's original sales and management systems and training programs, and witnessed the company spread its influence throughout the United States and around the world, with clients in Canada, Australia, Greece, and Malaysia.
Sales and management practices developed by Steve and The Center for Sales Strategy have powered client organizations to achieve business reputations and revenue market shares that make them the envy of their competitors. Steve took great delight in these extraordinary levels of client satisfaction (rare for a consulting firm) and in the fact that CSS continues to achieve a client renewal rate virtually unparalleled in the consulting industry.
Steve was a highly strategic thinker who sets both high ethical standards and high performance standards. He is proud of his record in attracting extraordinarily talented professionals to join The Center for Sales Strategy over the years. A great many managers and salespeople throughout the world count Steve among their mentors and point to the strong influence he has had on their personal and professional development.
Steve was the author of Close Like the Pros—Replace Worn-Out Tactics with the Powerful Strategy of Interactive Selling, published in 2007. The book is the authoritative work on partnering in a sales context, the first how-to book showing salespeople the specific practices used by the world’s best salespeople to create genuine business partnerships from the outset, not as a distant goal. The book has been very well-received, as evidenced by readers’ reviews on Amazon, and continues to sell consistently. Interactive selling puts the salesperson in nearly perfect sync with the prospect, greatly enhancing the likelihood of doing business. One reader called the book “the truth about closing.”
Before he founded The Center for Sales Strategy, Steve was VP/General Manager of the NewCity Communications' FM and AM properties in Worcester, Massachusetts, for seven years. As a result of his innovation and leadership, the stations reversed their downward trends in audience, service, and reputation, multiplied their revenues nearly tenfold, and moved from red ink to cash cow. He was also a Director of the $1.6 billion, publicly-held BankWorcester Corporation and its subsidiary Worcester County Institution for Savings.
In 1979 Steve created Optimum Effective Scheduling (OES), and then developed and enhanced the concept throughout the 1980s. In fact, together with Pierre Bouvard, he wrote the book on OES—literally. Radio Advertising's Missing Ingredient: The Optimum Effective Scheduling System, published by The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in 1990, became the NAB's number-one, all-time best-selling publication. OES is widely respected among stations, agencies, and advertisers for its ability to produce superior results—without increasing the ad budget.
Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in June 1969. He was active in industry and community affairs, serving on boards and committees and volunteering his time and skills. His affiliations have included Academy Prep Center of Tampa, a school expressly for at-risk inner-city kids of middle-school age; the Cornell Media Guild, Inc., owner of the student-operated FM station at Cornell; Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa; the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce and its Special Airport Task Force; Hillels of the Florida Suncoast; and the Tampa-Orlando-Pinellas Jewish Foundation. He still found time for fun: Steve was a solo-rated Porsche Club driver at Sebring International Raceway and for years enjoyed getting his center-console Whaler up on plane on Tampa Bay.