Five Minutes with VITO: Making the most of your selling time with the Very Important Top Officer

Five Minutes with VITO

How to sell to high level executives, with an emphasis on C-Suite executives.

Why did I chose this resource?

As we deal with a lot of high level executives it is important to understand their psychology, what is important to them, and what is on their mind.

As stated in the Communications Framework template and in other documents:

a)  Create a psychological profile of your prospect and learn about them as best you can.

b)  Research.  Research.  Research.

Reading this book helps fulfill some of the activities in the Communications Framework.

What did you learn from it?

Selling to VITO’s is a similar yet a somewhat different ball game.  The higher up the executive the more direct you will have to be, and the more rock solid your confidence will have to be.

In other words the higher up the executive is, the more like them you have to buy; direct and with a big ego.  (Note:  Ego does not necessarily mean arrogance in this instance.  More like self-confidence).

Forget about making an impression in a few minutes or even in 30 seconds … here all you have is 8 seconds to to gain their trust.

You need to communicate benefits, especially hard metrics right from the beginning, and show that you can do this in a short amount of time.  If you do not have hard metrics you can still communicate “soft values” as benefits.

The more you are like the VITO  the more you likely you will be able to sell to him or her; they will not stand for time wasters, or anyone who only has good self confidence.

VITO’s focus on results and winning.  They are investors that allocate time, money and people to get as much as possible through as little effort as possible … this also translates to their personal lives as well.

Key Knowledge

  • Top down approach – Excellent products / services are easier to market and sell as good metrics are easier to produce.
  • Top down approach – It all starts with your own mindset and attitude.  You need excellent self confidence … just like any VITO.
  • High ROI with our communications – Get to the point quickly.  Opening statement must make an impact in 35 words or less with VITOs.  VITOs hate wasting time.
  • The book is called 5 minutes with VITO for a reason … that’s the very most you’ll probably meet with them for.
  • VITO’s want results and they want it now.  This is in business and in personal life.  They want as high an ROI as possible in as short of a time possible and they want proof of this.  Even if ROI metrics aren’t available they still want hard metrics that show the benefits not facts and features of the product or service.  They could care less about details …does it help the bottom line yes or no?
  • Very important:  85% of all VITOs at one point where professional salesmen / saleswomen.
  • The more you are like VITO, the more easily you will be able to sell to him and her.
  • VITO’s gatekeeper is very important.  Treat them with respect and like a VITO as well.

How are you using what you learned?

Reading this has verified part of what I’ve already known; we need to get more metrics about the results we’re producing as it will be applicable to anyone we’re selling.

It also forces all of us to look at our “inner game.”  Your inner game changes everything.  The better your inner game the more you will sell.  Realize that there are people who create results every single day that you think are impossible.

Key Changes

  • Start getting quantifying our results – hard results measured in dollars (i.e. ROI) – and any thing else that we can quantify that can be seen as a benefit (i.e. reduces cost, or promotes efficiency by x%)
  • Focus more on benefits, not features, when we sell.  Not everyone is as fluent in what we do as we are.  Talk to people in their own language and based on what’s important to them.
  • Get testimonials especially ones with metrics in them.
  • Start working on your own self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Start spending more time closer to VITOs.

How can we as a company or individuals in the company use this?

  • Getting to the point in all of our communications and maximize our Return On Time (Revenue / Hour) which ultimately impacts productivity.
  • We can use this to compress the time it takes for us to run sales meetings with clients, and come to a natural close.
  • Getting to the point quickly with quantified results, should also help put the “hook” in a prospect sooner.

Key Actions

  • Invest in more sales training
  • Sales staff should consider purchasing their own copy of Five Minutes with VITO
  • Start measuring client results
  • Get testimonials
  • Blair Singer’s “Little Voice Management System.”


  • Book: In DC Office
  • Name : Five Minutes with VITO:  Making the most of your selling time with the Very Important Top Officer
  • Author : David Mattson, Anthony Parinello
  • Dropbox:

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