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February 25, 2009 > Business Book Club: "Five Minutes with VITO"

Business Book Club: "Five Minutes with VITO"

by David Mattson and Anthony Parinello
c.2009, Pegasus Media World $14.95 / $15.50 Canada 203 pages

In your left hand, you gripped your briefcase.

In your right hand, you had keys and a half-finished cappuccino. Your jacket was slung over your left elbow.

Other than that, you came back to the office, empty-handed. Again.

How is it that your co-workers are making sales, but you come up with nothing but embarrassment? Obviously, somebody's selling. Why not you?

Maybe you're targeting the wrong people. In the book "Five Minutes with VITO" by David Mattson and Anthony Parinello, you'll see how to get to the top, in more ways than one.

As a salesperson, you know that talking to anyone other than the Decision Maker is a waste of time. Still, your success rate is tanking in this economy and you're at a complete loss. Mattson and Parinello suggest that you're pitching to the wrong "Decision Maker". You need just five minutes with VITO.

VITO is the Very Important Top Officer. The individual with ultimate power and authority over everything in the organization.

Wait.

Talk to the Big Kahuna? In person?

What would you possibly say?

First of all, understand that you have much in common with VITO. Secondly, know that developing a sales relationship will be easier than you realize, as long as you're armed with some information...

There are several hallmarks that make VITO successful. VITOs are impatient and can't stand delays. They see the world as "a massive garden of opportunity". They want improvements in every corner of their business. They love decision-making and big ideas, and VITOs absolutely hate inaction.

In this book, you'll learn step-by-step ways to gain VITO's trust by learning to sell like VITO (VITO, the ultimate salesman, buys in the same manner that VITO sells). You'll learn about the Sandler Submarine, and how it can mean sink-or-swim for your success. You'll see how the Five Waves can get you the all-important appointment with VITO. You'll know how to get past an aggressive "gatekeeper", and you'll see how to best utilize the first eight seconds with your future new customer.

But does all this work?

The authors swear that it does, but only if you follow - to the letter - their methods and moves. Ever the skeptic, though, I have my doubts.

"Five Minutes with VITO" has lots of sound advice, much of which has been around for ages and touted by other trainers. For that reason, and because each step is laid out so precisely, I think the methodology in this system would work in some industries. But not in others.

In some businesses, for instance, the Five Waves would be just plain annoying if used concurrently. In many industries, "gatekeepers" are wilier than authors David Mattson and Anthony Parinello allow them. And a lot of VITOs would find a lot of these practices downright smarmy.

Having said that, I think this book would definitely be useful in conjunction with a big dose of common sense and steady supervision. Particularly for a newbie sales staff, "Five Minutes with VITO" may be a good book to have on-hand.

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