VITO is the Very Important Top Officer, the person with the ultimate veto power...the person who cares most about the top, middle, and bottom line, and the person who is most interested in what you and your ideas and solutions can do for the entire enterprise. VITO is the person you need to sell to because VITO is the Approver of your sale!

Following one or more of the practical, tactical approaches in my best-selling book, Getting to VITO, you got through to VITO...and got the "golden shunt" that connected you to VITO's trusted lieutenant, the Decision Maker. Now you're about to begin a critical ongoing dialogue within the organization. At various points in that dialogue, you may encounter both VITO and the Decision Maker. Here are seven simple communication rules that I call the "Seven Commandments" for getting the most out of your interactions with these two key players.

Commandment #1: Thou shalt never use industry jargon, techno-babble, or buzz words...that the DM or VITO may not be familiar with. Remember, you'll immediately be shunted or dismissed to the person you sound the most like! And we don't want that to be Seemore down in 'Linoleum-ville'! You know all to well that Seemore will always want to see more of you and your product demonstrations, presentations, site-visits and yes…more proposals and presentations! It seems that the Seemore’s of the world were all born in Missouri, the “show me” state!

Commandment #2: Thou shalt never say, "I can't do that..." or "We only do that for our VIP customers"! Remember at all times…The Decision Maker and VITO are your VIP customers! So repeat after me, "For you, we will do everything humanly possible to make an exception." Or, "Let me see what I can do, and I will let you know one week from today at 9:00 a.m." Or, something pretty darn close to that! Oh, and by-the-way…never, ever miss a dead-line with VITO or the DM…more on that in a few more sentences.

Commandment #3: Thou shalt never say, "ABC is outside of my area of responsibility." Nothing is outside of your area of responsibility when it comes to your relationship with VITO the Approver and the Decision Maker. You are your company's ambassador!

Commandment #4: Thou shalt never procrastinate. With these folks, if you say, "I'll try to get around to it next week," you're dead. So don't say that! Make a commitment and then follow through on time! If you're going to miss a deadline, make sure you are the one to deliver the news to VITO...before the deadline passes!

Commandment #5: Thou shalt never lie, or make a misleading statement, or stretch the truth, or exaggerate. No exceptions. Not even a little white lie! Shoot straight with these folks at all times. If you know it, say so and do so accurately. Don't ever say anything close to "To be honest with you..." or "I shouldn't be telling you this but..."

Commandment #6: Thou shalt not directly or indirectly go elsewhere in the organization to get the answer or resource you want. Reality check: VITO RUNS THIS SHOW! Never forget that. As for Decision Makers, they're like race horses. Once you start the race (your sales cycle), it's just not practical or safe to change in the middle of the race. And never, ever forget that the DM’s job is to say “YES” and we both want them to being saying “YES” to you and not to your competition!

Commandment #7: Thou shalt remember that the Decision Maker wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and sees a VITO staring back. Work in support of that goal, in both the short and long terms, and you'll be glad you did. Never forget that they are usually upwardly mobile, politically astute movers and shakers.

There you have it…Seven very practical, ethical and doable Commandments to live by whenever you’re selling to VITO the person with the ultimate veto power over all decisions within their organization.

For more information on Getting to VITO go to:

Sell and Live Large,

Tony Parinello

Author's Bio: 

In 1995 Tony started a revolution. He created his own brand of sales training called Selling to VITO™, the Very Important Top Officer. Today, the majority of Fortune 100 and over 2 million sales people in more than 30 countries create bigger deals in less time using his programs. He personally coaches sales and marketing professionals and entrepreneurs all over the world, from distributors in Europe to manufacturers on the islands of Malta to service organizations in Australia. He is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and creator of Selling Across America; the first radio talk show dedicated to salespeople and the art of selling. He is the Marketing and Sales Expert on, a site that is visited by more than 3 million unique visitors each and every month.

Tony has written seven powerful, practical and tactical books on the topic of selling: Getting to VITO, Stop Cold Calling Forever, Getting the Second Appointment, Think and Sell Like a CEO, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dynamic Selling, VITO Rules and his massively popular Selling to VITO™, the Very Important Top Officer.

Tony has delivered more than 2,500 speeches on the topic of sales. Recently at a keynote speech in front of academia from 75 universities and companies such as Nike, Marriott and GE, he was given the honor of a standing ovation before and after his speech. His audience affectionately calls his speeches “enter-trainment” and you will too!