The perfectly formatted VITO card

The following is a true story about the power of a perfectly formatted VITO card. Before you pick up that £3,000 phone to make a sales call to any member of the ‘C’ suite, including the CEO, read and remember this story.

Recently one of my salesmen had some car trouble, so I offered to drive him to work. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity to do a little one-on-one role play, I suggested we go over some phone skills for scheduling appointments. A well-proven statistic that you have just eight seconds to grab an executive’s attention. Daniel, I was a bit skeptical about the eight second rule. He looked at me and said, “Boss, eight seconds is too short a period of time! It’s barely enough time to take a deep breath, let alone make a meaningful opening statement!”

At the next red light, when it turned green, I kept my foot on the brake and started counting: ‘One thousand one, one thousand two…’ People started honking. By the time I got to “one thousand four,” Daniel was begging me to move. By the time we got to the sixth second, the guy behind us was starting to get out of his car and Daniel was looking for a place under the seat to hide. When I finally got to eight, the intersection was a symphony of honking horns, ‘finger pointing’ and screaming mouths. I stepped on the accelerator.

Now, if you’ve read any of my books, attended my live events, webinars, or read any of my articles, you’ll understand what motivates ‘C’ Suite members to buy; you know the real benefits of your product, service or solution; and you have a good idea about the VITO tactics at your disposal. When you find yourself preparing to pick up that £3,000 phone to call any ‘C’ level executive, including the CEO, what do you say?

Let’s also assume you’re calling a new lead:

You have decided to use the phone to do this, either as a follow-up call to a written communication (see my article on Correspondence to VITO), or as your first contact without sending a correspondence.

Your goal is to get a date or create the next step with VITO, who is the person who can actually buy whatever it is you’re selling and the person who has the ultimate veto power.

Three big goals:

1. Make it sound conversational.

2. Deliver it with confidence.

3. Get a favorable break as soon as possible…one that clearly keeps VITO in control.

The Five Key Ingredients of Your Phone Opening Statement

For now, assume VITO will grab your own phone and not your personal assistant… (for my epic tactics on working with VITO’s private assistant, check out my article titled ‘Guardians’). By the way, VITO will take its own phone about 25% of the time.

Key ingredient 1: the introduction

Usually when VITO picks up his own line, they say his name: “This is VITO” or “VITO Important speaking.” Your first step will be to repeat the name of VITO. Keep things formal for now, use Mr. or Mrs., then VITO’s last name.

Prospect: This is VITO.

You: Mrs. Important?

Prospect: Yes.

This first step will earn you Ms. Big’s full attention. Whatever she was doing before you said her name, she has now stopped doing it. She is paying attention to you and that is a good thing!

What most salespeople do now, despite widely and endlessly repeated evidence that they shouldn’t, is say something totally silly like this: “Hello, Mrs. Jones. I’m Will Perish with ABC Insurance Company.” .


Unless your name is, say, James Bond, or your company affiliation is, say, the Publishers Clearing House Prize Disbursement Division, or the IRS, I can tell you what happens next in the vast majority of such cases. calls. The prospect will respond to this counterproductive “verbal handshake” by disconnecting, asking you to send written information, pretending the building just burned down, or disengaging from the call. In other words, it will only have been on the line for about a second and a half, and it will be over.

Key Ingredient 2: Pleasure

Here’s an alternative plan (one that works). What I am about to tell you will contradict what you have been taught. Do it anyway.

You are going to say something positive and enthusiastic, something that does not directly identify you, your company or the product or service you want to talk about. It’s too early in the call for that… Instead, you’re going to use a courtesy, something like this:

• “It’s an honor to finally talk to you!”

• “Thanks for answering the phone!”

•”Thanks for taking my call!”

• “What a surprise to put you on live!”

Get the idea? Any and all of these jokes will do a better job for you than your name and company affiliation at the start of the conversation. Or say something totally silly like, “How are you today?” or, “Do you have a minute?”

Key Ingredient 3: The Hook

Immediately after his prank, he will hook the intentional area of ​​VITO’s brain using a hook that is directly connected to something that is likely to be of interest to this VITO.

“We’ve helped (three of the top five device corporations) further increase shareholder value (increasing revenue by up to 4% annually) while keeping the bottom line (top line expenses).”

Now, there is a tangible benefit if ever there was one! Keep your hook focused and a sentence or two long, and you can’t go wrong.

the interruption

Most of the time, this is where you’ll get your favorable interrupt if your hook is doing its job. VITO is likely to step in and say something like:

“Interesting, tell me everything.”


“How did you do that in this economy?”


“I have absolutely no interest.”

Don’t worry. You’ll learn how to deal with any not-so-favorable interruptions in another of my high-value articles.

As I said, you will almost certainly be interrupted at this point. However, for the sake of completeness, you should complete the body of your opening statement, so that you know what to say in those cases where you are not interrupted at this point.

Key Ingredient 4: Naming Names

Once you’ve shared your hook, VITO knows why you’re calling. The cat is out of the bag. This is the perfect time to identify yourself and, if he wishes, to organize him. If you choose to identify your employer, give them a brief “commercial.” What you say fits in one sentence. It should sound like this:

“This is Will, Will Prosper, with ABC Insurance Company, the busiest company in the insurance industry today.”

Key Ingredient 5: Your Final Question

If you are not interrupted at this point, you will conclude your opening statement with a final question that incorporates some element of time.

“Ms. Important, does this touch on issues that concern you this (month/year/quarter)?”


“Mr. Benefito, do you want to accomplish something like this by the end of this (quarter/year)?”


“Ms. Important, what is the best way to explore this further?”


“Mr. Benefito, who on your team would you like to continue this conversation with between now and the end of this business (day, week)?”

Putting it all together:

Here is an example of an opening statement for VITO that works. Yours shouldn’t sound exactly like this, but it should be this long and should, like what follows, hit all the bases you’ve been reading about.

Prospect: This is VITO.

You: “Ms. Important?”

Prospect: Yes…

You: “(Pleasantly) It was a pleasure to read that your company has successfully expanded into the European market. By the way… (Hook) After studying another client’s operation, we suggested an idea that provided revenue gains of more than $25,000 per year. The real surprise is that we did this without taking an ounce of your hard-earned capital. (Your name) This is Will Prosper at Zenith. (Final question) Similar or greater results may be hard to duplicate. But, Would you be open to take the next step between now and the end of this work week?”

Again, you should not try to simply insert your company details into the message you see above. You should use all the ideas in this article and most importantly make sure you read all my articles and use what you read!