Book Review: Selling to the VP of No

by Arnold Burian

Even in the world of technical writing, you have to know how to sell. You have to sell your idea for a documentation strategy, a project plan, the need for new software, better equipment, etc. But books on selling are generally geared towards the full-time salesperson, and are often filled with a bunch of gee-whiz buzzwords. You can learn from them, but you may not want to invest the time just to extract the tidbits relevant to you.

I noticed a UX colleague of mine reading Selling to the VP of No by Dave Gray. He had some very positive things to say about it, and he lent it to me. 

The individual concepts within the book are not new, but they are presented in a structured, clear, and concise way that maximizes their effectiveness. I experienced a number of ah-ha! moments; Gray was connecting the dots in my head. Because it cuts through the gibberish and contains no circular double-talk, it almost feels like it was written by a technical writer for technical writers. There was no “fluff” – just straight-to-the-point talk.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the artwork. Generally, artwork offers little value to a book on selling (other than to display sample presentation slides or spreadsheet charts). But here, the artwork is prevalent..and wonderful. The images enhance the messages behind the text by helping you visualize each step of the process.

See for yourself:


Selling to the VP of No is a quick and effective read, and is available at Amazon. I recommend it.

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