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Learn to Sell or Die – Sales tips from Douglas Vermeeren 1

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Douglas Vermeeren Sales quotes 1

Douglas Vermeeren shares sales tips from his upcoming book Learn to Sell or Die. These tips are taken from the best practices of top sales people who are serious about growing their sales career and getting to higher results!

You can’t sell like it’s still 1982

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Times have changes. In fact, they have changed in every industry on the planet. They have changed int he way we communicate and also in terms of what we expect from each other. Recently I had a conversation that led to a sales presentation at a coffee shop. I do this quite often because I want to learn about what’s happening in the world of sales and since I teach sales I want to see regularly what is happening in the marketplace. From time to time I see some awesome ideas and strategies at work. Other times I see some crazy stuff that is basically laughable. This is one of those experiences.


However although at the time to me it was laughable it was also quite tragic because this isn’t the first time I saw this and I fear that it might still be pretty common. I call the approach I’m about to share “selling like it’s ’82” Why? Because this kind of crap actually used to work.

So here’s what happened:

I met this “Flashy” dressed guy at a local networking group. He had a handshake that was a little too excited for my tastes. He expressed interest in me, but honestly I could feel that he was trying to restrain himself from blurting out his pitch. Within seconds everything switched to his excitement about this amazing venture he found. it was changing lives and had scientific data to back it up and everything. Within the three minutes we had together he tried to cover the entire companies history, present, future, founders, marketshare, potential for return and compensation plan. Very overwhelming.  He concluded with an invite to continue the conversation over coffee.

I could tell when I said yes he felt he had qualified me.

When we met he went directly into the presentation and shared with me everything he had ever learned about the company, its directors and every positive testimonial the company had ever received.

Every time I would nod my head he would declare, “See, you get it. Right?”

He attempted several sales tactics that I knew he had learned from their outdated sales materials. He used obvious tie-down questions, yes-frames and standard trial closes. His presentation although glossy didn’t resonate with me and at the end of the meeting he began to push using his approach to why everyone should logically be part of this important and revolutionary crusade. I declined.

And now here we are at this article.

In the 1980’s you could sell if you were slick.

Today requires authenticity.

In the 1980’s you could sell of you were tactic driven.

Today requires relationship before tactics.

In the 1980’s you could be pushy and use hard closes.

Today requires that you recognize that people are intelligent.

Overall it was an interesting experience. I hope for those of you reading this involved in sales you recognize that authenticity, relationship with proper use of tactics and solving real problems that your prospect recognize and want to solve will help you. People do want to buy from good salesmen. What they don’t want is to be sold by a crappy one.

Sales people have a bad reputation. It seems that no matter where you go sales people are interrupting your life to offer you things that you don’t want, need or have an interest in. Their timing is terrible as they show up at your office, on your doorstep or on the phone. Sales people are often seen as scripted robots on a mission to separate your from your cash and often their tactics leaving people feeling cheated or swindled.

If you find yourself nodding along to the sentiments above it might be time to slow down. The truth of the matter is that all people are sales people. You included.

Sales is an essential part of human existence. Sales is often perceived as transactional encounters where people are exchanging money for goods or services. While this is an essential part of sales, (you couldn’t eat without these kind of exchanges) sales is much broader than this limited view.

Sales includes all forms of influence and sharing of ideas. Sales includes even the way we talk to ourselves. (More on that another time.)

So why do we hate sales people so much. Recently I conducted a survey online in the hopes of understanding why we all have such contempt for sales people and for those of us who are dedicated to becoming likeable and trusted sales people what we can do to become more likeable.

douglas-vermeeren-600Are you ready to level up? You’ve come to the right place. Douglas Vermeeren is considered one of the top leaders in sales, personal development and achievement psychology. He is considered by many to be the modern day Napoleon Hill for his extensive research into the lives and psychology of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. Douglas Vermeeren is the creator of “Learn to Sell or You’ll die” program which helps you sell more.


Vermeeren is the author of 3 books in the Guerrilla marketing series and one in the Dummies book series. He is also the creator of the personal development films The Opus, The Gratitude Experiment and The Treasure Map. Enterprise magazine calls him Canada’s Tony Robbins! He is the regular featured achievement expert on FOX, FOX Business, CNN, ABC, NBC, CTV, CBC and others.


How do you sell a photocopier?

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How do you sell a photocopier?

How do you sell a photocopier?

How do you sell a photocopier? 

By Douglas Vermeeren,

How do you sell a photocopier? That was the question I was faced with this morning as I met with Gary one of my new clients. He works as a salesperson for Konica Minolta one of the world’s leading photocopy manufactures. As we sat across from each other this morning over coffee and orange juice he unfolded to me the highly competitive and lucrative world of photocopies. It was amazing to consider that one sale for him could often mean as many as 300 machines. That could easily be half a million dollar deal in his world. But that world is highly competitive with companies like Ricoh, Xerox, Cannon and others all fighting for the business.

To most people and unfortunately to many of his customers a copier is just a copier. A lot of the features that you’d think might wow someone from a technological point of view often are really not that important. All of trouble sales people in this world encounter come right down to fighting for the best pricing… that is unless you understand How to sell a photocopier.

In our conversation today we talked a lot about how prospects decide to buy when it comes down to a battle of pricing in a marketplace where products look the same to the customer. Here are a few of those thoughts:

1) Build strong personal relationships. Prospect buy and stay loyal to those they connect with on a personal level. If all other factors are generality he same prospects will always buy from the person they like the best. So focus on connecting with your prospect beyond the photocopier. What is it you have in common and how can you deepen those connections.

2) Shift the value from the product to the service and support. Although a product may be similar in the eyes of the prospect the level of support and service will not be. If the prospect feels supported, understood and cared for they will gravitate to that security.

3) Add additional value. Even if the pricing on the copier is similar between competitors what else can be added to give greater value. Can you bonus paper or products to highly valuable orders? Can you gift service calls? There are a number of things that you can do.

When products are competing on price the best thing you can do is change the rules of the competition. The thing that wins the most business in this circumstance is creativity. What can you do that your competitors are not yet doing.

Met with Gary this morning to help with some selling strategies for Konica Minolta one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Photo copies. Have you ever thought how it might be to sell photocopiers? (Most people think one is just like another.) So how do you stand out and become successful? You might find some of the strategies I gave Gary to be very helpful for your business – check out this video:



Closing is not where you get the deal.

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Always Be Closing

Always Be Closing

Closing is not where you get the deal

By Douglas Vermeeren, The Sales Trainer

Here are a few simple thoughts on better closing. This is not an article. Just some random thoughts I was having as I thought about the subject this morning over breakfast. Yes, I am constantly thinking about sales. I encourage you to do the same. Where we invest our mental energy is where we begin to unlock our brilliance. What we learn affects what we earn. So take some time and think about these things.

By the way one of my hobbies is certainly something that a lot of people would think is weird. Some people collect baseball cards, bottle caps, comic books etc. I actually collect sales closes. That’s right. I said Sales closes. Every time I see one, hear one, read about one I write it down. I currently have just over 2000 sales closes. Now I want to point out that I didn’t say that they are all brilliant. In fact, I have some good, bad and ugly. Some are absolutely hilarious. Some are downright embarrassing and terrible. But many are brilliant. The thing I also like about having so many closes are that some are better suited to my selling style and some are not. With so many to choose from I certainly have several that work for me.

Often I have shared these with my students and many that would never work for me have worked incredibly well for them. I encourage you to start keeping your own collection. You don’t have to collect tot he extent that I have, but at least try to find a handful of closes that you really like an work well for you. Try and memorize them and have them ready to use.

By the way I have had a ton of requests for my “close collection” over the years, maybe one day I will publish it. What do you think would anyone be interested in having it? (By the way that question is a form of a close.)

Anyways, here are a few morning thoughts on closing.

A great close at the end is not where the deal is finalized. A prospect has often made their decision long before you ask for the deal. A close is where that decision is declared. The decision has been made in incremental steps along the way as you have successfully demonstrated value, solved their problem and connected with their specific wants and needs.

Closing doesn’t get you the deal it confirms the deal. The conversion of your customer is not an event, but a process.So you remember earlier when I talked about collecting closes? Make sure that you are collecting closes that can be used through out the sales process, not just at the end.

The final close is where it becomes clear whether you’ve done your job sharing the value or not. It is the time when you shift from the emotion of the sale to the logistics of delivery and terms. This is also what makes it difficult for most people to close. The #1 challenge that I have seen entrepreneurs and sales people experience is asking for the deal or asking for the money. The reason why is generally the haven’t properly prepared the prospect or they don’t know how to make the transition from the emotional, value driven part of the sale to the logistical transaction part of the sale. I call this the transition and unless you understand how to do it it can be stressful and cost you the sale.

These things should be done and confirmed through out the sales process. That’s why the popular phrase Always Be Closing (every sales needs ABC) is one of the biggest truths in sales. If you close early, often and even on the little things you will see a higher percentage of your prospects become customers. Very few prospects will ever be turned into a customer from one big close. But as they commit in degrees or identify the value for themselves in little steps they are pulled towards the sale.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. I’m sure I’ll touch on closes again in the future. It is such an important part of the sales process and there is so much to say. I doubt if a thousand articles could finish the subject. Hope today was useful and I look forward to next time.


For more on successful closing go to

The Sales Trainer

The Sales Trainer

Julie & Diana share their thoughts on the SELL MORE Seminar recently in Montreal Canada

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