Today I entered 'time management courses' into Google. It produced about 200,000,000 results in 0.29 seconds.And yet time management courses are often a waste of time. Why? Because you know what to do. You know when you should be doing it. If you're not doing it, I'd reckon it's not about time management at all -- It's down to that 'P' word.

Did you know that, without meaning to, you're turning away up to 40% of your potential customers? Let me explain. In a nutshell, when choosing products or services, your customers will be motivated by one of two things; pleasure or pain. Never is the pain and pleasure principle more apparent than in the selling arena.

Meetings. Do you love or loathe them? Whatever your answer, you know that sooner or later you'll be attending one! According to a survey, 45% of us are blighted by "having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting". Ring any bells? I've attended a few meetings in my time. Some excellent. Some not so! I thought I'd jot down some random thoughts on how to have better meetings! And I'd love to know what you think too! Here goes...

Referrals: Are you asking? Of your most satisfied customers of 2014, how many of those customers have you asked for a referral? Most sales and business people never ask for referrals. Those that do often ask when it's too late -- and make a fatal mistake when asking for them (more on that later). Yet referrals are just about the easiest, quickest and least expensive way of increasing sales and building your business.

In the past 30 years in sales, I've learned a lot. I've also experienced failures, but from those failures I've learned the most. The road to success can sometimes be a little bumpy, but I've narrowed down the lessons I've learned and will share my three keys to success with you. These are my three sales mantras. Think of them as bumper stickers.

A sales team needs to be properly equipped so you can feel confident that you are harvesting the best opportunities to ensure sales success. Don't risk missing opportunities by stopping at only going for "low hanging fruit." You'll need to harvest from the whole tree -- and for that, you need the right tools.

Listening is a vital skill that is often neglected and yet is crucial to your sales success. Be aware of the five stages of effective listening and get into the habit of recognising and practising these stages;

What will happen to your business in 2015 if you don't get enough sales? What comes up for you when you think about selling your services or products? Do you feel upbeat, positive and ready to share the wonders of what you do? Or do you feel dread, doubt, fear or a combination of negative emotions? You may have an armoury of selling skills but if you have negative emotions going on inside, this will get in the way of your sales success.

Whether your job is selling, or managing those that do sell, or a combination of the two, there's a fair chance you're working long hours. Maybe too long?Are you spending long hours on motorways way after 7pm driving to and from meetings? Are you burning the midnight oil draped over a laptop with a strong coffee trying to get everything done? Maybe both?

While we as salespeople always look for internal motivation to drive our sphere of influence, we must create a positive Energy Sphere around our work and personal lives. This imaginative ENERGY SPHERE will automatically drive good thoughts and creative thinking, boosting our self esteem and confidence, which will further drive our professional sales career.