Why are Selling Techniques so bad? You will know by now I'm on a mission to improve the nation's selling techniques. It seems every day I collect more evidence of just how big a challenge that is going to be! On the other hand a bottom less pit of potential work it seems...

What excuses are you making? Excuses can be very easy to find when it comes to explaining away disappointing sales performance -- and especially when we allow ourselves to go and search for them. In 30 years in selling I've heard them all...

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.

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?

What does that mean -- Selling is not about selling? It means simply that....

Who is your inner critic? You know, that little voice in your head that says things like "you'll never hit your target this month" or "I told you so" or "you never were any good at presentations". We all have an inner voice...