Why you need more I.P.A For most of us, after our summer holidays, we share that foreboding as we crack up our laptops wondering what 'the figure' of emails will be. Then there are the bragging rights. I reckon most people share their inbox total with their immediate colleagues within 30 minutes of discovering it (go on -- be honest!). And there's that tinge of disappointment if a colleague has a higher total than you! Not that I've got involved with any of that nonsense myself :) Seriously...

WHY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS FAIL... Have you ever asked anyone a question that can be answered in a sentence or two -- and yet they're still talking 10 minutes later? Or maybe asked for more detail on a subject -- and been given a one line answer? Are you the person that is only interested in the big picture? That is you tend to give very brief responses regardless of the question? Or do you prefer to give a very detailed response to questions? What about others?

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.

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;

Do You Know Your Customers' and Prospects' 'Sales Direction' Filters? Knowing the Sales Direction Filters of your customers and prospects is crucial to increasing your conversions and generating all round improvements in customer relationships. At The Sales Consultancy we think they're vital in business and could not imagine our customer relationships without this knowledge. So what is a Sales Direction Filter?

Have you ever wondered why some people are able to exceed sales targets easily and consistently and others try really hard and don't get the same level of sales success?

Firstly -- and I can't stress this strongly enough, be in no doubt that your sales results will be directly influenced by the quality of questions you ask. So how good are YOUR questions?

Some questions for you... Do you know where you're heading? In work? Away from work? In Life? Where is it all leading to? Does it have to lead anywhere anyway? Let's drill it down to your business, even your sales, especially your sales... What actions are you taking to get you to where you want to go?

Did Manchester City win the English Premier League because they made the least excuses?