In my role I get exposed to lots of presentations and pitches - so I thought I'd offer you some pointers for when you next present. Some of these tips seem obvious (but sadly not practiced enough) and others less so. So, whether it's a one minute presentation at a networking event, or a 1 hour pitch for a life-changing contract, pick out the ones that will help you achieve your personal sales success...

Brilliant sales results do not happen by accident. Of course there'll be an occasional fluke - but on the whole, sustained sales success certainly does not happen by chance.I've developed a set of questions to help you prepare for any sales interaction - whether it be a short catch up chat, a full blown pitch, a presentation or a conference. Depending on the context you can use all, or just some of these questions. Try these questions before your next sales call, sales meeting, networking event, conference, sales presentation... Here we go...

What a deluge of written and spoken words following the passing of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Reading and listening to those polarised arguments about her merits or otherwise, gave me a timely reminder of one of the most important 'commandments' of selling... "Everyone has their own unique map of the world"

What do you do when one of your team comes to you for advice? It is so important that you're able to distinguish between when to give advice and when not. Imagine for a moment that one of your team come to you because they're not sure how to do something. How do you handle the situation?

Is praise more effective than pay? Think about those you work with the most - your colleagues, your team, maybe your spouse or sibling. When was the last time you gave them some recognition?

Do you know customers that have been in the same job since time began? Or that have the same lunch every day? Or lived in the same house for decades? In sales psychology terms we call them 'sameness' people. They simply don't like change, certainly not in the contexts mentioned. Then again you may know customers who revel in change - at work, possibly at home, again it can depend on the context. We call these 'difference' people. There is no right or wrong - but if you can identify these particular characteristics in your customers, increasing sales is easy!