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...

Have you ever been at a meeting when someone is talking about his or her vision for the organisation and somebody interrupts to announce that there are no loo rolls in the gents? Have you ever been bored at a presentation -- when all you wanted was an over view and instead you got War and Peace?

After years of The Sales Consultancy getting called into improve companies' sales, experience suggests there's a good chance your team could be off the standard required. That's why I list below my 10 Reasons Why Sales Managers Lose Their Jobs. Check you and your team against these common mistakes in sales. Nobody does it on purpose, everybody's busy. Of course. But if you're losing sales, you're losing revenue, you're losing profits. And you need to do something about it. Check yourself and/or your team against these common mistakes...

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 personally.

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. To be relaxed, confident and in control -- and ultimately successful in sales -- takes some level of preparation...

Despite the onslaught of social media and on line networking, 'real life' networking is still a crucial element of many companies' sales and marketing strategies. Quite right too - there are massive benefits to be had from attending networking events.