We as sales professionals have to be absolutely on top of our game. As Steven Covey puts it in his 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' we have to 'Sharpen Our Saw'! So lets sharpen our email marketing skills. Let's make sure we get it right in our email campaigns to give us the best chance of sales success.

Has Sepp Blatter failed at FIFA -- or just received some timely feedback? I'd love to ask him! There's no such thing as Failure... Just results! Some results you'll like. Some results you don't like. The key thing is to learn from each of your experiences.

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! How about you?

You will know by now I'm on a mission to improve the nation's selling techniques. It seems every day I get 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. Take my colleague Jonathan's example from a while ago...

"When you say something about yourself it's bragging. When other people say it about you -- it's proof!" (Jeffrey Gitomer) How good are you at collecting testimonials from your happy customers? Great? Then well done, keep it up! You're in the minority though! Many business owners simply never get around to it, or are a little bit nervous about asking or don't do anything with them once they've got them. Here are some 'off the top of my head' thoughts when it comes to testimonials...

But 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! My challenge to you is...in amongst the emails, the meetings and your other tasks and projects, how are you going to make sure you do enough selling?.

Are old fashioned sales techniques dead and buried? Probably, according to this fascinating article "Death of the old-style salesman" from earlier this year. I thought it was a great read. It struck a chord with me and definitely reflected the changes I have witnessed during my 30 years in sales. The theme of the article is to explore how sales techniques have had to change in the past few years and continue to do so. In short...

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?

Here's my motivation check list...how many of these questions can you say YES to? If you alone are responsible for the sales results where you work, ask the questions of you. Otherwise ask them for your team and anyone who sells on behalf of your company.

Everything you do creates a result. Some results you love. Some results you don't. Develop your mindset so you get to treat it all as feedback on how you're doing and crucial pointers on how to operate in future.