Companies are storing record cash amounts. They're hoarding their revenues for more rainy days ahead. They're spending little at the moment. They're making do. One day though -- one day they'll will be ready to spend big. Their cash reserves are colossal -- after all, profits have held up well and companies have cut out lots of costs. But when they do decide to spend, YOU have to be right up there in their consciousness, right in the forefront of their thinking, if you are going to maximise the inevitable opportunities that are going to arise. Well then -- are you ready? Have you got what it takes?

Frequently during my sales workshops I get asked "what's the biggest contribution to success?" Now that's a tough question to answer. There are so many things that determine whether you are destined for success. If I had to pick one, it would probably be taking ACTION. Without it, you will never get the results you want. I'm reminded of the quote 'All know the way; few actually walk it' (Bodhidharma). We're all guilty of not doing the stuff we know we should be doing. So if you're procrastinating on ACTIONS that you know will better your results, this exercise could really get you moving.

The language you use has a massive impact on your results. That goes for the language you speak, and the language that meanders around internally in your head. If you keep saying things are hard...guess what, it will be hard! You're instructing your brain to expect hard, expect tough...and so that's what it will deliver for you.

I'm always intrigued by the Sunday Times column "How I made it", tucked away in the Business section of that mammoth publication. This weekly, relatively short piece describes how someone, often against all the odds, has become extremely successful in their business. I thought I'd reproduce some of their words of advice here. They have often helped me. They might help you too. Here goes...

Have you heard of Brian Acton? I hadn't until last week. He co-founded the "WhatsApp" messenging service. Last week Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19bn. Brian Acton has a reported 15% stake and so walks away with $2.9bn - and is reportedly planning his next holiday! What's the connection?

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. Your inner voice is effectively your unconscious mind and its primary function is to look after you and keep you safe, though it doesn't always feel that way does it? It's great when your inner voice is saying positive and empowering things to you. However, on many occasions, when it's actually trying to protect you, it can seem as if it's sabotaging you. Whose voice is it?

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? How can you be brilliant at selling and managing in this state?

You can have the greatest sales people on the planet, but if you're leaking customers through poor customer service, your balance sheet will suffer. And the cost of acquiring new customers usually far outweighs that of keeping existing customers. Surely it's much more preferable to keep more of those customers you have? For me, every company should realise that their ultimate sustainability depends on their ability to generate consistent excellent service that keeps customers coming back and singing their praises. Yet 77% of customers say that if they experience poor service, they would avoid using that company again where there is another option available...

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. What about your customers?

No. No way. In fact our own weekly enewsletter (thank you for reading this!) goes from strength to strength. That's if your measurement criteria for a successful newsletter includes the number of those signing up to receive it, the numbers opening it, the numbers reading it -- and the amount of favourable comments received. Oh and the number of enquiries we receive through it too. Yes, actual leads each week, even though we don't promote anything within the newsletter (ok then maybe a teeny weeny bit at the bottom sometimes!) So I remain convinced that a company newsletter could be a very powerful contributor to helping your company achieve its strategic goals. Fundamental rules of newsletters...