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.

How frustrating is it when you put in lots of hard work for little or no reward? Perhaps you've been working on a tender for a big contract only to see it cancelled, or awarded to a competitor? Or you've given a fabulous sales presentation, only for the meeting to grind towards its end with no sign of a sale? We've all been there - it's frustrating and time consuming. The dilemma - do you chase old 'maybe' business or spend more time generating new enquiries? Closing a Sale in 5 Minutes...

Don't spend massive amounts of money on marketing when all you have to do is make better use of the leads that you're already getting - sales success will follow. How to increase conversion rates?

At Last! You can now get my "Essential Sales System for Small Business" as a download -- I would say that this programme will really benefit you if you can say yes to one or more of these questions...

Meetings. Do you love or loathe them? Whatever your answer, you know that sooner or later you'll be attending one! According to a survey, 45% of us are blighted by "having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting". Ring any bells? I've attended a few meetings in my time. Some excellent. Some not so! I thought I'd jot down some random thoughts on how to have better meetings! And I'd love to know what you think too! Here goes... =