It's great to hear more and more feedback from so many businesses that are really busy and thriving despite our sluggish economy. Yes there are challenges around - but lots of opportunities too, especially for small and medium sized businesses. So, what have the successful businesses got right? The basics...

Most sales people logically understand that they would make larger sales and far more money if they sold to the C-suite, but they rarely sell at that level. Learn how to sell to CEOs

Can you speak the language of your sales team? If they believe you understand them and you seem to have insight into their mind, they will trust you. To be trusted, you need to learn how to listen. Don't worry; it is easy if you know what to listen for and how to use that information.

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?

Did you know that a large number of famous actors, musicians, and artists are intensely introverted (whenever off stage and behind the camera)? Just like a performer, introverted salespeople can invent a sales persona, an alter ego with which they can inject their idea of the ultimate salesperson.

These cold calling techniques for introverts can improve your results. Cold calling is not a goal. It's the first step in a winnowing process. But with every call, you're expanding awareness of your company's brand and products, and you've introduced yourself so you're no longer a complete stranger. You've planted a seed that might some day grow into a customer.

When a company fails, the usual reasons get trotted out; "unfavourable market conditions" "the longest recession since xxxx" "fashions have changed" "the internet". Maybe it's the same if you don't reach your sales targets? If you are not having the level of sales or business success you need right now, my question to you - and it's a challenging question is...

You know, it's amazing how the biggest sales mistakes are often the simplest. Take Mistake Number 4 in my report "The 9 Biggest Sales Mistakes"... "Too much talking, not enough listening." Very common in business generally, extremely common in sales.