What is the difference between being externally motivated and internally motivated? More importantly, why is this difference the most important factor in determining your success?

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 achieve your personal sales success...

If your business is like thousands across North America, then you face unprecedented challenges to growing new sales. Your customers are slow to act. Prospects are afraid to spend money. And your sales team is struggling to get close to hitting the quota you set for them.

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.I've developed a set of questions to help you prepare for any sales interaction - whether it be a short catch up chat, a full blown pitch, a presentation or a conference. Depending on the context you can use all, or just some of these questions. Try these questions before your next sales call, sales meeting, networking event, conference, sales presentation... Here we go...

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?

They are inextricably connected. There is no "do" without a lot of "try's". It is impossible to do anything without first trying out options for what to do. Doing is a product of trying, not a replacement for it. That's not just wordplay. It's an important lesson in getting started on achieving the results that you want for you. Your mission isn't to do anything. It's simply to try something. And then try something else. And keep trying until what you want to achieve is what you are currently doing.

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.

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.