Of your most satisfied customers of 2013, how many of those customers have you asked for a referral? Most sales and business people never ask for referrals. Those that do often ask when it's too late - and make a fatal mistake when asking for them (more on that later). Yet referrals are just about the easiest, quickest and least expensive way of increasing sales and building your business.

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

In order to increase a sales team's performance, an organization must make two changes. Learn what those changes are and how to implement them.

Have you ever watched a 2AM infomercial? I am the type of person that cannot watch infomercials without buying. They always take me through the same process: Identify a problem that frustrates me; Present an innovative solution; Pile on value to make purchase a no-brainer. Today, I want to focus on that last step of the process.

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...

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.