Know your audience. No matter who you’re pitching to, it’s a critical piece of advice. Your latest selling strategy or product brainstorm can have the most ironclad defense in the world, but unless you’ve accounted for the unique needs and biases of the person you’re trying to persuade, you’ll get nowhere. Legions of salespeople have faced this problem. Fortunately it has an easy solution: Do your homework. Before you pitch your big idea to that C-level executive, find out all you can about his or her history with the company and the agenda that drives their decisions. Only then can you go into a presentation fully confident and prepared.