Despite the onslaught of social media and on line networking, 'real life' networking is still a crucial element of many companies' sales and marketing strategies. Quite right too -- there are massive benefits to be had from attending networking events. Providing you're at the right event for you. Providing you do it well.

Forget you and forget your standard sales presentation. Let me explain...all of us have our own unique way of perceiving the world. This map has been created from the moment you were born to this very day...all your experiences have gone into the pot and created your map. Nobody else will have had your experiences in exactly the same way. They will have had their own experiences and will perceive the world in their very unique way.

WHY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS FAIL... Have you ever asked anyone a question that can be answered in a sentence or two -- and yet they're still talking 10 minutes later? Or maybe asked for more detail on a subject -- and been given a one line answer? Are you the person that is only interested in the big picture? That is you tend to give very brief responses regardless of the question? Or do you prefer to give a very detailed response to questions? What about others?

Firstly -- and I can't stress this strongly enough, be in no doubt that your sales results will be directly influenced by the quality of questions you ask. So how good are YOUR questions?

When you sell, it's really easy to talk about you, your company and how good your products and services are. Yet to do so would be a mistake.This approach will rarely work. The problems with this approach are that...

Do you know why some people buy with a real sense of urgency? You know the ones -- they want it; they want it now. Quick sale -- no problem. Then there are others -- you know they need your stuff, they could be benefitting from it right now if only they'd get a move on. Yet they drag their feet; they stall; they say they're interested but don't commit. Of course some of these do buy eventually, but it all takes sooooo long. How do you explain away these slow coach buyers? Internal procedure at their end? Too many stakeholders? Budget constraints? Price too high? Timing not right? Here's the real reason they don't buy...

In last week's "Tricks of The Trade" I explored the practical and psychological dimensions that impact on how small business owners price their products and services. And I promised that this week I would share with you a little-known tactic you can use when, as often is the case, buyers tell you "it's only about the price". It's never just about the price -- you just have to make them aware of that! This is a fabulous tip that you can share with your team to achieve sales success... Here's the scenario...

Having excellent communication skills is vital if you are going to achieve Sales Success. When you communicate with others you are creating an experience for the other person. Everything you say has an impact... even the smallest things. What's interesting is that every word you use will have unique interpretation for the person you are communicating with.

When you purchase something, do you have a procedural preference or an options preference? Or are you wondering what on earth I'm talking about? I promise to explain, but firstly I wanted to send the message of just how much of a benefit it would be for you to know which of your customers buy with a procedural preference v those that buy with an options preference. Stick with this...answer the following question with your immediate response...even if it doesn't make sense to you.

Be honest, which list do you believe in the most? Your answer will tell you a lot. Your answer will reflect your mindset. And it's your mindset which will ultimately be reflected in your behaviour, your actions -- and your results.