AT ONE stage in history, almost the entire world believed that the earth was flat, and unless you are a member of the flat earth society, you now know that it isn't.

Sometimes the traditional selling truths that you may have learned in marketing school might just need to be challenged. Doing so may help you achieve even more sales.

Here are seven traditional selling truths you need to challenge:

1. In sales, you need to be an expert in interpreting your potential and existing clients' body language.

A prospect or client who "folds his arms" is not necessarily closed to what you are saying - despite what the body language gurus tell us. Research has shown that some people just like to sit that way because they find it comfortable or they might just be feeling cold. This is just one of many examples of interpreting body language that needs to be challenged.

2. You need scripts, rehearsed standard answers and responses that you can use on potential or existing clients.

Of course, you need to be confident and comfortable to effectively and positively communicate with your clients. However, having a standard memorised script actually locks sales people into inflexibility. Each client's specific situation can be quite different, so having the flexibility to respond appropriately in a number of ways will lead to greater emotional and intellectual connections with your clients and result in more sales.

3. You need a wide range of closing techniques and strategies to ensure that you can secure the sale.

You don't need 101 ways to close sales. Closing a sale is simply asking for a customer's buying decision when you believe he is ready to buy, or making a confident recommendation that the client needs to take the next appropriate action steps to receive the value he seeks.

4. You need to determine early and then focus your attention on the decision-maker to get the sale.

Of course, the person who is going to make the decision is obviously someone you need to engage with. However, sometimes salespeople can misinterpret this traditional selling truth to mean they should only focus on the decision-maker.

Getting to the decision-maker is important. It saves you time. It helps you understand what his needs are. However, you also need to understand that for every decision-maker, there is usually at least one other influencer and sometimes, many.

5. In sales, price doesn't matter - it all has to do with value.

I can't tell you how many times I have heard other sales trainers, coaches and managers say that price is not important. It is.

However, if you can demonstrate that your product or service will have significantly more value (other than price) for your client, you will find that he will buy from you despite the higher price, because of his perception that he is getting better value.

6. You need to be an expert in "small talk" to build rapport at the start of any sales call or meeting with a client.

Apart from the fact that not everyone is a natural "ice breaker" when it comes to making conversation, the reality is that not every potential or existing client will want to waste time with small talk about the weather or the traffic or who won the World Cup in soccer.

7. In sales, the best time to ask for a referral is when the customer has just bought from you.

Research and experience has demonstrated that what attracts more referrals than any other approach, is to first focus all your attention on delivering value early to your clients.

Once you are confident that you have delivered value and that the client is happy with the service that you have provided, there are a number of ways that you can then confidently and comfortably ask the client for a referral.

In sales, you get the sales you deserve. You get the clients you deserve. You get the repeat business and referrals you deserve. Consider challenging these seven traditional selling truths, and you will move closer to achieving greater levels of sales success.