A common problem faced by salespeople is the demand for major concessions by important potential buyers. Accommodation can often squeeze profits and encourage customers to expect future concessions, while backing out of a bad deal can cost future business. The best approach for dealing with aggressive but important customers involves trying to encourage a joint search for inventive solutions without resorting to fighting or allowing the customer to take advantage. To implement this approach, salespeople should: 1. build the number of variables with which to work during negotiations, 2. listen to customers when they attack, 3. keep track of the issues requiring discussion, 4. assert their companies’ needs, 5. avoid agreeing to an issue without making sure that the overall deal makes sense, 6. save the hardest issues for last, 7. start with a high price and concede slowly, and 8. avoid being trapped by emotional blackmail.

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