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The situation is no better in today’s competitive international and online economy than in 1949 when Arthur Miller penned his masterpiece “Death of a Salesman” — bleak and unforgiving. Whatever he or she might feel about a customer, the sales representative must follow the basic rule of sales: The customer is always right (even when the customer is wrong).

With better and more readily accessible knowledge of competing sellers’ pricing, customers can comparison shop for the lowest price almost without cost or delay. The lure of a slightly lower price online can make a customer forget the service and support that a good rep can provide. And all the goodwill established by the rep’s prior work pales next to a slight price break, from the customer’s perspective.

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