Long term sales is about relationship building. Many times you can make a great first impression and sell someone on the first contact. Other times you may have to contact them a few times before they'll buy, but as long as you're nice, respectful and don't be a scumbag, you can eventually get a lot of those people on the books too.
There are still some companies that sell products over the phone for prices so high that unless you've been in the game for awhile, it's hard to imagine how they've stayed in business, especially with companies selling the same things for dirt cheap online.
It's really pretty simple. The way they approach people makes them likeable, convenient to use and at the end of the day, it makes them very profitable.
A couple years ago I saw companies in my industry having price wars. Some still are, actually. Stupid. It sucks that they're selling things so cheap because there are times when I have no choice but to price match or lose the customer. On the other hand, I still have customers that won't bat an eye when I quote them a price. They have no problem because they know, like and trust me.
Some people have actually raised their prices and are still doing very well. I've seen more companies selling at list price now than I have in a long time and they have a nice account base. They've eliminated a lot of the profit sucking, "customer service happy" individuals and now only deal with people that they want to deal with - and they're making more money!
I check the prices at a company where I used to work on a regular basis to see what they're selling things for and they consistently have some of the highest prices in the industry, but they're still doing very well. They even have an active forum full of happy customers!
As Seth Godin would say, they've built their own "tribe".
I have a major grocery store directly across the street that has great prices. We shop there all the time. There's also a WalMart super store less than a mile from here.
Yet, the 7/11 on the opposite corner is always super busy!
How can that be, you ask? These guys charge double and triple the price of what you could get some things for directly across the street, but thousands of people go through there every day regardless. They're fast, they're friendly, they have exactly what I want and they're convenient.
That kind of crushes the theory about price always being the number one selling point, eh?
Put yourself in your prospect's shoes. Be honest, especially when you have to charge more than you'd like. Take care of them. Give them reasons to smile. Tell them jokes. Ask about their family, their interests, their business, etc. Take time for them and let them talk about themselves. Take notes about these things so you immediately have something personal to bring up next time you talk to them. They'll grow to like and trust you even more.
They won't mind paying a little (or a lot) more as long as you provide a great experience for them every time they do business with you.
Bottom line: It's not always about "offering the lowest price". Sell yourself! Be the person that YOU would want to do business with. By doing so you can build your own happy "tribe" that doesn't jump ship on you every time the see a sale price somewhere else.