To be a better salesperson, you should have less rather than more authority. What I mean by this is that you can’t do a lot of things on your own, you have to clear it with your higher-ups.
“Well, well,” I’m sure you’re saying. Ekke, what are you talking about; I’m the one who calls the shots!
But even if you do have total freedom to make decisions, don’t let the customer know that. They will tell you all the time that they have to clear transactions with other parties and they can’t make a decision alone (which is often total rubbish). You’ve been subjected to that story quite a lot over the course of your career in sales, so now use the same technique on them.
If a customer wants a discount, tell them you’re not authorized to give them one.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have authorization to give you a discount on this product.”
“I’d gladly meet you halfway but I’m not empowered to change the price as it’s already a discount and the owners don’t allow further cuts.”
Does it seem familiar from when you’ve asked for a discount yourself and received about the same answer? And then have you given up and just made the purchase? Appealing to some third party is an effective technique because it gives the customer a sense that you’d like to, but you can’t. There’s no question for them about your good will; thus there’s no emotional conflict. From here on out, it’s much easier to justify the price and sell value.
This is a technique that’s used by many professionals in major negotiations when there’s big money in play. Having the authority to do something might seem like a strong position to be in for negotiations, but when you come down to it, limited authority is an even more powerful starting point. Limited authority means that you have to talk with others, which strips your opponent of the possibility of forcing through favorable decisions for them. Use that in sales to defend your price.