The total cost approach is a powerful negotiating tool for any seller under price pressure. Use the total cost approach to defend a firm price. If price appears to be the sticking point, do what Albert Einstein suggested when he said, “No problem can be solved at its own level.” Direct your negotiation towards total cost instead of price. The price of what is being sold is only one component in the total cost of ownership. The process of identifying all of the components that go into “total cost” provides a fertile environment for relationships to build between the negotiators and for each side to uncover potential Win-Win opportunities that are not focused on the single issue of price.