Silence

Description:  Silence may not sound like much of a tactical weapon, but make no mistake — it can be very powerful.

There are two ways to deploy silence as a tactic.  The first is to make your offer (or an early counter-offer) and then SHUT UP.  A general rule for novice negotiators is to speak half as much as you think you should.  A common mistake is for negotiators to make apologies or justifications for their opening offer.  Deliver the number… and then SHUT UP.  Less can be more at the negotiating table.

The second is more aggressive — and that’s to maintain eye contact but say NOTHING in response to what you consider an unreasonable or incomplete proposal.   There’s a good chance he’ll cave and start making unilateral concessions or volunteering detailed explanations.  Unfortunately, there’s also a chance he’ll get annoyed and a conflict will ensue.

Intent:  Silence not only slows down the pace, but it claims control of the negotiation.  It’s not considered friendly, and may undermine the relationship.

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