Negotiation Tactic #8 – Silence is Golden

Summary: Using silence to get a counterpart to talk.

When your counterpart is a talker and you want to learn as much as you can about the product, service, or counterpart without making any type of commitment, saying nothing and letting your counterpart do all the talking may be the best tactic. If you do not say anything, there is nothing for the other person to counter.


A salesperson is making a presentation on his product. The potential buyer sits and listens to the presentation without saying anything. The salesperson even asks twice if the buyer has any questions about the product. Each time, the buyer just shakes her head “no.”


The most effective counter for the salesperson would be Asking an Open-Ended Question such as, “How do you plan on utilizing our product?” or, “What features about this product are most important to you?” Both these questions force the buyer to dialogue. Without dialogue, it is difficult to build a relationship based on mutual respect.

Have you used or encountered this tactic in your negotiations? If so, how’d it go?

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