Silence can be golden

It is often said that in negotiations “he who speaks first, loses.” The idea is that once you give away your position, the other party can begin to chip away at it and get more concessions. For example, if you are asking $100 for your product, the buyer can ask for a lower price. However, if you let the buyer make an offer, he may offer $110.

This adage isn’t literally and always true. Good negotiating skills, as well as a clear idea of your goals, can make speaking first beneficial. For example, if you want $100 for your product, but initially ask for $110, you have “wiggle” room to offer concessions and still get what you want.

Sales is as much about listening as it is about talking, and perhaps more so. While our goal is to sell our product or service, we should also be trying to create win-win situations. This requires listening to the other party to understand their goals and desires. It means understanding their motivations and the results they are seeking.

While we all want to tout our product or service, sometimes the best way to do this is to keep our mouth shut. Sometimes, if we do more listening than talking we will wind up with the gold.

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