Talk Less, Get More

2 min read


Talk Less, Get More.

We’ve been running some incredible negotiation simulations and one key skill is rising above all others in terms of how to come out ahead. 

Whether you are trying to get a listing signed, get an offer accepted or negotiate with your difficult teenager, talking less will get you more. 

Negotiation is an information game. Those who have more information, have more power and power used strategically will get you better results.  

Getting information isn’t always easy but I think we would all agree that some people are better at getting other people to speak.  Some call it charm or charisma but as a negotiation coach with decades of experience –   it’s your communication skills:  And they can be learned. 

People without negotiation training or experience tend to speak a lot.   They believe that they must show the other party how much they know, how professional they are, how much success they have had but it turns out, that is the least effective way to get your way.   

“The less you talk,
the more you’re listened to”

– Abigail Van Buren

Skilled negotiators create an environment where the other party wants to share information.  By creating trust, respect and a psychologically safe environment, people tend to become less defensive, more open and willing to share more information.   The key to creating this space is to be genuinely interested in the other party, ask powerful questions grounded in curiosity and have the discipline to really listen to their answers.   

You’ve most likely heard about active listening and clear communication before, but excellence in the field of communications is a game changer for professionals who engage in sales and negotiations.    

Try this, just for fun. The next time you are having a conversation, ask the other party, “What is important to you” and then be silent.  Don’t make the question longer or give them multiple choice answers.  Just ask it exactly as I have written it and then be perfectly silent.   Give it up to 15 seconds before you break the silence.   When they speak, and they will. Listen with all your curiosity and I would love to hear what happens.