The #1 Most Important Tool in Negotiation

There is a power tool in negotiation.  I would say this is the single most useful tactic that I use in my years of selling (I sell private jets among other high value products).

It is not competitive, it is not aggressive, it is not avoiding anything.

It does not require massive intellectual development, years of training or genetic gifts.

It requires no study, no poetic ability nor any magical secret ingredients.

It is …




Me: “What is your best price?”

Supplier: “Blah, blah [Product feature #2], blah… I can offer you €100”

Me: “Hmmm.” and wait…  10…  20 seconds…  (tension increasing)

Supplier: “Ok, I can give you €90…  but that is our best price”

Me:  “Hmmm.”  and wait…  10… 20 seconds… (tension increasing)

… and on…


  1. […] Hacer silencio en momentos clave para generar expectación, como aprendí en este artículo de Conor Neill sobre negociación. […]

  2. This is great when your supplier is not sure about his price or desperately needs the sale. Go to Apple with this, you will get nothing.
    A good answer after your first silence should be “what price are you thinking?”, if you answer $50, the supplier knows that he will get almost $50 and the game starts.

  3. Janak Parekh · · Reply

    Its true but its not possible in all time,,,because now the time where we read its fix rate shop , or nobody present for negotiation ,,,at mall and big shop where we just take things and rush to bill counter for payment….it is depend on case to case base ,,,,, Some case Silence is work and some case put the offer prize for purchase anythings….if seller ready than its ok ,,,

    1. Yep, it is only a power tool in face-to-face… on the phone the other person just thinks the line has dropped… and by email… it looks like you don’t care 😉

      But then, if it really is important to you, you should be there face-to-face.

  4. Ecatherine · · Reply

    Very insightful, Conor! By the way, I’m teaching negotiation course next week, I am going to include silence as an universal tool for all types of negotiations (I’ll make sure I give you credit for this) 🙂

    1. Thanks 😉 How do I sign up for your negotiation course?

      1. Ecatherine · ·

        drop me a line at

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Centrifugal Performer

By Milica Ilic

Manner of Speaking

"All the great speakers were bad speakers at first." — Ralph W. Emerson


breathing made easy

Anna S. E. Lundberg

Coach, trainer, mentor

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