“Blah, blah, blah!”
That’s what we hear sometimes when some people talk. And sometimes that’s what other people hear when WE talk, too. Have you ever noticed how most people think of what they’re going to say, rather than listen to the person who is talking? You can just watch people’s conversations and see it happening! (When they’re actually talking to each other and not looking at their phones, that is)
Surely you’ve never done that yourself when talking to someone, have you? (I’m sure that’s never happened). Hey, this is something that I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of doing, right? But when it comes to negotiating, that can be a HUGE mistake! Here’s why…
Have you ever asked a seller about their house & their situation, and they reply by just going on & on about how wonderful the house is, sharing the latest neighborhood gossip, and describing their recent health issues in full detail (TMI!), etc.?
How do you handle that? Do you let them talk? Or cut them off and look to just ‘get to the numbers?’ How you handle these situations is important, and there’s a fine line to walk here. If you cut them off, you might just miss out on a very important detail you need when it’s time to negotiate a decent deal with them. But if you let them talk too much, your valuable time might get wasted.
Now I’m not suggesting that you just totally be quiet & let the other person dominate the conversation. You’ll never get off the phone that way! What you should do is skillfully lead the conversation by asking the right questions, and make sure that you LISTEN to exactly what they’re saying when they answer you.
Because believe it or not, most people actually give you the secrets to selling them, if you just ask the right questions and listen. Yes, that was so important that I had to mention it twice.
They Didn’t Pay You For a SEMINAR, So Don’t Give Them One
How many times have you felt like you’re supposed to explain everything in perfect detail or give a mini-seminar when someone asks you a question? And how well did that work out for you? Did it GET you the deal… or COST you the deal?
What often happens with a lot of new investors who start out in the business is they feel like they have to impress the seller with how much they know about what they can do for them. So when a seller (or buyer) asks them a question, what happens? They give them a ‘mini seminar,’ which often confuses and overwhelms their poor prospect with too much information. In other words, they talk too much, and wind up confusing their poor prospect. And losing the deal in the process.
The WORST Time To Talk
As bad as that sounds, there’s actually a much worse way to go. You could have everything all set up and looking good, but then blow it all by talking at the WRONG time! There are many times when you simply need to SHUT YOUR MOUTH and let the pressure build until the prospect looks to relieve it themselves.
Here’s a common and well known example. When you ask a seller what’s the LEAST they could accept for their house, the right thing to do is just ask that question and then SHUT UP! Let them get uncomfortable, then answer you. That’s the right thing to do. The wrong thing to do would be to build up that pressure, then have you relieve it by breaking the silence and giving them some kind of explanation or unnecessarily volunteering information. Here, let me tell you a story…
How Keeping My Big Mouth Shut Got Me a FREE & Clear House For FREE!
Here’s something really cool that happened a few years ago that led me to getting a house totally free & clear – for FREE! Just because I SHUT UP at the right time instead of talking & ruining everything (as I was tempted to do at the time)…
I was dealing with a seller who was facing foreclosure and owed about $63,000 between a first & second mortgage that were both held by the same bank.
I let him tell me all about his situation, and this made him feel very comfortable with me & what I proposed to do. Believe me, I was sooooo tempted to stop him a few times to ‘get back to the numbers.’ He kept going on & on about his house & his situation. I recall feeling like I was about to fall asleep on more than one occasion.
After a looooong conversation, he finally told me that he just wanted to get rid of the house & move on with his life. The magic words we want to hear!
BUT if I hadn’t taken the time to listen to how he had raised his family in the house, I never would have established the right rapport with him which later led to the beautiful thing that happened… (Stay tuned). So I slapped myself awake & kept listening.
After the seller agreed to just deed the house to me, I spoke to the bank & made a discounted offer on the mortgages. Because of the location & condition of the house, along with the bank’s motivation, they accepted my offer of only $5,000 total… for both mortgages!
Little did I know, the bank also told the seller they’d accepted my offer, so the next time I talked to him, he surprised me when he said, “Tony, the bank told me that they’ve accepted the offer for the $5,000, and I want to let you know that I can pay that off within a couple weeks.”
Even as I look back now, I can’t believe how stupid I almost was, because I came really close to saying that I would be paying that off for him. Thank God I kept my big mouth shut instead, because I almost missed the fact that THE OWNER WAS HAPPILY GOING TO PAY OFF his own SHORT SALE!! (He was paying off his own mortgages, after I had negotiated them way down for him!)
I literally had to bite my tongue for a moment, then take a deep breath before calmly setting the appointment to take care of the paperwork. I hoped he couldn’t hear me jumping up & down with excitement!
But wait… It gets better! When we finally got together to take care of the paperwork, I noticed a delinquent city tax lien on the house that totaled about $1,000. I decided to test my new ‘powers of silence’ in a negotiation, so I just held it up & looked at him with a curious look on my face. Then looked back at the tax lien, then looked at him again. Despite the temptation, I didn’t say a single word.
It worked! After a few moments of ‘uncomfortable’ silence, he said, “uhhh… Tony, I can pay that, too.” And the very next week, he did!
Wait… What Just Happened?!
So let’s just summarize what had happened here. Because I was able to keep my mouth shut (twice), I was able to get this house totally free and clear. The seller paid off the entire short sale amount AND the tax lien for the property tax arrearages, then deeded that free & clear house over to me…and it didn’t cost me a PENNY! Well, I did insist on buying dinner for him & his wife. It was the least I could do, right? 🙂 But the biggest part of it was how happy they were that I was helping them solve their situation. So at the end of the day, everybody won.
Mental Constipation, Meet Verbal Diarrea…
Think for a moment how so many people communicate, especially in business. So many people get nervous. They self-sabotage. And when the big moment comes that they should be quiet, they start talking too much. About nothing. Their mind is so
jumbled, unclear, and just stuck (mental constipation), that they just ramble on and on about stupid crap – which only confuses the other person (verbal diarrea) to the point that they wind up killing their chances of success and getting a deal. In other words, they talk their way right out of something they claim they want!
The Sexy Psychology of Simple Silence
Human nature never ceases to amaze me. Many people seem to think that silence is bad, so they feel like they have to fill it with unneeded words in a conversation… Or a negotiation.
Why not test this out yourself? The next time you’re in rapport with someone, try just being a little more quiet and listen more.
I can almost guarantee you that the other person will try to fill in those ‘spaces’ of the conversation with unneeded words. It’s amazing!
So be sure to keep this in mind when you’re negotiating with someone.
Remember to LISTEN and ask more QUESTIONS. This will truly help you establish rapport with someone. Take mental note of what they say. You can use it to your mutual advantage later.
Million-Dollar Tip: When a seller asks you a question, answer their question as briefly as you can, then ask them a question. Or just answer their question by asking a question of your own and watch what happens. Read that again if you have to.
If you pay close attention to what they tell you, they’ll practically give you the keys to their house.
The Big Take-Away
I never forgot the lesson I learned that day by dealing with that seller. Since then, I’ve been able to negotiate some sweet deals – in both business & life, simply by keeping my big mouth shut, listening more, and asking good questions.
Silence IS golden (great song, by the way!). When used correctly, it can bring you untold riches!
As a wise man once said: “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Another wise man has often said, “The less I do, the more I make.”
That is so true. But after reading this article, we can now say that it’s also true that… “The Less You SAY, The More You Make!”