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To Talk or Not to Talk?

By Radu Ionescu

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That is the question!

This is a theme I have approached before in other articles and I feel the need to express its importance once again. Talking sometimes is an urge. Very few people are able to be silent even when they know it is important to be so. A negotiation is a particularly clear example of the problem created by a "need to talk."

Why is it so important to be silent in a negotiation? Anyone has some experience in negotiation should know the answer. Remember those negotiations when you meet people that are silent. What is your impression about what has happened in such negotiations? Is it an impression of comfort and a memory of a negotiation that went well with an easy result, or is it an impression of uncertainty, frustration and a doubtful result? Whatever your recollection of such meetings, mine is one of hard negotiations when dealing with this kind of person.

Often in our day-by-day activities talking is necessary and important. But it is also important to know when to stop. And one limit that people usually miss is when they turn from selling to negotiation. Talking is a must for someone who is selling something. And if he is doing a good job at some point the prospect turns into a negotiation partner. Here is the point when usually sellers keep talking when they should stop. These days' sellers are trained to be silent and listen even in the selling process. When the prospect already wants your product or service, the only things you have to settle are the terms within the deal that can be done. And this is not about talking anymore.

In a negotiation talking has six main purposes:

  1. Cultural and social behavior; sometimes in the beginning of a meeting we have to pass through some protocols or cultural habits that involve talking
  2. When we have to tell about or to explain something to others
  3. When we have to debate or argue
  4. Changing perspectives
  5. Asking questions
  6. To make proposals

In my opinion the only "must" purpose from the six above in a negotiation is number 6. All the rest might or might not be in a negotiation. We can reach a deal without any of the first five but never without the sixth.

To Talk or Not to Talk? By Radu Ionescu


Copyright ©2014 Radu Ionescu
Copyright ©   2014  The Negotiator Magazine
The Negotiator Magazine  April 2014