Use A ‘Pained Pause’ For A Better Offer In Negotiations

Use A ‘Pained Pause’ For A Better Offer In Negotiations

When someone makes you an offer in a negotiation, don’t say anything. Employ the “pained pause”, as career coach Marty Nemko calls it, and you will almost always get a better deal.

Photo by Samuel Mann

Pausing is a good way to make your point in a negotiation, as a strategic silence can make you seem confident. Nemko uses the same technique but flips it, so that you are using it as a response, not as a way of underlining your point.

The pained pause. This technique can earn you the highest hourly rate you’ll ever earn. When your negotiating partner makes a too-low offer, sigh, look him or her in the eye and say nothing. That can make the person feel guilty and perhaps increase the offer. I’ve had a number of clients make thousands of dollars with just that few seconds of silence.

Just in case the other party does not respond with a better offer, you probably want to keep some other salary negotiation tips ready.

The Psychology of Negotiating [Psychology Today]