Kenny Rogers alluded to it when he sang about it in the famous song The Gambler.
You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.
Although he didn’t say it directly – he hit it close enough.
Know when to shut up.
The Second Rule of Negotiation is: When you are explaining, you are losing.
In any negotiation, there is a time to talk and a time to listen.
The best negotiators spend more time listening than talking.
The rookie, all-to-eager-salesman spends far more time talking than he does listening. When the best negotiators do talk, it is usually concise and addresses the concerns of the other party.
Generally speaking, great negotiators will follow a simple rule introduced by Stephen Covey:
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
And there are few quicker ways to lose a negotiation than to keep explaining when the situation calls for listening.
When you are explaining, you are losing.
The First Rule of Negotiations: The First One To Talk Loses