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When Words Get in the Way… How Silence Can Be Gold…in Your Negotiations!

“When Words Get in the Way… How Silence Can Be Gold…in Your Negotiations!”

By Tony Pearl

“Blah blah blah…”

That’s what we mostly hear sometimes when we’re dealing with

people. (Or is it WE are the ones saying ‘blah blah blah’?) 

In either case, I’ve noticed something lately. Let’s see if you recognize it, too…

You’re talking to somebody about their house, and when you ask them to describe their situation, they just seem to go on & on about how wonderful the house is OR how terrible what their Uncle Lou just did, or how their health is failing, etc.

And that’s when we come up with a one-word thought: “Bor-ing!”

Who cares!? Just get to the numbers! Am I right??

But wait a minute… There’s actually something very important in what they’re telling us.

If you really listen intently, you can hear it.

What? What is it? What could be so bloody

important about their medical bills that they cause you to have to stay on the phone an extra minute or two (Or twenty) and miss part of your next reality show?

Well, quite possibly everything! Believe it or not, they’re actually giving you the secrets to selling them! Or buying their house from them, if that’s what you’re trying to do.

While I’m not advocating that you just totally be quiet & let them dominate the conversation (you’ll never get off the phone that way!), I would suggest that you lead the conversation BUT make sure that you LISTEN to exactly what they’re saying when they respond to your answers.

Listen. Too often we, as the so-called ‘professional’ will open our mouths to fill in the ‘awkward’ gaps in conversation, when instead, a moment or two of silence will work to your advantage. TRUST ME!

To illustrate my point, let me tell you about a deal I did a few years ago that lead me to getting a house totally free & clear for FREE! Just because I SHUT UP when I otherwise would have talked & therefore ruined the whole thing…

There was a gentleman facing foreclosure that was referred to me by one of my bank contacts. He owed about $63,000 between the first & second mortgages, both held by the same bank.

After speaking with him, he indicated that he just wanted to get rid of the house & move on with his life.
I let him tell me all about his situation, and this let 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.

BUT if I had not had the chance to listen to how he had raised his family in the house, I never would have established the right rapport with him which later lead to the beautiful thing that happened… (Stay tuned).  So I slapped myself awake & kept listening.

Next, I spoke to the bank & made a discounted offer on the mortgages. Because of the location & condition of the house, along with my presentation of my case & the bank’s motivation, they accepted my offer.

What was my offer? For only $5,000 total for both mortgages!

They say that even a blind squirrel can occasionally find a nut.

Since I was still a relatively new investor at that time, I may have not done things perfectly.

You’ll see why in a second.

When the bank accepted my offer, they also let the owner know that they were doing so for only $5,000. I didn’t know that, so when I talked to him to get the next step set up, he surprised me when he said, “Tony, the bank let me know that they’ve accepted the offer for the $5,000.”

I was about to answer him back to let him know how I’d be handling

things, but instead remained silent.

Call it a hunch or intuition, but something just told

me to keep my big mouth shut.

Thank God I did! Because what he said next shocked me!

He told me, “I just want to let you know that I can pay that within a couple weeks.”!!!


I literally had to bite my tongue for a moment, then calmly said, “Ok. We need to get together to take care of some paperwork. When would be good for you – tomorrow or Thursday?” (I hoped he couldn’t hear me jumping up & down!)

It gets better! When we finally got together to take care of the deed, power of attorney, etc. (Yeah, this should have been one of the first things we did, but I told you I was new at the time!), I had told him to bring all his paperwork with him regarding the house.

As I was going through the papers, I noticed a delinquent tax lien on the house that totaled about $1,000.

Of course, this had to be paid somehow, sooooo…

I decided to test my ‘new powers’ of silence in a negotiation. When I came across this paper, I just held it up & looked at him with a questioning look on my face.

And it worked! Within only 2-3 seconds of ‘uncomfortable’ silence, he said, “uhhh… I can pay that, too.”

Yes! This means that I now owned this house totally free and clear…and it didn’t cost me a PENNY! Well, I take it back, I did buy his wife & him a couple chicken sandwiches for dinner. Hey, it was the least I could do, right? 

I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that day. Even now, I have found that by keeping my big mouth shut & listening more, I have been able to negotiate some sweet deals in both business & life.

Human nature never ceases to amaze me when people think that silence is bad, so they have to fill it with unneeded goobly-dee-gook & words in a conversation!

But why not try it for yourself. The next time you’re in rapport with someone in a conversation, try just being a little more quiet during some key moments.

I can almost guarantee that the other person

will try to fill in those ‘spaces’ in conversation with unneeded words.

It’s amazing!

Next, keep this in mind when you’re in a negotiation with someone.

Again, the true success of this depends on you having already established rapport with them.

And how do you do that? By LISTENING to them! (Among other things, which I’ll happily cover in a future post)

Take mental note of what they say.

You can use it to your mutual advantage later.

When they ask you a question, stay silent for a

moment & watch the magic happen!

• Here’s your million-dollar tip:

When you’re talking to a seller (or buyer), just ask them,

“What can you tell me about your situation?”

And then… (pardon me for being blunt) SHUT UP & LISTEN!!!

If you pay attention to what they tell you & not just ‘glaze over’, they will quite literally give you the keys to their house, putting untold wealth in your pockets!

Silence IS golden.

And the right use of it can bring you untold riches!

At the very least, it’ll help give you some peace & quiet…from yourself!  LOL

Finally, a wise man once said that “it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool
than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Lesson learned.

To Your Negotiations,


BIO: Tony Pearl lives & invests in the Washington, D.C. area.
Before he started investing in real
estate, he was a professional Ballroom & Latin Dance Instructor, Competitor, Exhibitor, etc. of 18 years.
Having success in both these fields, he began to see just how similar they are & used his experiences as a dance teacher in his real estate transactions
to have fun helping others make money!
You can see his Home-Buying Website at:

Dancing & Real Estate – Part 2

(This is Part TWO of a Two-Part Article/Post)
Dancing…and Real Estate? What gives?

What? You still want to know what else dancing & real estate investing have in common?
Ok, lest ye forget what we had talked about in our last article,
I’ll give you a quick reminder.
After all, it’s been a month already, right?
And let’s get all the new kids caught up to speed, too…
As both a Ballroom Dance Instructor (14 yrs) & Real Estate Investor (4 yrs),
I noticed that these seemingly different disciplines had some things in common, namely:
1. You have to LEAD;
2. You have to deal with OBSTACLES;
3. You’ve gotta have RHYTHM;
4. You need BALANCE; and…
5. You’ve gotta have the right PARTNER!
Remember all those? It’s ok – because if you can’t remember the details of these commonalities, just go get last month’s issue of this publication… it’s all there!
But guess what? We’re not done yet!
Yes, just when you thought it was safe to get back on
the dance floor, along comes a new set of things that they have in common!
Here’s What ELSE Dancing & Real Estate Investing Have in Common:

6. You Should always ASK!
That’s right… ask! ASK someone to dance! ASK the seller if they’ll sell you the house for what they owe on it! ASK them what their favorite dance or music is. ASK if they have any questions. ASK what the most important thing about selling their house or buying a house or investing their money with you is!
ASK them for their business. (That might be different in a social setting!)
Ask, ask, ask. What’s the worst that could happen?
They could say no? (Gasp!)
Ha! Believe me, if you approach any condition with the confidence, poise,
and polish of an experienced & professional investor (or dancer),
the chances of anyone saying ‘No’ to you go ‘waaaaaaayyyyyyyy down!’ (Imagine Marshall Sylver saying that).
7. You Should Make it FUN!
That’s right… fun! Something I’ve definitely noticed in the time that I’ve been alive & doing business is that people are starving to be entertained.
Now, I’m NOT saying to just give them all sizzle & no steak, or just dazzle them with your footwork, but if you can successfully make doing business
(or dancing) with you an enjoyable experience for the
other person, not only will you make more money, blow away the competition, have more friends, etc., but – shoot – you’ll just feel better about yourself, too! And the last time I
checked, if you feel good about yourself, you’ll attract the right people to you…almost as if by magic!
How to make it fun? Call them by name. Smile more. Make them laugh.
Ask them about themselves (in a way that applies to what you’re doing), their family, hobbies… and even dancing!
Before you know it, you’ll both be feeling good, and next thing you know, the dance is over & you’ve done the deal. (Take that how you want to!) 😉
A friend of mine recently said to me, “Tony, success is an aphrodisiac!”
Well, guess what? He’s right!  And dancing is an aphrodisiac, too… did you know that?
Think about the last time you danced. Imagine the feeling.
Hopefully, it’s a good one.
Were you with someone special? How did they feel?
Chances are if it was a positive
experience, you had a good night – ah – time!
Now think about the last good deal you closed! Did you feel all warm & fuzzy inside? How did the person with whom you were doing business feel?
Were they happy that you got
things done when you said you would?
I just hope you took the time to celebrate the way you wanted & deserved afterwards!
9. It’s a Partnership.
Never forget this. In dancing, you are both dancing together to the music. At least I hope you are! (I’ve seen people dancing to some music I swear only they heard!)
In real estate investing, remember that you are ALL working towards getting the deal closed. This includes the seller, Title Company, buyer, appraiser, agent, etc.
Early in my investing career, I had come up against a couple situations where I incorrectly perceived that someone was trying to stop the deal from going through. One time, I lost the deal. The next one, I simply reminded myself that this person is actually on my team, but they just had an issue with something. By this realization, I was able to step back &
reassess the situation. I then returned & reminded this guy that we were on the same team & just wanted to get the deal closed. He agreed & this opened up a new line of conversation. From there, we got it done – he got paid, and so did I! Sweet!
10. Make Them Look/Feel Good!
Now, I must say that as a man, this is my job to make the lady look good on the dance floor. There’s an old expression we would use in the dance business:
“The Man is the Frame, and the Lady is the Picture.”

So, if you’re a lady, your job is to look good, right? Right. But in order to do that, you would need to follow the leader – the man! If you’re fighting him the whole time, nobody looks good, least of all you. Sorry, but that’s the truth.
In real estate investing, particularly negotiating (and isn’t just about everything a negotiation?), I’ve noticed that the best deals have been the ones where I let the other person look or feel like they’ve won!
Hey, it’s not always about sucking every bit of juice out of the deal. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta slow your dancing down a little bit in order to move at the other person’s speed.
…And here’s the last one:
11. Always Finish Well!
Ahhh, here we are… The music is just about to end or the deal is almost done. Everything has gone ok up to this point, so you want to make sure you finish the dance or the deal correctly… With a Big Bang!!
Make a lasting impression!
Obviously, in dancing, the man would want to dip the lady or spin her with an inside underarm turn, followed by a quick bow to ‘properly’ finish the dance, right?
And what are some ways you can ‘Finish Well’ in a real estate transaction?
Well, it all depends! Are you buying the house or selling it? In either case, you should always send a card, thanking them for their business – or maybe call them & let them know how things are going or went.
Maybe send a basket of fruit.
And don’t forget to ask for a referral!
Well, there you have it! Now you actually know quite a bit about what real estate investing & dancing have in common!
They’re not quite so different now, are they?
And you thought I was crazy!
Well, maybe you’re right… But at least I’m having fun & making money, baby!
Tony Pearl

Tony Pearl lives & invests in the Washington, D.C. area.
Before he started investing in real estate, he was (and still is) a professional Ballroom & Latin Dance Instructor, Competitor,
Exhibitor, etc. of 14 years.
Having success in both these fields, he began to see just how
similar they are & used his experiences as a dance teacher in his real estate transactions to have fun making money!