In November 2017 the Leonardo da Vinci painting “Salvator Mundi” was being auctioned in Christie’s New York.
There were two contesting bidders and the last bid had reached $284 million. The auctioneer didn’t go back to the other bidder immediately. He paused and let the seconds tick over.
The tension built and everybody felt the bidding had finished. It hadn’t.
The other bidder came back with a record breaking bid of $400 million. The auction was now over and the applause broke out. The 20 seconds the auctioneer held his call was worth another $116 million or $ 5 million a second.
When you’re selling an idea or want to build up expectations and desires, don’t rush your client, pause for 10 seconds and let them reflect on the quality and value of your ideas.