7 reasons why your last negotiation failed—and how to never fail a negotiation again

7 reasons why your last negotiation failed—and how to never fail a negotiation again


Failure stings.

When you don’t get the outcome you’re looking for at the bargaining table, it can hurt your ego, your reputation, and even your organization’s financial future.

And the worst part is, most people go through life not knowing why they failed in the first place. So they fail again. You’re not that person. Or at least, you’re about to be.

Because we’re going to show you the 7 reasons most leaders fail at real estate negotiations and the one thing you can do to ensure you never fail a negotiation—even if you’ve never been involved in one before.

But first, the mistakes.

In our 35 years of deal-making experience, we’ve seen there are 7 reasons leaders usually fail at real estate negotiations:

  1. Time constraints. People constantly juggling multiple priorities don’t  set aside sufficient time to prepare. This is a huge missed opportunity, because adequate preparation can streamline the negotiation process, ultimately saving you more time.
  2. Overconfidence. They trust their experience and instincts enough to handle negotiations on the fly. However, seasoned negotiators recognize the benefit from practice and preparation to reveal nuances they might otherwise miss.
  3. Underestimating the stakes. They fail to recognize how much value is truly at stake in the negotiation. Visualizing the full impact of a successful resolution can motivate more diligent planning.
  4. Reactive mindset. They’re comfortable dealing with issues as they arise rather than planning ahead. But proactively anticipating problems before they surface can lay the groundwork for success in almost any scenario.
  5. Uncertainty. The range of potential  scenarios and outcomes make many people uncomfortable. So many don’t end up doing anything, often because they don’t know where to look or what to do to clear up their own uncertainty about the deal. Embracing this discomfort can equip you to calmly address any eventuality and increase your confidence.
  6. Reliance on others. They assume their team of brokers and attorneys will handle the preparations. And you know what they say about “assume.”
  7. Lack of structure. They lack a systematic process, so negotiation prep work seems daunting.

There’s a simple to solution to every one of these failure-inducing mistakes: Systematic, effective preparation.

And you’re about to get our simple process that helps you do this in minutes.

See, back in 2007, when the world of commercial real estate came to a grinding halt, we took the time to invest in ourselves and participated in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Their experts have spent years exploring negotiations and helping people overcome deadly negotiation mistakes.

Then, we combined our 35+ years of experience with what we learned from Harvard Law School, and created The Negotiation Worksheet™, our structured approach making preparation more manageable, more effective, and less overwhelming.

Any executive or team can use it to prepare for negotiations in minutes—no matter how mundane or complex the deal may be.

At Cardinal Partners, we use this Worksheet all the time.

It helps our clients avoid these mistakes and strengthens their negotiation acumen, every time.

Since the dark days of the 2007 real estate market, thousands of dealmakers like you have used The Negotiation Worksheet™ to sharpen their skills and improve their deals.

By using it, you will:

  • Equip yourself for difficult negotiations.
  • Neutralize threats, lies, and insults.
  • Avoid your common pitfalls and errors.
  • Identify and control your own tendencies in the face of conflict.
  • Strengthen interpersonal relationships in business and be a leader of your team.
  • Brainstorm possible agreements that may creatively satisfy both parties’ interests.
  • Identify opportunities to capture and create value.
  • And, most importantly, succeed at the bargaining table.

We designed The Negotiation Worksheet™ to be a powerful asset and offer you peace of mind.

And we believe in it so strongly, that if you don’t see tangible benefits from using The Negotiation Worksheet™, we will reimburse your consulting fees through any fees we earn on the deal.

“In my position, I’ve seen my share of tough negotiations. But with our real estate deals, everything shifted when I started using The Negotiation Worksheet™. This isn’t just another tool from a consultant—it’s a game changer, drawing on lessons learned from Cardinals’ real estate negotiations and insights from Harvard. I felt more prepared and sure-footed when starting the discussions with the seller.”

—Cardinal Client.

Do you have a deal coming up? Or do you simply want to find out what you need to know to close deals successfully in the future?

Don’t fall for avoidable negotiation mistakes. Join thousands of successful dealmakers who have transformed their negotiation outcomes, and confidently take control of your next deal using The Negotiation Worksheet™.

Click the link below to book a call and access this blueprint for success. We’ll make your next negotiation your best one yet. 

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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