Controlling the Deal

Create deal value by making yourself invaluable.

Ever wonder why the deal falls through, despite everything being in place, the numbers working out, and the asset looking good? You might pin the blame on the other side or one of the lawyers, or the appraiser, or the lender. The fact is, the reason the deal fell through is most likely you.

Numbers don't make deals, people do. More precisely, you do. Every transaction needs a driver to maintain momentum, someone to push the deal forward using all available tools. The driver is responsible not only for his or her side of the deal, but the entire deal - everybody and everything.

Your goal in every transaction is to make yourself absolutely essential. You do this by using time-honored access to and delivery of relevant information, as well as the much overlooked psychological and advertising strategies to communicate individually with each participant in the deal. The key to your success is recognizing that every player in the deal has different motivational triggers. To reach a successful close, it is essential that you interact with each of the players based on the way they think, act, and feel - not the way you do. This requires research on each of the players in the deal to determine what kind of a person they are, how they treat others, and what their individual hot buttons are. The time you spend doing this research more than makes up for the potential time wasted if messages get delivered in a way that does not compel the receiver to act.

Know Who You Should Be

More work on your part is required, but it's essential to understand the psychological and emotional triggers that drive each of the participants in the transaction to act. That way, you can present the road forward to them based on their personal triggers, helping ensure their buy-in every step along the way. Does this mean that you need to be a different person depending on who you are talking to? Yes, it does.

Some might question the use of such a persuasive technique in a transaction; however, with the understanding that a successful outcome will benefit all parties, it's in everyone's best interest to employ these techniques.

Controlling the deal means that you must actively manage the transaction. That means identifying not only the hot buttons that drive each individual participant, but also understanding the inherent powers you bring to the transaction. Recognizing your strengths, coupled with the ability to adapt your communication style based on your audience, will allow you to seamlessly assume the role of transaction manager. Your ability to effectively manage the deal is directly related to your ability to persuade others. Your ability to persuade others is based on your ability to convey thoughts, ideas, and action steps that are internalized easily by the person with whom you are communicating.

To reach a successful close, it is essential that you interact with each of the players based on the way they think, act, and feel - not the way you do.

Strategies to Gain Control

Countless psychological strategies and marketing, advertising, and sales techniques can help to accomplish these goals. For instance, take FUD from the advertising world - fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Psychology tells us that many people are motivated by fear and are more likely to do something when they are uncomfortable than when they are comfortable. “If you don't do this right now, you will be really sorry” is an example of a FUD statement. In advertising, the assumption is that a certain percentage of people viewing an ad will be motivated by FUD; other non-FUD-based ads created for the same product or service will reach the rest of the targeted audience. When you use FUD as the transaction manager, you are using it because you have determined that the person to whom you are delivering the message is more likely to act when uncomfortable - assuming that you spent the extra time to determine this as a driving factor for that individual.

Controlling the deal and establishing yourself as the transaction manager isn't easy. It requires a huge investment of time to study each player in the deal to determine the best way to influence that player's actions. The payoff is also huge. It means your deals will run smoother and quicker, and closings will happen more often and more frequently, benefiting all parties. And isn't that worth the investment? 

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from CCIM Institute's online course, Controlling the Deal. The course shows how to use proven psychological and relational techniques to move up the value chain, build trust, and successfully manage every transaction.  Learn more about Controlling the Deal.

Mark Polon, CCIM

Mark Polon, CCIM, is president of Polon Consulting in Middle Haddam, Conn., and a CCIM instructor. Contact him at

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