Darren Krakowiak: 7 strategies for dealing with rejection in commercial real estate

What’s your approach when you hear, “We’ve decided to go with someone else”?

Handling this well is the next best thing to having clinched the deal, because it’s sets you apart from
most of your competitors in the market and it lays the groundwork for many more wins in the

Here’s a guide on how to process the experience of not winning a deal and ensure that every loss is
leveraged as a lesson.

Take responsibility, not offence

It’s easy to point fingers when a deal doesn’t go your way—blaming the market conditions, the competition’s pricing tactics, the client’s decision-making process or even a colleague.

However, the first step in learning from a rejection is to look inward.

Reflect honestly on your efforts.

Did you do everything possible to secure the deal?

Could your presentation or proposal have been stronger?

Did the better agent actually win in this case?

Taking responsibility helps you maintain control over your improvement and growth.

Value your team’s effort

Win or lose, it’s important to acknowledge the hard work your team put into the bid.

Thank everyone involved, from the support staff who helped assemble documents to the colleagues who worked on the pitch and anyone else who gave you advice along the way.

This not only fosters a positive team environment but also encourages their continued effort and collaboration for future projects.

Seek constructive feedback from clients

After thanking the client for the opportunity, take the initiative to ask for detailed feedback.

Understand the factors that influenced their decision: Was it the price, the depth of understanding
of the brief, their perception of your market position, or perhaps they had stronger rapport with
another provider?

Inquire specifically about what could make you a stronger candidate in the future and request a convenient time to discuss this further if necessary.

Maintain professionalism and positivity

Regardless of any disappointment you may be feeling, respond with professionalism and a positive

Even if you feel hard done by, rise above that by wishing the would-be client success with their

By handling rejection gracefully, you reinforce your reputation as service-oriented expert – and perhaps cause the other party to question if they made the right decision.

Review your qualification process

Consider whether the lost deal was actually a viable opportunity.

Were you fully qualified to meet the client’s needs, or were there mismatches in capabilities or expectations?

Sometimes, a loss can highlight flaws in the qualification process, suggesting the need for more stringent criteria when pursuing potential deals – so that you can focus on opportunities you have a
greater chance of winning.

Use the experience as a strategic asset

Turn the loss into a learning opportunity.

Gather all the feedback and analyse it with your team to identify any recurring themes or areas for improvement.

This analysis can help refine your approach, strengthen your pitches, and ultimately enhance your competitiveness in the market.

Remember: you generally learn more from the losses than you do from the wins.

Lay the groundwork for future opportunities

Finally, use the end of a deal as a stepping stone to future opportunities.

If this was the right opportunity, convey your continued interest in working on potential future transactions, and demonstrate your genuineness and reliability by following through with positive

This approach can turn a one-time rejection into a long-term relationship.


Handling rejection with grace, learning from the experience, and maintaining a professional composure with prospective clients can transform potential setbacks into strategic advantages.

This positive mindset not only helps in coping with the immediate loss, but it also sets the
foundations for future success.

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