Entrepreneurship Podcast post

Deal Making with Corey Kupfer

George Grombacher March 9, 2023

share close

Deal Making with Corey Kupfer

LifeBlood: We talked about deal making, the most common ways to grow your business outside of organic growth, how to successfully negotiate to get what you want, and the key areas to focus, with Corey Kupfer, deal maker, attorney, speaker, podcast, and author.   

Listen to learn the most important thing to consider when thinking about making a business deal!

You can learn more about Corey at CoreyKupfer.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Get your copy of Authentic Negotiating HERE

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live. 

Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.

Want to say “Thanks!” You can buy us a cup of coffee.


Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher

Corey Kupfer

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, this is George G. And the time is right to welcome today’s guests drop off record cup for Cory. Are you ready to do this?

Corey Kupfer 0:08
I’m ready. All right, let’s

george grombacher 0:09
go. Cory is a deal maker. He is an attorney, a speaker. He is the host of the deal quest podcast. And he is the author of authentic negotiating, clarity detachment in equilibrium. Corey, excited to have you on tell us literally personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do?

Corey Kupfer 0:29
Yeah, thanks, George. So I am happily married to a wonderful entrepreneur, fellow entrepreneur, my wife, ra, who has a couple of companies of our own, we love to travel. And we’re involved in various social causes, really, mainly in the areas of, of empowerment and growth and equity and justice. In my law firm, which is my main business, we work with entrepreneurs on large companies to help them grow. Corporate attorneys, we do a contract work in startups and that kind of stuff. But we do a lot of deal work. A lot of m&a joint ventures, strategic alliances, all kinds of cool structuring and strategy to help companies grow. And then yeah, I’ve got the speaking training consulting company where we got the bulk of the podcast on a professional speaker. And yeah, that’s the overview.

george grombacher 1:19
I love it. So you help businesses grow through making deals? strikes me that? Well, is an ounce of cure worth a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Corey.

Corey Kupfer 1:33
Yeah, I mean, so listen, obviously, anything you do in business has risk and you know, and doing deals the wrong way can actually really hurt your business. No question. But I think I think actually, the the other, you know, I think we tend to, in fact, a lot of people in my profession, certainly, because we’re trained this way over index on the on the risk side and forget the opportunity side. And we also forget the risk of not taking advantage, you know, of lost opportunity or, or right, you know, opportunity cost. And one of the fundamental premises of the work I do and why I’ve got this podcast, for example, is that every company is trying to grow organically, right? Through sales and marketing and providing great products and services. And you need to do that you have to be able to get a customer or a client or another one, another one. But a much smaller percentage of the companies actually grow through deals. And if you look at the most successful companies, they grow both ways organically and in organically, right. And they find joint venture partners, they do acquisitions, they licensed they, you know, so it’s not just m&a, such as capital raising, there are all kinds of online affiliate deals, sponsorship deals, there’s all kinds of deals you can do. And my fundamental premise is that unfortunately, many many companies do not take advantage of that. And in many successful entrepreneurs don’t take advantage of that. They’ve had the mind shift to become an entrepreneur, but they haven’t had the mind shift to become a dealmaker.

george grombacher 2:58
Fascinating. And just in the amount of time that you’ve been doing the work that you’ve done, I imagine that the opportunities and landscape is there. It’s exploded.

Corey Kupfer 3:10
Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, because it was, like everything else, it goes in cycles, you know, somewhat, right, depending on the economy and access to capital and things like that. We’ve certainly had a very, very good run, and you know, and things are still very busy in the in the deal market. And even, you know, who knows what’s going to happen to the economy that’s very mixed, you know, signals right now, right. But the thing that people don’t realize is that deal flow doesn’t necessarily slow down during bad economies, even if we’re heading that way. It’s usually a pause as the market adjusts. But then some of the best deal opportunities are actually, you know, in in more challenging markets, because they create terminal turmoil, they create change, they create, you know, frustration, other people’s parts within me be more open to doing a deal then when things go, you know, when when things are boom, and everybody’s brilliant, right?

george grombacher 4:04
Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. I was just reading this morning that a gold company or gold miner here in the United States made an offer to buy a gold company in in Australia for a kajillion dollars. And I’m sure that that kind of stuff happens all the time. If I am a successful organization, but I’m not in the habit of making deals. How do I know if I ought to?

Corey Kupfer 4:26
Yeah, I mean, so one of the things, one of the things that we do well, first thing I’d say is listen, so one of the big reasons why I did the podcast, right? It’s for people to be able to just listen, you know, we’ve been doing it for you know, over 200 220 Something episodes now. And we have the omegas on people who’ve done deals, different people and you get to hear about all different types of deals. So just, you know, again, I’m not looking at particularly push the pockets, we’re doing very well with it, but it’s a great way to just listen, you say oh, wait a second, you know, oh, that person did that. That might work for my company, right. The other thing you As we have conversations with people all the time, I say, Listen, you know, let’s have a conversation, I’ll ask you some simple questions. You know, what are your frustrations? A lot of times people say to me, oh, man, you know, we’re looking to get into this new geography or we’re looking to launch this new product, or, you know, we have a great product that we’re looking to get into this new vertical around it. And very often, they’re trying to do that organically. They’re hiring salespeople. And I’ll ask them a simple question like, What, who already has access to that market to that vertical to that geography? And have you thought about doing some sort of deal with them? And very often? The answer is no, I haven’t. But that’s a good idea, or I have, but I don’t know how to do that. Great, then, let’s have a conversation about what that looks like. And what I always say to folks, the business folks is, Listen, don’t worry about the structure, don’t worry about whether it’s gonna be a strategic alliance or a joint venture, that doesn’t matter. That’s what you come to people like me for right? Figure out where you are on a business level where you want to get to, okay, oh, we, you know, we want to access this market, this company has access to that we want to do some sort of arrangement with them, where there’s economic benefit for them, where they can introduce us into that market, their salespeople or whatever it is maybe, right, and then we can talk about the possibilities on how you might do that.

george grombacher 6:15
That’s fascinating. That makes kind of sense to me, because I’m more of a What time is it kind of a person versus I wonder how this watch works? So that makes sense. But I imagine that, obviously not everybody’s like that.

Corey Kupfer 6:27
Yeah, listen, we can get into the nitty gritty of how to watch this as well, if if you’re that kind of person. But, you know, we don’t even get there. If you haven’t thought about that as a as a possibility, you know, to open up the conversation that hey, maybe this is another way where we can grow. And we don’t have to build, you know, you know, and sell everything ourselves.

george grombacher 6:48
Yeah, yeah, I think that makes a ton of sense. And so the your book is authentic negotiating clarity, detachment and equilibrium. So clarity. Tell me a little bit about that.

Corey Kupfer 7:02
Yeah, so So here’s the premise of the book is this most most of the books and trainings out there on negotiating are on the strategical tactical level, right? You know, somebody does this, then you do this, and they say this, you do this. And the problem with it, some of them are, frankly, very manipulative and not authentic, and they really actually don’t work in the real world. Some of them are good, but but they’re on that level of tactics. And my assertion is that, that’s useful to know. But that’s not where, you know, negotiating. Mastery really comes from and where success comes from. If you study people who are master negotiator, it negotiators, they do some fundamental work first, so the clarity piece, right CDE, the sea is clarity, the level of work to do to get that clarity on exactly what’s acceptable to you and what’s not in negotiation in advance to take that time. And people even skimp on the external portion of that, like, you know, what’s the market, you know, going rate, what is you know, what, even the the actual negotiator on the other side of the table for me, what are their objectives? But where they really skip is this is the other piece of it was the internal body of work that you have to do to say, Hey, what is it that I really want? What is really important to me, why is that important to me? Why am I even doing this deal? Right? So doing that level of clarity work is the first crucial piece because you don’t even know how to design a negotiating strategy. Without that you don’t know when to give and when not to give you very often can end up doing a bad deal, because you weren’t clear in the first place on exactly what worked for

george grombacher 8:28
you. Yeah, which certainly speaks to what you were just talking about of just figure out what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, what is it that you really want, don’t worry about what the actual structure is going to be or anything like that just get clear on this is acceptable to you? This is not acceptable. This is what success would look like kind of a thing. That’s right. And then the detachment piece I mentioned.

Corey Kupfer 8:53
Yeah. So this is the piece that is that is conceptually maybe easy to understand what’s people talking about, but often the toughest to apply. And that is the master negotiators are never attached to the outcome. Right? If I’m negotiating a deal with you, George, I should have a preference we get it done because why am I wasting my time unless I have a preference, we get it done? But ultimately, right? We’re gonna negotiate the deal. And we’re gonna get to a point where either the deal is going to work for me or it won’t, and I need to be equally okay. Right with it not working out with a working and here’s the key difference. Often people will say you have to have a walkaway point. But the piece that I’m missing is that often for other people, that walkaway point is from a place of anger, upset, ego, judgment, etc. What I’m talking about is when you’re detached, is that if I walk away from a deal with George, I’m not walking away because George is a jerk or because he’s, you know, whatever, because he doesn’t get it. All I am aware of at that point is I’ve done the clarity work, and your objectives and my objectives just don’t need at this moment. So if I’m gonna Place of detachment, I can easily let that go. It’s no hard feelings, maybe we’ll do a deal in the future, maybe I’m not meant to do a deal now at all, maybe there’s somebody else I’m gonna have to do a deal with. And that ability to stay attached to the outcome, not get desperate for the deal, not get emotionally involved in the deal not get, you know, have oh, I have sunk costs, I spent so much time on this, I have to do the deal. That is a key point in mastery, is that ability to stay detached from the outcome of a preference, but equally good ultimately, either way.

george grombacher 10:28
Yeah, I could see where I can intellectually understand that, but then actually, really screw that part of it’s very, very human. And let’s, let’s, let’s round it out with equilibrium.

Corey Kupfer 10:40
Yeah, so the use for equilibrium. And so that is really applies. Like during the negotiation process, let’s say you’ve done all your great work, external internal clarity, you’re really there, you go into the negotiation, that places attachment, right, you’ve done whatever you do to get into that state, you’ve gone out for your run, or meditated upgrade, or did your analytics or whatever you do to get into that state, right? You know, talk to your mentor, whatever it is, okay? Now you go into negotiation. And it’s so easy to get thrown off, right negotiations are often a tense situation, high stakes, maybe, you know, the, the other side of the table says your company’s not worth half that, or, you know, I, you know, I need the product shift, and half the time that you can use it, you can do it, whatever it is, and you get triggered, right? You get triggered because your ego comes up, you’re upset comes up, maybe, you know, your desire to want to be liked. You know, it triggers you back to what your father or your mother used to criticize, you know, like, psychologists, psychiatrists, but you know, is when you, like you said about detachment, we’re human. So it’s so easy in the heated negotiation, you know, to get thrown off to lose that equilibrium. And when you lose that equilibrium, you lose your detachment, and you use, often even lose connection to the clarity, you’re like, what did I want, because you’re, you know, because you’re emotional. So the ability to maintain that equilibrium, during the negotiation is crucial. And I give some tips on that in the book, and I actually the last two chapters of the book of this tool called CPR contracts versus the results, which we may not have time to go into detail. But that’s a tool that actually helps you maintain that CDE, that clarity and attachment equilibrium.

george grombacher 12:22
I like it. I appreciate that, that makes a ton of sense easy to get kind of in the weeds or triggered whatever it might be. Also very, very, very human. So the desire to just figure out what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and keep doing your organic growth, do that. But there also could be opportunities to dramatically expedite that process through some kind of a deal. What are what are just to get into kind of the nitty gritty a little bit, what are some of the most common forms of deals that people are doing?

Corey Kupfer 12:59
Yeah, I mean, so listen to the ones people probably know most about are potentially raising capital, which is, you know, a deal that can really accelerate things, but but let’s be real, it’s only, that’s a deal that’s really only available and appropriate for a very small percentage of companies. You know, if you’re AI, tech startup, you know, that’s probably the merge going in. If you’re most of your entrepreneurial businesses, you’re probably never going to raise outside capital, you know, unless it may be from a strategic you know, an acting business partner or a family member or whatever, right. But that’s one kind of deal. Mergers and Acquisitions is another very common, it’s probably the deal we do most. And some misconceptions around that as they some people think it’s only huge companies with big capital, a lot of capital that do m&a. But there are plenty of smaller deals that are done, whether it’s you know, even without capital, whether it’s you know, bringing in a company and somebody gets a little bit of equity in, you know, in your company or some other relationship, or you pay it out of time out of cash flow. So those are done, but outside of the ones that people think of most licensing, if you have any kind of content, intellectual property, you know, that you produce, that’s often underlooked people, for example, who are consultants or trainers or things like that often tend to sell their time for money. Like I come in, I’ll consult for you, I’ll train your salespeople or whatever it is, and they’re always exchanging time for money. Now, I’m always looking for opportunities for people not to have to exchange time for money. So some of the some of the most successful trainers and consultants and speakers, in addition to their speaking of training also have licensing they do where they take their curriculum, they, you know, they and they license it to a company where they can then internally train on it. Or they have a follow up to their in person training. That’s a licensed program, okay, which may be online, for example, or whatever. And then you start to get you know, making that money. You know, that classic while you sleep, you know, money right? Well, you don’t have to leverage your time anyway. So licensing is underutilized. Joint ventures strategic alliances right Any kind of arrangement like I was talking about before, when you are looking for when you have something to offer a company, and they have something, what you can offer with that one plus one is going to equal three, four or five. We’ve had people that I’ve done deals for. And also we talked on the podcast to, you know, our experts in getting sponsorships, you know, or online affiliate deals, that’s a very common deal nowadays in the online space, where different, you know, quote, unquote, influences or just companies, whatever, have arrangements where there’s affiliate marketing arrangements. You know, I can go on I mean, I, we haven’t even gotten into, you know, real estate investment and deals, which is another type of deal in totally different area. But there are so many, you know, there are so many more, I mean, if you think about the concept of a deal being an arrangement with another person or company, that is not a sale, right. So that’s my distinction. Salespeople often call that sales, the ultimate, like judging that I’m just saying, that’s not the kind of deal I’m talking about. So it’s not a sale, it’s some other kind of arrangement that’s mutually beneficial. That’s the fundamental basis for a deal. And then we just figured out how we structure

george grombacher 16:07
a little bit. So I kind of opened by talking about how, you know, it’s better to do a little bit of this work on the front end to save yourself from some pain. What are some of the other things that you said, Geez, I really wish that people would do more of this or less of that.

Corey Kupfer 16:26
Yeah, well, I guess so. You know, with within the, this is a little bit of a deeper comment on a couple of things we talked about already. Within the deal making process, I wish that people would spend more time on why, right there, they’re doing the deal, or why they even let’s even go back to a more fundamental entrepreneur concept, even why they want to grow. Right? Even if it’s organically, right, I have just being any entrepreneurial, and you know, growth company mode for 35 years, whether it’s through my clients, friends, entrepreneurs, organization, I’ve been a member for a long time, and there’s always this, like this, this this fall thing in the entrepreneurial world, you gotta grow, right, you gotta grow. And growth is valued. And, and, and growth is often great, but I can’t tell you how many people that I’ve had, who have grown their companies and actually found that to be less satisfying, sometimes, right? And maybe not even making that much more money or any money, right? They’re more headaches, more problems, more people more, whatever. And they haven’t necessarily because they and often when that happens, it’s because they’ve been driven by the desire to grow without a deeper underlying why. Okay, and then they ended up growing in ways that are less profitable on the organic side that are not good deals, etc. So I wish people would spend more time on the underlying why of why they even want to grow. Is there a real reason do you really committed to serving, like, the only reason I want to grow is I want to serve more people, I know that my team and I do, you know, really great work for people, we have the strategic approach. And we and for me, when I look at helping our entrepreneurs grow, whether it’s through deals or otherwise, it comes down to me, like what motivates me is not their growth for growth’s sake, but the fact that we help them achieve their personal dreams goals, we help them send their kids to college, right? We help them create the lifestyle they want, we help them be able to, you know, give to the charities and do the you know, the good work that with a desire to make an impact. That’s what motivates me, okay, that’s something I can wake up for, and say, Hey, there’s a reason to grow because we can impact more people. So I’d love to have people more focused on that as opposed to growth for growth’s sake, so doing deals for the sake and, you know, look at what, you know, what their Why is what they’re really going to get out of it and end up in a place where when they do grow, there’s really greater personal satisfaction than some, you know, I would say this got an ego boost temporarily, which turns out to be ultimately dissatisfied.

george grombacher 19:02
I think that that’s such great advice right there. Because I don’t know if there’s a stigma around the idea of having a lifestyle business but just growing for the sake of growing and because you think you should have a bigger organization than then then you do is, to your point, sometimes a recipe for unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Cory, thank thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? Where can they pick up a copy of a copy of authentic negotiating?

Corey Kupfer 19:32
Yeah, thanks so much for having me on. Judge. Yeah, so the single point of contact, the best place to go is my general website, which is Cory kupfer.com. Co reykupfer.com. They can really get to everything on there. They can click through the law firm, which has its own website, couple law.com. But they can get to the, to the website, they can get to the book, they can get to the podcast, they can get somebody speaking. They can get to my social. You know, I’m at court cover on all socials But Korean cover.com was the main.

george grombacher 20:03
Excellent. Well if you enjoyed as much as I did so call your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Cory kupfer.com and coeykupfer.com Check out the deal quest podcast wherever you listen to your podcast, pick up a copy of authentic negotiating and reach out to Corey and his team. Should you have a question about putting some kind of a deal together or whether or not it makes sense. Any of that stuff. Thanks. Good, Corey. Thank you. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret
Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, or you’d like to become a Certified LifeBlood Coach or Course provider, contact us at Contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Please note- The Money Savage podcast is now the LifeBlood Podcast. Curious why? Check out this episode and read this blog post!

We have numerous formats to welcome a diverse range of potential guests!

  • Be Well- for guests focused on overall wellness
  • Book Club-for authors
  • Brand-for guests focused on marketing
  • Complete-for guests focused on spirituality
  • Compete-for competitors, sports, gaming, betting, fantasy football
  • Create-for entrepreneurs
  • DeFi-for guests focused on crypto, blockchain and other emerging technologies
  • Engage-for guests focused on personal development/success and leadership
  • Express-for journalists/writers/bloggers
  • General-for guests focused on finance/money topics
  • Lifestyle-for guests focused on improving lifestyle
  • Maximize-for guests focused on the workplace
  • Numbers-for accounting and tax professionals
  • Nurture-for guests focused on parenting
  • REI-for guests focused on real estate

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post