I’ve been part of negotiations related to agreements a few times now in my entrepreneurial career. I’ve been fooled a few times, made decent agreements a few other times.
The first indication that the other party wants to fool you is: they bring more people to the table.
The typical example is: you are doing a partnership agreement with someone and he brings in a person that he trusts to basically manage the relationship for him.
They might not tell you so, but 99% of the times this is done so that the other party has more people paddling in their favor. Now the power dynamics are on their side.
You are a team of 1, they are a team of > 1.
Don’t let this happen. Let just the ultimate decision-maker sit at the table with you (usually, it’s who signs the agreement).
I now catch when the other party is doing this every time and I subsequently offer a worse deal for them (my first deal is always the best).