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August 10, 2006
Four Steps to Negotiating Higher Fees
by Scott Love, Principal

About six months ago, I was marketing a senior vice president of business development who was one of the top producers in his industry. He had personally brought in several hundred million dollars of business last year, and was making a move because of some leadership issues in the boardroom. He was a hot prospect who would make millions of dollars in net profits for his next employer.

I found a possible company who was interested in him. I called the CEO, explained the candidate's background and motive to move, and the CEO seemed very interested in meeting with the candidate.

Time for the fee. Inhale. Hold breath. Pause for four counts. Exhale. Relax. Okay, now go. I said, "The way our fee structure works, Bob, is that if you hire this candidate, my fee is thirty percent of his first year guaranteed compensation. And if you're okay with that, I'll email his information to you and follow up with you tomorrow to set up a meeting between the two of you."

"Thirty percent?...Ouch!" he said with a dramatic groan in his voice. "I can't believe you're charging thirty percent when everyone else I am dealing with is charging twenty or twenty-five percent!"

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Article Feedbacks

  1. Comment by Terry L. Stallcup  (August 11, 2006)
    Ultimate Consulting,

    I really applaud your article - I love selling value and do not apologize for price - quality and value our key.

    Thank you,

    Terry L. Stallcup
    Ultimate Consulting, Inc.

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