Fee negotiations. Fun stuff, eh?

You finally connect with a manager that seems to need your help. You think you’ve done a good job “not” sounding like an idiot. Though the position was a little outside of your comfort zone you held on nicely. Your questions seemed to spark quite a dialogue: What projects will this person work on? How big is the team? Tell me about your company………why do you LOVE working there? What are the types of companies that seem to have the best candidates? You know – all the questions you think will help you establish your credibility BEFORE you let them know your fee is………..(drum roll please……..)

30%. Or maybe you start at 25%. Either way – you think you’ve executed your work flawlessly and hope they’ll say “OK”.

But that doesn’t usually happen, does it? Not from what I see and hear.

“We have a policy of 18%”. Or “All our vendors have agreed to a cap of 15%”

Damn! And you were so close!

So what do you do? How do you reply to this one? This is one of the 60 second periods of your day or week that GREATLY impact your income for the year.

Rather than suggest a canned reply (there are hundreds – and I’ve heard them – and tried them – all) let me ask you something: What makes you believe you should charge more than the others who have come before you? You might think “Well – must be the other agencies aren’t providing the right candidates. They NEED me!”

But guess what? No they don’t. The other agencies ARE getting it done. Turns out – you’re just asking if you can play too! So now what? You better change your thinking on this one. You aren’t the best. You don’t have the greatest candidates. You have no “secret stash” of top talent. The guy in your inbox is also on your competitors desk. Know it. Live it. Deal with it.

What service do you provide which you think commands a higher fee? Have you spent much time thinking about this? If so – have you DONE anything about it? If you haven’t – I’ve got news for you – you don’t deserve a higher fee……..

Since this is my blog I’m going to tell you what I do that is different. Very different. I know with certainty that NONE of my competitors provides the service I do. When I introduce someone to my client there is a play button on top of each resume. When they click it they get to LISTEN TO THE CANDIDATE describe their background and skills for the job. Their own words. Their own voice. Not the recruiter paraphrasing what the candidate said. No “sales pitch” added. Just the candidate. Right there on the play button. Nothing to download. No passwords. Nothing. Just the resume AND a play button. Here’s an example. This tool saves my clients time. It gives them a far greater idea of WHO the person is – far beyond buzzwords on a resume. I deserve a higher fee – because I provide a higher level of service.

Yes my service is different. Very different. If you would like to see how Verbal Summary works – I’d love to show you. It doesn’t cost much – and gives you an entirely new discussion to have the next time a client says NO to your higher fee……


3 thoughts on “It’s Time to Talk About Your Fee

  1. Jerry,

    Some day, the “play button” will become the norm. You are way ahead of the game and have something great to offer. How have your hiring managers responded so far to the almost live resumes? I was very impressed with the job description you sent me – not your traditional JD, the audio of your conversation with the hiring manager is gold to a sourcer or partnering recruiter who can not be present for the initial meeting with the HM.

  2. Okay, so @animal is right…”you rock” is lame. I liked the post……I was busy trying to make a placement……and I wanted to let you know I read this and liked it.

    Let me tell you what I really think about you Jerry. I have spent 37 years in this business. I would rather have a root canal than work with some of the recruiters I’ve encountered over the years. If we were in the same disciplines I would work with you.

    I have some strong opinions about how we should do our job. So do you – and so far I’ve agreed with most of the ones you’ve expressed in your posts. I read this one and laughed….it’s so true…compared to you most of us have nothing different to offer. Start using your “Verbal Summary” or stop saying you’re different. It is an outstanding way to present your candidate.

    Oh, one other thing – You need a plenty of self-confidence to do this job successfully. Think you’ve got that part nailed.

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