Book a call

Totally Not Finder’s Fee

Industries are diverse, and their local variations are even more so. Each of these is likely to have many unspoken rules and conventions, signals of being the “real deal”, “in the know”, or some other expression of belonging to the in-group that can be trusted.

These can and will include rules on what is and is not done with your pricing, discounts, rebates, finder fees, billing, bonuses, performance-based pay, etc.

For example, a client was horrified by my suggestion to stop volunteering discounts i.e. offering discounts before being asked to do so (generally, a bad idea). What I didn’t know is that, in her industry, most sales went through middlemen, who always asked for a regular invoice along with a discounted one, then billed the end client for the full amount and pocketed the difference.

There was no actual discounting taking place, it was just a euphemism for a finder’s fee, something that is nominally considered “impolite/predatory” in that industry. After I heard that, I got it. Declining to pay the finder’s fee would get her without any new work an instant, and so she should continue volunteering “discounts” in order to keep the lights on until a better way can be adopted.

It doesn’t really matter what the client calls something, as long as you understand what it really is you have the option of humoring them without letting that disrupt good business practice.

Like this article?

Subscribe to my new newsletter and get them weekly delivered directly to your inbox, no spam whatsoever!