Here is a recent exchange between myself and a potential client in the fee negotiation phase after presenting a candidate. I open to any thoughts or discussion of this piece.
Thank you for your interest in using our services to recruit a physical therapist for your practice. Please fax the signed agreement to the number below and let us know when will be a good time to follow up to learn specifics about your offering. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Joe Bob or myself.
Here is the revised agreement that I adjusted to meet your needs for pay out and my needs of cash flow. Please sign and fax to XXX-XXX-XXX and we will present our candidate and arrange an interview.
Thanks for re-sending the fee agreement. Everything is comparable with the exception to the fee. So far the agreements that I have signed have been at 7500 or 10% of the first years wages. I will be more than willing to sign for 15k agreement after our first placement with this introductory fee. The reason is that I am expanding, to possibly my 3rd clinic in three years scheduled for 2nd quarter of 2010. With that said, I will be an ongoing customer once a relationship is established. I have never used a recruiting company in the past, so I have no relationships at this point. I would like to establish one as I do not have the time to personally recruit the way I use too.
Let me know if you can work on that number for this first candidate. I understand either way.
I know that you would like to bring us down to the level of other company’s agreements; naturally you want us to be at a level you see as the going rate. Our position is this: We already have a client in the area that we have worked with repeatedly who will pay a flat 10K fee. That level fee is too low for our expectations so they are the last company we will present an available therapist. We have not marketed this candidate to any other practices in the area. I’m confident that I can bring this candidate to 3 or 4 practices with 20-30% fees. This is an opportunity for you to have first dibbs on a rare available therapist in your area. I believe that you can handle the fee structure we discussed and initially agreed to keep you in this position with the candidate. We absolutely do not want you to pay our fee unless your absolutely want to pay our fee. We are a company that is all about delivering candidates and not necessarily having the lowest fee. Please advise.
Thanks for your consideration and patience. As much as I would like to meet your candidate, I cannot make the numbers work for my business. You probably do more work for larger companies and thus your decision to hold fast on your fee. I understand, however would like you to consider that smaller business are larger in number and may end up being a larger and more profitable portion of your business if explored. I don’t want to hold you or your candidate up any longer so please take advantage of the others in my community who are also in need of your services
Again, thank you for your time and if you should consider some type of compromise, I would be happy to speak to you again.
I apologize but I typically talk with clients when finalizing fee agreements. I know that you are busy seeing patients and cannot always be available by phone. First of all, I spoke with the Career Consultant who discovered the candidate in question. He told me that he specifically recruited for Physical Therapists in your town when you agreed to our 15K fee. He thought that you had already sent back the agreement. This consultant worked toward that fee as opposed to other 12.5-14K fees for PTs he could have worked on in other cities. So, this is a let down for the Consultant who drove to deliver a candidate to you and he succeeded. I hope you understand. Nevertheless, The consultant and I agreed that it appears you sincerely would like to work with us so we are willing to compromise. If you would like an exclusive opportunity to interview our candidate, I’ve revised the attached agreement to a flat 10K fee. If you sign it, fax it and then call me to discuss the position you are trying to fill, we can arrange an interview within the next 48 hours. I will cease any efforts to arrange another interview with this candidate until after your meeting and the candidate’s consideration of your offering. Please accept this offering as our final compromise for this candidate and we will extend this fee structure throughout our future business dealings.
I was excited to get your call and look forward to do business with you and the consultant. I am sorry for the consultant feeling let down, but I promise as I grow my business, I will be a very loyal client. I am attaching both of the last two agreements that you sent me. The reduction in fee is perfect, the payout however was changed from the prior agreed upon 90 day term. If you would correct, we can get this thing put to bed and get started.
I need the payout to be at 30 and 60 days. We will guarantee our candidate for 90 days. You see how quickly we get to work for you. I want to get this PT ready to go, excited about your opportunity so that both of us get the results we are looking for. The window of opportunity to work with ‘open’ PTs is short, please sign and let’s get the candidate to you. If after meeting with the candidate you do not want to pay this fee, then you do not have to; make sure bringing this PT on will be worthwhile for you to want to pay our fee. Just let me know right away so that I may be able to get this person out to other practices. Please advise.
Sorry I didn’t get right back to you last night, as I was excited to get started to work with you however I needed to go back to my numbers one more time to make sure that I could afford the change in payment term. I reviewed my numbers and as much as I would like to jump on this and believe me I would, I would be remiss. I know my cash flow and it would do your company or mine any good if I could not pay you per our agreed upon term. Please do not hold this candidate up any longer, let him interview with the others. I appreciate your candor and I will certainly keep you in mind in the future if cash flow changes or if need changes.
Thanks Employer, let me know when you are in a better position to pay a 10K fee, 50% after 30 days and 50% after 60 days. We will still guarantee our candidate for 90 days.