Have You Had This Happen?


After you have done a sterling job for a client they quibble over the fee because:

“You filled that role way too quickly.”

“That person was just sitting on your database.”

“You got that person from social media, we could have done that.”

…and other variations of the same thing all espousing that you don’t deserve the full fee because you or your team didn’t work hard or long enough; huh???

 Someone needs to remind these clients we are not competing for points in a diving competition with an added bonus for a degree of difficulty.


So What Do You Say?

 After you pick your jaw off the floor here are 7 Ways to Respond.

Some of these are interchangeable for the scenarios – but you get the drift!


1. You filled that role way too quickly so we have an issue paying you the full fee.


Thank you – I find that interesting, as normally filling a role quickly and efficiently is seen as brilliant service by our clients. In fact on many PSAs/PSLs time to fill is a KPI – the shorter the better.

Thank you – What appears to be us filling a role quickly is the culmination of years work developing our reputation, networks, systems, marketing, team and most of all our skill to bring you the best candidate in as short a time as we can.

Thank you – I am not sure I understand your logic though as we are not being paid by the hour.  We are being paid to solve your staffing problem as soon as is feasible. This logic suggests we should be penalised for solving your problem better than anybody else.


2. That person was just sitting on your database so we don’t feel a full fee is justified.


Thank you – In order to have that person and many others on our database we have invested thousands upon thousands of dollars to market to them since opening our doors.  And as I am sure you know, databases can very quickly become outdated, so we invest significant time and resources into keeping it up to date so we can find the right talent for you when you need it.

Thank you – When we take a brief, searching our database is just one strategy in a series of initiatives to find you the best person.  So what may look quite simple on the outside, is part of a far wider strategy.

Thank you – It is one thing having someone on the database.  It is something quite different building a trusting relationship with them over time and taking an interest in their career so you can identify the right vacancies for them and advise them appropriately.


3.You got that person from social media etc, we could have done that.


Connecting with the person is just the first step. I could search LinkedIn now and bring up 20 names for you. The problem is, not everybody is interested. Great candidates are also very sceptical and over being contacted.  Some of them get up to 20 approaches a day!  So what you are paying for isn’t our skill at finding you a name, it is our skill in being able to cut through the market noise and knowing how to communicate with candidates to make your role stand out to them.


I hope this gives you a few ideas for the next time this happens to you…


Thanks for Reading!




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