Saturday, April 02, 2011

I launched a pretty interesting debate about job searches and finder's fee here:

The question basically is, "Would you pay 10% of your first-year salary to get a job?"

Below, I comment on some of the answers thoughtfully provided.


One person mentions that agents work in all kinds of areas (sports, show business, etc.) and that this is the real world.

I agree. With online social connectivity rising (600 million Facebook users and 100 million Linkedin users), more and more ordinary people WILL become agents (the money is just too good!).

I know this from personal experience, having made nearly $10,000 by simply connecting buyers to sellers for sales of nearly $200,000.

And I am NOT even an agent! I'm just a poor businessman! :)

Another person says that he's been using the finder's fee strategy successfully, and I checked his blog and he seems to know what he's doing.

He totally gets it that we do better when we help one another, and reward one another for facilitating business development.

A third person likens the finder's fee system to real estate, but adds that the agent does more work than just giving a seller a name.

Yes, I agree that the real estate agent does a lot of work and he certainly makes a lot more money that the average finders.

However, I want to clarify that GOOD finders don't just "pass along a name." They often recommend a person, and THAT goes a long way to securing the deal.

Furthermore, the finder's recommendation is only as good as the TRUST he had built with the prospects or buyers. Building that relationship could have taken months or years! That relationship building IS the real work.

This is why, when a friend recommends a restaurant, it works -- there is trust already between the two friends.

So the finder's program is about lending one's trust in order to facilitate a business transaction.

Think, for example, of Sean Parker (founder of Napster) and how he introduced Mark Zuckerberg to venture capitalists. Parker had the contacts and some trust. He was rewarded quite well by becoming a partner in Facebook. See the movie The Social Network for more details.

Another answer was that the suitability of a finder's fee system depends on "whether you can get the information yourself."

True, but I would add that there IS a cost (in time and money) to finding good information you can act on.

I will write more later on about how the CIA conducts intelligence gathering. You will be fascinated by their process.

The idea behind the finder's fee system is that you get the information SOONER, because your finders are your eyes and ears in the market.

All of a person's Linkedin connections CAN become his eyes and ears, BUT that requires that he first states WHAT information he is looking for, and HOW MUCH he is willing to pay for such information.

Indeed, it is naive to think that your Linkedin connections will work for you for free. After all, they are connection, not friends.

This doesn't mean that one's connections are bad or overly focused on money. They are simply people, and people are most motivated to do what will give them a reward.

The bottom line is that you can get a LOT of actionable information to advance your career or business, by tapping into your Linkedin network (which, hopefully, is more than 200 people). But you have to be ready to reward them in some way.