July 23, 2018

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The $210,000 Placement Fee

Iíll never forget how I closed what earned me my biggest fee. But what I thought was a whopper of a fee pales in comparison to the one I heard about when I was doing training for one of my clients, a large search firm in Florida. The president, Jim Boghus with Corporate Search America, shared with me what it was like to close his biggest fee ever: a $210,000 placement fee.

Probably the biggest lesson I took away from his story was that it confirmed how important emotion management is in our wacky business: "I knew not to get too excited once it started getting closer to closing. And even after that I knew not to get too caught up in it because things can always fall apart at the last minute."

The concept of managing emotions must be a mastered core competency and is critical to avoid the ups and downs of our unique industry. If youíve been a recruiter for at least a day, youíve probably figured out that itís an emotional business. In fact, you can experience every single human emotion in the course of a day when you work a desk.

Here are five tips to staying off the wild ride of the emotional roller coaster and maintaining your sanity:

  1. Understand that your self image is not based on what you bill. This is heresy among some folks in our industry, but you are not what you produce. Your self worth is not dependent upon success or monetary achievement. If it is, then you will lose focus and lose balance on whatís really important and find yourself alone in the twilight of your career singing, "Is that all there is?" Stay grounded and never forget where your strength really comes from.

  2. Know that all deals can fall apart at any time, at any part of the process, no matter how nice the players are in the game and no matter how good your relationship with them. "I give you my word, Scott, Iíll never take a counteroffer. I swear to you I will not." Guess what, Ronnie the candidate took the counteroffer when his employer flashed the prospect of a big fat raise and when his spouse pressured him to take it. You never really have total control of the candidate so donít get deluded into the Ďcandidate controlí myth. Recognize what variables you can control and master those, and influence the ones that you cannot.

  3. Keep your funnel full and draw a line and mentally shove this deal which seems to be closing to the side and donít even think about it except when you need to work on it. Work on the new business and the new candidates and the new interviews. Does it really matter if one deal falls apart when you have seven more in line? Do you think you will relate differently to the candidates and clients if you donít sound so desperate?

  4. Do what you need to do to properly close the deals and keep them closed. (I have an audio resource on this part of the process. If you are interested email me and Iíll email you back the details, .)

  5. Just like Scarlet said, "After all, tomorrow is another day." Things fall apart? Now you have rock-solid information on yet one more way how not to close a deal. Leverage this incident to make a buck off of it. Edison always looked at his failures as educational experiences. If he didnít then you would probably be reading this by candle light.

Never forget that your success in this business is a derivative of your service to others, and just like my training client who made this incredible fee, he earned every penny of it in the value that he provided to his client.

-Scott Love

Copyright © 2005 Scott T. Love Scott Love improves the performance of recruiters and the margins of search firms and staffing agencies. His training website,, has become one of the largest free internet training sites for the industry. To have him show your staff how to produce more than they thought possible, call him at 828-225-7700.