6 Ways I Use Finders Fees in Business
© Andrea Reynolds. Adapted from a newsletter article I wrote in 1984.

Are you turning away opportunities to earn additional income or benefits? Well, stop that.

One way to generate business is to offer finders fees.

If you're a consultant or professional, or own a business, and you have many business contacts, why not let those contacts earn rewards for helping you increase your business income? So long as there are no conflicts of interest and you're not violating your profession's code of ethics, you can generate goodwill by helping others increase their income as they help you increase yours.

For example, I'm looking to return to the world of public speaking again after a long absence. I'm willing to pay anyone 10%, 15% or 20% of my future speaking fees, depending on the degree of your involvement. (Higher fees for greater involvement.) If you're a member of organizations or a corporation and in a position to refer speakers, this could be lucrative for you.

If I'm offered a $2,500 speaking fee as the direct result of your referral (not a lead), and you actively promote me to the hiring committee or chairperson, You could earn $250, $375 or $500. And if I book another speaking engagement or private consultation as a result of that event, you'll receive an additional finders fee. As my fees increase so can yours... all for making one successful referral.

I've had nice people say, "No, I don't need compensation." But I learned something years ago from an expert on how to stop underearning, Jerrold Mundis,
"Don't say no to money." Why work for free? Karma is nice... but it doesn't pay the bills.

Finders fees are a small price to pay to have someone bring you a corporate account, a speaking engagement, or include you on a team for a large project that results in additional in income for you.
Giving finders fees creates goodwill in your community.


1. Here's my first experience with finders fees. Decades ago I gave a colleague a $70 reward for helping me land a short $700 speaking engagement with a prestigious company. He had already successfully negotiated a contract with the company and had the presence of mind to ask if they needed more speakers for their event. When they said yes, he handed them my brochure. That's all, but it got him 10% of my fee.

2. I gave finders fees to clients who brought me new clients.

3. I received a free photography session for bringing the photographer 5 of my clients.

4. I received a free hair cut after referring 4 continuing clients to a hair stylist.

5. I discount my fees to other consultants who invite me onto their client projects. Then they bill me out at full price, making a profit.

6. When I didn't have time to take on a new client or the work was outside my competency, I deferred the project to colleagues, and sometimes, even competitors, who agree to pay me a finders fee.

For a free tip sheet on how to structure finders fees arrangements to increase your income, send me your email address and I'll send you a PDF. It won't be spontaneous.

Copyright 2016-2017, Andrea Reynolds, All rights are reserved. Ask about reprints and licensing.