Opinion: Finders fee or not?


Through a business networking group "business friend of a business friend", you are introduced to a prospect who is interested in your services. The person who introduced you has never met you, but works with another provider who you are close with and stands to gain business if you successfully engage with the prospect.

Question is - is the person who introduced you entitled to a finders fee? Is one customary in this "networking" type engagements? If so, what rate is applicable?

Adding additional backgrounder info:

Relationship Map
prospect <-> S1 <-> S2 <-> me


  • S1 knows Prospect via a networking group
  • S1 has a business relationship with S2
  • S2 has a business relationship with me


  • S1 is a service provider to S2
  • S2 works with "me" on various engagements


  • Prospect, S1 and S2 had a preliminary meeting
  • S2 asked me to participate in a followup meeting to cover technical issues
  • Prospect, S1 and S2 and I were present in followup meeting.

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asked Jan 29 '10 at 14:13
6 points

4 Answers


Personally, I prefer to get the good karma points over a fee when making a connection for someone. I would even find it a tad insulting if someone mentioned it. That said, any genuine appreciation that you could show is always well received. Taking the time to send someone a hand written note can go a long way.

answered Jan 29 '10 at 16:48
Doug G
446 points


I would prefer to acknowledge the role S2 played in this whole game. For me it doesn't matter what was the value of the 'deal', what's more important is that S2 'MADE It HAPPEN' for me. In the long run, establishing, maintaining and nurturing business relationships is of utmost importance. If I have dealt with S2, for me it's important to connect at a personal level, too. As a result I would definitely know the nature of S2. If S2 would find it insulting if I offer monetary returns, I'd definitely compensate in some other way which would be of equal (or of more) value to S2 as I got from this introduction. And it could be as simple as connecting him with 'his prospect'. (Of course tea,drink etc. should happen occasionally even if S2 had not connected you to S1 or 'the prospect')

answered Feb 12 '10 at 21:47
Sandeep Satavlekar
325 points


A lot depends on the 'value' of the connection. How much you make from the contact? How much future business could rely on the 'connections' good graces.

A thank you note at least, an offer of a shared drink. An offer to buy lunch. A check.

Good Luck

answered Jan 29 '10 at 14:22
A Business Mentor
215 points
  • how much is unclear - probably a one time multi-month development engagement. Without a doubt, some sort of thank you is in order here, but i'm stuck on the what is considered proper retribution. – User2396 14 years ago


It would depend on the nature of how the connection itself was made. If the person introduced you in passing, for example, mentioning that you should meet Joe, who may need your services, and then walks off, then a thank you note would suffice. If, however, they take the trouble to establish your credibility with Joe, and help you establish a trusted connection, then something more should be considered.

answered Jan 29 '10 at 14:55
4,692 points

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