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Ongoing commission for a recommendation


Bit of advice if you don't mind. I have this client, he offers marketing to his clients I often do design work for him. He always wants me to drop what I'm doing for his work, which is always fairly low value. He has recommended me to one of his clients who wants some catalogs designing. Keep in mind I haven't even spoken to this 'potential' new client yet.

The marketing client has emailed me saying "I will be expecting some introduction and ongoing commission from this one mate." And he wants to talk to me before I speak to this 'potential' client.

Thoughts please...


Staff member
yeah no would be my response to that.... I'd maybe consider offering a 1 time 'bonus' for the intro if the work was worth it (he's likely said you're cheap) and that would be very small but ongoing commission he could take a running jump over,

If I'm honest I'd say he's trying to double dip the 2nd client as he's likely trying to get something from him too.
That had crossed my mind as well, the 'double dip' scenario. I'm pretty sure he would not of said I'm cheap as he has commented in the past that I'm not cheap. I would say I am average cost.

Only things is, I'm not sure how to respond to him now, I want to say "go f*** your self, you cheeky git", but that's just not professional. If I do get a nice bit of work out of it, I would have taken him for lunch, or at least brought a bottle of wine. But now I don't really know how to approach the situation…


Staff member
I would expect to pay a finders fee (maybe 20% of the first jobs profit) but I certainly wouldn't pay an on going % of every job.

If he's a cock about it, ask him when your % of his income will be arriving. After all, you found him all that work with the design work you did for him.
Seeing as you are dropping everything to prioritise his 'low value' work tell him he's been getting an x% discount for the last however long you've been working for him….so that can continue or you'll pay a % commission on the new work but HIS prices have just gone up the equivalent %!

Paul Murray

Staff member
Personally I've never paid a finders and, nor would I expect one for introducing a clients to one another. My experience of clients has been that they're normally more than happy to recommend you to their contacts (if they have a good relationship) once they know you're reliable.

This guy's being cheeky in my eyes, expecting an ongoing commission like some sort of agent. He clearly understands the amount of work involved and is trying to act as a broker to line his own pockets. This is not how I would do business, as it's almost certainly going to come back and bite you in the arse at some point. Is he expecting commission for everything you do for this client from now on? Probably, and the moment he finds out you've completed a job and he didn't get a percentage, the shit will hit the fan.

Perhaps ask for an introduction to the new client, and discuss the potential of a finders fee only if and when you're agreed a rate etc with the new client, though I suspect the chance of a meet will be off the table when you refuse a commission. He's probably holding this client close because he knows catalog work is a long process.

Honestly though, if I was in your shoes I'd be looking to cut the marketing guy loose at some point. If you don't need the work, tell him you're raising your rates (try doubling them) due to increased overheads and business costs. Try and meet this new client first though. They might not even be 100% happy with your marketing guy and could be looking to work with a designer direct, hint hint.