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Making You The Star Witness In Fee Collection Cases

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May 5, 2014
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

Ever since we developed the Fee Collection Star Witness Questionnaire, we’ve helped tons of recruiters collect their well-earned fees.

There’s a remarkable similarity in the cases. While various legal theories may be used, the judge or jury is the “trier of facts.”

Facts. That’s where the game is won or lost. The bottom line is you must show you earned the fee. This is quite different from merely showing you made the placement, since there is a perception in the mind of the general public (including judges and juries) that a few phone calls and a little luck make them happen. These folks are invariably salaried, so they relate to effort rather than results.

Since you’re in a results-oriented business, you probably have forgotten all the time and effort you expended in making the placement. It all seems so routine and unimportant, but the court must hear it. All you need is a way to recall and organize the information.

Presenting the Fee Collection Star Witness Questionnaire:

1.         QUALIFICATIONS

a.         What formal training in placement have you had?

b.         What are your professional credentials?

c.         How long have you been in the placement business?

d.         What is your background in placement?

e.         What is your specialty?

f.          What is your background in the specialty?

2.         JOB ORDER AND FEE AGREEMENT

(For each of these, know the date and time required.)

a.         How did you learn the client was looking for someone?

b.         Who did you speak to regarding openings?

c.         What else did you discuss?

d.         Who gave you the job order?

e.         How many conversations did you have?

f.          What did you say?

g.         What was the response?

h.         What were the specific words used?

i.          Who else did you speak to regarding the opening?

j.          What did you say?

k.         What was the response?

l.          What were the specific words used?

m.        Did you confirm the fee?

n.         Who did you speak to regarding the fee?

o.         What did you say?

p.         What was the response?

q.         What were the specific words used?

r.          Did you send a fee schedule?

s.         Did you receive any response?

t.          Did you confirm it was received?

u.         Who did you speak to regarding its receipt?

v.         Did you negotiate a different fee or guarantee?

w.        What did you say?

x.         What was the response?

y.         What were the specific words used?

3.         RECRUITING

(For each of these, know the date and time required.)

a.         Did you use your office files to locate candidates?

b.         How many leads did you find?

c.         Who did you call first?

d.         What did you say?

e.         What was the response?

f.          What were the specific words used?

Repeat Items “c” through “f” for each lead called.

g.         Did you use research materials to locate candidates?

h.         Which ones?

i.          How many leads did you find?

j.          Who did you call first?

k.         What did you say?

l.          What was the response?

m.        What were the specific words used?

Repeat Items “j” through “m” for each lead called.

4.         SEND-OUT ACTIVITY

(For each of these, know the date and time required.)

a.         Who was the first candidate you sent for an interview?

b.         Where did you locate him/her?

c.         What did you say?

d.         What was the response?

e.         What were the specific words used?

f.          Did you identify the client?

g.         What did you say?

h.         What was the response?

i.          What were the specific words used?

j.          Did you discuss the job order?

k.         What did you say?

l.          What was the response?

m.        What were the specific words used?

n.         Did you arrange an interview?

o.         What did you say?

p.         What was the response?

q.         What were the specific words used?

Repeat Items “a” through “q” for each candidate called and each

interview arranged.

5.         FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITY AND FEE AGREEMENT

(For each of these, know the date and time required.

a.         Did you discuss the interview with the candidate?

b.         What did you say?

c.         What was the response?

d.         What were the specific words used?

e.         What was the conclusion?

f.          Did you discuss the interview with the client?

g.         Who did you speak to regarding it?

h.         What did you say?

i.          What was the response?

j.          What were the specific words used?

k.         Did you confirm the fee?

l.          What did you say?

m.        What was the response?

n.         What were the specific words used?

o.         Did you confirm the fee schedule was received?

p.         Did you negotiate a different fee or guarantee?

q.         What did you say?

r.          What was the response?

s.         What were the specific words used?

t.          What was the conclusion?

u.         Did you send another fee schedule and confirming letter?

6.         REFERENCE CHECKING ACTIVITY

(For each of these, know the date and time required.

a.         Who was the first reference you called?

b.         How did you locate him/her?

c.         Was the reference favorable?

Repeat Items “a” through “c” for each reference called. Don’t

reveal details of the conversation(s).

7.         CONFIRMATION OF PLACEMENT AND BILLING

(For each of these, know the date and time required.)

a.         How did you learn the candidate had been hired?

b.         Who did you speak to with the client regarding the hire?

c.         What did you say?

d.         What was the response?

e.         What were the specific words used?

f.          Did you send an invoice and confirming letter?

8.         FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITY

(For each of these, know the date and time required.)

a.         Did you call the client after the candidate was hired?

b.         Who did you speak to with the client regarding the hire?

c.         What did you say?

d.         What was the response?

e.         What were the specific words used?

Repeat items a through e for each conversation.

f.          Did you call the candidate after he/she was hired?

g.         What did you say?

h.         What was the response?

i.          What were the specific words used?

Repeat items f through i for each conversation.

We recommend you use the Questionnaire as a trial preparation guide. Then your attorney can ask you the questions when you’re on the witness stand.

. . . ’cause now you’re the STAR WITNESS!

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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