Sounds like this "vendor" wants to be your "partner." Do you know you don't want to explore working with them more intimately? (In which case maybe the question's more about who to work with, rather than how to work with them.) Otherwise, how could that not be a good discussion to have, if done in a way focused on intentions and with an open mind about the best strategy to do it? If nothing else, you might find a better way to align yourselves together than the initial idea.
Maybe start from what you're each looking for for the relationship to be a success. Find overarching goals that integrates that. Explore some means to align compensation to that goal--it might not be just revenues; maybe there are some quality indicators as well. And/or maybe you want to put some constraints to protect you both (although I'd caution on overengineering that type of thing).
I'll confess a bias in this answer. Part of it comes from 10 years doing incentive design 25 years ago in my career, so I'm always looking for ways that people can better align their interests. The other is my own practice: I figure I have the capacity to work with about 100 clients a year, so each client represents 1% of my earnings potential. For most clients, my fee structure is: I charge 1% of their earnings. That's pretty unusual, so take my response with a grain of salt!
Is this answer helpful? Schedule a free consultation with Mark.
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