The Price Tag
Oh man, we just had to go with this at the very first, didn’t we? But yeah, as much as we want to deny it, the first thing they see is your rate. Whenever they post an opening, or asking for a consultant with these skills and experience, they’ll look at your rate first. It’s true. We had a case where we have an exceptional consultant, no doubt. We gave his/her anonymous profile to the client, along with the rate.
But the price tag was too high (still is though). In the end, the client settled for someone with a lower rate, albeit having to tolerate the lack of skill competencies and experience. So, are we asking you to lower your rate?
Only to a reasonable rate. Not too high, yet don’t go too low. Research the current market and don’t compare you to yourself. It means, maybe you had worked in the USA and made 4 times in earnings than you do here. But, when you want to work in Malaysia, or in any country for that matter, you have to adjust to the local market. Be stubborn, and you’ll be burnt.
Now we go to skillset, yes. You might think your skillset is very important (second only to your rate), and you’re right. In a post we wrote some weeks ago, SAP consultants cannot be a jack of all trade and master of none. And at the same time, don’t be just a master of one. If you know your specialisation, focus on developing your skill set in that area and constantly learn new things that can help you.
Have you ever seen in any job description, there’s a section written ‘having this and that skills will be advantageous’? Yes, this is when you can shine. Keep yourself up-to-date as SAP is a constantly evolving discipline.
Most of the time, when the clients browse through the consultants’ profile, the first thing they’ll look for is, do you have the skills they need? And maybe, if you seem like the right fit, they can live with your asking rate. But again, not too high, please.
Hahahaha…yes…. Ah.. communication skills… The thing we love to talk, don’t we? To become an SAP consultant is not easy you see. You start as a permanent worker, building your way up. So, what differs an independent consultant from a typical permanent employee? Yes, exceptional communication skills.
Of course, this is evaluated during the interview. It can be either a phone interview, or a face to face interview. But the one thing they’ll assess you on is your ability to articulate information and process them as well. How would you communicate all the technical alien thingy to the brass? To the common workers? How well you can explain to different groups of people shows your competencies to some extent.
Like they said, “if you can’t make a 6-year old understand, you are not doing it right”.
One of the biggest reasons why clients look for an independent SAP consultant is their flexibility and willingness to work in the environment as needed by the clients. For example, most of our consultants here are more than willing to travel regionally and even internationally. They have no problem going out of the country in a short notice and they are easy to handle. These kinds of consultants always win the hearts of clients, given if they have options; and they always do.
Another work preference such as willing to work part time or full time is also scrutinised by the clients. Not all projects require a full-time worker and vice versa. As an independent consultant, you cannot restrict yourself because if and when you do, so does your job opportunity.Having said all of that, do you agree with our pick? Nevertheless, those are things we got from our clients at least. If you aim to be a good consultant, and you want to get offers one after another, it might be wise of you to improve accordingly. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.