New to the CP industry?
Perhaps an old dog in the protective services world but want to get with the times?
Here’s our basic guide to being as successful as you can when negotiating a contract with any clients you are fortunate enough to be able to acquire.
Know your worth, and know what sort of rates you can ask for without pricing yourself out of the market.
Case in point: I have a client who shared with me an anecdote; a couple of months back, he wanted an operative for a job in one of the countries within the Indochina district.
He turned to a British person living in the region who possesses a UK qualification in CP.
The individual in question quoted upwards of USD1,200 a day for his services!
What do you think my client did? He went straight to Atlas and contracted one of my best operatives for a job with a Fortune 500 company!
Now I’m not going to tell you how much we charged them, but it was NOT to the tune of USD1,200 per day.
How do you know when you’re pricing yourself out of the market?
FIRST TIP - KNOW THE MARKET
You’ll need to find out what the going rate is for operatives within the region you live in. Look at job adverts, find out what local companies are paying for operatives, and then look at the type of qualifications and experience the jobs are looking for.
SECOND - KNOW YOURSELF
Knowing what the market is paying and what it requires is one thing, but you need to know yourself, and what you are worth (without being too arrogant about it).
Yes, we all know that you earned four hundred pounds sterling when you were living and working in England and will “hit the roof” if you are offered ANY LESS than that (how dare they disrespect us expats!), but you’ll need to do a bit more research on the going rate within the region with your experience and qualifications.
Some clients will ask for dual-lingual capabilities – for example, we’re working on prepping operatives who can speak both English and Mandarin/Cantonese for some high value jobs in China, but not everyone can do this.
Not just that, you’ll need to understand what sort of rates companies are willing to pay, and whether you are doing a job on behalf of a company who will then upcharge your rates to their clients.
THIRDLY - BE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE
Now I’m not saying that you should accept lower than market rate, but consider the following factors:-
1. Is the client local (to the country of the operation)
2. Is the client cash rich?
3. Is the client a company or an individual?
4. What is the current rate that they are paying? (Do not be afraid to ask).
Everyone wants to be paid the highest rates they can ask for, but coming from personal experience negotiating some major deals between Atlas and Fortune 500 companies, I can tell you that your clients aren’t stupid; they’ll know what sort of rates are being offered in the region, for a certain sort of individuals.
And if you can’t prove that you are over and above the rest of the competition, you will be hard-pressed to find any client who wants to touch you with a 10-foot pole for the price you are asking.
FINALLY – CONSIDER REGISTERING AS AN AD-HOC OPERATIVE WITH AN AGENCY
I am always on the lookout for individuals who speak good English and possess the SIA/International Close Protection qualification for our clients.
The nature of our work, and the fact that we deal mainly with British and American businesses means that our clients will demand nothing less than the best when it comes to professional standards and qualifications.
Every single operative of Atlas WILL possess the SIA/International Qualification as well as an accompanying first aid certificate.