Mobile menu

I'm terrible when it comes to quoting/negotiating :(
Thread poster: LukaszPL
LukaszPL  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:00
Feb 6, 2006

Hello everyone.

Being a rookie in the industry, I sometimes happen to come across major and minor difficulties, which, I hope, is normal...
Today I discovered that I feel bad, when I have to ask for an extra fee for my work (I charge extra when I'm asked to do over 3.000 words per day)OVER THE PHONE OR IN PERSON.
If I ask for a $100, and they say 'no more than $65', I usually agree for, say, $70-75, when I know that the hundred would have been well-deserved...

How to deal with the stress of dealing with clients? I know I should limit myself to be only an Internet-based enterpreneur, but sometimes direct contact is unavoidable:( Is this normal at an early stages, or should I go get a treatment?...:)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:00
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
The Art of Negotiation (and Standing Up for Yourself) Takes Time Feb 6, 2006

I don't think it's particular to this profession; I think some people just have a hard time asking for money and I know I can be like that sometimes too (but I'm in recovery). The bottom line is: you will learn. When you haven't slept in a week because you promised a client that you'd do more words than any normal human could handle, you will no longer want to work for less than you deserve. When you feel like you alone are supporting the coffee industry, you will stand firm. When you realize that there are decent clients out there who will pay you what you're worth, you will have no problem turning down the ones that offer you a penny per thousand words. Hang in there!

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kirsty Mason  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
German to English
Direct Contact Feb 6, 2006

LukaszPL wrote:

..I know I should limit myself to be only an Internet-based enterpreneur, but sometimes direct contact is unavoidable:( Is this normal at an early stages, or should I go get a treatment?...:)


Slightly OT, but I am interested to know why you think this? I always thought that telephone/other direct contact was a good thing and showed professionalism, as well as building trust and putting a "voice" to your otherwise anonymous name. I value telephone contact with clients and hope they appreciate talking to me from time to time. Is this normal?

As for negotiating, at the start it is always hard but I'm with LSabadosa - it will come in time, gradually you will get more clients, more work and you end up in a stronger negotiating position where you don't mind saying no. Once you have some good clients and a feel for what is a realistic rate, set definite limits and stand firm - tell yourself that you absolutely won't work for anything less than X price (with possible exceptions of Y or Z situation).

Keep at it and good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
I usually ask Feb 6, 2006

for "as much as possible." Rather than sell myself too cheaply. It's amazing what some clients will offer. Both on the upside and the downside. And no, I won't work for 4 US cents a word!

Direct link Reply with quote
 
LukaszPL  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:00
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your replies everyone! Feb 6, 2006

I'm not sure why is it happenning to me...I know it's going to be virtually impossible to build a carreer without speaking with potential clients, so I DO hope it'll pass...

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
German to English
+ ...
I'm terrible when it comes to quoting/negotiating :( Feb 6, 2006

Kirsty Mason wrote:

I always thought that telephone/other direct contact was a good thing and showed professionalism, as well as building trust and putting a "voice" to your otherwise anonymous name. I value telephone contact with clients and hope they appreciate talking to me from time to time. Is this normal?


Absolutely.

Marc


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Kirsty Mason  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
German to English
OK, realized what you meant.. Feb 6, 2006

Kirsty Mason wrote:

I always thought that telephone/other direct contact was a good thing and showed professionalism, as well as building trust and putting a "voice" to your otherwise anonymous name. I value telephone contact with clients and hope they appreciate talking to me from time to time.


OK, on second reading I guess you mean that if you get so nervous, maybe you should stick to Internet contact.. Hmm, keep trying the direct route as well though to build your confidence - after all, practice makes perfect!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:00
English to Polish
+ ...
That's a good point Feb 6, 2006

Benno Groeneveld wrote:

for "as much as possible." Rather than sell myself too cheaply. It's amazing what some clients will offer. Both on the upside and the downside. And no, I won't work for 4 US cents a word!


I've also tried that technique, and it works . Provided, of course, that with time you learn to say "Oh, for that sort of money you must mean proofreading only?"

[Edited at 2006-02-06 18:08]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 06:00
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Weekend rates Feb 6, 2006

Don't worry about gaining confidence in asking for rates. It is like swimming; you can only get better at it.

After a year and a half, I finally insisted on weekend rates for a client who called on Friday afternoon. It looks like that will be my policy in the future. Try it. If they need it by Monday, they'll pay you!

Stephen Rifkind
Hebrew/French/Russian to English


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
either that... Feb 6, 2006

Stephen Rifkind wrote:
Try it. If they need it by Monday, they'll pay you!



...or the deadline will extend miraculously

Best luck,

Susana


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:00
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You need to develop a good negotiating technique Feb 6, 2006

Iza Szczypka wrote:

Benno Groeneveld wrote:

for "as much as possible." Rather than sell myself too cheaply. It's amazing what some clients will offer. Both on the upside and the downside. And no, I won't work for 4 US cents a word!


I've also tried that technique, and it works . Provided, of course, that with time you learn to say "Oh, for that sort of money you must mean proofreading only?"

[Edited at 2006-02-06 18:08]


Hi Iza, I'm going to say that next time, because I have noticed that proofreading paid at proper rates can command only a penny per word less than some folk are offering for translations.

I have found out by now that you need to get into a position to negotiate - keep doing the work as carefully as possible, giving it 101%, and, if people want more of the same, they are going to, in time, have to get used to paying more for it...

I'm not good at negotiating either, so I prefer to make people want the goods, and then raise the prices if they want to keep on having them. It's one way, at least.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michał Szcześniewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:00
English to Polish
+ ...
don't worry Feb 6, 2006

Hi Lukasz,

I know exactly what you're tallking about. I have similar problem, but I'm working on it and getting better:)

IMO, first thing you need to remember is that it is even harder to ask for higher rates once lower are already in place. Re-negotiating is much more difficult (at least in my case). So, go for it from the very start!:)

Next thing consists in the fact that our work as translators/interpreters has a 'certain value'. Some say that 'the value of my work depends on how much I can get a client to pay me' - true, but there always is a certain 'mean value' that we should stick to (there are of course differences, since we all have our own financial expectations etc.). In other words, set yourself a minimum price and be consistent about it! Also, set clear rules like e.g. 'weekend translations are charged extra' and let your clients know about it plus let them know that you value yourself!

I note that common clients (common meaning not very sure what translating is really about) expect you to work (almost) for free because quote 'C'mon, that's not a problem for you, youd know the language, right? Just (sic) re-write it into English, ok?'

Since we work hard, using our fingertips and brains (or the other way around really), we need to be remunerated properly. If a client cannot understand this simple fact, well... just let him find somebody else. And believe me, they DO return willing to pay what seemed to be 'too expensive' just two days before.

That's it for me:)
Going back to work, but charged extra for the night-time;)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
consider this Feb 7, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:
I'm not good at negotiating either, so I prefer to make people want the goods, and then raise the prices if they want to keep on having them. It's one way, at least.



I'd say this is an impeccable negotiating technique

The more I educate myself on this topic, the more I understand negotiating is rarely about rates (at least at the outset). What you are trading is value, quality and expertise, and your price is the reflection of these factors. Focus on these factors, and let the client convince themselves that your work is worth the investment.

All best,

Susana


Direct link Reply with quote
 
LukaszPL  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:00
TOPIC STARTER
Dear Michal Feb 7, 2006

Michal Szczesniewski wrote:

In other words, set yourself a minimum price and be consistent about it! Also, set clear rules like e.g. 'weekend translations are charged extra' and let your clients know about it plus let them know that you value yourself!

)



well... this advice sound perfectly reasonable. I just hope that my clients are professional enough to start treating me like that as well...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michał Szcześniewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:00
English to Polish
+ ...
some will, some won't Feb 7, 2006

well... this advice sound perfectly reasonable. I just hope that my clients are professional enough to start treating me like that as well...[/quote]


I had doubts in the beginning: "will I not scare clients off? will they accept my terms having so many other translators just round the corner?" etc.
Some of the clients are professional and they will definitely value the work you deliver (that's professionalism in my opinion). Others will not, but at the end of the day - do you really want to work with non-professionals?;)

Sometimes it's hard, I know. I'm also relatively new to the business and still looking for more&more clients. But I'm also long enough to know that eventually it's better and more rewarding to work knowing that the rates are really acceptable for you.

Professional clients are aware of the fact that quality costs. And that's it. Your role is to "pick up" such clients from among the rest:)

Cheers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

I'm terrible when it comes to quoting/negotiating :(

Advanced search


Translation news





Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs