How would you reply when clients bargained for a lower rate?
Thread poster: Leo Young

Leo Young  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:39
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jun 22, 2012

I met such a client who asked for knock-down in a suave and mild way when we confirmed the rate after I had filled out the the form of personal information and passed the test.

Do you have met any such thing? I wonder how you would reply and tackle this condition if you have.

Thank you advance!

Leo


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xxxchristela
Oh yes. Jun 22, 2012

I met them. Nothing new. But in the past they phoned me, now they are on the internet. I just stay that the services I deliver have this price. I don't like bargaining.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Just say no ... Jun 22, 2012

It's simple - just politely say no. If you wish to elaborate, you can point out that if you agreed to a lower rate you might well then have to decline other offers at your normal or a higher rate, which would not make good business sense.
Best wishes,
Jenny


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I wouldn't be there Jun 22, 2012

Agencies who ask you to fill in loads of personal information and do a test before they'll talk about rates ALWAYS try to knock you down on rates. I have never found one who was willing to accept my rates, so it quickly became clear that it was just a waste of time and effort. Even when I accepted their rate (as happened a couple of times in the early stages), there were so many hoops to jump through (online systems that didn't really work, a different PM every 5 minutes, complicated invoicing procedures, followed by silence beyond the payment deadline) that it was never a happy experience.

Nowadays: 1. agree on rates and payment terms (30 days maximum); 2. offer me a real job with real money at the end, and then; 3) I MIGHT do a small test (250 words absolute maximum).

Sheila


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
"I have enough clients who pay the rates I ask for" Jun 22, 2012

I explain that normally I have not enough time for all the jos I am offered anyway, so I have to select the interesting ones and turn down the rest.

You could work out the rate you need to earn per hour, and remember the hours when you are invoicing, updating your CAT, sleeping, eating, living . (i.e. your required income divided by rate-earning hours), just to have a figure to quote at them.

There is a rates calculator under Tools on this site.

I am afraid it won't help much, because they will always say they can find another translator willing to work for their rate, but you can then wish them luck and close the conversation.

Don't let clients push your rates down. You risk the situation Sheila describes, while the serious clients are prepared to pay for quality.

And NO discounts for large volumes. You still have to handle them, and at the same time find a way of keeping your other clients happy while you work on the big project. So you may have to turn down better-paying jobs or outsource...

The short answer is 'it's bad for business'.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Treat it like any other negotiation Jun 22, 2012

Leo Young wrote:
I met such a client who asked for knock-down in a suave and mild way when we confirmed the rate after I had filled out the the form of personal information and passed the test. Do you have met any such thing? I wonder how you would reply and tackle this condition if you have.


There is nothing you can do except hope that your efforts weren't for nothing. This client feels that the price you agreed upon initially is not the final price and is still negotiable. Note that this is not a sign of dishonesty -- read your books on cultural differences in business and you'll see that what the "final agreed rate" is not the "final agreed rate" for others in many cultures.

All you can do is stick to the amount you had initially agreed upon. Tell the client in a firm but polite manner that you had interpreted the negotiated rate as the final rate. Tell him that you regarded the fact that he had given you a test as confirmation that he accepts your rate. Then hope for the best.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Too true Jun 22, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Agencies who ask you to fill in loads of personal information and do a test before they'll talk about rates ALWAYS try to knock you down on rates. I have never found one who was willing to accept my rates, so it quickly became clear that it was just a waste of time and effort. Even when I accepted their rate (as happened a couple of times in the early stages), there were so many hoops to jump through (online systems that didn't really work, a different PM every 5 minutes, complicated invoicing procedures, followed by silence beyond the payment deadline) that it was never a happy experience.

Nowadays: 1. agree on rates and payment terms (30 days maximum); 2. offer me a real job with real money at the end, and then; 3) I MIGHT do a small test (250 words absolute maximum).

Sheila


I'm afraid I couldn't add anything to this, as effing and blinding is not permitted on site.


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Nikola Traživuk  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 22:39
English to Serbian
+ ...
I would try to keep calm Jun 22, 2012

And respond that the offer is unacceptable. But, there are some really stubborn people who don't seem to understand no matter how many times you try to explain them, and then you simply ignore all their other comments. It's pointless..

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:39
French to German
+ ...
Nice approach Jun 23, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

Leo Young wrote:
I met such a client who asked for knock-down in a suave and mild way when we confirmed the rate after I had filled out the the form of personal information and passed the test. Do you have met any such thing? I wonder how you would reply and tackle this condition if you have.


There is nothing you can do except hope that your efforts weren't for nothing. This client feels that the price you agreed upon initially is not the final price and is still negotiable. Note that this is not a sign of dishonesty -- read your books on cultural differences in business and you'll see that what the "final agreed rate" is not the "final agreed rate" for others in many cultures.

All you can do is stick to the amount you had initially agreed upon. Tell the client in a firm but polite manner that you had interpreted the negotiated rate as the final rate. Tell him that you regarded the fact that he had given you a test as confirmation that he accepts your rate. Then hope for the best.



Nice approach and I would try it this way too as I can related to Samuel's hint as per cultural differences (even in the same country).

Furthermore there is no need of getting upset or to escalate matters as it doesn't help.


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Leo Young  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:39
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Learn to communicate with clients Jun 24, 2012

Thank you all for your suggestions!

It seems it is not common to have a such thing. There is a way to deline the bottom rate in a polite way and, ideally, explain the reason. In another way, it is best to confirm the rate before things going on.

Thank you again!

Leo


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SEA-words  Identity Verified
English to Italian
+ ...
I don't waste time filling forms... Jun 25, 2012

...I ask first if they are ok with my rates, then I can invest 15 mins to read, fill-in, sign and scan all of their paperworks.
I wasted too much time in doing so just to end up listed as a 0.03 USD/word translator in their huge database where everybody is listed at the same rate.


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