When Clients Ask for Discounts, Ask Them ... Why?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:22
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 7, 2016

When Clients Ask for Discounts, Ask Them ... Why?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271105


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Slobodan Kozarčić  Identity Verified
Serbia
English to Serbian
+ ...
Good tips May 7, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

When Clients Ask for Discounts, Ask Them ... Why?

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271105


Nice. Will use that in my price negotiations.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 21:22
German to English
+ ...
trouble in translation is... May 8, 2016

.... that the kind of client who wants a discount doesn't ask for it, but typically demands it, and if you ask why they will have an answer. "That's my budget." "All the other translators charge the amount I'm asking to pay." The writer is dealing with end clients rather than middlemen. I've rarely had an end client ask for a discount, btw, it's always been agencies trying to have a competitive edge against other agencies on our dime.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 04:22
English to Russian
+ ...
There is more than one way to skin... a budget May 8, 2016

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

trouble in translation is that the kind of client who wants a discount doesn't ask for it, but typically demands it, and if you ask why they will have an answer. "That's my budget." "All the other translators charge the amount I'm asking to pay."


Forget the nastiest ones without regrets, and for the more reasonable ones, the following scenario with some variations happened to me a number of times:

Day 1: As above:
PM: That's my budget.
Me: Sorry, I will pass, this is below my minimum price.

Several days later:
PM: Would you be able to edit/proofread the text we were offering you for translation the other day?
Me: Maybe, can I see the translation?
PM: Here you go.
Me: This translation is really poor. I would cost you $X to correct it.
(or: This translation is so poor it can't be reasonably fixed, the only way is to redo it from scratch)
PM: Sorry, we don't have the budget for that, either.

In several more days:
PM: The end client is really dissatisfied with our translation and has returned it. Would you do it if we pay your price? But we need it by yesterday.
Me: Sure, what about the rush surcharge?
PM: I am really sorry, this is really beyond our capacity, but if you make an exception this time, from now on you will be our translator of choice, and we'll pay your normal fee every time.


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:22
Member (2014)
English to German
And ... May 8, 2016

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

trouble in translation is that the kind of client who wants a discount doesn't ask for it, but typically demands it, and if you ask why they will have an answer. "That's my budget." "All the other translators charge the amount I'm asking to pay."


Forget the nastiest ones without regrets, and for the more reasonable ones, the following scenario with some variations happened to me a number of times:

Day 1: As above:
PM: That's my budget.
Me: Sorry, I will pass, this is below my minimum price.

Several days later:
PM: Would you be able to edit/proofread the text we were offering you for translation the other day?
Me: Maybe, can I see the translation?
PM: Here you go.
Me: This translation is really poor. I would cost you $X to correct it.
(or: This translation is so poor it can't be reasonably fixed, the only way is to redo it from scratch)
PM: Sorry, we don't have the budget for that, either.

In several more days:
PM: The end client is really dissatisfied with our translation and has returned it. Would you do it if we pay your price? But we need it by yesterday.
Me: Sure, what about the rush surcharge?
PM: I am really sorry, this is really beyond our capacity, but if you make an exception this time, from now on you will be our translator of choice, and we'll pay your normal fee every time.


do you make that exception and does that work for you?


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 04:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Exception May 8, 2016

do you make that exception and does that work for you?

Gabriele, if the client isn't too arrogant, I may do that - at least it has worked for me before: one huge international agency is now giving me plenty of work at my prices (sometimes with rush surcharges) after I forewarned them of possible quality-related problems with the client.

Forgot an important point: it's helpful to explain them patiently that paying more to get a better translator will not only mitigate their risks with the client, but will also save them quite a bit of money on editing/proofreading, as it will now take a fraction of the effort required to fix cheap work.

[Edited at 2016-05-08 09:07 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Those who want a discount and those who just want a low price... May 8, 2016

The company where my husband worked had customers with different approaches to pricing. Some just wanted the lowest possible price, and others insisted on discounts. Most of the products were tailored to customer's requirements, and so prices varied.

The finance department calculated the price they needed for a given consignment, and for customers who wanted the lowest price, that was what they charged.

For customers who insisted on a discount, the finance department added 3% or 5%, and then gave a discount, so that the final price was what the company needed.

Think where you set your basic rates.
Your final price may still be above the client's budget, but if they are focusing on discounts, setting the basc rate higher is a possible approach.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 10:22
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Tricky way of agencies May 9, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

When Clients Ask for Discounts, Ask Them ... Why?



Some translation agencies came back to me and said my translation quality was poor although they accepted my translations in job samples. They are basically tricky to demand discount or nullification of payments without obvious evidences. Those agencies work for English - Thai language pair etc.

In fact, they have no in-house Thai native translators.
I wonder how they judge the translation quality without prejudices.
Yes, Proz.com recently restricts how to write the troublesome agency names in its forums or fora.

Soonthon L.


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:22
Member (2014)
English to German
@ Anton May 9, 2016

Thanks, I suppose if you have gone all that way with them it might work, and I see that you translate in some very specialised fields, which would make it more difficult to find someone who knows what they are doing.

I suppose in my fields the competition is harsher, and agencies soon find someone else who will do it without rush charge/out of hours charge. Well, I don't like rush jobs and mostly turn them down, but in my experience clients avoid out of hours charges by giving just enough time to do the job in working hours. How many of such jobs I then take on on a Friday is really up to me.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 11:22
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Interesting read May 9, 2016

I like it that the article isn't about "When Clients Ask for Discounts, Tell Them ... No." It has a lot to do with whether you have an existing, positive relationship with the client, how reasonable the negotiations are, and whether they themselves are flexible when you ask them for something.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Good points May 9, 2016

Lincoln Hui wrote:

I like it that the article isn't about "When Clients Ask for Discounts, Tell Them ... No." It has a lot to do with whether you have an existing, positive relationship with the client, how reasonable the negotiations are, and whether they themselves are flexible when you ask them for something.


There are definitely ways you can give discounts to good clients and still charge a realistic rate for your work.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:22
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
ah well there are discounts... and there are discounts... May 9, 2016

... you can tell them that they can pay full price for this translation and they can have a discount next time they have a job... (that is the *repeat business* discount, which is usually the way it works...

... you can have the *introduction discount* if YOU want to attract new business and introduce them to great quality (a bit risky, because they will expect low prices. discount for all repeat business as well..

And you can have *friends discount* , but that means they will have to bring you 2 bottles of whisky every time they send you a new job / visit your country / every x-mas or something else friends do regularly...

and then there are discounts for *repeats* when they provide you a *good TM* and even for *quick /immediate payment*

Having discounts also means having surcharges for *after hours*, *weekend work*, *rediculous volumes/deadlines*, *bad quality originals*, *strange formats* (extra work on PDF) and *stupid questions* (are you sure this is how you translate it because google translate says this)... and after-market proofreading, modification of the changes made by the end client.... etc...


---
Ed
Translate.ED


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
English to Japanese
+ ...
Doesn't work for me anymore May 9, 2016

Gabriele Demuth wrote:

Anton Konashenok wrote:

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

trouble in translation is that the kind of client who wants a discount doesn't ask for it, but typically demands it, and if you ask why they will have an answer. "That's my budget." "All the other translators charge the amount I'm asking to pay."


Forget the nastiest ones without regrets, and for the more reasonable ones, the following scenario with some variations happened to me a number of times:

Day 1: As above:
PM: That's my budget.
Me: Sorry, I will pass, this is below my minimum price.

Several days later:
PM: Would you be able to edit/proofread the text we were offering you for translation the other day?
Me: Maybe, can I see the translation?
PM: Here you go.
Me: This translation is really poor. I would cost you $X to correct it.
(or: This translation is so poor it can't be reasonably fixed, the only way is to redo it from scratch)
PM: Sorry, we don't have the budget for that, either.

In several more days:
PM: The end client is really dissatisfied with our translation and has returned it. Would you do it if we pay your price? But we need it by yesterday.
Me: Sure, what about the rush surcharge?
PM: I am really sorry, this is really beyond our capacity, but if you make an exception this time, from now on you will be our translator of choice, and we'll pay your normal fee every time.


do you make that exception and does that work for you?


I have been in a similar situation many times, but when I first started out, I didn't have a shred of doubt and did jobs for clients mentioned above. However, I soon realized that they 99% NEVER came back. I don't think there were any quality issues, since nobody has ever complained in such situations. The remaining 1% came back offering me a job, but tried to persuade me by doing a second job with the same rate as the first one. Their excuse was "you charged us xx Euros/USD per source word the last time, so I thought your rate was xx Euros/USD".

So I decided not to accept any jobs by lowering my price and with promises of paying me the rate I charge the next time on because I simply cannot trust them anymore.


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