How to ask a client about raising my rates?
Thread poster: Omnia Abulgar
| Find new clients first || May 28, 2013 |
It's probably not a good idea to burn bridges (which shouldn't be the case but often is), before building others. You don't want to end up getting stuck with no work because your existing clients don't agree with the price hike.
I would find some new clients and ask for the new rates you've established.
I would wait for work to start flowing in from these new clients.
I would then inform existing clients that, although you've tried to freeze prices and have succeeded in doing so for the past three years, due to increased costs you are obliged to raise your rates from X date to X.
You might also want to explain the added value that your length of experience will offer so that you end on a positive note.
This gets around the fact that you've said previously that you were happy with your rates (there's nothing stopping circumstances from changing in that respect) but is still forthcoming enough to avoid damaging relationships.
| | Olga Adler
Local time: 21:56
English to Russian
| not for everyone at once || May 28, 2013 |
It is always hard to 'talk money' with clients. I faced the problem several times. Maybe you would find my experience useful.
First of all, do not raise the rates for everyone at once (unless you have your fixed rates posted somwhere conspicuous). You need to 'feel' your client database. Do not raise the rates for newest clients because the few jobs you've did for them so far will seem a bait or a marketing trick. Raise the rates for the clients who've been working with you for a long time and are happy about the quality, so they would hardly ask 'How come?...' Should they ask for the reasons you can say that you are receiving many new job offers with higher rates and to keep on translating at old rates would be counterproductive.
Whatever your reasons are, be ready to lose some clients. It happened to me too. There are people who simply can't afford more expensive services or always hope to get better quality at lower price. That's why you should't raise the rates for everyone - to avoid the risk of losing the greater part of your clients overnight.
You can still offer some benefits to your most loyal customers like discounts for large volumes etc.
[Edited at 2013-05-28 13:12 GMT]
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| | Russell Jones
Local time: 02:56
Italian to English
| A suggestion || May 28, 2013 |
It may not be possible in your case, but I try to give my clients a lot of advance notice about an increase in rates. That way, there is less chance of them dropping you from their list immediately and if your proposed rate is untenable they are more likely to contact you beforehand to say, for example, they won't be able to offer you as much work as before.
| Also look up similar earlier threads || May 29, 2013 |
This topic is frequently discussed and there are many earlier threads with good advice. Do look them up too.
Basically, you need to do it gradually, first securing the bird in hand before going for the bird in the bush.
Do a little research and find out what the market rate is for your language pair (the rate calculator of proz.com can help) and peg your rate at about the average rate for your language pair. Then for every new client quote this rate. When you have sufficient number of new clients at the new rate, you can gradually phase out older (and troublesome) clients who refuse to accept your new rate.
| | Omnia Abulgar
Local time: 04:56
English to Arabic
| Thank you dear colleagues || May 29, 2013 |
I am really grateful to every one who replied to my post. Some pieces of advice were eye opening and practical. You also gave me alot of details and I love details.
Thank you for taking the time to answer me and for the thorough replies.
Thank you Proz .com fir the wonderful wrb site
| Some thoughts || May 29, 2013 |
Whatever you do, keep a good relationship with the client.
– 'grass speak' as we call it in Poland (marketing/sales junk lingo that doesn't even seriously pretend to be true or natural)
– white lies (both for ethical reasons and the fact that bad faith in negotiations may lead to damages in some jurisdictions)
- burning bridges.
Also, you don't want to lose a client who believes your translations to be of excellent quality and is actually open enough with you to tell you how much has been paid to other translators in the past. I'd rather cut complainers first, myself, even if they paid slightly more. Also, with that kind of opinion about you, they might give you referrals, which is the best way to get new clients.
When you need to justify a raise, you don't need to justify indexing for inflation or higher costs of living. You may want to start from there.
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How to ask a client about raising my rates?
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