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Poll: How many of your current clients have asked you to lower your rates?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:37
SITE STAFF
Mar 21, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many of your current clients have asked you to lower your rates?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Lopes. View the poll results »



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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 16:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
One, a Spanish ministry Mar 21, 2016

Have been working at this rate for about three years and now they suggest bringing it down. We'r e a bit deadlocked but they continue to use the translations I provide so I'll be interested to see how they deal with my next bill, because I haven't brought the price down.

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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 16:37
French to English
+ ...
In general, none. Mar 21, 2016

But a couple of my customers (agencies) have asked for a discount on specific projects for specific reasons. Normally, and if I want to do the project, I make a counter-offer half way between the discount they are asking for and my normal rate and this has always been accepted. I make it very clear that this discount only applies to the specific project in question.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
One, but... Mar 21, 2016

One did, so I put them on my non-priority list. I rarely if ever do anything for them now, but don't consider it any great loss. It's not worth fooling around and wasting time with bottom feeders. New clients come along all the time.

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xxxIlan Rubin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:37
Russian to English
If they do it's the wrong client Mar 21, 2016

Some clients will value your particular skills and some won't. But it's far better to work for those that do value you, as this creates a stronger long-term relationship, mutual trust, and so on.

If they value you they won't ask you to lower your prices. So if they ask you to lower your prices it's a sign they don't value you and you should find a client to replace them.


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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:37
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
One Mar 21, 2016

One agency some years ago. They were having financial difficulties and asked very politely if I could lower my rate. I told them I couldn't, and that I understood completely if they would stop using my services. I received the nicest reply and am working with them still.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:37
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
None of them Mar 21, 2016

The other way around: when I became aware that one of my long-standing clients (a regional organization) was having serious financial problems, I proposed a slightly lower rate…

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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 16:37
Member (2005)
English to German
None of them Mar 21, 2016

The ones who tried are no longer my clients.

And wow, did they hang on for dear life. Client lowers rates. I run. Client persecutes me to the point of phoning my landline and mobile several times in one day. I run faster. Client bombards me with emails. I go into hiding. Dude, if translators are so cheap (and have so little self-esteem) that you can arbitrarily lower their rates, just take those translators please and let me go paint my cellar instead.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:37
French to English
Not easy Mar 21, 2016

If a previously good client is going through a rough patch, it may they are on their way out, that their business is about to fold. If that is the case, then lowering the rate will not make much difference. In this instance, I prefer to suggest maintaining the rate and suggest payment facilities. A client that cannot pay will not be able to pay with a lower rate. A client that is having difficulties and with whom an honest relationship has been developped will generally pay is they can, whatever the rate.

I prefer to protect the flow of income as best as possible. The simple fact is, that if a client's fortune improves, at what point do they consider saying "it's ok again. You can bring your rates up again". No yoyo with the rates, getting paid is the real problem. So in my experience, it's best to take steps to be paid in staged payments than at a lower rate and possibly never at all, if they are having cashflow problems.


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 16:37
Member (2005)
English to German
With Nikki Mar 21, 2016

I have accepted payment in installments without interest, for an agency that needed this (and I knew the owner in person so I knew the issue was genuine). But that's a whole different kettle of fish ...

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:37
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
A couple Mar 21, 2016

But usually I decline.

It looks like a lot of agencies think they have to compete with other agencies by lowering their prices. But I tell them that this is not the way forward, it will just spiral down the whole industry.

In my opinion, if they cannot make it just by offering good service, good quality and standard prices, they had better fold.

[Edited at 2016-03-21 11:17 GMT]


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Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:37
Member
English to German
+ ...
None of my current clients Mar 21, 2016

because if they ask me to lower my rates,
they will have to look for somebody else ...


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Els Peleman  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 16:37
Member (2006)
French to Flemish
+ ...
None of my current clients Mar 21, 2016

All my clients know that quality has a price. But I have to admit that the first one, is expected: I made a quote for a huge translation and I don't think the client realises how much work it is (and so what will be the price).

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
None Mar 21, 2016

I work with direct clients who periodically inquire among other things about 'our business standing,' (including my rates) but no begging or nagging. Furthermore, they correlate my local rates with dollar rate and try to encourage me.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:37
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
None Mar 21, 2016

In fact, once I have established a reputation as a decent translator with a new client, I negotiate for a rate increase. They generally accept - but then there is no guarantee that they're going to give me work at either rate, anyway.

Six months ago one client actually voluntarily gave me a 30% increase and the jobs I'm getting are getting bigger by the month.


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