Poll: How many budgets that you prepare are accepted by your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

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Local time: 21:29
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Apr 1, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many budgets that you prepare are accepted by your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mercè Pallarols. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
How many what now? Apr 1, 2016

I suppose by budgets the query means "estimates". My clients work to a budget. They ask me for an estimate, to see if it fits their budget.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/estimate.html

So, now that we've cleared up that minor distinction, I can reveal that my clients don't usually bother asking for an estimate - they know my rates and other business practices are applied fairly. However, on the rare occasion when they do ask for an estimate, they invariably accept. Last night I prepared an invoice for one client who requested an estimate for a translation job in January. The initial estimate was for 3500 words, but in the end the total was only 2900. I adjusted the invoice in consequence in favour of the client, although I could quite as easily just have submitted the bill for the originally estimated amount. I mentioned this in passing when sending the bill, so that the client remains aware of our good relationship and hopefully recommends me to colleagues, should the occasion arise.

[Edited at 2016-04-01 08:29 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:29
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Apr 1, 2016

Budget (?) or do you mean quote?

I generally do not have to quote jobs because my regular customers know my terms and seeing as we have been working with each other for years, we tend to trust one-another.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 13:29
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
I can't remember Apr 1, 2016

The last time I submitted an estimate to a customer.

Customers provide me with the details these days, and I either accept or decline. I might negotiate for a higher rate depending on what it is I'm being asked to translate. But never estimates or quotes.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other - It depends on the "client" Apr 1, 2016

I'm taking this question with a grain of salt, on account of the wording used.

In Portuguese, "budget" and "cost estimate" use the same word, "orçamento".
The line dividing "customer/client" in English doesn't exactly overlap the same drawn between "cliente/freguês" in Portuguese.
My street-smart Spanish is not enough to make such inferences.

  • Technically, someone who always rejects my estimates will be a prospect forever.

  • Another one who accepts my estimates only now and then should be a customer.

  • And a true client will only ask me for an estimate to make sure that they calculated it correctly using my rates, to avoid jolts later. Some are just too busy or too lazy to bother doing the math.

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  • Teresa Borges
    Portugal
    Local time: 05:29
    Member (2007)
    English to Portuguese
    + ...
    Other Apr 1, 2016

    My customers know my rates and I can’t remember the last time one of them asked for an estimate...

    I have submitted quotes to potential clients, some are accepted, others not...


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    José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
    Brazil
    Local time: 01:29
    English to Portuguese
    + ...
    On clients knowing our rates Apr 1, 2016

    Teresa Borges wrote:

    My customers know my rates and I can’t remember the last time one of them asked for an estimate...


    My clients know my rates too, however many of them are either too lazy to count words or unsure of the numbers they get from it. Only one knows exactly how much it will cost before they hire me.

    For video work, I developed an e-questionnaire that would let them DIY my own cost estimate calculations automatically, and yet, not even one client - who incidentally did herself everything that I do - was able to answer those ten simple questions properly.

    [Edited at 2016-04-01 12:09 GMT]


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    Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
    Local time: 06:29
    French to English
    Budget? Apr 1, 2016

    It is the client's job to manage his budget. It is mine to prepare a quote (the price for which I am offering to do the job) or an estimate (the price I consider it may be possible to do the job for).

    The distinction between quote and estimate is important. As a rule, once a quote has been signed, then you are bound to do the job for that price, as long as the client too honours his part of the agreement in terms of volume etc. An estimate is just that : the price you think you may be able to do the job for. Conditions may change for you ; it may take longer, for example. Conditions may also change for the client ; he may not have completed the original version but wishes you to get started to gain time. Once a quote has been agreed to, it should not change, although amendments/codicils can be added if both parties agree. Once an estimate has been signed, the parties agree that the price given is based on the information known at the time, but that certain elements may change.

    I answered "most" as most of the quotes I give are accepted, but not always. Sometimes, particularly for interpreting jobs, the client has underestimated the cost of the service and will go without or go elsewhere. I can sometimes round down, or consider other travel arrangements to reduce costs. However, for this type of job, if travel is required, I take time to track down the cheapest solution. Clients do sometimes underestimate the cost of a translation but as a rule, they know my rates. If it is a new client, the client has generally come by word-of-mouth and they have been advised of the rates. Then there are regular clients I've been working with for years and in that case, the request for a quote or an estimate is a formality. I generally never get started on a piece unless the agreement has come back, even with these regular clients. It may be a formality, but they can still decide not to accept.

    [Edited at 2016-04-01 18:20 GMT]


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    Maxi Schwarz
    Local time: 23:29
    German to English
    + ...
    the other side of "budget" Apr 1, 2016

    As the last poster wrote, we provide quotes, and clients are responsible for budgets. An end client may indeed have a budget - a new immigrant, not fully established, trying to make ends meet for example. Though oddly enough, end clients always seem to accept and pay for a fair price. The other kind of "budget" is where a translation company / agency competes against rivals by promising a low fee to their end client, and that low fee is stated as being their "budget". My agency clients ask me what me fee is, THEN create their fee for their client, and when the client accepts the fee, THEN get back to me. The "budget" which is the money available for the translation is generated via the quote by the translator.

    If an agency wins against another agency by quoting lower, then I do myself a disservice by adjusting my quote to that kind of "budget", because effectively I am helping undermine potential better clients.


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    Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
    Brazil
    Local time: 01:29
    Member (2014)
    English to Portuguese
    + ...
    Quote or quotation, not "budget" Apr 2, 2016

    Almost all quotes I submit to clients in Europe and North America are approved.

    Quotes I submit to clients in Brazil are never accepted by local agencies, which all pay peanuts (no exceptions), and are sometimes accepted by direct clients.


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    Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
    United States
    Local time: 21:29
    Member (2003)
    Spanish to English
    + ...
    Other Apr 2, 2016

    Like others have said; my regular customers either know my rates or pay rates that can't be changed. As for prospective clients, some of them think my rates are too high for their budget - so we don't enter into a relationship.

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