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Poll: Do you offer a lower rate to attract a new client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:45
SITE STAFF
Nov 14, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you offer a lower rate to attract a new client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Miroslawa Jodlowiec. View the poll results »



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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
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Spelling mistake Nov 14, 2016

I thought that Proz Staff monitored the polls before publishing them...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Spanish to English
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No Nov 14, 2016

Not nowadays. Maybe ten years ago, but even then only for a good reason. My rates are low-to-average enough already.

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Member
German to English
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Does not make business sense Nov 14, 2016

It depends on your personal situation, but it does not make sense to lower your rate to attract clients. You'll be stuck on that rate for a while. I would only consider dropping my rates if I did not have enough work. I tend to offer higher rates to new clients, so that I can move up the income chain or not work as much.

On a related note, an agency asked if I was interested in working with them last week. I sent an email in reply with my CV and rates. The owner then asked me to fill in an online profile for the agency and notify her when I had completed it. I took time out from a busy schedule at the weekend to enter my info. I then notified her and she promptly wrote back to ask me if I would reduce my rates with the old chestnut that she could give me more work that way. Infuriating.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:45
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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No, never! Nov 14, 2016

New clients are always welcome but I’m not actively looking for them and I would certainly not attract them by lowering my rates. If you start with a low rate it will be harder afterwards to come out. Will that client follow when you'll raise your rates? Probably not… Most of my clients have come to me via word of mouth and in general they already have a rough idea of my rates.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
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No Nov 14, 2016

I am not the Lidl or the Asda of translation. I am the Waitrose, if not the Fortnum's, of translation.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:45
Member (2006)
German to English
Same here Nov 14, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:

New clients are always welcome but I’m not actively looking for them and I would certainly not attract them by lowering my rates. If you start with a low rate it will be harder afterwards to come out. Will that client follow when you'll raise your rates? Probably not… Most of my clients have come to me via word of mouth and in general they already have a rough idea of my rates.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 14, 2016

As others have already mentioned, it makes very little business sense to do so. It's a bit like shooting yourself in the foot.
Perhaps a mantra every translator should learn from day one is: My "best rate" is what's best for me.


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Bora Tasdemir  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 23:45
Member (2012)
English to Turkish
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I have a lowest rate and I say no! Nov 14, 2016

I say no to everyone who wants to pay lower than my least rate. They often say "it's a regular work" or "big amount of work", then I think "Is it less important to translate when it is regular or big amount of work?" and say no! Many companies receive good amount of money from the clients but they are not eager to give it - just a tiny bit of it. These kind of companies are generally "unsuccessful" ones and they are destined to be "unsuccessful"!

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:45
English to Spanish
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Define “lower rate” Nov 14, 2016

Some companies use the buzzword “competitive rates” as the rate to get more work from new clients. Then they ask us to offer them our “most competitive rates” in a Proz quote.

But to speak of a lower rate in any event requires a comparison. I'm sure that my customary translation rates are always going to be lower than somebody else's (especially those who preach the gospel of translation wealth by premium clients).

Some of us would love to have just a fair rate, adjustable by inflation, to attract bona fide clients and work like that for as long as we live. But in reality, most of us have to negotiate, renegotiate, discern among good and poor customers and learn to acquire and retain business by wise choosing. All of this takes time, trial and error, several failures, some loss of money and opportunities. But that's life for any sentient and intelligent lifeform. Including us.


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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 18:45
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
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I did in the past... Nov 14, 2016

But after seeing how hard re-negotiating standard rates can be, I don't do it anymore.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:45
Member (2009)
English to German
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Common practice? Nov 14, 2016

Ian Jones wrote:

On a related note, an agency asked if I was interested in working with them last week. I sent an email in reply with my CV and rates. The owner then asked me to fill in an online profile for the agency and notify her when I had completed it. I took time out from a busy schedule at the weekend to enter my info. I then notified her and she promptly wrote back to ask me if I would reduce my rates with the old chestnut that she could give me more work that way. Infuriating.


For this reason I always ask for a confirmation of my rate first. There's no sense in being in some agency's data base twiddling thumbs. Or, even worse, keep getting emails from them because their platform provides no potion to delete one's profile there.

[Edited at 2016-11-14 12:52 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No Nov 14, 2016

I have my clients, but obviously new clients are always welcome, but two requirements:
1) they pay earlier than others (which means same rate)
AND/OR
2) they pay more

Sorry.. they pay less is not included in the options


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:45
English to Portuguese
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Did it in the past; not any more Nov 14, 2016

Luiz Barucke wrote:

But after seeing how hard re-negotiating standard rates can be, I don't do it anymore.


Years ago bottom feeders contacted me for proofreading/editing. The translations they had were so appallingly bad, that I felt absolutely sure they had been rejected by the end-client, and this was the reason they were hiring me.

I did my usual work, and the end-client probably told them to keep that quality level. So they offered me actual translation jobs, however they said it was impossible for them to afford my rates. So I did a one-off promo at THEIR rates, as long as the job were not large in size. I made it clear that if they wanted to continue using my services, all ensuing jobs would be at MY rate.

I thought they had never seen acceptable quality being delivered right away.

For the record, NONE of these bottom feeders ever bothered to lift their game. A few - after so many years - still send me job offers at despicable rates.

Hence, from my experience, lowering rates does NOT attract any client worth keeping.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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No, nay, never... Nov 14, 2016

I do look at the type of job, and if I can see it will be relatively straightforward, then I do not quote the same rate as I would for an intricate insurance document or a long rigmarole of medical Latin that has to be checked and double checked all through.

I aim to deliver quality if I take the job on at all, so clients must then pay me to do it properly. I'm not sure about Waitrose and Fortnum, but like Chris S. I simply don't compete on price.


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