A few days ago, a client for whom Dagy had done a few small projects requested a quote for a legal translation. He wrote that his budget was XYZ euros. Dagy did the math and it turned out that the actual price was three times as much, plus 20% tax. She sent a friendly e-mail, explaining to the client that it is not the client’s budget that determines the price, but the length of the source text. We’ve said this before, but here we go again: you are the service provider, and you determine the price. Don’t panic when potential clients claim they have a budget of XYZ: it may just be a random number. And don’t take it personally (we chose long ago not to). For many people, haggling is a sport. We understand, because we do it all the time when buying Mexican handicrafts on the street. But then, we are not street vendors, but a professional business. Since Dagy was having a good day, she offered a 7% discount in exchange for payment up front, pointing out to the client that she was giving him an exceptional discount usually reserved for long-time clients with large translation volumes. She didn’t hear from the client for a few days and since it was supposed to be an urgent translation, she concluded that the client had decided to forego the translation
To her surprise, a few days later, she received an e-mail from the client’s accountant, along with proof that the money had been transferred to her account. No, not XYZ euros, but three times that amount less the 7% discount (precisely the amount that Dagy quoted). Apparently, budgets can triple in no time. Here’s how to do it: be professional, explain the process, be patient – and most of all, stand your ground. It’s not just us who need clients –the clients need our services, too.