The Amazing Story of the Tripling Budget

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. 


Unknown on February 12, 2011 at 3:05 AM said...

This is indeed an amazing story! Thank you for sharing and giving us inspiration. There are not many translators who have the entrepreneurial skill to pull the deal off but you simply excel in that!
Recently, I also found out that clients truly need our services when a new client was ready to pay for a book to be translated so that I could do the estimate and give her a quote. She had a hard copy but she lives too far to hand it to me so I ordered it online. I was amazed that the client can go to such lenghts while not being sure whether they will accept the quote or not. The story has a happy ending, she agreed on my quote and I am about to send her the last chapter on Monday!
Wish you many more such stories and loyal clients!

Ángel on February 12, 2011 at 4:21 AM said...

Great story, especially the final part. Sometimes sticking to your guns and explaining things in a professional manner helps you win the project. I’ve seen that happen with a few design clients too. If the client is serious about finding the right provider for the project, they will understand what you tell them.

Sophie Bousset on February 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM said...

Thank you for posting this! It can be so difficult to stick to the price we know we deserve for our services since there is so much competition and a translator is just one person dealing with businesses--it can be quite intimidating! It's a great lesson for us to keep in mind in dealing with businesses.

Tess Whitty on February 17, 2011 at 6:56 AM said...

Thanks for sharing this. To make sure you can stand your ground and be professional it is also good to not put yourself in the situation where you really "need" the job, or the client.

Shadab_Troikaa on March 1, 2011 at 10:38 PM said...

"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. "

Moral of the story mention above. If we all follow that strictly client will surely come to you..

Thanks for sharing..

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