How do you Pitch clients with low rates to Better rates ?
Thread poster: Hussein Dayow Idow

Hussein Dayow Idow  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:48
Member (2016)
Somali to English
+ ...
Apr 21, 2016

How do you Pitch clients with low rates to Better rates ? I round clients who charges as low as .03-.04 USD per word. Claiming no more budget for that, longterm cooperation basis , and many nice words there.

[Edited at 2016-04-21 17:25 GMT]


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 00:48
Member
French to English
+ ...
Walk away Apr 21, 2016

When i first started out, I operated on the basis of "I might as well earn something today rather than nothing." — but I soon realized working for very low rates has an adverse effect on rates across the industry as a whole, so I stopped buying into it.

If i receive an offer with rates that are a bit lower than my normal rate, I try to meet them halfways (say) by offering a special 'introductory discount' in order to start working with them.

However, if the rates offe
... See more
When i first started out, I operated on the basis of "I might as well earn something today rather than nothing." — but I soon realized working for very low rates has an adverse effect on rates across the industry as a whole, so I stopped buying into it.

If i receive an offer with rates that are a bit lower than my normal rate, I try to meet them halfways (say) by offering a special 'introductory discount' in order to start working with them.

However, if the rates offered are WAY too low, I make no bones about telling them that they are insulting me by expecting the quality work of an experienced senior translator at the sort of rates you might pay students to do hack work! I also hint quite strongly that they are clearly not an agency that cares about quality if their 'budgets' are so low — it is obvious that they must be working at the 'low-cost' end of the spectrum, and as most of these agencies do not themselves have a good command of EN (= my target language) they may not even realize that they are getting poor quality. I also tell them not to bother contacting me again unless they have serious projects on the go.

What really annoys me is when I spend quite a lot of time preparing a detailed quote, only to have the agency reply "Oh you're FAR to expensive for us!" I have wasted so much time doing this that even before submitting a detailed quoute, I now usually give them a bball-park idea of my rates and tell them I will go ahead with the quote once they have confirmed that it is in line with their budget expectations. And I usually answer "No, I'M not 'too expensive' — it's YOU who are too CHEAP!"

I have often been turned down for jobs because my rates were too high, only to have the agency contact me again later asking me to correct the cheaply-translated text as they "have a doubt about the quality" — so this gives me the perfect chance to witness for myself the kind of 'quality' that results from such ridiculously low rates. In many instances, the job that didn't have a budget for my services in the first place miraculously finds it when they find themselves in a tight spot; in many instances, I have charged TWICE as much for the correction as they'd initially paid for the translation, so bad was the workmanship.

Of course, I am in the fortunate position of having far too much work on my hands and having to turn work away — so it's easier for me to pick and choose and say "no" if I have to.

That old ruse of the carrot of lots of ongoing work in the future is certainly not to be trusted: I have always found that agencies who use it simply do so to win a cheap rate for one cheap job they are having trouble assigning, and then have little loyalty to using me again later at proper rates (jobs that are easier for them to assign) — I think it is a sure sign of a poor attitude!

What I offer them is to do this "small, urgent" job for my full rate, and then if and when the "large volumes of ongoing work" materialize, I will happily apply to them a retrospective discount for the earlier job. Not surprisingly, I rarely get any takers
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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:48
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
indeed - you don't... Apr 22, 2016

it's their business model, and they have given it a lot of though probably (or not)... the only thing that works is stick to your guns on a Friday afternoon with 2 hours to the deadline... and make sure you check the PO before you actually start the work...

---
Ed Vreeburg
Translate.ED


 

Rita Translator  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:48
German to English
Communicate with them Apr 22, 2016

When I started out, I had direct clients who were paying fairly low rates. As time went on and I got more experienced and invested in further qualifications, I started collecting clients who paid more. The low-paying agencies with impersonal processes (i.e. no contact with a PM) I just dropped because there was no room for negotiating rates with them. I particularly valued the business of one direct client, though, and approached them directly about it. I said something along the lines of, "I've... See more
When I started out, I had direct clients who were paying fairly low rates. As time went on and I got more experienced and invested in further qualifications, I started collecting clients who paid more. The low-paying agencies with impersonal processes (i.e. no contact with a PM) I just dropped because there was no room for negotiating rates with them. I particularly valued the business of one direct client, though, and approached them directly about it. I said something along the lines of, "I've been working at this rate for 7 years for you now, but in that time I've gained quite a bit of experience - not to mention inflation. I'm therefore raising my rates to *** effective as of ***. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I look forward to continuing our productive relationship in the future!" Their response was something like, "Ok, sounds fine!" And they've continued to send me work.
I put so much thought into whether and how to do it, and it ended up being no big deal at all. I say you should approach your low-paying clients and tell them you're raising your rates. Advice that I got - which I didn't end up using - was to explain that you now have higher paying clients, and if they continue to pay your lower rates, then you can't afford to prioritize their projects. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the advice, and I didn't use it, but it is a cold fact of business. If you make more money from company A than from company B, and company A and company B come with projects at the same time, then you're going to take the company A project.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Never respond Apr 22, 2016

Hussein Dayow Idow wrote:

How do you Pitch clients with low rates to Better rates ? I round clients who charges as low as .03-.04 USD per word. Claiming no more budget for that, longterm cooperation basis , and many nice words there.

[Edited at 2016-04-21 17:25 GMT]


Never. I only pitch to clients on the quality of my work. I'm not cheap but I do OK.


 

Doan Quang  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 06:48
Member
English to Vietnamese
Block senders Apr 22, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Hussein Dayow Idow wrote:

How do you Pitch clients with low rates to Better rates ? I round clients who charges as low as .03-.04 USD per word. Claiming no more budget for that, longterm cooperation basis , and many nice words there.

[Edited at 2016-04-21 17:25 GMT]


Never. I only pitch to clients on the quality of my work. I'm not cheap but I do OK.


Agreed!

Block senders and empty junk email box once a week even with 'huge' project offers at $.01-.02


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:48
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
It is you who have to decide Apr 22, 2016

Hussein Dayow Idow wrote:

How do you Pitch clients with low rates to Better rates ? I round clients who charges as low as .03-.04 USD per word. Claiming no more budget for that, longterm cooperation basis , and many nice words there.

[Edited at 2016-04-21 17:25 GMT]


Decide your price and stick to it. If they offer less, too bad. That is how I do it

PS) I see you live in Kenya, remember prices may vary from country to country.


 


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