Sorry not Sorry: When a Client deems my Rate too High

Let me start this blog post by breaking down the facts that make up the case:

  • Client contacts me for a job, asks for a quotation.
  • I check the material, assess it and set the quotation accordingly. The rate may have increased since the last time a similar job was sent to me from that same client. I proceed to send the quotation over to the client.
  • Client replies stating that the rate is too high and the workload is small and does not take much effort.

Ok. Then what?

Well, I try to convince the client that the rate is all too fair, that times have changed and so has the marketplace. However, in all fairness, there is one factor that plays a major role in determining the rate I give to a client for a given translation job. This factor is none other than the years of experience I have.

Yes, you read that right.

The better I get, the higher my rates go up.

What some clients do not realize is that when we charge a certain rate that they find “too high”, given that the task can be done in a short period of time, they would actually be paying for the EXPERTISE.
The years of experience spent are the main factor determining how much we charge for a certain service. If I become too good at something, it doesn’t mean it gets easier; it only means I get better since I am more familiar with it, and I deserve every penny I ask for to get it done.
In the first months of professional work as translators, I understand that we could charge lower rates until we are experienced enough. Clients who say “but you used to charge way less” need to understand that when several factors change, the rate is bound to change, just like the quality of the service offered.

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