Wanting a Quote Before Seeing the Documents

My partner Emily seemed to be very annoyed with a potential translation client.  For the life of me, I don’t understand why.

You see, the potential client called and explained that she needed translation on a couple of very simple documents, less than a page each. She wanted to know the price, even telling us that she typically paid her other translator $50 dollars apiece for that type of document.

Sadly, Emily decided to be difficult.  Instead of just agreeing to such reasonable terms, she proceeded to advise the potential client that she would be happy to provide her a free quote after reviewing the documents. Some people might consider that reasonable since, as in Emily’s words, “How can you quote something you haven’t seen?”  However, what ever happened to good old-fashioned trust?  She did say they were simple documents; why do we have to show so much distrust and require looking at the document?  Anyway, trying to obtain copies of the documents seems like a pressure tactic to get the job.  Once the documents are turned in, how can they say no?

Well, the potential client stuck with it, asking for the previous translator’s reasonable rate.  By the way, that translator moved away for a better opportunity elsewhere.  For some unapparent reason, she lacked enough work to sustain her, despite fabulous rates that should have attracted everyone.

As president, I even received a call from that wonderfully intrepid lady.  I wanted to help, however, my business partner is also my wife.  Although my sofa is comfortable, I prefer my bed. Sadly, I sold out and deferred translation prices to the translator.  Sure, I feel terrible for not having defended that poor soul.  I must admit that guilt hasn’t deprived me of much needed quality sleep in my own bed.

Persistence should be respected! I don’t understand why Emily would consider it annoying for someone to keep calling and asking for a deal without looking at the document?  The Olympic games are full of great athletes that have persisted and reaped great rewards. Oh, did I mention that the translation was also due the very next morning?  Certainly, that would have meant canceling our plans with our children and losing a few hours of sleep for a few bucks, but how else are we going to teach them work ethics?  Do children really need that much quality time?  I thought that is why we have TV.

Emily even went so far as to refer the lady to our competition, who might jump all over that wonderful opportunity, thereby stealing away another possibly loyal client.

In the end, just like I predicted, we lost the job. That means we lost money, no matter how meager it might have been.  We lost a possible lasting relationship with a laudably persistent, demanding client that wants everything yesterday and requires it a fraction of the price.  Emily has deluded herself into thinking that this is good.  She excuses it by saying that better paying work came in anyway, we had a wonderful weekend with the kids, and even went to our friend’s wedding.

I guess I can’t really complain too much, business is doing well, although for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.  How do you refuse work and still do well?  Family life is great.  In regards to that, please don’t show my partner this blog if you know what I mean.  The other thing that confuses me is why cheap charging businesses find themselves closing down.  Everyone knows that in business the cheapest price is all that matters.  If any of you dear readers have an explanation to these queries, please share your thoughts!

(Oh, this was my attempt at sarcasm. Emily knows I wrote this and I do support her %100! Also I try to give my children as much Daddy time as they will take!)

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3 thoughts on “Wanting a Quote Before Seeing the Documents”

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