So we will just go through these one by one. Number one is not charging enough for the service or products being sold. So there is just an immediate downward price pressure that you apply yourself to your translation service or a related product that you’re selling. And it’s just not charging enough for the service or product being sold.
Number two is offering discounts for our products or services before we even get asked for a discount. So there’s this lack of confidence, and a lot of pricing and negotiation techniques and strategy, I think is mentality related. And we offer a discount for our product or service before we’re even asked.
Number three is giving a discount just before just because someone asks for one. And I can remember I can recall at least one occasion in the last 12 months where a client came back to me several months later, I think after four months and said do I get a discount as a recurring customer. So this idea that just because he’s making a second order four months later that this is worthy of a discount. There is no reason whatsoever to give a discount to a customer just because they simply ask for a discount.
Number four is finding it hard to speak up and ask for what we want in a negotiation or a partnership. Remember that there are various modalities of negotiation, the ideal is Win Win this perfectly balanced to many stones if you’re like a pinnacle on a larger stone, where both parties get what they want out of out of a negotiation or an agreement. The next is win lose where there is this idea that some negotiators feel that to win, somebody else has to lose. That is not the ideal situation. The next is lose win, which is just the reverse that too, if I’m negotiating with someone, the other person gets more out of the negotiation or agreement than I am. That’s lose win. And then of course there’s lose lose where there’s a complete lack of agreement and both parties lose out from the attempts to reach an agreement.
And the fifth modality if I sometimes talk about a fifth modality which is compromise. But the ideal situation in negotiation is for both parties to win. It is not an arm wrestle it is not one person imposing their will upon the other, it is a very balanced negotiation where both parties get something out of the exercise. And the fifth one and perhaps the biggest and the most important is a fear of losing our customers overnight. This is the one that comes up over and over again when I speak to students moving forward, early career translators with a couple of years’ experience under their belts. There is a fear of losing our customers overnight, this lack of confidence to put prices up because of a fear that the customer will run away.
So there are a couple of strategies I advocate here. One common sense one is quite simply you don’t want to put up all your prices at once you don’t have to put your prices up in January, you can put your prices up at any time of the year, September, October, May, July it doesn’t really matter. What I also advise people to do is to look at budget cycles, especially direct clients, I encourage them to find when their finance cycle runs is it September to July, it may be January to January, so January is the best time to address this. However, it may be October to May, it may be September to July. You need to talk and elucidate, elicit this information from the client and use their finance cycle in your favour when you’re devising your prices and developing drawing up a strategy to get those prices up.
So those are the five things I want to talk about. Five signs you have a poverty mentality in business. To sum up, the first was not charging enough for the services or products you are selling. The second is offering discounts for our products or services before we even get asked for a discount. The third is giving a discount just because someone asks for one. Number four was finding it hard to speak up and ask for what we want in a negotiation or partnership. And number five is a fear of losing our customers overnight if we put our prices up.