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Why to Compare Apples with Apples

applesWe receive a vast amount of requests during the course of the day and, as the economy nowadays is still going through difficult times, most and clients are not only requesting one quote but several quotes from other agencies as well. In other words, your prospect or client will be comparing yours with other quotes. As an Account Manager you need to make sure your quote is as detailed and competitive as possible, as you will want your prospect or client “to compare apples with apples” – the same service at a different cost and not different services.

When quoting a specific translation project, is very important to know the exact driver for this project. There are always three drivers, and many times your potential looks for a combination of these three drivers: time, cost and quality. This means your prospect would like to receive a translation of the highest quality, at the lowest cost and in the shortest time possible. In your best scenario, your prospect will request to receive the best quality of translation possible, while willing to pay for it as well.

Before quoting, an Account Manager will need to determine the exact driver of the prospect in order to be able to provide the best possible quote. Should time be the main driver, then more translators and/or will have to be involved in a translation project in order to meet the client´s deadline. The quality and consistency of the translation might suffer, despite your client’s priority is the deadline.

In a different situation, the client has a specific budget to meet and is willing to wait for the translation as long as needed, and as long as his budget is met. Whenever a client has enough money for the project, a three-step process with translators, editors and a separate would be involved in order to secure the highest . In a scenario in which the client has a very low budget,  only translators and editors will be used, without using a final proofreader to keep the costs down.

When putting a quote together, the Account Manager needs to be aware that there might be  other competitors involved that might provide a lower quote by providing a lower translation quality. The Account Manager needs to make sure to break down each cost and explain each translation step in order to clarify what the quote includes: Translation cost, cost, DTP cost, IT cost, a final Quality Assurance Test, etc.

I can only give a big tip to all the leads and clients that are comparing quotes: Make sure you compare Apples to Apples and not Apples to Oranges. Be suspicious if a different quote is so much more expensive or cheaper, and ask as many questions as possible about the details of your translation project.