Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “Getting this quote done is taking me forever, and I’m not even sure I’ll get the business”? I have, and I believe people in general tend to get frustrated when after many hours spent on preparing a quote, a prospective client never gets back to them. Just recently, someone on a translators’ forum wrote how disappointed she was about her prospect’s behavior. This prospect asked her to download a program that she didn’t know how to use. She spent many hours on learning the program and preparing a quote. But because of the high rate she quoted, the prospect chose someone else. She was so frustrated that she was considering billing this prospect for the many hours she spent in vain.
Translating a Bid Package
Although an unsuccessful quote is actually a valid reason for frustration, I’m starting to rethink my attitude to this process completely because of one English to Russian translation we provided recently. Our client, a foreign company, was submitting a bid package in response to a request for proposals made by a large Russian company. Two things about the bidding process in Russia make it very challenging. First, large companies usually ask for a lot of information. The amount of details requested can be intimidating for a U.S. or European company. If they want to bid, they have to invest a lot of time and effort in their quote, much more than they’re used to. Second, this process is notorious for various frauds that make it easy for only one particular bidder to win the business while others have very little chances.
Impressive Investment in Preparing a Bid
Now back to our client. While we were translating their bid package, I kept admiring them for having the courage to make the significant investment in this bid despite the two issues I described above. Our fee alone was over $2,000, and I estimate their total investment to get that quote done, including the legal fees for reviewing the legal documents, was about $10,000. And they probably knew the odds weren’t in their favor!
After seeing this great example, I’m asking myself, “What right do I have to be disappointed about my unsuccessful quotes when other people invest $10,000 in a quote with odds against them?” I’ve always tried to be as positive about my quotes as possible. But this example really encouraged me to shift my thinking into a new gear. From now on, my goal is to be enthusiastic about each quote I make, focusing on the opportunity rather than something I can’t control.
If you want to try me, use this page to request a quote for translation services! And please share how you feel about quoting in your line of work.