What is the right way to sell translation services?

????????????????????????????????????????There are so many sales methodologies and techniques out there. There are names and techniques for any type of selling you can imagine. There is value selling, complex selling, creative selling, solution selling, customer centric selling, compelling selling, no-bull selling, just to name a few. But what really works in the translation industry? Are there really any sustainable, proven methodologies? What process, technique, approach, style is better for this complex and very distinctive industry of language services?

After having studied, been certified and applied most of these approaches, techniques, and methodologies in the translation industry, I discovered that none of them really put the customer first. Instead, they are designed to benefit the sales person, and rarely do that effectively. These existing sales techniques and methodologies lack long-term processes and tactics to continually promote the customer’s success. 
The reason to me is simple: there isn’t a fast start sales program that works. You can’t learn how to sell in a 2-day seminar. It is NOT going to happen…to be successful in our industry you have to, without a doubt, put the customer first. And to put the customer first you have to completely change how you view your customers. Instead of seeing them as a transaction, or a win, think of then as a business partner.

If you were selling translation to a business partner…

  • Wouldn’t you take the time to really understand what your business partner’s needs were? What he/she wanted to accomplish?
  • Would you sell your business partner features he/she didn’t need?
  • Wouldn’t you carefully consider the risk to your business partner if your solution didn’t work? What the downside might be?
  • Wouldn’t you ask your business partner who else needed to participate in the discussions to fully understand the scope of the project?
  • Wouldn’t you explain your product or services in a language easily understood rather than in complex “sales speak” or “translation terms”?
  • Would you waste your business partner’s time with a 30-slide power point presentation of technical mumbo jumbo?
  • Wouldn’t you be there with your business partner through the process to insure the project was going smoothly?
  • Would you overcharge your business partner to make a quick buck?
  • And would your business partner let you lose money? No, business partners would want you to make money too…just not too much!
  • Wouldn’t you ask your business partners how they liked the service and get their feedback on how to make it better?
  • And finally, wouldn’t you ask your business partner for referrals, and wouldn’t your business partner be ok with that?

THAT is what selling to a business partner would be like!  So, what about you? Are you selling to business partners — working to add value to every project and build customer relationships? Or are you just trying to close the deal to make a quick buck?

2 responses

  1. [...] localisation issues (post-conference thoughts) Proverbs and Quotations about Languages Part 2 What is the right way to sell translation services? Thoughts on Freelance Translation: Specializing Entrepreneurial Linguist Workshops in Europe People [...]

  2. The need for professional translation services has increased tremendously for ther beneficial of the business.

    Translation Service

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