Best Practices

How to sell translation services speaking business language?

Quality of performance and better cost-effectiveness are results of a professional translation that truly attract clients
Thalita Lima
6 min
Table of Contents

It’s a common mistake among translators to try to convince their clients about the benefits of a professional translation speaking only in terms of language. What’s wrong with that?

Clients' concerns focus on cost-benefits, economy, quality, productivity. That’s why it is important to present to them the opportunities of your translation service in terms of business to sell a translation service according to customer expectations. How so? Read the article to get some insights.

Promote a quality concept that encompasses performance

Linguistic quality, precision, and authenticity aren't reasons enough to convince a client to hire a translation service. These are the main concerns of linguists, translators, and language enthusiasts (and it's natural to be), but not of managers.

Quality, in business terms, is much more than that. It represents performance in results. The use of LLMs, along with the translator's refinement work, generates better results in terms of Google ranking. Content with 100% quality in the digital market means it is good enough to reach your audiences and communication goals.

Explaining to clients what quality means in a broader sense, taking into account performance results, is the first step to convince them to translate their business professionally, instead of appealing to resources like free automated websites.

Present a good approach about the benefits of AI integration

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The integration with artificial intelligence will add to the translation work some of the outcomes most desired by clients:

  • Sales
  • Branding
  • Website traffic
  • Conversion rates
  • Search relevance
  • Click-through rates
  • Time spent on page

Presenting to clients about these advantages is what will make their eyes light up.

When we talk about integration with AI, we are referring to a combination of human translation, machine translation, and large language models that offers the best result at the lowest possible cost.

Set budgets according to project’s complexity

Cost reduction is always an attractive benefit for clients. Our CEO Gabriel Fairman made a comparison in this Linkedin post about the translation of Bureau Works website into 5 languages, an amount of 400 pages. In a traditional translation, the cost would be around $100,000 to $200,000. But with the use of integrated AI tools and human translators, this budget drops to $2000. A 100% saving for those who hire the service.

For the translator, AI integration also represents advantages. It means more efficiency in processes and greater management capacity, which will bring more projects to the production line. 

But this will require the translator another demand: knowing how to charge for the service according to each demand. Rather than budget for words, one more efficient strategy is to use the project's complexity to budget the value of your project.

An important task for the service provider (translator or agency) is to know how to present to clients the differentiators of professional translation. With the use of efficient CAT tools, like our BWX, the more massive and operational work is delegated to AI. But the sensitivity to discern nuances and solve problems is something only the human translator possesses.

Present to the client the differentiators that justify your budget. It could be your years of experience, your trajectory, or skills in specific areas of knowledge, such as science, literature, technology, etc.

Don't forget that the translator's payment should match with the efforts.

Know your potential clients market

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Prospecting clients is a necessary task for any field of work, and in translation, it's no different. Research the market and companies in your region that have a demand for translation, that have international growth goals, and aim to reach more people.

Identifying niche markets is also a good strategy. Explore markets that have specific needs. Seek courses to specialize and cater to businesses in these areas.

No one can sell their services better than you. Because only those who work in translation know the particularities of this field, such as localization.

All these insights are like a mindset that you should keep in mind during the work meetings. It's an alignment of values, those you recognize as a translator plus what is relevant to those hiring your service. In summary, what we're saying is: we have to speak the language of our clients, not that of our bubble or community.

Thalita Lima
Passionate about languages and the power of localization to connect minds. Journalist, writer, photographer, and ecology student
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