Small-business owners and freelancers talk, and worry, a lot about pricing: how to charge a decent rate without frightening potential clients away. Price is certainly important, but it’s not the only factor motivating clients.
I had confirmation of this recently from a new client. An Italian company had contacted me for an urgent translation of documents they needed to submit for a tender in the US. When I’d delivered the translation I asked my contact in the company, Antonella, how they’d found me. She replied that they’d done some internet research and had found my website to be clear and professional looking. She got the impression the site had been written and produced by “people who know what they’re doing”. Antonella had contacted other translators/agencies too, but I was the only one who replied promptly and came over in my emails as helpful and competent, and with a good customer-relations manner (her words, not mine).
So: clients don’t just judge us on price. Our professionalism, or the lack of it, comes over in all sorts of ways: in our internet presence (and that includes Twitter and the other social media!) and the way we communicate with clients. Each and every phone call, letter, email, quote or invoice counts.
PS The “Q” at the top of this post is my “quality mark”, which I’ll be using (when I remember!) for posts focusing on quality and professionalism.