Especially in the field of marketing, life is full of examples where two suppliers offer a service and the client chooses the one that’s half the price of the other. Are such things decided on price alone? Senior Copywriter Mike Druttman raises some pertinent issues.
Blogs are often written as a result of a business event, and so it’s been in this case. I was asked to quote on translating a 5300-word Business Plan from another language into English. The client knew that I’m a marketing writer and not a translator.
As you may have guessed, mine was the more expensive quote and I didn’t get the job. It’s happened many times before and it doesn’t bother me particularly – except that the decision-making process always seems strange. Here’s why.
The objective. The client’s business is looking to attract partners and investors from overseas markets. The Business Plan must present his benefits, background and market analysis in the best possible way. It has to ‘work hard off the page’. So enough time must be invested to ensure that all this happens.
The process. The document in ‘translated form’ is only the start. Every section needs to be carefully shaped not only to deliver the right messages within itself – but equally to build a complete set of messages that bind the whole document. This involves a multiple process of writing, checking and re-writing. It’s always time-consuming.
The ‘hidden’ items. Summaries and reasonable conclusions are an important part of every Business Plan. What do they tell us? What can we learn from the facts? Why is the sponsoring company particularly suited for this business opportunity? Texts and sentences cannot be too long. Repetitions must be eliminated. There’s quite a long list of actions needed during the creative phase that may not have been covered in the original work.
If the client makes a decision about the supplier based on price alone, many important factors for success may be overlooked. Why not check what’s included and what’s not? Better still, negotiate – if you think that a supplier can care for your long-term interests. Or just pay half and never mind about all that….