Profitable negotiations: know yourself, know your client

Helen Casas and Thomas O’Boyle (Spain)
Negotiation is an often overlooked yet key business skill for language service professionals. Good negotiation skills can enhance outcomes for both provider and client, ensuring fair return and mutual benefit. They will also leave professionals better equipped to resist terms that are not in their best interest.
This panel will give you a brief introduction to the role of negotiation in the professional services you offer. It will also give you pointers about potential pitfalls and draw attention to areas of opportunity. Emphasis will be placed on recognizing and correcting your weaknesses, as well as on leveraging your strengths while nurturing your client relationship. The importance of placing oneself on an equal footing from the outset will also be addressed.
After a brief introduction on how we see negotiation in the professional’s working life, we will use a few case studies to illustrate the importance of knowing yourself, knowing your market, and knowing your client. The session will be completed with a question and answer session in which participants can share their experience and offer solutions to the most common problems faced by language service professionals when dealing with clients.
Helen Casas, an engineering graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freelance translator based in Barcelona who specializes in pharmaceutical and medical translation and editing. She has 20 years’ experience working for a variety of clients, including translation agencies in Spain and abroad, as well as direct clients in business and academia.
Thomas O'Boyle is a freelance translator, editor and language facilitator based in Madrid. His MA, from University of Salford, is in Translating and Interpreting.