Congratulations. You’ve made the decision that you need the help of a Language Service Provider (LSP) to give you the best chance of successfully moving into new markets.
You understand that it’s not just about translating content, but really getting to know your potential new customers so you have the best chance of making them real, happy customers.
So what is your next step? Get in touch with an LSP and talk through your needs. But you don’t want to be on your heels, unprepared for the call, so how do you get ready for it?
What questions are they going to ask you? What questions should you be prepared to ask of them? What assets do you need to have handy?
At LinguaLinx, we deal with calls like this all the time. And we really don’t want you to be on your back foot either. The more up-to-speed you are with how the call will go, the better for everyone.
In this article, we'll help you best prepare for your LSP sales call with the following list of tips.
12 Tips for Preparing for Your LSP Sales Call
1. Bring Your Content
The more your LSP can see what content they’re actually going to be working with, the more contextual they can make the conversation with you.
They want to see exactly what it is they’re going to be working with. If you don’t have it yet, then find an example that is as close to it as possible.
The conversation needs to go beyond the LSP just giving you a quote It should involve them taking a proactive role in seeing what translation pitfalls there might be for you that you haven’t considered.
2. Know the Source of Your Content
How was your content created? In what software package and by whom? Did you use an internal resource or external supplier? If external, what is your relationship like with them? Do you have the source files?
PDFs are great for showing the finished article, but usually your LSP will need to work with source files. If they know what type of files they are, they may be able to foresee hurdles and design processes to work around them.
3. Know Where Your Content Lives
Does your source content reside on a Content Management System (CMS), a Learning Management System (LMS), or a standard web or digital platform?
Your LSP will need to know so they can create the best process for working quickly and smoothly with your team.
Transferring data back and forth with a client is one of the most challenging parts of a translation project for an LSP.
4. Have a Timeline
What’s your final deadline for delivery? Are there any key milestones that need to be hit along the way?
If source files are coming from a supplier, are they on-board to help deliver along your project timeline?
Your LSP will want to know what dates you need to hit so they can scope the project for you accurately. They’ll need to ensure there are enough resources in place to deliver while giving you an accurate quote.
5. Know Your Budget
Are you going to be working on a project or on an annual basis? Your LSP will have a wide range of services that they can offer you, and they’ll want to make it fit your budget.
Often, customers will want to keep their cards close to their chest, but this will only prolong the quoting process before arriving at an accurate, final figure.
By having a transparent conversation about your budget, or budget range, the LSP will be able to create a package that is suitable for the project and for your business.
If what you’re asking for doesn’t fit the budget, the LSP can use their experience to offer ways to work around this or help you prioritize elements of the project to best serve your needs.
6. Know Your Audience
Who are the end-users of the translated content? Are you running a consumer-facing commerce-led business, or is your industry based on creating B2B accounts?
If you know how your audience will consume your content, the LSP can make sure they tailor your content to match these needs.
Having a clear idea of your target audience, gives you a much greater chance of success. If there are several audiences, then the LSP can help tier the approach to each individual target sector.
7. Consider Workflow
You don’t have to know exactly how the workflow is going to roll out, this is something your LSP should help you with, but you should be ready to talk about what constraints could be faced from your end.
The question of internal vs. external resources will arise, so have an idea of the team you’re putting together and who will be responsible for what within your team.
Translation typically is only one part of your end goal. Both you and your LSP will want to make the process as seamless as possible. This is best achieved by allowing the LSP to understand all the inputs, outputs, and team players involved in the project.
8. Know All the Goals of Your Project
We find there tend to be two levels of goals for translation projects - the individual project’s goal and your company’s goal when it uses the translated content.
The translation inevitably sits within a wider communication or sales effort, but understanding how the two goals work together allows your LSP to partner with you to put the best plan in place.
The project is an investment, so you’ll likely want to try and measure your ROI, which can be difficult when the translation sits within the construct of a wider organizational program.
Your LSP should always be able to sit down with you and help make sure the project meets your organization’s definition of success.
9. Consider Decision Making
Who are the decision-makers on the project? When these people sign-off elements, will the translations need to go further up the chain?
If this is the case, sometimes budgeted work can be redundant, which can affect budget and timescales.
If your LSP understands the sign-off process on the project, or each specific element, then they’ll be in a better position to create a workflow that takes into account the different levels of approval.
10. Look for a Long-Term Partner
The best way to work with an LSP is to partner with a company that matches your brand values, understands your business goals, and, most importantly, that you trust.
Moving away from a transactional approach will allow your LSP to plan with you and suggest cost savings over the long term.
At LinguaLinx, we always suggest this approach. It doesn’t mean that smaller projects may not be the way forward to achieve your goals, those can be delivered according to your budget, it just means our customers get the benefits of our industry experience to help them with their strategic outlook.
11. Have a Vision of the Future
Where does your business want to go? What are the opportunities that you want to capitalize on? What will taking advantage of these opportunities mean for the future of your business?
Your LSP should want to help you grow your business and be excited about helping you get there. The more knowledge they have about your future goals, the more they can proactively look for ways to help you achieve them.
12. Ask Questions
Ask questions of your LSP…and don’t hold back.
Do they have experience in your industry? What is their process? How do they assign translators to your project? What are their methods for onboarding translators? How do they measure the success of a project? What are their long-term goals? How does your budget fit in with their other clients - are you going to be a minnow or a whale as a customer? Who will handle your account? Do their brand values and culture match yours? And the list goes on.
Every good LSP will want you to know as much about their business as they want to know about yours. This goes back to finding the right partner that you can trust and look to the future with.
Ready for an LSP Sales Call?
We hope you feel more informed and in control of the sales call after reading this article. Ultimately, it’s a long-term partnership that needs to be created between your business and your chosen LSP. A strictly transactional sales model won’t do anyone any good. For this reason, whoever you choose as your LSP, make sure they’re honest and open with you from the outset.
And if you haven’t made that decision yet about which LSP to choose…we’d love to throw our hat in the ring. If you give us a call, bearing in mind the above information, we can have a really productive and strategic conversation for you to reflect on.
With LinguaLinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting lost as it’s translated. You know you're in good hands with our ISO 17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.
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