Negotiation tips for translators
Episode 008 – Branding for translators – Interview with Valeria Aliperta
March 24, 2014
PR Tips for Freelance Translators
April 14, 2014

Episode 009 – Negotiation tips for translators – Interview with Konstantin Kisin

In this episode we discuss negotiation as a marketing tool for freelance translators. All freelancers need some negotiation skills in order to make a professional impression, create a successful business and reach their goals. Konstantin Kisin is an English-Russian-English freelance translator and experienced trainer and presenter in negotiation, productivity and making more money as a freelance translator.

 In this episode we discuss the following:

  • How a freelance translator can use negotiation skills when marketing translation services to potential and existing clients
  • Negotiation tips for phone and email conversations
  • How to negotiate a rate increase with existing clients
  • How to deal with “difficult” clients, tight deadlines or downward price pressure
  • Tips on how to present a clear and professional image to potential clients
  • Most common negotiation mistakes that freelance translators make

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening and for your support and sharing. One great negotiation tip I learned was to say nothing at first, i.e. wait for the client to continue. That can make the client reconsider sometimes. What other negotiation tips do you have? Share in the comments below.

Do you have a particular issue you are struggling with in your translation business right now? You can send me an email at I promise to try to help you or answer your question in an email and/or take up the subject in a future podcast. Take care!



Konstantin Kisin

Konstantin Kisin

Konstantin Kisin is a highly successful legal, financial and video games translator with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. A renowned international speaker and trainer focussing on the business side of translation, Konstantin has extensive training in the psychology of communication and human behaviour. Sharing his attitude to doing business with his customary passion and enthusiasm, Konstantin’s mission is to assist freelancers the world over in establishing professional relationships with clients, making more money, working less and having more fun.


This podcast is a labor of love and brought to you free of charge. If you enjoy this series and would like to show your support, please consider making a small donation to ensure I can keep offering you great content in the future.


  1. Troy says:

    Great post. I’ve dabbled with freelance translating before, and it can definitely be a difficult industry to get into, especially when you have certain clients. I’m bookmarking this for future use when I ever translate again. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast and thought it was full of great insights. Having listened once I may listen again and take notes – it was super.
    Right at the end something struck me as odd, so I thought I’d ask Konstantin. You described assertiveness as a bad thing. I wonder how you define assertiveness. It sounded like you think assertiveness equals pushiness or aggression, which I don’t think would fit the standard definitions. The training I’ve had in various contexts describes it as half way between passive and aggressive.
    I think negotiation needs assertiveness: calm self-confidence without aggression. Too much passivity is unhelpful.

    • Konstantin Kisin says:

      Hi Karen, I think that if we go with the dictionary definition of assertiveness, you are absolutely right: it’s a good thing.

      The point I was seeking to make was that a lot of people confuse what you describe as “self-confidence without aggression” with being determined to bulldoze their way to “victory”. Unfortunately, this is how the media, advertisers and the movie industry often portray successful negotiators: as bullies.

      My invitation to anyone listening was simply to be confident but always remember that your end goal is a productive relationship with the person you are dealing with.

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  4. Thank you for yet another great post, Tess. It is my experience too, that dealing with clients, both agencies and direct clients, has a lot to do with psychology. You have to have a sensitive ear and get to know your potential clients and their needs.

    I would also like to thank you for inspiring me to look over my email writing as well as my acitivities. I do not think I have been fully aware of how valuable the kudoz questions are.

    • Tess says:

      Thank you Åsa! Konstantin has some great insights for sure. I used to answer Kudos questions when I was also active asking then, but now it has fallen by the wayside.

  5. Sarah says:

    Is it possible to listen to this podcast? I can’t get the older podcasts to play. I’d really love to hear this one.

    • Tess says:

      Hi Sarah,

      The direct download link should be working again now. You can also download from iTunes or Stitcher and listen on your phone or other device.

  6. Some podcasts are better than others, and this is one of the best I have listened to so far. Konstantin gives concrete, to-the-point useful advice on how to handle things. The “take charge of the conversation” part is unmissable. Thanks Konstantin and Tess for sharing!

  7. […] prilagodite prevodilačkoj industriji i kako da na ovoj poslovnoj mreži nađete klijente. • Negotiation tips for translators – Interview with Konstantin Kisin: kako da vam cena rada odgovara uloženom trudu. • Elements of a marketing plan for translators […]

  8. […] prilagodite prevodilačkoj industriji i kako da na ovoj poslovnoj mreži nađete klijente. • Negotiation tips for translators – Interview with Konstantin Kisin: kako da vam cena rada odgovara uloženom trudu. • Elements of a marketing plan for translators […]

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