I was recently contacted by a translation company with a good reputation. They asked us for the usual information, including our rates and our résumés, and asked that we do a free translation test.
Since the test was of reasonable length, I agreed, and scheduled it for next week.
Today they called me asking for urgent help with the translation of a short document. I'm already overbooked, but I wanted to start on the right foot with a new customer, so I agreed to help.
They then proceeded to beg for a discount: could I do it for our minimum rate, instead of the price that would result from our word rate? The difference was minimal (about 5 dollars), but I declined, and refused the job.
We may have lost the chance at a new customer, but I prefer that to the prospect of haggling every time we receive a project.
Our customers should remember this is a professional service, not a fish market. If they don't, it is up to us to remind them.