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So many questions from a 'potential' client. ("Much ado about what?")
Thread poster: Jacek Sierakowski

Jacek Sierakowski
Belgium
Local time: 07:42
English to French
+ ...
Jan 1, 2009

Hello, and a happy new year,
I am new on ProZ, and I have never been asked so many questions by the 'potential' clients.
I have been recently contacted by 2 different persons from an agency. As they wanted me to send them a CV etc, I referred them to my profile. They seemed to be happy with that. Now, a 3d person wants me:
1. to pass on the contact details for at least two professional references from previous related work,
2. to tell what type of Clinical Trial and Pharma documents I translate most frequently,
3. and what resources (websites, reference material, glossaries and templates) I use when performing Clinical Trial and Pharma translations.
All this is about a potential proofreading job, that would take me 1 hour!
I don't want them to annoy my current clients. I don't want my current clients to know that I am looking elsewhere. I don't have a statistic analysis of the trials I translated. And the tools I utilize are various and varying.
I understand that people are prudent, but they have access to my profile, which says that I do this for a living for 12 years, full time. And that I already did more difficult things. If I was bad, I would be living in a card box under a bridge, by now…

Thank you for your opinion.

Jacek.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-01-02 18:41 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:42
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Could become a valuable client Jan 1, 2009

Jacek

I know it's tedious when people ask you for all that information, but bear in mind:

They are asking for it so that they can put your details in their own database, so that in future they can give you work.

It's worth being cooperative with new clients because who knows? A first small job may serve as a test for both of you, and could become the beginning of a long and proficuous working relationship!


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 03:42
Depends entirely on my mood, Jan 1, 2009

if I answer such enquiries or not.

I get similiar enquiries once in a while. One agency asked for refenrences, the other needed a CV with clearer working experience, still another wanted me to fill in an online form before they could send me a job ...

If I am in a good mood, and have nothing to do, I may fulfill one or another of their wishes, but I don't provide references.

Fortunately, other clients just approach me with jobs. So why bother?


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Jacek Sierakowski
Belgium
Local time: 07:42
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Jan 1, 2009

Actually, that is exactly how I feel about it, but I needed to know if if was just me. Thanks!

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LittleBalu
Germany
Local time: 07:42
English to German
+ ...
Fishing (no, not for compliments) ... Jan 1, 2009

Jacek Sierakowski MD wrote:

Now, a 3d person wants me:
1. to pass on the contact details for at least two professional references from previous related work,
2. to tell what type of Clinical Trial and Pharma documents I translate most frequently,
3. and what resources (websites, reference material, glossaries and templates) I use when performing Clinical Trial and Pharma translations.

Jacek.



... but for information and (potential) new clients?

Happy new year to you,
LB


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 07:42
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Too nosy Jan 1, 2009

Imo, some 'potential clients' are far too nosy and request an unacceptable amount personal and business information. The way to find out if someone has the skills (language, field etc) for the job is to give them a tricky text and see how well (or not ) they do.
I ignore all emails from agencies etc. that ask for such info up front. Most of them are probably just testing the market and trying to dig up new clients for themselves.

Bonne Année


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:42
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with writeaway Jan 1, 2009

I just trash such messages. I haven't got the time. What annoys me the most is when they want all the details by the next day. I do not give references either.

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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 07:42
French to Dutch
+ ...
No way Jan 1, 2009

Jacek Sierakowski MD wrote:

1. to pass on the contact details for at least two professional references from previous related work,
2. to tell what type of Clinical Trial and Pharma documents I translate most frequently,

This is against the agreements you have with your current clients and against all confidentiality clauses you have, and even if you haven't. Translators have to be very cautious with telling other people what they are doing. And especially in the pharmaceutics industry where lots of people would like to have details about the drug on which other firms are working. You can loose your current clients with this.

3. and what resources (websites, reference material, glossaries and templates) I use when performing Clinical Trial and Pharma translations.

This looks like a way to know everything about your working methods. Do you really think that this is in order to verify if you are a good translator? Don't be naive.

All this is about a potential proofreading job, that would take me 1 hour!

Your "investment" takes more time than the job itself...

I don't want them to annoy my current clients. I don't want my current clients to know that I am looking elsewhere. I don't have a statistic analysis of the trials I translated. And the tools I utilize are various and varying.
I understand that people are prudent, but they have access to my profile, which says that I do this for a living for 12 years, full time. And that I already did more difficult things. If I was bad, I would be living in a card box under a bridge, by now…

Just say them who you are, your education, the books and articles you translated (if any, and if your name is printed on it), and say them that all your business details are confidential. If they are really in the pharmaceutics industry, they will understand.

Bonne année


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:42
French to English
Answered your own question Jan 1, 2009

Sounds to me as if you know how you would like to respond.

Jacek Sierakowski MD wrote:
I don't want them to annoy my current clients. I don't want my current clients to know that I am looking elsewhere. I don't have a statistic analysis of the trials I translated. And the tools I utilize are various and varying.

You could either reply as above, or just ignore them. As is often said on these forums, it's your business; you decide what you are and are not prepared to do.

Happy New Year!


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 01:42
German to English
+ ...
references - bad idea Jan 1, 2009

Providing references is a bad idea - on proz you are never sure who is who; there are a few individuals (and agencies) who pose under pseudonyms ...
Otherwise, if you are looking for someone to pay you, they conditions they impose on establishing a relationship with you is fair game. After all, you are asking them for $$.


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:42
English to German
Suspicious Jan 1, 2009

Happy New Year to All!

I think on the one hand it is okay and comprehensible for potential clients to ask questions like that, but only up to a certain degree. They might be too "comfortable" to look up your profile by themselves and would rather have sent your CV directly to them to fill in the details in their data bank.

On the other hand, some information they want make me suspicious, as they apparently have nothing to do with the job on hand.

In my opinion one has to take such enquiries by potential clients seriously, but consider at the same time whether it is sensible or not, i.e. what may be behind it.

Keep an open eye - and always search the blueboard for them up front!

Annett


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 22:42
English to Russian
+ ...
I would be very suspicious, especially of number 3 Jan 1, 2009


3. and what resources (websites, reference material, glossaries and templates) I use when performing Clinical Trial and Pharma translations.


Hmm... looks like somebody wants free help with research!


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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:42
English to Czech
It is a strange phenomena... Jan 1, 2009

..but it seems to be a rule that an agency who requires a lot of information about translator, test translation, all kinds of agreements etc. usually gives you no real job...

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Stuart Dowell  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:42
Member (2007)
Polish to English
+ ...
How dare they focus on quality! Jan 2, 2009

This care, thoroughness and focus on quality on the part of the client must be very frustrating.

Surely it would be easier if the pesky client would just set up a price auction and all you would have to do is submit your quote!!

How dare they intrude on personal privacy and ask for something like professional references!

Just who do they think they are!!





[Edited at 2009-01-02 07:36 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Inform them in a summarised way Jan 2, 2009

I would tell them (as we do many times) that your NDAs (which you most probably have with most of your customers) don't allow you to inform about your other customers or the work you do for them.

General, summarised information about the kind of documents you do in their area of interest should be more than enough. You cannot send them samples of your work for other customers, that's for sure. But you can tell this prospect about your expertise and experience in that area.

I would also propose to do a translation test for them so that they can evaluate your qualities first hand.


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