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Poll: How long do you wait for a potential client to reply after sending out your quote?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:51
SITE STAFF
Mar 17, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long do you wait for a potential client to reply after sending out your quote?".

This poll was originally submitted by Brandis

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
Not sure I get it... Mar 17, 2008





[Edited at 2008-03-17 13:37]


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:51
Portuguese to English
more clarity needed Mar 17, 2008

Does Brandis mean "How long do you keep your quoted availability open (and refuse other jobs in the meantime)?" or does he mean "How long do you wait before concluding that the job is not going ahead (but don't refuse other jobs in the meantime)?"

If it's the former, I rarely do this for any customer except my very best ones - and then it's only for a few hours at most. In the latter case, I'll retain the files and correspondence in my email system for 2-3 days before deleting them.

I can't see any alternative to "first come, first served", other than the client guaranteeing the translation fee whether the job goes ahead or not - and I haven't yet found a client who'll do that.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wait for what? Mar 17, 2008

Until the client replies, there's nothing to do.

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:51
English to Dutch
+ ...
Waiting is not an issue Mar 17, 2008

I don't 'wait'; I just go about my business as usual. If that means I have to leave the office for some time, I just go.

Clients cannot expect me to sit glued to my screen until they reply. Some reply within hours, others within days. They go about their business according to their plans, so do I. If that means I loose certain jobs, so be it. I probably would not want to work for someone who expects me te be available any minute anyway.

If there are more potential projects, I take the first one that's confirmed and perhaps try to negotiate an extended deadline for the next. I never promise to refuse other jobs in the meantime, except for trusted, reliable, regular clients. But I tell them too, that if they wait too long, the deadline may have to be extended.

The poll question was unclear, so I voted Other. (You're not alone, Nesrin! )


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:51
English to Spanish
Depends Mar 17, 2008

If Brandis meant how long do I wait after sending my quote without taking any jobs in the meantime, I don't wait. Like Margreet said, some reply within hours whereas some can take as long as several weeks to accept (or turn down) the proposed rate.

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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Enigmatic polls Mar 17, 2008

Sorry, I don't get it. Another enigmatic poll which should have been polished before approved for poll status.
Erik


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Alana Quintyne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:51
French to English
+ ...
Other Mar 17, 2008

I chose "other" because I was really not sure how to answer but generally when I submit quotes on Proz. I don't wait for anything. I send in as many quotes as I need to in any given day. If it's a direct client I wait until they reply but in the meantime I do other translation, submit quotes, etc.

[Edited at 2008-03-17 17:07]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 10:51
French to Dutch
+ ...
I don't wait at all Mar 17, 2008

and of course am not glued to my screen. I make quotes several times a day. But in most cases, the answer from translation agencies come within 24 hours (they have something to be subcontracted and it must be done right now); the answer from direct clients may take some hours or some weeks. N.B. I state in all my quotes that my proposal is valid one month.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
Some cases... Mar 17, 2008

Ok, after reading some replies I'm beginning to understand...

And I also think I understand why in some case it can be a bit of a dilemma (at least I sometimes felt it that way). When Client A gets in touch with you directly, with very specific details about a project - something along the lines of "We have a potential 20k word project coming up, and we're expecting to get the go-ahead this afternoon - please quote". You send your quote, then five minutes later Client B contacts you with a proper job (not a quote).
Do you accept? The request for a quote seemed so much like a real job coming up, very soon, and very big. And Client A may not be able to tell you anything for sure until this afternoon. And what if you do accept Client B's job, but a couple of hours later Client A comes back saying "hooray we got the job!" and you reply "oops, I'm not available anymore" - isn't that a bit annoying from Client A's point of view? So maybe it would have been wiser to have just waited a few hours?

Just a few thoughts cause I'm sure we've all been in similar situations.

[Edited at 2008-03-17 14:08]


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 03:51
German to English
Dilemma Mar 17, 2008

Nesrin wrote:

Ok, after reading some replies I'm beginning to understand...

And I also think I understand why in some case it can be a bit of a dilemma (at least I sometimes felt it that way). When Client A gets in touch with you directly, with very specific details about a project - something along the lines of "We have a potential 20k word project coming up, and we're expecting to get the go-ahead this afternoon - please quote". You send your quote, then five minutes later Client B contacts you with a proper job (not a quote).
Do you accept? The request for a quote seemed so much like a real job coming up, very soon, and very big. And Client A may not be able to tell you anything for sure until this afternoon. And what if you do accept Client B's job, but a couple of hours later Client A comes back saying "hooray we got the job!" and you reply "oops, I'm not available anymore" - isn't that a bit annoying from Client A's point of view? So maybe it would have been wiser to have just waited a few hours?

Just a few thoughts cause I'm sure we've all been in similar situations.

[Edited at 2008-03-17 14:08]


I'm in one such situation right now. I've got a job scheduled to arrive on Wed, and it's due on Fri. It was definitely scheduled last week, but as we all know, these things change. I've just received another offer from a client, which clashes with it. Neither project has a negotiable deadline (I've tried). I've emailed the first client to double-check that the project is still on track, but they're out of the office until Wed. What I will end up doing is rejecting the second client's job based on the previously-scheduled one, and then hope and pray that the first one comes in...

Otherwise I don't really wait. I quote on everything that looks both interesting and feasible, and slot projects in on a first-come (first confirmed!), first-served basis, negotiating deadlines where possible in order to fit in as much as I can.

I'd be really interested to know how other people schedule their work!



[Edited at 2008-03-17 14:21]


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Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:51
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
never wait Mar 17, 2008

I was confused about the poll as well, but Nesrin's scenario helped me get a clearer picture.

I've been there more often than I would have liked to be, and one thing I noticed is that as soon as you get Client B's job, the chances of also getting Client's A project skyrocket LOL

What I usually do is negotiate my deadline with Client B so as to have time to work with Client A's files as well, although this will probably mean working longer hours.



[Edited at 2008-03-17 14:20]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:51
French to English
Schedule Mar 17, 2008

Hilary Davies wrote:

I'd be really interested to know how other people schedule their work!


I too came here to ask "Wait for what, exactly?" but I see that question has lready been asked...

Meanwhile, when "quoting" or negotiating or replying to queries or always try to make all deadline relative, not absolute. So I say "5 working days from agreement", not Mon 24th March (say). I usually add some other flannel about when I would be likely to be able to start if they reply straight away, to give some idea.

It avoids the kind of situation we see posted on here from time to time when someone gives a deadline for, say, a 5-day job and there's now only 2 days to go and they haven't heard back and neither have they started the translation and are they supposed to do it or not and do we think the client is just expecting to get it or not and it's all a bit breathless and panicky...


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Also confused Mar 17, 2008

I just send out the quote and the client will respond when they choose. I always let clients know that until a job is authorized it has no priority and I cannot commit to delivery, if that is what the poll is all about.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
Italian to English
+ ...
Other Mar 17, 2008

I was also uncertain as to what was meant, but interpreted it in the same way as others - and the answer is that it depends on the client. With most of my clients, I can be sure that if they offer me the job, it's already confirmed for their part and it's mine if I want it. With others, they check my availability before putting their offer to the end client, so I certainly don't wait for a reply in those cases as the job may never come my way. And with new clients, I'd always want confirmation before taking the job on, but again I wouldn't turn down any more concrete offers coming in in the meantime.

Essentially, the number of offers you're likely to receive while waiting for confirmation of a job depends on how long they keep you waiting, so if they get back to you quickly there's no problem and if it's not until a couple of days later then they know that the delivery date will have to be extended too.
Of course, I've had a couple of insane days where I've had clients lining up to offer me a total of 10 or 12 days' work in the space of an hour or so (bearing in mind that I work on short and medium jobs generally taking no more than a couple of days at the very most), but it's rare. And in those cases, if the original offer is accepted I just accept I'll be working "overtime" for a while...

[Edited at 2008-03-17 15:16]


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