Ghost clients: now you see them, now you don't. How to deal with this problem?
Thread poster: Francesco Sani

Francesco Sani  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
Apr 21

Dear all,

my question is quite simple: is there anything in my power to

prevent the 'ghost client' syndrome?

This is such a recurring issue, where a prospective client approaches

me for a translation and requests a quote and, when I request to view

the document needed (so that I may give a more accurate quote) I

hear no more from that client.

I then e.mail a second time asking politely to let me have a copy of

the documents so that I may give them an accurate quote - usually

a couple of days after my first reply, but sometimes sooner.


I am sorry to say but this bothers me because when I approach businesses,

no matter how small or large, and they get back to me, I always see the

person behind the e.mail and like to let them know how I wish to proceed,

even if this is a simple "Thank you, but no thank you".


On the other hand, I understand that people want a clear-cut quote so that

they can just shop around, however a quick e.mail back would really be appreciated.

Is it too much to ask, to have an e.mailed copy of the documents?

Overall, all the clients that I do get work from are very happy to comply and

this actually confirms that I am not unreasonable in my request.


How do you deal with such requests? Do you give a quote or request documents

first? How do you deal with a 'no reply' situation?

Sorry if this has been already discussed on the forums.

I appreciate your reply.


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:18
Member (2008)
French to English
No shows Apr 21

Francesco Sani wrote:

How do you deal with such requests? Do you give a quote or request documents

first? How do you deal with a 'no reply' situation?



Happens every day. If they don't reply, I continue with the job I'm currently working on and move on. I don't have the time to worry about "no shows".


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:18
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Same here Apr 21

John Fossey wrote:

Francesco Sani wrote:

How do you deal with such requests? Do you give a quote or request documents

first? How do you deal with a 'no reply' situation?



Happens every day. If they don't reply, I continue with the job I'm currently working on and move on. I don't have the time to worry about "no shows".


I wouldn't worry too much about it, probably they are shopping for the cheapest translator, and apparently it isn't you.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:18
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Move on... Apr 22

Indeed. As the colleagues said, when some customer simply does not come back to you, it is best to move on and not spend any time or mental energy chasing them.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Just continue with your business Apr 22

When someone doesn't reply within a couple of days - you never know how busy they might be at the moment - then I just delete the email and continue with my current project. Since I'm not sitting around, twiddling thumbs, eagerly waiting for one project to finally arrive, I simply don't have the time - or feel like worrying about "no shows".

As we say: those who don't want it, already have it. Just not my services.


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Francesco Sani  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your comments. Apr 22

Dear all,

thank you for your comments: I am pleased to see that so many of you replied

to my post!

I also work as a music tutor and the same situation arises there, namely that people

shop around for lessons and do not get back to you when you reply; the only difference there

is that I have a lot more work whereas on the translation side the work stream

is rather thin, thus making the expression "every customer counts" particularly

poignant.

Again, thanks to everyone for dropping a reply!

Francesco


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It works both ways Apr 22

Francesco Sani wrote:

...the only difference there is that I have a lot more work whereas on the translation side the work stream is rather thin, thus making the expression "every customer counts" particularly
poignant.

Francesco


Dear Francesco,

this "shopping around" works both ways.

You can go "client hunting" yourself, sending your proposals to clients who seem to be in need of your services. Just don't provide sensitive information when you first approach a possible client, just add a link to your professional profile(s), and see what happens.

Since you do have a nice WWA, you might want to contact those clients to see if they might have projects for you instead of waiting for them to come to you, even though they seem to be private customers. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Much success (and no annoyances).

Thayenga


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David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Dutch to French
+ ...
good to know Apr 22

Francesco Sani wrote:

Dear all,

thank you for your comments: I am pleased to see that so many of you replied

to my post!

I also work as a music tutor and the same situation arises there, namely that people

shop around for lessons and do not get back to you when you reply; the only difference there

is that I have a lot more work whereas on the translation side the work stream

is rather thin, thus making the expression "every customer counts" particularly

poignant.

Again, thanks to everyone for dropping a reply!

Francesco


You mean that you earn more as a music tutor than as a translator?
You should sell courses to translators on how to become music tutors.
Avoid ghost payers at all costs!

[Modifié le 2017-04-22 14:16 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-04-22 14:18 GMT]


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:18
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Project taken Apr 22

Means project has been taken. Some PMs then take the trouble to tell you to register on their site to be able to assign you if work they have is in your field and expertise; some don't answer as in your case. Move on as it happens quite often, more often than we like unfortunately.

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Francesco Sani  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Thayenga. Apr 22

Thayenga wrote:

Francesco Sani wrote:

...the only difference there is that I have a lot more work whereas on the translation side the work stream is rather thin, thus making the expression "every customer counts" particularly
poignant.

Francesco


Dear Francesco,

this "shopping around" works both ways.

You can go "client hunting" yourself, sending your proposals to clients who seem to be in need of your services. Just don't provide sensitive information when you first approach a possible client, just add a link to your professional profile(s), and see what happens.

Since you do have a nice WWA, you might want to contact those clients to see if they might have projects for you instead of waiting for them to come to you, even though they seem to be private customers. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Much success (and no annoyances).

Thayenga


My ambitions are quite small at present, having only acquired clients via the Italian Consulate as I am the only person listed on their translators' register

for this part of Scotland... there are no ways to target them back, because they mostly just need a document to get, say, their Italian citizenship and usually

that is all ... Only recently did one person return after about three years with a second translation request. . . As I am dependent on the consulate for clients,

I cannot push for more, as the consulate itself does not have control of who needs translations when.


I think what you refer to would work in a different context and, also, I am still unqualified, therefore I am just grateful to have clients in the first place - my

pitch in a field brimming with qualified (and/or more experienced translators) will get more 'aggressive' only once I have achieved qualified status and can

give people confidence in the quality of my work. Some clients need to take my work and have it certified by the consulate, which is not an ideal situation -

I would like to give people confidence in me through being awarded qualified status by a recognised body and showing that my quality can be trusted.


I feel that without this missing piece of professional development I am not quite able to gain agency work, as the ones that I have looked at all require

translators to have relevant qualifications.

I will stop there but I just wanted to respond more fully to your point, as you took the time to write a second reply and I owed you a more detailed answer.


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Francesco Sani  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hello David Gay, thank you. Apr 22

David GAY wrote:

You mean that you earn more as a music tutor than as a translator?
You should sell courses to translators on how to become music tutors.
Avoid ghost payers at all costs!

[Modifié le 2017-04-22 14:16 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-04-22 14:18 GMT]


Thank you, David!

It is my intention to try joining my two life skills, that is, Italian and music,

and if I plan things the right way there is no reason why I could not specialise

in music translation, which also included some areas of sound engineering/ studio recording technology,

musical instrument manufacturing, music teaching pedagogy, and so on.


I spoke to someone teaching music at a university who used to be a professional translator in my language pair,

and the conversation left me with the idea that I should not rule out the possibility of moving my translation

work toward what I have trained to do since I was a toddler, that is, music - it would be very credible and supply

me with relevant field knowledge to bring to the table.


However, the eternal question is: does this specialisation offer enough work? I think it can, but then again, it all depends

on how I go forward with marketing myself and to whom.


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Francesco Sani  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Josephine. Apr 22

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Means project has been taken. Some PMs then take the trouble to tell you to register on their site to be able to assign you if work they have is in your field and expertise; some don't answer as in your case. Move on as it happens quite often, more often than we like unfortunately.


I understand... I will bear this in mind!

Thanks again!

F


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