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Should I phone outsourcers?
Thread poster: Jessica Noyes

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 10, 2010

I recently received a query from an outsourcer who had found me in the directory. Attached was a pdf to be looked at. At the time I was on my slower computer, so it took me a while to open the pdf to see if I could do it. When, after fifteen minutes or so, I responded positively with my rates, I received a friendly e-mail saying she had assigned the job to someone else *who had telephoned*. This got me wondering about the pros and cons of phoning an agency: 1) if they contact you through the directory or a "private" listing or 2) if quoting for a job. Thoughts?

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Linda Lemieux
Local time: 18:11
English to French
+ ...
I would not Jan 10, 2010

I would of done the same as you did. I would not initiate contact by phone, unless the e-mail clearly specified it or invites me to do so (which is pretty rare, from my own experience). Is it the first time that this has happened to you, with this agency?

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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
First and only time with any agency Jan 10, 2010

This was an outsourcer new to me. It had never occurred to me to phone someone, without an invitation to do so. But -- this other (successful) colleague got the job by picking up the phone, so I am wondering if I should rethink the way I do things.

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Lise Leavitt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Member (2008)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Jan 10, 2010

I have never picked up the phone and called an agency and I would not do it unless asked to. I have received several mails, in which they ask if I was available for a phone call or they have contacted me directly by phone.

I don't think what this agency did is normal procedure. Don't feel bad about loosing this job =)

Lise


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I prefer e-mail Jan 11, 2010

I never phone the outsourcers. I always send e-mail to them. I think if I phone them, they will get my number and might disturb me at the time I don't want to be disturbed.

Golden View Localization

[Edited at 2010-01-11 02:33 GMT]


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Actually, why not? Jan 11, 2010

Can you really say that telephone contact these days is in any way unprofessional or inappropriate? I think it depends on the client and on the matter. Personally, I have phoned a quite a few clients when I actually wanted the job. In the worst case, I was told I should wait for their e-mail. In some other cases, we started talking business and the job was mine. So actually, standing out from the crowd might sometimes get you there.

And let me add: I am not a phone person at all.

[Edited at 2010-01-11 08:15 GMT]


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shanasan
Local time: 02:11
English to French
+ ...
My point of view Jan 11, 2010

I might phone if its a local client. You could just say its an enquiry to know if the job is still available...

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes indeed, why not? Jan 11, 2010

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:

Can you really say that telephone contact these days is in any way unprofessional or inappropriate? I think it depends on the client and on the matter. Personally, I have phoned a quite a few clients when I actually wanted the job. In the worst case, I was told I should wait for their e-mail. In some other cases, we started talking business and the job was mine. So actually, standing out from the crowd might sometimes get you there.

And let me add: I am not a phone person at all.

[Edited at 2010-01-11 08:15 GMT]


I agree with Wolfgang. Although I'd probably reply to an email contact by email, I see no reason not to telephone if you're short of work at the time and like the look of the job that's being offered. It's certainly not unprofessional to telephone - in my view, anyway. You can always follow up by email with your CV, terms of business, etc.
Best wishes,
Jenny


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on the customer Jan 11, 2010

I am lucky my customers don't necessarily expect me to call them, although I sometimes do.

For new customers, if a major point for them is immediate voice communication, I think it's probably better to avoid them as the voice communication will not only be expected at the time of job assignment, but probably all throughout the project and even in the administrative steps. We are not always in a position to handle calls, and I reckon most of us prefer to be able to use email. It is quite simply a matter of concentration.

[Edited at 2010-01-11 10:36 GMT]


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 00:11
German
+ ...
Not me Jan 11, 2010

As an outsourcer, I'd rather not receive calls for the jobs I post here.

E-mail or the communication features provided for ProZ.com jobs are the preferred methods of contact for me. They allow me to organize the applicants' information, store it for future reference, compare applicants etc.

Also, I might not have the time for in-depth discussions the moment the applicant chooses to call me, and with e-mail and such I can manage my time more efficiently.

Just my two cents.


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:11
English to Russian
+ ...
And Jan 11, 2010

Why not?

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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:11
English to Russian
+ ...
A... Jan 11, 2010

A follow-up call after sending the email with required info (CV, experience) will make no harm.
I do it with the US clients using the advantage of direct line I have in the US.
Verbal skills will add it up to hit the base.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:11
French to English
+ ...
Phone call doesn't help for me either Jan 11, 2010

tectranslate wrote:
E-mail or the communication features provided for ProZ.com jobs are the preferred methods of contact for me. They allow me to organize the applicants' information, store it for future reference, compare applicants etc.

Also, I might not have the time for in-depth discussions the moment the applicant chooses to call me, and with e-mail and such I can manage my time more efficiently.


Completely agree -- I've occasionally been rung following a job I've posted, and really being interrupted by a phone call when you're busy going through the applications/trying to finish another translation at that moment really doesn't help. My message over the phone will always be "thank you for contacting me-- I'll get back to you". I really don't have a mechanism for putting somebody higher on the list just because they've interrupted me from what I was doing.

I guess this is a cultural/personal thing. But the idea that the telephone is "more immediate" is really based on the Internet of 15 years ago when "dialling up" and "checking your e-mail" were slightly more Herculian tasks than they are today; nowadays, I would expect anybody whose work is Internet-based to essentially be sitting permanently connected with their e-mail permanently open.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:11
French to German
+ ...
Mute exchanges Jan 11, 2010

I find constant e-mail exchanges with no phone calls are quite depersonalized... and depersonalizing. This may come from the fact that I am mainly an auditive, but at some point, I feel bad when I have no phone contact with my clients.

I also see the advantages of written communication - for example with some people who are "phone-addicted".

[Edited at 2010-01-11 17:10 GMT]


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
50-50 split Jan 12, 2010

It looks as if (like the political situation in so many countries), the responses are split down the middle. Thanks, everyone, for your input. I guess the best idea is to follow our instincts when it comes to picking up that phone.

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