A good news story
Thread poster: Gül Kaya

Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:20
Turkish to English
+ ...
Oct 30, 2013

I would like to give an example here of a transaction with a client a couple of weeks ago where absolutely everything could have gone wrong but instead things turned out to be rather marvellous, largely because I went with my gut instinct. Just about everything about the way the client approached me was a no-no in our translator's toolkit.

1.The email was not addressed in my name but instead to sir/madam. I myself have written in these forums that I don't normally reply to such generic salutations. However I cottoned on after a while that the email had come through my website and there is no indication there as to my gender, so how else could they have addressed me?

2. The email signed off with just a forename and no surname.

3. This company is not on Proz and hence no Blue Board entry.

4. There was however a website which I checked - but anyone can put up a website you say.

I did make one concession and phoned the number though - which existed and I talked with the person. But again, what does that prove?

Things not looking good so far. But I was intrigued and after a few emails to and fro which basically involved me stating my rates and deadline and them being accepted outright, I accepted the assignment and got to work half thinking that this had all been far too easy, no one had quibbled my rates, they'd allowed me to set the deadline and that I would need to write this off and duly kick myself for being so naive.

I sent it off within the deadline together with my invoice and got an email back saying it would be settled that day. And lo and behold, a few hours later it was in my bank! What?

So I guess the moral of the story is, nothing is set in stone and trust your instincts. Or was I just very, very lucky?


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Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:20
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Honest and correct clients ... Oct 30, 2013

... do exist!

That's all.

I hope this client comes back to you in near future.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Congratulations Oct 30, 2013

It's nice to know that sometimes things do work out without any pitfalls or disappointments!
Now that we're on a happy tip, I'd like to add to the positive news with a personal anecdote of my own. One of my clients has just asked me to bill them for around 5K which they have left over from a research budget and which needs to be spent before the end of November; they will then send me translation work up to said amount whenever they need to, without having to worry about funding for it, and I'll have 5K of income assured. It certainly makes a change from chasing up late payers!


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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:20
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Sezgilere güvenmek (to trust our instintcts... Oct 30, 2013

A very happy story. In our industry many agencies have no time but have enough money

Ne mutlu size

Saludos


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Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:20
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Money that needs to be spent...on translation! Oct 30, 2013

neilmac wrote:

One of my clients has just asked me to bill them for around 5K which they have left over from a research budget and which needs to be spent before the end of November; they will then send me translation work up to said amount whenever they need to, without having to worry about funding for it, and I'll have 5K of income assured. It certainly makes a change from chasing up late payers!


Wow, that definitely beats mine hands down! Guaranteed income, what could be better?


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:20
Member
English to French
Reliable gut feeling Oct 30, 2013

Gül Kaya wrote:
...But I was intrigued and after a few emails to and fro which basically involved me stating my rates and deadline and them being accepted outright, I accepted the assignment and got to work half thinking that this had all been far too easy, no one had quibbled my rates, they'd allowed me to set the deadline and that I would need to write this off and duly kick myself for being so naive.

I sent it off within the deadline together with my invoice and got an email back saying it would be settled that day. And lo and behold, a few hours later it was in my bank! What?

So I guess the moral of the story is, nothing is set in stone and trust your instincts. Or was I just very, very lucky?

Congratulations. I've had a handful of such experiences and they alone boost my opinion about mankind.

If you can't find out much about a prospect on the internet, it may be because people tend to write more about payment issues than about how well the deal went on. From there, gut feeling and common sense are often more efficient than books on how to dodge crooks or advice about demanding a PO or prepayment at all times.

The first few e-mail exchanges are usually enough to assess the risk. When that first check is passed, prospects coming out of the blue and initial shaky "validation" checks may lead to gratifying, interesting and trouble-free jobs, with pleasant communication and quick payment to boot.

They are just sensible people who lay the right conditions to get a good job done: no haggling, proper deadline, no silly paperwork, quick payment. As far as I am concerned, I am certainly in a better mood and more willing to go the extra mile when my conditions are met. Let's not forget that in most small-scale business sectors, suppliers dictate their own conditions, not buyers.

Philippe


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Happy for you, Gül Oct 30, 2013

Philippe Etienne wrote:
The first few e-mail exchanges are usually enough to assess the risk. When that first check is passed, prospects coming out of the blue and initial shaky "validation" checks may lead to gratifying, interesting and trouble-free jobs, with pleasant communication and quick payment to boot.

That's what I find, too. Rules are very important to start off with, when you don't know what to look for, but they should only be considered guidelines later, secondary to your own gut feelings. I don't go along with many of the more simplistic rules. Some say never accept a job that has grammar mistakes etc. Well, a lot of my work involves editing English copy written by non-native speakers of English. If they were capable of writing perfect English they wouldn't need me! OTOH, that rule can help new translators to avoid being scammed.

Several years ago, I broke every rule in my book. I accepted a job from a start-up company run by two young men, with little web presence; the job was the biggest I'd ever tackled at that time (about 23k words, I believe); the subject was way outside my comfort zone and entailed loads of research (paragliding and meteorological terms); they couldn't pay my normal rate - but it wasn't urgent; they were understandably reluctant to pay more that a small percentage up-front, etc... So, I knew this job wasn't going to make me rich, and I was OK with that as it was a subject that really interested me, but I really had no guarantee of getting paid anything much at all - start-ups don't have any assets. But we had lots of email and phone conversations before the job started and I decided to go for it. And there was no problem with payment at all. It was a large amount for me in those days, though even then the rate per hour, with all that research, was far from impressive. But it was a real challenge and helped me grow as a translator. I certainly didn't regret it at any time though I did sweat a bit until the payment arrived.

To my mind, gut feeling is an important part of our arsenal in reducing business risk, so we should learn to listen to it. The only thing we can never do is risk more than we can afford to lose. If the result of not being paid by any one client (however good their past payment record is) will be homelessness, children taken into care or their needs neglected, etc., then that risk is already far too high.


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