What do you do in this instance?
Thread poster: Patricia Lane

Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
French to English
+ ...
Jul 19, 2006

Hello all,

Often, when we bid on a published job, the asker does not respond unless of course we win the bid. End of story.

When an agency contacts translators directly asking for bids for a project, the same thing can happen too.

You file the info for your next marketing mailing.

But what do you do when you are contacted directly by email by a prospect (end client, verifiable identity, all the good things) who has found you in cyberspace for a bid that you send in promptly and you don't receive any response? Do you pursue? Drop it? Call?




Aleksandr Okunev (X)
Local time: 19:20
English to Russian
Blacklist it. Jul 19, 2006

Patricia Lane wrote: Do you pursue? Drop it? Call?

Not immediatelly though.
But I never chase anyone.
Stay well,


Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Direct clients very often respond much later Jul 19, 2006

Hello Patricia,
Why not contact the client? OF course not pushing.
Sometimes (after 1 or 2 days) I write something like:"I guess you found another translator because I have heard nothing of you. I wish you good luck with the translation."

Lately I wrote a very detailled offer to one of the largest wholesaler in bulbs. Offering extra services, explaining quality assurances, dropped hints about my gardening activities etc.etc.
I was very optimistic, but only for short, because I have heard nothing of them.
Dead silence.icon_frown.gif
I did not dare to ask thinking it was a bit of overkill from my part.
But 1 week later he accepted my bid.:-)


[Edited at 2006-07-19 09:10]


Yolande Haneder (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
German to French
+ ...
It depends on the client Jul 19, 2006

Private client usually answer very quick (the next day or the day after at last).
Small companies do usually answer very quick since they need the translation quickly and there is usually only one person to decide.
Big companies answer sometimes, sometimes not. Sometimes they call you weeks after (even a month later) for the job you made a quote for because there are soooo many instances to take a decision.

Either way, I know of a company who sent me through the time 3 requests for quotes not even bothering to acknoledge receipt or to thank you for the time I spent doing the quote. I must admit at the 3rd time I didn't even bothered to look at the text for a new quote.


French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
French to English
+ ...
Follow up Jul 19, 2006

Hi Patricia,

I would definitely follow up on it. Perhaps the client has sent the request to several translators and is still trying to make a decision. A short, polite follow up will show your interest and make you stand out from the others. I have landed several interesting projects this way.

Best regards,


Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:20
French to English
+ ...
The responses are 2 for 2 Jul 19, 2006


Maybe I should have posed the question in a poll. So far, the responses are 2 for recontacting the prospect and 2 for dropping it or waiting a spell (and many thanks to those who responded).

Personnally, I tend to wait a couple of days and send a follow up note - not only for marketing purposes but to signal subtlly that when one takes time to prepare a quote, it is curteous and greatly appreciated to receive an acknowledgment -even if it is a refusal!




Aleksandr Okunev (X)
Local time: 19:20
English to Russian
N.B. «and you don't receive any response» Jul 19, 2006

Patricia Lane wrote: and you don't receive any response?

I have direct clients who are a minor PITA
(huge bureacracies) but I can always count
upon either an autoresponder echo or "Sorry,
Alex, please, wait". Thus, I get some response.

Generally it is impossible to make any rigid rules.
Play it by ear.

Stay well


Adriana Caraccio Morgan, Dip Trans IOL  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I usually put it in the quote... Jul 20, 2006


I usually include something like this just before the "Best Regards" - "Please notify us of your decision as soon as possible, even if it's a negative answer."

I work with regular direct clients, so they know my structure - I don't usually farm out work, so they know that I have to manage my schedule.

If I see the work is urgent, I am clear about that "delivery is on date X (or in N business days), but only if you give me an answer by tomorrow morning" or whatever fits the situation and the schedule. And, if the work is large or particularly urgent, I send another message, reminding them "look, have you made a decision? I have to know as I need to be able to accept other orders, manage the schedule and so on".

Never had a problem with this procedure.

I agree with one of the previous posters, I think it's just a matter of politeness to at least acknowledge receipt of your order and thank you for your time - even if the answer is negative.



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