Thread poster: Laerte da Silva
I have managed to build a strong clientele in the academic field through word of mouth and direct mailing. However, I haven't found a way to reach companies and diversify it. Any suggestions?
| | Yolande Haneder
Local time: 09:41
German to French
| My opinion about it is... || Aug 9, 2006 |
It's like some big bosses :
You won't reach them, they will reach you if they need you.
I understood it as I wanted to send some presentations in the letter box of companies and noticed they didn't have any letter box.
Send a mail that they don't want to, it will be thrown away from the receptionist.
Send a not wanted e-mail, it will be thrown out by the secretary.
Make a not wanted call, you won't get further along.
It's like fishing, you have to be at the right time at the right place and baiting a bit so that they notice you.
Baiting will however work only if they are interested.
| | teju
Local time: 01:41
English to Spanish
| It depends... || Aug 10, 2006 |
I suppose things may be different in different countries. I live in the US, and I have gotten new clients with phone calls or a personal visit. I stop by with my CV and a business card, to introduce myself. There are times when I don't get very far, and others when the receptionist will call the person who handles these matters and we meet face to face. As long as they forward your business card to the right person, that's a good contact. You can also get that person's name, and follow up with a call on another day.
Over the phone, I try to tell them about the benefits of working with a freelancer. Some companies spend a lot of money on translations with agencies for years, completely unaware that there are people out there with no middle man. I'm not cheap, but agencies do charge a lot more than I do. Once they find out that my rates are not outrageous, then I speak about the quality of my work. I have permission from several clients to use them as references, and that's the best credential, "I do the translations for so and so". I don't have to remind you that this is not the time to be modest.
Let's not forget that timing has a lot to do with how successful you are. Sometimes you happen to come by or call right when they need you.
Of course, word of mouth is the best way to get new clients. When you have a happy client, they'll brag about you, and how they found you, as if you belong to them. You are "their" translator. There's nothing like third party endorsement. That's why I'll always go the extra mile for my regular clients. I'll work weekends, and late at night to help them with an unexpected deadline. In turn, they become loyal clients.
And hopefully, one day you get to the point when you have to turn down assignments, you stop looking for new clients, because you are so busy. Hope that day comes in the near future for you! Best of luck,
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