Is there any mechanism you use to know if your clients are still working with you?
Thread poster: Manuel Aburto M

Manuel Aburto M
Nicaragua
Local time: 05:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 19, 2007

Hi dear Prozian colleagues:

Actually, I would like to know if any of you implements any sort of mechanism in order to know if your clients are still working with you.

I do know and take for granted that:

If you do an acceptable and high-quality translation, render documents on established deadlines, you will not have to worry about anything.

But, still I would like to know if you use any sort of mechanism to guarantee said client- service provider (translator) relationship.

I would appreciate any comment about it.

Regards,


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:32
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Occasional phone call? Apr 20, 2007

Manuel Aburto wrote:

Hi dear Prozian colleagues:

Actually, I would like to know if any of you implements any sort of mechanism in order to know if your clients are still working with you.

I do know and take for granted that:

If you do an acceptable and high-quality translation, render documents on established deadlines, you will not have to worry about anything.

But, still I would like to know if you use any sort of mechanism to guarantee said client- service provider (translator) relationship.

I would appreciate any comment about it.

Regards,



Hullo Manuel,
As a rule I find that clients don't comment on one's work unless there has been a complaint (rare, happily) and one assumes that "no news is good news".
During slack times, I sometimes telephone my regular clients to ask about work (only occasionally) and to my surprise this often results in them sending me work soon afterwards.
It also sometimes happens that staff leave an agency, taking their list of translators with them, and are replaced with new staff who don't know you. By telephoning you can introduce yourself to new PMs. Or there may have been a change of management - again, the call can help you find out - but I wouldn't do it often.
Best of luck,
Jenny.


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Guarantee"? Apr 20, 2007

Manuel Aburto wrote:

But, still I would like to know if you use any sort of mechanism to guarantee said client- service provider (translator) relationship.



Hello Manuel,

There's nothing like that in a free market. The only thing you can really do is to provide your best service every time you have the opportunity to do so... not much more.

You can also try to keep in touch with your customers somehow, but this is not always easy. Calling them "just to say hello" is sometimes good, but can also be a problem if you abuse.

As Jenny says, someone may leave a company, and the substitute may not know you. Sometimes the replaced person is not your contact, but decides on provider selection policy. A call may help you to evaluate the situation.

But for those and a hundred more reasons, I never assume that a customer is "mine", even if they have been working with me for 6-7-8... years.

One sure thing: If you work well, deliver good jobs in time, and demonstrate good problem solving abilities, some customers will remember you. Those are "your (real) customers". Even if the rest are great people to work with, you'll need to keep on working until they enter into that category.

Best luck!

Ruth @ MW


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:32
English to German
+ ...
Excellent points, Jenny and Ruth! Apr 20, 2007

megane_wang wrote:

Calling them "just to say hello" is sometimes good, but can also be a problem if you abuse.

As Jenny says, someone may leave a company, and the substitute may not know you. Sometimes the replaced person is not your contact, but decides on provider selection policy.



I don't consider cold calling a good idea as your phone call might be disruptive. As long as you don't have some great news to tell (change of address, you won an award), such phone calls simply indicate that you have too less to do and you are desperate for a job. Very bad.

Sending an occasional email (Happy -whatever- holiday or even "To my clients: I will be out of town during....") can never hurt.

Those emails may include messages such as: "I always enjoy working with you and I would love to hear from you again. Please have a great day!" or similar. This way you simply send a message that you are still alive and kicking and available without being pushy.


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Jenny Duthie  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:32
French to English
Agree it's probably better not to call agencies too often Apr 20, 2007

Nicole

I agree with your points here, personally I prefer to get in touch via email with for example an updated CV eg if I've done some training, have some new TM or other relevant translation software, which gives you a relevant excuse to contact them. I think it's important that the wording of the email/call does not suggest that you are "too" available ie desperate for work!!


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Tend not to do anything Apr 20, 2007

It's happened a couple of times (the most important being an agency I invoiced for several jobs every single month in 2005 and not at all in 2006), and I do wonder if there was some problem they didn't tell me about. But as I'm usually rushed off my feet, it hasn't made any practical difference and so I've just left it.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
the "what ifs" of being a freelancer Apr 20, 2007

I don’t know about the others here but I think the calms between the storms are a normal part of any freelance work. If you’re just starting or work in a highly specialised area, it’s also easy to get a little nervous when you don’t hear from a particular client after a certain period of time.

It’s normal to begin to wonder and form a long list of "what ifs", “Did I do something wrong and they haven’t told me?”
“Maybe they’ve found someone with cheaper rates”, “Perhaps, the agency is having financial trouble and has slipped away under the cover of darkness…” The list of questions we could torture ourselves with is as long as human fear can make it and is probably worth a forum all by itself

When the client does get back to you, they usually say something like, “Oh sorry, we haven’t been in touch…” and then give a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why they haven’t called or written, which can leave you feeling silly for having worried in the first place.

I think the posts up to now have given really good advice. Just take it easy and relax.

You yourself said,
“If you do an acceptable and high-quality translation, render documents on established deadlines, you will not have to worry about anything”.

If you really feel the urge to call or write, as has been said here, do it without looking desperate. If not, it could backfire on you!


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Manuel Aburto M
Nicaragua
Local time: 05:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for all your comments! Apr 20, 2007

I really appreciate all your comments.

I will take them into account to solve my communication issue.

Sometimes it is good to listen to the experience of all of you!

Once again, Thank you, very, very much.

Regards,

Manuel


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