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Agency asking for references
Thread poster: Cristina Lo Bianco

Cristina Lo Bianco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 9, 2009

I applied to an agency for starting a collaboration and they answered me asking for some references. I am not sure what I should do:

Should I give them the name of PMs in the agencies I normally work with?
Will they contact them?
Should I give them their contacts?
Should I tell the PMs that they might be contacted about me?
Will the PMs in question get annoyed at me?

Any advice will be really welcome!

Ciao,
Cristina


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Silvia Barra  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Do you want to give them references? Mar 9, 2009

Ciao Cristina,
I don't know if you are sure to give this agency your references.
If you are not, may be this old forum can be useful (I had the same doubts).
http://ita.proz.com/forum/getting_established/123361-references:_are_they_compulsory.html

I forgot: After the answers in that forum I decided not to give my references to anyone.

Silvia

[Modificato alle 2009-03-09 13:39 GMT]


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:09
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Talk to your references Mar 9, 2009

I don't recommend using anyone as a reference unless you've checked with them first. There are a lot of people asking for personal information about other people. When people ask me for information about someone I worked with before, I like to know that the person who is the subject of the inquiry is okay with that. I don't think I'm the only person who thinks this way.

I would strongly recommend not answering anyone who asks for every client you've ever had. (Don't tell them you won't provide them; simply don't respond.) Such people are likely to send these clients solicitations.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Short answers Mar 9, 2009

Hello Cristina,


No.
Yes.
No.
No.
Yes.

Ciao,
Mervyn


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Say no. Mar 9, 2009

I have been in this situation many times and I always stated the truth: that I cannot give references from other customers because doing so would be against my NDAs with my customers.

Unless there is a genuine desire to start using your services, they agree with your rate and think that you are the best candidate for their jobs, I would not give them that information. Your qualifications, experience, and eventually the results of a translation test should be more than enough.

Good luck!


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Silvia Barra  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree Mar 9, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I have been in this situation many times and I always stated the truth: that I cannot give references from other customers because doing so would be against my NDAs with my customers.

Unless there is a genuine desire to start using your services, they agree with your rate and think that you are the best candidate for their jobs, I would not give them that information. Your qualifications, experience, and eventually the results of a translation test should be more than enough.

Good luck!

I completely agree with Tomàs


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
WWA Mar 9, 2009

Hi Cristina,
As our colleagues have noted above, many PMs would be annoyed by being contacted by another agency for getting reference about their translators. So if you decide to say Yes, make sure to get the approval of the reference persons first. Some of the outsourcers understand this situations and give their ongoing consent to this - others do not or prefer to stay out of this.
This question was, in fact, one of the motivations for creating the WWA feature. The outsourcer can leave an appreciation there, its authenticity is clear, so the new outsourcer does not need to contact them to get their opinion. Quite recently I pointed this out to a new potential client, saying that I prefer them not to contact my other clients, but here and there they can see their feedback, and if they need anything else then they should ask me, and specify what they need. They were OK with this answer.
If you decide to use WWA, getting at least one more entry would be desirable. Note that many translators have reservations against using WWA, some for reasons of disclosing clients' identity. If you need more info on this, check the forums. In my experience, many agencies are easily willing to provide a WWA entry for you - and it is certainly is smaller thing to ask than an ongoing permission to use them as a reference.
Kind regards,
Attila


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Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
English to German
+ ...
No - Who knows - No - No - Yes Mar 9, 2009

Cristina Lo Bianco wrote:

I applied to an agency for starting a collaboration and they answered me asking for some references. I am not sure what I should do:

1. Should I give them the name of PMs in the agencies I normally work with?
2. Will they contact them?
3. Should I give them their contacts?
4. Should I tell the PMs that they might be contacted about me?
5. Will the PMs in question get annoyed at me?

Any advice will be really welcome!

Ciao,
Cristina


My answers:

1. No.
2. Who knows?
3. No.
4. No.
5. Yes.

Additionally, Thomás (NDAs!) is right!


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
French to German
+ ...
+1 - EOM Mar 9, 2009

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Hello Cristina,


No.
Yes.
No.
No.
Yes.

Ciao,
Mervyn


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Cristina Lo Bianco  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 9, 2009

Thanks to everybody.
I was reluctant of giving references and now I understand better why actually I shouldn't!

I will tell the agency that I never give references out of respect of my other clients privacy and see what happens. And I will also, as Attila suggests, try to get more WWA on my profile.

Ciao,
Cristina


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Suyash Suprabh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:39
English to Hindi
+ ...
It depends... Mar 9, 2009

Some "one-man" agencies use references to make new clients, but we never know whether the agency's request for reference is genuine or not.

Attila, your suggestion is very useful. Is it possible for me to provide my clients with a separate link to my WWA?


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:09
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Link to your WWA Mar 9, 2009

Hi Suyash,

I usually give the link to my profile page, where they cannot really miss the WWA entries. By directing them to your profile page, rather than the WWA entries page alone, you give them an extra chance to see more details about your activity -- which is in your best interest. However, you can also send a direct link to the WWA entry page:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=provider_popup&sp_mode=view&eid_s=XXXXX&float=y , where you should replace "XXXXX" by your profile number.

Attila


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Suyash Suprabh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 12:39
English to Hindi
+ ...
Thank you, Attila Mar 9, 2009

Thank you for your help, Attila.

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Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:09
English to Dutch
+ ...
Tell the reference PM please! Mar 9, 2009

Whether or not you want to give references in the first place is totally up to you. But if you do, it's considered polite if you let the references in on it.

Several of our trusted translators asked me to provide references and I happily obliged, but I think it would annoy me indeed if I got a call from one of my competitors (because, let's face it, that's what the other agency is to me) out of the blue. Rather than feeling as if I'm doing the translator in question a favour, I feel as if I'm being asked to provide my skill (namely, selecting brilliant & professional translators) for free. Won't improve the reference I give!

So, my 2 cents:

Should you tell the PM: no, asking is probably a better approach.
Will s/he be annoyed: I'll speak for myself, no.

[edited for typo]


[Edited at 2009-03-09 17:34 GMT]


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Outsourcer input Mar 9, 2009

Interesting to see Susan's contribution as an outsourcer. I mentioned this on a similar thread once.

What does the outsourcer gain from standing reference for you? Nothing, apart from thanks.

What does the outsourcer lose? Time, and possibly even your availability next time, since you might well be tied up working for that very customer the outsourcer helped you get.


Mervyn


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