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Poll: I consider a company my client after:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:22
SITE STAFF
Apr 23, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "I consider a company my client after:".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:22
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
a client is a client Apr 23, 2008

I don't understand the poll and I don't understand how anybody could not select:

They give me a contract (in form of a PO)

or

Only one assignment from them

I'm really interested how my colleagues (who did not select one of these options) are calling the persons/companies/entities who are sending the PO for just 1 job.

I'm attaching some definition from Google, I could not find any definition that supports a statement such as:

Once there is a long-term relationship

a person who seeks the advice of a lawyer
customer: someone who pays for goods or services
node: (computer science) any computer that is hooked up to a computer network
www.wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

means the person, business, company or other legal entity that is the purchaser of the Products and Services;
www.empr.com.au/about/

Customer. The person who hires a professional (broker, banker, lawyer, investment counsellor, etc.)
www.md-re.com/Real_Estate_Glossary/C.php

means the company, firm, body, agent or individual making the Booking.
www.qmuc.ac.uk/accommod/TermsConditionsSummer.doc


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Catherine Shepherd  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
The amount doesn't matter Apr 23, 2008

If you do a translation for someone and they pay you, they are a client... what else can they be?

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
Italian to English
+ ...
Answering the spirit of the question rather than the letter Apr 23, 2008

Of course, Siegfried is absolutely right - a client is a client is a client after just one assignment. I assume that the real question is something like "at what point does a client stop being 'just' a client and start being important to you" - however you want to define important (financially, personally, professionally etc.) I've interpreted it as the clients I'll always try to find time for, against those to whom I have no compunction in saying "no". A sort of client loyalty, if you like.

For me, it's somewhere between "several assignments" and "once there is a long-term relationship". Several assignments over several years won't make a client particularly important to me, whereas steady work will. I might also promote someone from the "just a client" category on the basis of a strong working relationship with one of the PMs, even in the absence of regular work.

[Edited at 2008-04-23 15:24]


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:22
French to English
after one job Apr 23, 2008

I consider them a client in terms of respecting confidentiality, nondisclosure, and all that after only one job. I consider them a good client after the check clears. It is a little bit of an odd question.

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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:22
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
After one assignment Apr 23, 2008

I consider a company/agency as client after having received the first assignment. But then I classify them as regular clients or ocasional clients. But still clients in both situations.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 08:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
When ... Apr 23, 2008

... the money for the first assignment is safely in my bank account.

No-one becomes my 'client' (and is flagged as such in my database) until they have demonstrated their ability to do business properly. That way I maintain a clear distinction (in my mind and in my paperwork) between 'clients' and 'the rest' - i.e. scroungers, scammers, and other undesirable riff-raff.

MediaMatrix


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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
The subtlety of "my" Apr 23, 2008

I agree with Marie-Hélène. I think that the subtlety of the question is meant to lie in the "my": at what point is it "your" client rather than just "a" client?

Of course anyone who issues a PO is a client, but I don't consider them one of "my" clients until we have built up a rapport. When I am the first person a company contacts to work on a specific project on a repeated basis, then I would probably refer to them as one of "my" clients.

Best,
Jocelyne


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:22
Member
English to French
After several assignments Apr 23, 2008

Although strictly speaking Siegfried is right, I don't consider a one-off job as specially significant for my customer portfolio.

This one-off job may have been assigned to me for various reasons (trial, incumbent translator off sick, assigned translator dropped out, quick search, etc...) that have nothing to do with my being the right translator for the job.

It is when I get more jobs from that customer that I feel I am chosen because I bring added value compared to other translators.

Otherwise I just feel I sold a product off the shelf, and a goodbye thank you concludes the customer's visit to my sweatshop and my relationship with them.

Philippe


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes! Apr 23, 2008

mediamatrix wrote:

... the money for the first assignment is safely in my bank account.

No-one becomes my 'client' (and is flagged as such in my database) until they have demonstrated their ability to do business properly. That way I maintain a clear distinction (in my mind and in my paperwork) between 'clients' and 'the rest' - i.e. scroungers, scammers, and other undesirable riff-raff.

MediaMatrix


I could not agree more! Makes perfect sense to me too!!


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:22
Portuguese to English
another dud poll Apr 23, 2008

We could do with fewer but better thought out polls. It's impossible to know what this one is really asking.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:22
French to English
Once is not enough (!) Apr 23, 2008

Sorry to all the one-assignment-makes-a-client crew, but I also like to distinguish between clients and ex-clients.

Not that I have many of the latter, and AFAIK, those I have are because I don't want to work for them any more.

But I did some single jobs for some entities in this category, and I was paid on time, and they meet all the other criteria people such as mediamatrix, Siegfied & Catherine have used. And yet they are not clients. They are ex-clients.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:22
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A client is a client Apr 23, 2008

but the possessive costs a bit more (not money).

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another dud poll Apr 23, 2008

Amen, lexical.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:22
English to French
+ ...
Clients and good clients Apr 24, 2008

I don't see what else I would call a person/company who gives me a first translation project than a client. But it IS true that my business includes clients and good clients. Some clients spend only a few days in the client status before becoming good clients - some haven't even paid yet and they are already good clients. These are typically quality-oriented people who keep in touch and have consideration for me (sound deadlines, good rates, careful project management, etc.). However, some clients stay simple clients for months, and much less often years, before they make it into my short list. I consider that for me to consider someone a good client, there needs to be a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, and that usually takes a few contracts to happen. But a healthy attitude can speed things up.

Oh, and tight deadlines and texts I have to go to great lengths for in order to provide the translation are products I only sell to good clients. People who want to pay me using a strict CAT rate scheme (I hardly ever accept this unless the base rate is high) will not make it into my short list until they drop the CAT rate scheme. A client of mine did this through his own initiative recently (and raised the rate, too) and I took it as a sign that they have a lot of consideration for me. He is now a good client and stands a much better chance at dropping off urgent work.


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