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Poll: Have you ever lost a client by saying no to job offers too often?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:12
SITE STAFF
May 20, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever lost a client by saying no to job offers too often?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sonja Allen

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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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:12
Latvian to English
+ ...
I've tried dropping hints May 20, 2008

I've sometimes refused jobs in the hope that the client will eventually take the hint and stop contacting me. There are various reasons for wanting to drop certain clients, which I won't go into right now.



[Edited at 2008-05-20 16:45]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never refused a job.... May 20, 2008

.... from regular customers paying a reasonable rate. We have a customer whose jobs are very interesting but who can only offer a really low rate, so if we are busy we say no to their job offers. But still they do ask us every now and then.

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Elena Carbonell  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:12
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I have refused a couple of jobs and had no problem at all! May 20, 2008

They were also regular clients. My main reasons to refuse a job were:
1. luck of time; I was already busy with another project
2. insecure. When it comes to legal documents I feel pretty insecure. I always have a look first and when I think I cannot deliver a good translation, then I just decline it.

But to tell you the truth I always feel very bad about declining a job since I have this paranoia (and seeing this poll I am not the only one) that they might not contact me again...which luckily wasn´t the case.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:12
English to Arabic
+ ...
Other: Maybe? May 20, 2008

I may have done, but I didn't make the connection then.
If it did happen, it was probably after 2-3 "no"s max, so if that was enough to make me lose them, there's not much I can do!


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 00:12
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
If I didn't refuse on a regular basis... May 20, 2008

I'd be doing myself and the world a major disservice. I would be glued to the computer day and night and would have to train myself to type while I'm sleeping. And learn to sleep sitting up. And never leave the house.

The list goes on...

I equate freelancing with a deluxe buffet. You load up your plate with what you like (or what's good for you) and leave the rest behind. In other words: all you can eat does not mean eat it all!


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Celia Recarey  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Me too... May 20, 2008

Jana Teteris wrote:

I've sometimes refused jobs in the hope that the client will eventually take the hint and stop contacting me. There are various reasons for wanting to drop certain clients, which I won't go into right now.



[Edited at 2008-05-20 16:45]


And it has worked


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It takes all kinds ..... May 20, 2008

I lost this long time client by saying "no" only once. It happened when I was working up to my neck for long many days, and there was no room, not even one short job. Although this particular job was pretty big.
So from his standpoint, he was doing a lot of favor to me, I guess.
Prior to that, I made every effort to make room for him, even I was working to my limit.
That one single "NO" did it all. It takes all kinds to make this world go around.
I am glad I have only one single such case.

In other cases, when their request were getting too unreasonable, I gave them many no. They left me, and that's fine also.


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:12
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I used to turn down quite a bit of work May 20, 2008

When I was living in Brazil, one company in particular kept me really busy and I sometimes had turn turn down as many as 3 or 4 jobs a week from them. They never complained...just got another freelancer to do them.


Amy


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
Balancing Act May 20, 2008

I regularly turn down work from each of my clients, simply because I can't (and don't want to) work harder than I do. If I'm interested in the job, I provide my best possible deadline if I can't meet the client's one and that is often good enough - i.e. they decide to wait the extra day or two.

If their job is really so urgent that it can't wait, they are professional about it - knowing by now that when I say I can't, it really means I can't - ask when I'll be free again and consistently come back then with new job offers.

I do try and make a point of not turning down the same client twice in a row though.

It's a fine balancing act at times, but by consciously not letting one client monopolise too much of my time, it somehow works out.

For instance, if one of my clients has a larger job, they know that I'll only dedicate half my daily output to it (approx. 2,000 words) and we arrange deadlines accordingly. That way I can spend the afternoons on other clients' work (a further 2,000 words). It means I don't get bogged down in one job or take myself out of the market.


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation Agencies May 21, 2008

Agencies usually stop contacting freelancers after three "I'm not available" answers. I have, however, recovered all of them by letting them know when I am free

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Raising their rates, the only way to go ahead May 21, 2008

Jana Teteris wrote:

I've sometimes refused jobs in the hope that the client will eventually take the hint and stop contacting me. There are various reasons for wanting to drop certain clients, which I won't go into right now.


Yes, I can see what you mean. With one of the companies we would love to work more for, and who keeps asking, we turn down 95% of their projects and only take them when we are really very quiet (this does not happen often), and every now and then we state how nice it would be if they were in a position to offer higher rates, etc. etc., as we could concentrate more in their jobs etc. etc. etc....

But they never raise the rates, and we continue in this odd situation of seeing them send the jobs to people who are a lot cheaper and make unacceptable mistakes again and again. After that, they spend some more cents in a reviewer, and on top of that they spend some more cents in a proofreader after DTP. Wouldn't it be simpler if they gave us all those cents and get it right from the beginning? We have expressed this to this customer many times, but for some odd reason they keep thinking that a bad translation+2 editors is better than 1 good translation. I don't get it, but...

We would prefer to do it right for them... but at the right price too.

[Edited at 2008-05-21 05:41]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, some May 21, 2008

Some who are non-payers or who have to be forced to pay, of course; but you cannot say I have "lost" them, because I have rejected them myself. Why do I want them?

There are times that I must turn a job down because for one reason or another I just cannot do it right then but clients can understand that. I am only one, with no backup, and they know it. But then again, whatever I provide them is guaranteed to be my work only so that keeps them coming back.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:12
Flemish to English
+ ...
Best rate clients May 21, 2008

It are my rates and my conditions meaning : a decent rate in a strong currency (not best rate in USD), timely payment (30 days or sooner), no reductions for CATs or other tools. It is better to end up with a small portfolio of customers paying according to these conditions than being paid peanuts, which are halved by the rate of the USD, paid after 60 or more days, having to chase your money and giving reductions for using "tools".
This means that direct customers are more interesting than agencies.

[Edited at 2008-05-21 07:44]


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:12
Italian to French
+ ...
never refused a job May 21, 2008

because I work only with directs clients and when I explain my activity I say what I do and what I can not do (languages, type of translation, number of words per day and so on) so when they call me they already know that it's propabily possible.

(sorry for my ... broken english .... I don't practice enough)


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