Poll: Do you follow your first impression(s) about new clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:48
SITE STAFF
Sep 7, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you follow your first impression(s) about new clients?".

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aliyucel  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 05:48
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 7, 2011

Yes, I sometimes do, but since I have not met most of them in person, the first impression is usually based on their writing style, use of grammar, choice of vocabulary, etc. And also the number of typos in an e-mail tells me a lot

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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:48
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 7, 2011

The first impression is always relative and most of the times I do extensive research before making my first impression about a new client (BB, LinkedIn, other social media, etc.; sometimes I check if they are a registered company in their country, if possible). Usually my initial conclusion is right.

I was scammed once (it was a small amount of money, but a great lesson) and I had a small doubt about that person from the very beginning, but I accepted the project from some reason. In that case I didn't follow my first impression, so here is the result.

On the other hand, I have this client that made a very bad impression in the beginning. He called me first time very early in the morning on my mobile phone, asked if I am available for an urgent project and then kept talking for half hour (the project was due the same day ), explaining how difficult is to find a reliable translator, giving details and names, etc. I didn't know what to do. No record in BB, no profile on LinkedIn. I took the risk and it turns out they are now one of my best clients, good rates, payment on time, good instructions, nice communication, many interesting projects.



[Edited at 2011-09-07 08:36 GMT]


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:48
English to French
+ ...
not always Sep 7, 2011

I find that the 1st impression is not always the right one - some people are very good at presenting themselves despite shoddy practices and others are very bad at introducing themselves but have good business practice and are nice clients - and most are in between - in my opinion, like most things in life, only time can truly tell the true character of a person or business

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 7, 2011

patriciacharnet wrote:

I find that the 1st impression is not always the right one - some people are very good at presenting themselves despite shoddy practices


Funnily enough, working in Spain I tend to shy away from people who present themselves well, or have a slick website and/or glossy secretaries. I am quite confident that I can spot clients who are going to be troublesome or overly demanding a mile away (a recent experience with a colleague asking for help with a new client reaffirmed this) and many fall into this category.

I could go on at length about this, as I'm sure could many colleagues, but time marches on and I have a demanding client to deal with (my 5-day deadline for a 10K job seemed very long to them)....


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 03:48
English to French
+ ...
Other Sep 7, 2011

I am not so sure I remember what "new clients" are (I've been working with most of mine for a very long time).
I tend to trust my first impression (which is not always positive) with new PMs though, and strangely enough, the ones I least like to work with hardly ever stay on very long...


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:48
English to Portuguese
+ ...
They often give it away Sep 7, 2011

Some prospects come up blaring their horns about my "best" rates, fuzzy match discounts, Trados being an absolute must, and so on. Generally, their stance looks to me as if on the Final Judgment they will brandish this as having done extensive charity in their professional lives, merely by assigning translation jobs to translators.

Others show concern about my ability to fulfill their translation needs expeditiously, and with high quality. They are pleasant, but assertive. I see them as the beginning of a solid, friendly and lasting business relationship.

Yet sometimes there is a mix... A thoroughly professional and positive PM lands a job in a crooked translation agency. It may take a couple of jobs done to see through.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Sep 7, 2011

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Some prospects come up blaring their horns about my "best" rates, fuzzy match discounts, Trados being an absolute must, and so on. Generally, their stance looks to me as if on the Final Judgment they will brandish this as having done extensive charity in their professional lives, merely by assigning translation jobs to translators.

Others show concern about my ability to fulfill their translation needs expeditiously, and with high quality. They are pleasant, but assertive. I see them as the beginning of a solid, friendly and lasting business relationship.

Yet sometimes there is a mix... A thoroughly professional and positive PM lands a job in a crooked translation agency. It may take a couple of jobs done to see through.


Additionally, a person can appear to be very professional and still have a tendency to "slack".

Seeing someone eye-to-eye, always trust my first impression, but "meeting" online always need to be taken with a pinch of salt.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:48
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes - and I should more often Sep 7, 2011

A friend of mine who was a columnist once wrote:

"Never let reason interfere with the natural process of eliminating stinkers from your life."


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