Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: If a regular client does not contact you for some time, do you contact them?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:11
SITE STAFF
Jul 10, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If a regular client does not contact you for some time, do you contact them?".

This poll was originally submitted by Daniela Slankamenac. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jul 10, 2012

pes·ter (pstr)
tr.v. pes·tered, pes·ter·ing, pes·ters
To harass with petty annoyances; bother. See Synonyms at harass.

You could always try sending them a greetings card or similar overture if you are really worried about their lack of activity.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 08:25 GMT]

I fact, I am in this situation this week. I have one client who usually sends me texts from his magazine for translation and revision every 2 months, and I expected the usual from him last week. However, he hasn't sent me anything yet, but I was busy from Thursday until yesterday with other clients so was quite glad that I didn't get anything from the bi-monthly guy; if he doesn't appear in the next day or two, I'll simply assume that it's been a slow couple of months for him - he also uses other translator colleagues, and at least one of them has had some short texts in the past ten days - and I'll put the time to better use, like going to the beach, or having a barbecue. The last thing I'd do would be to contact him - I'd worry about appearing anxious and needy, which is not the image I want to project.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 08:33 GMT]


 

Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:11
Member (2003)
German to English
After a very extended period, yes Jul 10, 2012

In some cases good clients suddenly stop delivering work. (Another good reason to broaden your client base!) If this continues for an extended period -- 4 months? 6 months? -- I'll often drop a note to find out why. In almost every case it is because they have brought someone on in-house and didn't mention it, but there's no harm in checking up.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:11
Hebrew to English
Since when do clients 'owe' us anything? It's unseemly Jul 10, 2012

If I were to contact them it would reveal a sense of entitlement that I don't believe most people share. i.e. I'm contacting you because you haven't sent me work, why?

I believe it would perplex some people, even offend others and in my opinion, lacks professionalism as regardless of the intention behind it, it's going to look like "fishing for work" no matter what.

Regular clients know where I am......

Oops, edited for typo.



[Edited at 2012-07-10 10:50 GMT]


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
In principle, no, but... Jul 10, 2012

... of course you would like to know why you have disappeared from a client's radar.

The only way I do actively use is to take advantage of appropriate moments (a festival such as Christmas, New Year, or holiday periods) to send out a message about availability, and include a personal greeting.

Some I hear back from, some start to send work again (coincidence? who knows?) and some never respond, so after a couple of years I strike them off the list.

I don't think the frequency qualifies as pestering, although I think Neil's warning is wise; I do have clients who only use my services quite irregularly, it must be said.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Dazed and confused Jul 10, 2012

Dazed ... because I am in the middle of a huge mind-numbing project from a new client, i.e. not "regular" client
Confused icon_confused.gif ... because if a regular client stops contacting me, they aren't "regular" any more., are they?

If the above happens, this might make me start worrying that they're having difficulties, so a courtesy call might be in order after a while. However, whether or not I'd contact them depends entirely on how well I get along with the person in charge or how financially dependent I am on the client.

In the long run, though, one thing all of us must bear in mind is that freelance or independent translators are hired hands -- we're useful only when there's work around to be done.

And as Ty said, we don't owe clients anything as much as they don't owe us anything.

Anyway, still "regularly" confused ... icon_confused.gif

Oops, edited small typo.
Must still be dazed

[Edited at 2012-07-10 12:09 GMT]


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:11
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
no Jul 10, 2012

I've found that usually when clients stop contacting me it's because they don't have much work in my language pair or they focus more on french only. Mind you, there are a few who were giving me really regular work, had great relationships with them then stopped. I don't worry too much about it being the quality of my work. I think in some cases they may have hired someone in house. However, I keep working to expand my client base as I've learned that this can happen fairly often.

If someone does contact me with a project after a long time I may ask what's been going on. Usually it's like I said, that they aren't doing as much in my language pair and their usual translator can handle the load.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:11
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes Jul 10, 2012

I have no problem in contacting my regular customers when I do not hear anything from them for a while. I generally just ask them if anything is upcoming as I have a few other projects on the run and do not want to be in the situation that I have thousands of words to be translated at the same time that has an effect on the quality.
I just do this for my own planning and only when I know that the work should already have been assigned.
Fortunately, I have a great relationship with 90% of my customers that I am able to just give them a quick ring, it does not have anything to do with begging or "pestering" either


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:11
Member (2009)
French to English
No Jul 10, 2012

On principle, I would never do this since I think it is unprofessional. Mind you, I confess that it is temping to want to find out what has changed and why.

 

Wolfgang Vogt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:11
English to German
+ ...
not usually Jul 10, 2012

Not usually, maybe if I've got a very good relation with my client and I know that a project should be coming up soon. Or if I was really desperate, one never knows...

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Cultural differences Jul 10, 2012

I think that people's answers to this poll will most likely be dependent on cultural norms and accepted business practices in the countries they live in or deal with.

For example, in Japan
Making calls or inquiries - by phone, mail or actual visits - is the accepted norm here. This is your way of saying you're available and creating some kind of rapport with the customer. It shows your willingness and eagerness to work with the customer -- rather like a courting ritual. Hopefully, the customer will warm to your advances and start purring. icon_biggrin.gif

Conversely, you would be considered lacking in initiative or social skills even, if you didn't call the customer regularly. Customers/clients here would readily tell you that they don't give you work because they don't hear from you often enough or show enough interest in them.

If the results of this poll were totaled by region -- as opposed to simple blanket Yes/No answers -- I think we could get a better idea about the differences in business practices between regions, say, Asia, Europe and North and South America, which would be really interesting and useful to know.

After all what's kosher in one place isn't necessarily so elsewhere.

Just a thought. Any ideas anybody?


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:11
Member (2009)
French to English
Interesting Jul 10, 2012

Julian makes a very interesting point. My response is coloured by working in France. As far as I can make out, French customers prefer not to be bothered by unsollicited contact. If they need your services, they'll let you know. But has anyone had a different experience or adopt a different strategy in France? I am obviously excluding sending speculative applications to translation agencies, which I do all the time. I mean how translators deal with direct customers in France with whom they have had regular business.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 14:07 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Business practices elsewhere Jul 10, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

I think that people's answers to this poll will most likely be dependent on cultural norms and accepted business practices in the countries they live in or deal with.

For example, in Japan
Making calls or inquiries - by phone, mail or actual visits - is the accepted norm here. This is your way of saying you're available and creating some kind of rapport with the customer. It shows your willingness and eagerness to work with the customer -- rather like a courting ritual. Hopefully, the customer will warm to your advances and start purring. icon_biggrin.gif

Conversely, you would be considered lacking in initiative or social skills even, if you didn't call the customer regularly. Customers/clients here would readily tell you that they don't give you work because they don't hear from you often enough or show enough interest in them.

If the results of this poll were totaled by region -- as opposed to simple blanket Yes/No answers -- I think we could get a better idea about the differences in business practices between regions, say, Asia, Europe and North and South America, which would be really interesting and useful to know.

After all what's kosher in one place isn't necessarily so elsewhere.

Just a thought. Any ideas anybody?


I would do so badly in Japan! While here in America it is customary to take the initiative and call a prospective client, calling him periodically to see if there's work —even if done out of a genuine interest in that client— is not so cool. Like Neilmac said, the client will feel harassed.

What I have adopted as a means of showing interest to my habitual clients is a handwritten note of thanks, or a thank-you card with a handwritten note in it. They really appreciate that and they keep me in mind for future projects.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
This reminds me of Argentina Jul 10, 2012

David Hayes wrote:

Julian makes a very interesting point. My response is coloured by working in France. As far as I can make out, French customers prefer not to be bothered by unsollicited contact. If they need your services, they'll let you know. But has anyone had a different experience or adopt a different strategy in France? I am obviously excluding sending speculative applications to translation agencies, which I do all the time. I mean how translators deal with direct customers in France with whom they have had regular business.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 14:07 GMT]


The French are alike Americans: they will contact you if they have work for you. In Argentina, however, it is okay to do what Julian described is done among the Japanese, but for different reasons: Argentine businesspeople like to hear from you from time to time, go out for coffee, lunch, etc. They like to be approached as a sign of interest and almost friendship.

This whole exercise reminds me of dating customs across different cultures: an otherwise friendly approach can be construed as harassment by others in a different culture.

icon_smile.gif


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Neil and Ty Jul 10, 2012

Making these kinds of contacts can be annoying to the agency/client, and reflect an unseemly neediness and entitlement on the part of the translator.

If the reason you've been cut loose is because they weren't happy with your work, they most likely would have let you know this (if only to wring a discount out of you), so this is a poor pretext for such a contact as well.

I am not in the least happy about it, but my own experience has been that very few clients tend to be frequent repeat customers over the long term. Best is to accept this, and rather than send thinly veiled snivelling and grovelling messages, or giving transparent reminders under the lame pretext of Christmas, Hannukah, or Kwanza greetings, one would typically be better served to spend time prospecting new clients.

[Edited at 2012-07-10 18:32 GMT]


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: If a regular client does not contact you for some time, do you contact them?

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search