Poll: Do you work with direct clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:53
SITE STAFF
Nov 23, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you work with direct clients?".

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 13:53
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, at times Nov 23, 2013

Roughly 2% of my turnover so far this year has been work with direct clients.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, frequently Nov 23, 2013

In fact, I hardly do any agency work any more (touch wood).

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, frequently Nov 23, 2013

Approximately half of my jobs are from agencies and half from direct clients, with monthly variations...

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:53
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, frequently Nov 23, 2013

Most of my work at the moment is with direct clients. They can be harder to find, but, in my experience, often result in a long term collaboration, and a stronger working relationship. I have worked with some nice agencies, too, but for them I am just one on a list of many translators, and so things are more formal and impersonal.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:53
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Used to Nov 23, 2013

As in, I don't any more.

Even though the rates are obviously better working with direct clients, there is more time-consuming interaction and dealing with petty and annoying inquiries and telephone calls that are highly distracting and interrupt my other work.
Also, in Japan, especially, direct clients expect you to actually visit their offices to talk about business and projects, which can translate into 1/2 or a whole full day wasted. And, more often than not, they think that they have a direct batphone link to you 24 hours a day. No thank you!

A good customer, for me, is one that can interface and take all that unnecessary heat and aggaravation away from me so that I can concentrate on what I do best -- translation without the frills. And, a rate lower than that from a direct client is quite fine with me!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 23, 2013

Most of my work is with international organizations, which are a hybrid between agencies and individual customers. They receive translation work from throughout the organization and assign it as a PM would in an agency, but their "clientele" is part of the organization itself. Also, they are not out to make a profit, and their rates are established by an international committee. They are not negotiable.

Also, international organizations sometimes hire agencies.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:53
English
+ ...
Only. Nov 23, 2013

.

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Mostly direct clients (recently) Nov 23, 2013

Until a year or so ago almost all my work (technical & commercial) was from agencies. But fortunately I have been able to do more literary translations recently: novels, short stories, articles for a business magazine. The magazine pays very promptly (was paid this morning for a translation I had only sent off a few minutes before). One job is proofreading chapters of a series of big novels, so that should go on for quite a while. Another is for a science-fiction novel (just completed first few chapters, client is currently trying to market it), and an established writer of detective stories in Russian has asked me to translate one when a revision of it is completed. The short stories also look like continuing for some time yet. All these clients pay promptly, within a few days. It does involve more emails back and forth, revisions of drafts and so on, but I don't mind that, I'm happy to work with the author to produce the best result. So far I haven't had any problems with unreasonable demands.

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Vibeke Degn-P  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 12:53
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Most are direct clients Nov 23, 2013

Yes, most of my clients are. I have a few good agency contacts, but most of my work comes from direct clients. I like it. I get to know the client a lot closer, learning what they like and want, making it easier for me to give them what they want. We all win!

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mostly direct clients Nov 23, 2013

Most of our work comes from direct clients, but I still work with one or two other agencies when I have the time.

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Chris E  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Special clients; special service Nov 28, 2013

Most of my clients are direct and they tend to come to me, referred by other clients. I am a geologist by training and am known within the business here as such. People know that they get more than just a translation service from me as I am often able to comment on the science involved, as well as the way it is argued. This saves a lot of time when we're talking about international projects that get reviewed and re-reviewed and articles for publication.

I am extremely grateful to my clients for appreciating my work enough to pass my name on to their colleagues as this trust gives me an enormous sense of personal satisfaction that you just don't get when you work with agencies, even in good teams for big projects.



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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
2/3 Nov 30, 2013

About 2/3 of my work comes from direct clients and about half of them from referrals. Its mostly consultancy firms.
Some of them provide a good steady workflow, others ad hoc jobs, the agency work smoothes everything out. I like working direct and getting to know my clients and their particularities.


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