Poll: Have you met any of your clients in person?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:22
SITE STAFF
May 2, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you met any of your clients in person?".

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:22
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, once May 2, 2015

Some time in the 80s, the head of a firm for which I was working regularly (three or four short items every week) gave a talk to the Translators' Guild. I spoke to him afterwards, and he invited me to visit the firm. I did so, and after that I never had any more work at all from that firm, or any response to emails asking about it. He must have taken an immediate dislike to me.
Since that experience, I have never particularly wanted to meet clients in person!


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 15:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Just like Jack! May 2, 2015

Snap! I was about to post this, when I read your comment.

I finally met a client I had been working directly with for years - we were in his city and went for a coffee - and never heard from him again after that.

Over the years I thought we had developed a good - professional - relationship, plus Christmas cards and the occasional more social chat over the phone.

I miss his work too because it was always interesting. But there you go. No use losing sleep over it.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! May 2, 2015

I have been working as a translator for over 40 years, so I had to deal with two totally opposite situations. In the first years, let’s say until the early 90s, I met almost EVERY client in person. Since then, thanks to the electronic mail system, I met just one or two…

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
A couple May 2, 2015

I have met a couple of my customers in person and am glad I did. For the most part translating is such an impersonal job in today's virtual reality of the Internet, so the occasional human contact is a good thing. The customers I have met are direct clients and a very good working relationship has developed as a result.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, a few May 2, 2015

When I lived in London and started working as a full-time freelancer in the much palmier 1990s, most of my clients were London agencies and I did go and see several of them. Luckily, they apparently didn't take an instant dislike to me. One agency even used to invite their (presumably favourite) translators to a Christmas dinner in a restaurant, most would send Christmas cards and some even a small box of chocolates or other little gift (calendar, diary, etc.).
Alas, those agencies have changed hands or gone out of business since then.
I now live about 300 miles from London, have no local clients and have acquired clients in many other countries, so visiting them is not practical for me, but I think visiting is a good idea in principle - by appointment, I'd suggest.


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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 14:22
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
No May 2, 2015

at Jack and Noni...How strange!

I've never met any and your experiences make me think it's better that way!


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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 16:22
English to Arabic
+ ...
Part of human nature?! May 2, 2015

Jack Doughty wrote:

after that I never had any more work at all from that firm, or any response to emails asking about it.



I'm thinking this is because once they meet you, they stop evaluating the work and start evaluating the person instead.

People tend to make judgments of the persons they see, hear or read.

However, if the only thing they're getting from you is your work, they would have nothing else to judge!

Better not to engage in friendly relationships with clients. Even if they are keen on starting such a relationship, sooner or later they will automatically start judging your personality separate from your performance.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A couple May 2, 2015

Indeed, it seems as if work only flows when the client has never met the translator. But no hard feelings because when one door closes, another opens and in walks a new client. That is, in the virtual world but with real work.

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few May 2, 2015

It was easy while working in-house for the company ^_^

I have only met a few of my translation clients, but I've interpreted for many of them, too.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Several May 2, 2015

I have met one or two at powwows and then they have sent me work - usually colleagues who translate into Danish and then one of their clients wants a translation into English.

The agency where I worked in house invited translators to celebrate jubilees, and I met some of the PMs then. I did not actually meet most of them when I worked in-house! I did not work at the main office where the PMs were based.

Another agency that is still very much in business holds 'Translator Days' now and then, and they are often useful - with tips on Trados or other topics of professional interest. Definitely one of my best clients...

I have met another client at translator gatherings, and I have worked for people who ran CPD courses I attended.

As I translate into English, it is an advantage for me to meet Danish translators who mainly translate the other way, but outsource work. I get myself noticed... It is quite possible that I scare some people away -- social graces are not my strong side! But I also make profitable contacts, and they come back.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:22
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
many-many of them - the owl-nest May 3, 2015

I run a tiny office (2 years ago it was a bigger one...) and deal with documents. So my clients regularly visit me, come to my flat, we have social life, tea-time, I just received a new job accompanied with a photo of the newborn of my client and they know my children as well. Since I have no relatives (everybody died in my family around 40 years of age and my family consists of my children, and my mother and brother but they are living far) so my clientele play a role of a vivid relatives)) Some of them - if they call they will come with work - I can even ask to buy milk until I prepare a coffee for us. Some told me it is unprofessional but it was interesting to see, even persons with high titles became relaxed when they were treated this other way and in a friendly atmosphere. Regular clients of mine have here their own mug which they appreciated a lot

[Módosítva: 2015-05-03 06:05 GMT]

[Módosítva: 2015-05-03 06:07 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
My situation exactly May 3, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

I have been working as a translator for over 40 years, so I had to deal with two totally opposite situations. In the first years, let’s say until the early 90s, I met almost EVERY client in person. Since then, thanks to the electronic mail system, I met just one or two…


I used to work in an office where I knew many or all of the translation clients; when I started freelancing, some of my clients were already known to me, but with the passage of time I know fewer of them.

It was my network of colleagues and former clients, all of whom I knew personally, that got me started in my freelancing career.

[Edited at 2015-05-03 06:18 GMT]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 15:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm quite a pleasant person, really! May 3, 2015

Perhaps I should balance things by mentioning that I have met other clients who continue to be clients!

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