Poll: Supposing there are no other factors involved, who gets your priority?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:18
SITE STAFF
Aug 14, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Supposing there are no other factors involved, who gets your priority?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A regular client Aug 14, 2016

My priority will go to my existing clients, but I always try to accommodate all clients to the best of my ability…

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I answered "regular", but... Aug 14, 2016

depends, I have at least one regular client I want to make irregular, if not marginal - a bottom feeder agency that too often persuades me to do "this one more job" for them. I would say a good regular client on a par with an irregular or new one who 1) pays a good price, and/or 2) offers me an interesting job in one of my "preferred" language pairs.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:18
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Regular clients Aug 14, 2016

Because they are they ones who, in your books, pay your rates and pay on time, i.e. 'regularly.' This is why you give them priority.

Simples


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TB CommuniCAT  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:18
Member (2014)
English to French
Well said Aug 14, 2016

Teresa Borges wrote:

My priority will go to my existing clients, but I always try to accommodate all clients to the best of my ability…


Exactly the same as Teresa


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A regular client Aug 14, 2016

Old ties that bind, but aren't restrictive. My regular clients always have priority. That's how they once became regulars.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The shortest payment term Aug 14, 2016

Being a "regular client" or not is already another factor, so I need an objective, unquestionable criterion.

I now reckon this stems from my days in HR management, but I try to have a solid and sensible policy in place for any situation.

Back in 2013 I took longer vacations than usually, two weeks instead of one. I keep in touch with e-mail occasionally, but don't do any work while I'm away.

On my return, the pile of requests was high, and some were a bit desperate. One offered to pay 50% extra to be the very first to be served. Another one learned about it, and offered an 80% rush surcharge. Well, I couldn't honestly waitlist a job that was paying 50%, and if I waived the surcharge to do so, the 80% topping one would probably drop to 50%, thus starting an endless cycle.

I also realized that rush surcharges contributed more to havoc in my schedule than to my income. So I took this chance to ban rush surcharges, except as prescribed by the Brazilian law on sworn translations.

As fairness and transparency are two valued tenets in my practice, I decided to temporarily serve the shortest payment terms first. Tit for tat, rush for rush. It worked SO well, that I made it permanent.

It took a while before I saw the beauty in it. All that anyone demanding absolutely top priority has to do is to pay (normal rates) in advance. I take only ONE such job at a time, and won't drop it until finished and delivered. The beauty lies in the fact that, after one client has prepaid for a job, they can't time-travel to prepay earlier.

For the record, I've been having only 2-3 prepaid rush jobs per year, and 95% of my clients pay me COD, i.e. within two business days. It's worth mentioning they have a significant price advantage in that, since monthly (sic!) interest rates in Brazil are numerically close to, for instance, the yearly interest rates in the USA.

There is one type of case left with urgency surcharge: same-day service on large jobs. These won't, however, overturn a prepaid job. If these clients are so dastardly unlucky to need this on the very same day I am taken by a somewhat rare prepaid job, they'll have to find someone else to do it.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only theories, IMO Aug 14, 2016

If we actually study the reality, we'll likely find out that when the person has free time, they'll take the jobs in order of arrival for short time, and think about better and worth jobs only for longer terms.
Up to one week ahead, I doubt anyone will refuse a job because a better one MIGHT show up. What if it doesn't?
Now, talking about more than one week ahead, one may refuse a job because there is a good probability of something better showing up that they'd have to give up for having accepted another not-so-good job.
So the first factor is how long ahead - for the next few days of for future planning.
And the second factor is one's availability - immediate and mid-term.
Then come the other factors.

[Edited at 2016-08-14 15:33 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Too many assumptions Aug 14, 2016

The right client (old or new) with the right project at the right time. That's the one that gets priority.

Sometimes I wonder if the freelance bloggers or writers for pseudo business magazines such as Inc. and Fast Company sneak in Proz.com to offer such insipid, low-IQ and puzzling poll questions.

The bar is already so low that writing for the soon-to-disappear Yahoo seems lucrative and intellectually stimulating.


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:18
Member
German to English
+ ...
All Aug 14, 2016

I prioritize regular clients who have formed a good relationship but new clients are also a way forward. I have one client who pays the lowest rates and is sometimes undiplomatic. They are slowly moving to the bottom of the pile.

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I often do refuse Aug 15, 2016

Mario Freitas wrote:

If we actually study the reality, we'll likely find out that when the person has free time, they'll take the jobs in order of arrival for short time, and think about better and worth jobs only for longer terms.
Up to one week ahead, I doubt anyone will refuse a job because a better one MIGHT show up.

[Edited at 2016-08-14 15:33 GMT]

I still work for some bottom feeders (which includes about 80% of my local agencies), but I have made it a policy not to accept large jobs (let's say more than 10-20 pages) from them, precisely to avoid blocking my capacity. But it is true that I am not in a position where one job more or less would be a question of survival. I prefer walking my dog to working for peanuts and/or on jobs I dislike.
And

[Edited at 2016-08-15 06:20 GMT]


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Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 17:18
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree Aug 15, 2016

EvaVer wrote:

I prefer walking my dog to working for peanuts and/or on jobs I dislike.


Hooray to that! Clients who don't think they need to show respect and pay well should be left unattended.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:18
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Agree Aug 17, 2016

EvaVer wrote:

Mario Freitas wrote:

If we actually study the reality...


.. I prefer walking my dog to working for peanuts and/or on jobs I dislike.


Of course. I'm the first one to say I'd better sit and watch a movie or read a book than working for peanuts. My children would appreciate that a lot too.
I didn't mean to suggest anyone should ever accept work for peanuts. Not only I don't, but I'm thoroughly against the practice. I only meant you usually choose among the usual and acceptable choices only when your wchedule is full for the next few days.


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