Poll: Of the client queries you receive, how many would you consider a waste of time?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:34
SITE STAFF
May 17

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Of the client queries you receive, how many would you consider a waste of time?".

View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 17

It depends: no query from my regular customers is ever a waste of time, but some of the queries from potential clients are, though I can’t quantify how many (1-25%?).

ventnai
 

Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:34
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
What Teresa says ... May 17

... there's a difference between existing and potential clients. In my experience, only a small part of requests from existing clients is a waste of time, while the majority of requests from potential clients is (if I include the mass mails through ProZ of agencies from far, far away offering a few cents per word - but they waste very little of my time as they disappear in the digital waste bin within seconds).

[Edited at 2019-05-17 08:38 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Gitte Hovedskov
ventnai
Robert Forstag
 

Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:34
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
None May 17

This is what I do for a living, so all queries are welcome – even such I cannot/won’t accept. And it has happened more than once that an outsourcer who’s offer I couldn’t accept (not well-paid enough or a deadline I could not meet) returned at some later time with an offer I was more than happy to accept.


I don't bother about mass mails, so they aren't wasting my time.



[Edited at 2019-05-17 08:42 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Julio Madrid
Rachel Shaw
IrinaN
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:34
Member
English to French
None of them, but May 17

Existing clients never waste my time because they pay for it.

Unknown offers I reply to are never a waste of time, because regardless of the outcome, they make me practice my introduction skills and categorize the agency (from never-to-be-associated-with to five-star) for future reference.

I don't waste time with offers I consider a waste of time, including from classification above, because you make a good first impression only once.

And mid-way, I still h
... See more
Existing clients never waste my time because they pay for it.

Unknown offers I reply to are never a waste of time, because regardless of the outcome, they make me practice my introduction skills and categorize the agency (from never-to-be-associated-with to five-star) for future reference.

I don't waste time with offers I consider a waste of time, including from classification above, because you make a good first impression only once.

And mid-way, I still have time-wasting detection issues with (usually large) agencies that use fascinating time-wasting tactics, such as gradually unveiling what they expect from the rates and conditions I disclose to them from the onset (precisely not to waste time): free rounds of validation after reviewing, payment terms from end client acceptance, 30-page NDAs, unlimited liability for errors, crooked discount grids, unfriendly admin platforms, free glossary building, compulsory programs to use and a host of other inconveniences that end up making me very very upset.
Because they manage to make me waste my time and deep inside, they believe that paying 25/hour a self-employed provider of intellectual services is fairly good in western countries.

Philippe
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Julio Madrid
Catherine Pawlick
Mirko Mainardi
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 17

Out of any that actually make it into my main email account, none really. I haven't looked at my proz-linked e-mail account for ages (since January), which is where I mostly get spammy ones, but even there, most of them seem quite sincere.

Sid Ralph
Tatyana Loshchinina
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:34
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
About 30% May 17

Those are emails from agencies that keep sending me jobs at ridiculous rates, e. g. USD 1.50 per audio minute or USD 0.03 per word.. Even though I have been letting them know that I can't afford to work for such rates, they keep coming back. And those emails from agencies that have been asked a few times to delete me from their data base unless they can afford my services, are indeed a waste of time. Yes, even hitting "delete" takes time.

[Edited at 2019-05-17 13:43 GMT]


Sid Ralph
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:34
German to English
+ ...
perspectives May 17

Some members have said that even a query that does not end up in a job is still not a waste of time. That would change my answer in the poll, because I was thinking of the question as being"how many lead to work", and I took the lowest figure.

It is part of any business to consider queries; for shop owners to have customers come in and look around etc.

Maybe what we really need to look at is how to use our time efficiently so that time does not get wasted. For example
... See more
Some members have said that even a query that does not end up in a job is still not a waste of time. That would change my answer in the poll, because I was thinking of the question as being"how many lead to work", and I took the lowest figure.

It is part of any business to consider queries; for shop owners to have customers come in and look around etc.

Maybe what we really need to look at is how to use our time efficiently so that time does not get wasted. For example, if an agency contacts me, doesn't like my fees, and wants to start discussing the philosophies of what "everyone else" (supposedly) does, any further discussion is probably wasted time. If you don't spend sufficient time setting things up and you do get the job, your time may get wasted throughout the process as things go wrong.

I get end clients who are shopping around, but most come to me as repeat customers, or because I was recommended, and we get straight to business. My agency clients will get end clients who turn out to be shopping around - it's not their fault. This is just part of business.
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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:34
Member (2018)
French to English
1 so far May 17

Well a potential client. I gave my rate, they wanted a rate that wasn't even half. They were in the US (which I hadn't realised, I prefer to only have clients in the euro zone) so they were emailing and even calling me all evening. I don't know how many times I told them no, they kept badgering me. I think I blacklisted them in the end. They kind of ruined the film I was trying to watch.
Oh and they wanted me to buy Trados too which I said I would only do for a job that more than covered
... See more
Well a potential client. I gave my rate, they wanted a rate that wasn't even half. They were in the US (which I hadn't realised, I prefer to only have clients in the euro zone) so they were emailing and even calling me all evening. I don't know how many times I told them no, they kept badgering me. I think I blacklisted them in the end. They kind of ruined the film I was trying to watch.
Oh and they wanted me to buy Trados too which I said I would only do for a job that more than covered the investment. They were insisting that they'd give me millions of words, but I simply couldnt have afforded to work at their rate.
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Sid Ralph
 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:34
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Current clients vs potential clients: May 17

I probably turn down 1 in 25 projects from my current clients.

Potential clients are different.
I don't know how many contact me for proofreading (which I don't offer) or require the use of Trades (which I don't use).
Both of these facts are easy to find on my profile.
I don't want to work for someone who can't read.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:34
German to English
Depends on the source May 17

My profile here explicitly discourages casual inquiries, so I tend not to reply to mass mailings or random inquiries from unknown parties.

I'll often respond positively to a referral from a colleague, assuming I have the availability.

One of my long-term regular agency customers will occasionally send out a feeler regarding one of their prospective customers. These tend to be a waste of time, and I usually suggest that they contact another of their regular translators.<
... See more
My profile here explicitly discourages casual inquiries, so I tend not to reply to mass mailings or random inquiries from unknown parties.

I'll often respond positively to a referral from a colleague, assuming I have the availability.

One of my long-term regular agency customers will occasionally send out a feeler regarding one of their prospective customers. These tend to be a waste of time, and I usually suggest that they contact another of their regular translators.

In general I try to accept all work from my direct clients, since these are concrete – and well-paying – offers. However, sometimes I have to negotiate the deadline if I'm in the middle of another project.
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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Over 90% of queries from potential clients May 18

With my regular clients, I only turn down work when I'm already booked and don't have enough leeway to squeeze it in. I usually let them know in advance when I'm not going to be available for other reasons. That leaves the door open for me to contact them when I'm available again. They tend to come back on their own initiative exactly when I'm ready to work.

I often respond to queries from potential direct clients, but I turn down about 90% of queries from potential agency clients.
... See more
With my regular clients, I only turn down work when I'm already booked and don't have enough leeway to squeeze it in. I usually let them know in advance when I'm not going to be available for other reasons. That leaves the door open for me to contact them when I'm available again. They tend to come back on their own initiative exactly when I'm ready to work.

I often respond to queries from potential direct clients, but I turn down about 90% of queries from potential agency clients. My main reasons: email not addressed to me personally; unacceptable rate; unreasonable deadline; request for "proofreading" or transcription, which I don't do; subject area outside my comfort zone; subject matter that doesn't appeal to me (e.g., long contracts); unreadable PDFs; or a combination thereof.
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Gareth Callagy
Teresa Borges
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:34
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
waste of time May 18

I am frequently contacted by companies via my proz page. I would say that 99 % of these are garbage.

Sid Ralph
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:34
English to German
+ ...
other May 18

I am usually happy to receive offers from clients whom I have accepted as clients in the past, even if I'm not available.
(Unless the offers originated from automated systems, in which case I deactivate such notifications and check for available work only when I want to; or unless they are mass mails which are not specifically addressed to me.)

On the other hand, I regard pretty much all offers by wannabe clients to be a total waste of time -- to the point that I checked the o
... See more
I am usually happy to receive offers from clients whom I have accepted as clients in the past, even if I'm not available.
(Unless the offers originated from automated systems, in which case I deactivate such notifications and check for available work only when I want to; or unless they are mass mails which are not specifically addressed to me.)

On the other hand, I regard pretty much all offers by wannabe clients to be a total waste of time -- to the point that I checked the option "Allow no one to send me messages via my profile page" in my Proz preferences. If someone wants to hire me, writing a regular email is a little hoop they have to jump through.
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Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:34
German to English
+ ...
part of business May 20

Storekeepers have customers browsing the shop; Anyone running any business will get queries. So in that sense it can't be a waste of time.
Just expanding on my original post which might not be seen since it has only popped up today.


 


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