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Poll: How often do you meet your clients in person?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:15
SITE STAFF
Jan 24, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you meet your clients in person?".

This poll was originally submitted by BelkisDV

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:15
German to English
+ ...
Rarely Jan 24, 2007

But the poll did not offer that option, so I had to click "other".

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:15
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Frequently Jan 24, 2007

Hi Everybody,

Actually, I divide my clients into three types: international, national (those clients outside my province of residence but inside my country of residence), and local (those inside my province of residence - West Sumatera).
For international clients: Never
For national clients: Seldom
For local clients: Always
Thus, Never + Seldom + Always = Frequently.

Best Regards

Hipyan Nopri


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Had to click "Sometimes"; wanted "Rarely" Jan 24, 2007

Same case as Victor in my case... but I chose "Sometimes". I try to see some of them at least once every two years.

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Rahmat Rahmat, Ph.D.
English to Indonesian
+ ...
ALWAYS Jan 24, 2007

How Well Do You Really Know Your Clients?
You must try to meet your clients to know what they want.

Devotion to your clients.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Different viewpoints... Jan 24, 2007

Rahmat Rahmat, Ph.D. wrote:

How Well Do You Really Know Your Clients?
You must try to meet your clients to know what they want.


Most of my clients live thousands of miles away. Meeting them in person is not practical or even very helpful.

Devotion to your clients.


You seem to have very definite ideas about how other people should be running their businesses: No one should take vacations, and we should all deal with all clients in person. Veeeeery interesting...


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes... Jan 24, 2007

... I have to deliver my bills in person, or they are likely to say they didn't receive them. I also occasionally still do language coaching or training, and a lot of my regular clients have come to me through this, or from when I was a full-time TEFL hack.
I don't believe it's necessary to have a face-to-face relationship with translation clients, although it is nice.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
On the subject of devotion and related matters .... Jan 24, 2007

You seem to have very definite ideas about how other people should be running their businesses: No one should take vacations, and we should all deal with all clients in person. Veeeeery interesting...


Very interesting indeed but not (quite) as much as the apparent need to comment on it - surely different or, should I rather say, alternative viewpoints are welcome?

Embrace or disregard them, don't knock them.



[Edited at 2007-01-24 22:40]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Depends where you live Jan 24, 2007

When I started as a freelance translator I lived in London and made a point of meeting as many clients as possible in person. Those I have met personally have remained good clients ever since. Now that I live in Cornwall it's much more difficult to meet clients in person, but I still think it's a good idea if possible. It's much more difficult for an agency to treat their translators as less than human (as a very few of them do) if they actually know you. Of course it's not possible when they're in another country or on another continent, as happens more and more often now that many jobs are assigned through the Internet.
A personal visit I made last year to a defaulting agency in France when I was passing that way on holiday proved productive, but I'll never work for that agency again.
Jenny Forbes.

[Edited at 2007-01-24 22:50]


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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never but not because I want it to be so Jan 24, 2007

Basically, my clients are either in Portugal but in other cities or abroad, so I never meet with them in person. I would, if I could!

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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Depends where their offices are located Jan 25, 2007

Well, I've met most of my clients from Delhi and also the clients I interpret for. And at times I meet some of the clients who come to Delhi and request to meet me. Also, if I'm in a city where a client stays, I try to meet him/ her.

Still, I think I've met less than 10% of my clients.

Well, it's also important to remember that in a job like ours, the clients change... At times some clients need my help only for French to Hindi Combination as they already have enough people for French to English or English to Hindi...

[Edited at 2007-01-25 03:32]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Devotion to your clients", my version Jan 25, 2007

Yes, I feel a true devotion and true commitment to our customers. That's why I can rarely arrange long trips (our nearest customer is 1,500 km away, the farthest one in Japan -we are in Spain-)...

As we serve nearly all our regular customers (some 10 companies) on a daily basis, how do we serve them better and how do we show devotion to them? In my opinion, by giving priority to their orders over stopping work for three days just to reach their location, have a chat (which we have over the phone sometimes) and return...


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:15
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
If e-mail and phone-calls count... then frequently Jan 25, 2007

If e-mail and phone-calls count...
I have frequent contacts with several of my regular clients.

But meeting face to face? All too rarely or never, but it does happen. I voted Sometimes. There is simply not time to travel about so much in the real world.

I believe in asking questions and settling terminology before they get to be problems, and most clients are extremely glad to help. But none of us have time to sit about drinking each other's coffee!

Besides, some clients don't want personal contact - when they send their divorce papers, for instance, or other legal jobs. Part of professional secrecy is not poking unnecessarily into other people's affairs. I do not need to know what they look like or how they have reached their decisions in order to do a professional translation.



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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:15
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Powwows/conferences are my possibility Jan 25, 2007

When I first went to a Powwow (2003) I just wanted to meet some colleagues and exchange some experiences. I was happy to meet one dear client from Austria during the Proz-conference in Berlin and one client on the beach during the Powwow in Scheveningen.
Some colleagues I met at the powwows became clients.
I have a long term relation with a big translation in the Netherlands with very friendly PM's and maybe some day I drop in just to say hello.
Direct clients: Until now I rather felt the need to meet their products in order to translate better.

Regards
Steffi


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Visiting customers is not for business/actual work discussions Jan 25, 2007

Christine Andersen wrote:
Besides, some clients don't want personal contact - when they send their divorce papers, for instance, or other legal jobs. Part of professional secrecy is not poking unnecessarily into other people's affairs. I do not need to know what they look like or how they have reached their decisions in order to do a professional translation.


I absolutely agree. Part of being a translator is... forgetting it all the next day (unless the same customer comes back with more words for the same job).

When visiting a customer, my experience shows that it's mostly about the people and their private life (discussing family, favourite goodies, their or our local costumes and history, discussing tourism possibilities in the area, etc.), rather than talking about business, which is done by email or over the phone daily. I have very rarely discussed business while at a customer's and had a chance to enjoy meeting the individuals, not the firm.


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