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 ways to please a translation client

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PostSubject: ways to please a translation client   Fri 15 Oct - 11:19

Ten ways to please a translation client

The easiest way to keep your translation business profitable is to cultivate a core group of regular clients who will fill your in-
box with translation projects, allowing you to spend your time
working rather than looking for work. Implementing some of the tips below will help you keep a regular stream of work coming your way.


Meet every deadline. If you can't consistently meet dead
lines, you're not well-suited to being a freelance translator.
Remember that your clients have deadlines too, and are
sometimes waiting for your work as part of a larger project.
As one experienced translator comments, "8:00 means 7:50,
not 8:10."

Be easy to reach. Put your contact information in your e-
mail signature file, so that a client never has to look up your
phone or fax number.

Realize that many times, if clients
cannot reach you immediately, they will contact another
translator.
Since over 90% of contacts from clients will be by

e-mail, put an auto-responder on your e-mail if you will be
out of the office for even a few hours.

Follow directions. While it can be time-consuming to follow many different clients' particular ways of doing things,122 SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH you will save the client time and money, and thus get more work from them, by following their instructions to the letter.

If the client asks you to put your initials in the file name, do
it. If the client asks you to put the word "Invoice" in the subject line of the e-mail containing your invoice, do it.


Don't waste your clients' time. It's acceptable, and even encouraged to ask questions when you need to clarify some-
thing. However, it's also important to show respect for your
clients' time, and for the fact that yours is probably not the
only project they are handling. Keep your e-mails short
and to the point, and make your questions clear and easy to
answer.

Provide referrals. Many translators worry that providing referrals to other translators in the same language
combination will lead to less work for themselves, but in fact the opposite seems to be true. Clients like to work with free-
lancers who solve the clients' problems, and when you're
too busy and can't handle their work or are going on -
vacation, it's a problem for them. Have the names of two or
three translators in your language combination who you
really trust, and provide these names to your clients when
you aren't available for work..

Be easy to work with. This isn't to say that you should
be a pushover or let clients take advantage of you, but for
your regular clients, it's worth putting in some extra effort.
Thank them for giving you their business; be friendly and
polite if a payment is unexpectedly late; fill in for them in a
pinch when another translator lets them down..

Ask for constructive criticism. It's important to see feed back as part of your quality assurance process, not as an attack on your abilities as a translator. If a client asks for changes in your translation, make them politely and -immediately; if you decide later that the changes are unnecessary
and you don't want to work for the client again, it's another
matter. With your regular and trusted clients, periodically TEN WAYS TO PLEASE A TRANSLATION CLIENT 123 ask what you can do to better meet their needs, then implement these changes .


Appreciate your clients. Your regular clients are the people
who make it possible for you to earn a healthy income while
living a flexible and self-directed freelance lifestyle. A small
gift at the end of the year is always appreciated when a
client has given you regular work.


Don't bicker. If a prospective client offers you a project at a
ridiculously low rate, politely decline it, possibly sending
them a copy of your standard rate sheet if you have one.
Don't insult them for offering such low pay or make negative -
comments about their business; just courteously decline
to work for them and let them move on to someone else.


Charge what you're worth, and earn it. There will always
be another translator out there who is willing to work for
one cent per word less than you are, so don't compete on
price alone. Giving your clients a little more effort than
necessary proves to them that often, they get the level of
service they pay for

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