Vetting agency clients - how do you screen potential clients?
Thread poster: Ted Wozniak

Ted Wozniak  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:29
Member (2002)
German to English
Nov 12, 2018

I am collecting information on how freelance translators and interpreters vet potential agency clients. If you work with agency clients, please take this short 6-minute survey today. Please cross-post to your T&I social media groups.

Thank you!


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SHC92XC


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:29
Russian to English
+ ...
Unable to answer Nov 12, 2018

I think you are oversimplifying things, your questionnaire is too rigid.
Firstly, the primary source of insight is the prospective client's behaviour. Unscrupulous clients are fairly predictable, even their language remains more or less the same. For example, phrases like "exciting new project" or "join a dynamic fast-growing team" typically mean "we are seeking a gullible newbie". Blue Board and other ranking facilities are merely supplementary sources of information, and I can attest to
... See more
I think you are oversimplifying things, your questionnaire is too rigid.
Firstly, the primary source of insight is the prospective client's behaviour. Unscrupulous clients are fairly predictable, even their language remains more or less the same. For example, phrases like "exciting new project" or "join a dynamic fast-growing team" typically mean "we are seeking a gullible newbie". Blue Board and other ranking facilities are merely supplementary sources of information, and I can attest to having built solid working relationships with clients having low Blue Board scores.
Secondly, it's hardly possible to define the most important aspect of interaction with the client; for example, if the client takes 90 days to pay my invoices but is willing to pay 25% over my usual rate, I won't refuse that.

[Edited at 2018-11-12 18:51 GMT]
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Andy Watkinson
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Edward Potter
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
similar Nov 12, 2018

I filled out the survey, but I couldn't. For example, some choices involved the agency's T&C, the agency's rates. Well, as a freelancer, an agency client is a client, and clients do not set rates. I don't tell my accountant how much I plan to pay him. The only time I would check places like ProZ or HFS is if the agency contacted me frequented such platforms, which is rare. In that case, however, I definitely would.

To start, there are impressions. If an agency contacts me with
... See more
I filled out the survey, but I couldn't. For example, some choices involved the agency's T&C, the agency's rates. Well, as a freelancer, an agency client is a client, and clients do not set rates. I don't tell my accountant how much I plan to pay him. The only time I would check places like ProZ or HFS is if the agency contacted me frequented such platforms, which is rare. In that case, however, I definitely would.

To start, there are impressions. If an agency contacts me with a presentation that sounds like they're addressing an investment convention (We are a big company with important clients and we're big and rich), that is not a good sign. If they are vague about the actual work, ditto. An agency that gets down to brass tacks: they have a specific project to be done, which they have sent me to examine, and they want to know my fee and turnaround time - that is a good sign.

The next impression is, when I ask specific questions about the project, can they answer the question, and are they organized enough to get back to me on it. Or are they lost or inflexible? Collaboration needs to go smoothly in order for me to do my job properly.

I prefer to do small jobs with new companies, until I know them and we have proven ourselves trustworthy to each other. If I was recommended by another company with whom I have worked for some time, then that may already be good enough.

If the company is (genuinely) in my country, and especially if in my province or city, that also holds some level of guarantee (thought not always).
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Chris S
Kay Denney
Edward Potter
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
+1 Nov 13, 2018

I rely entirely on common sense and gut instinct.

I have never consulted the Blue Board etc.

I also find that charging high prices tends to screen out most of the jokers.


Christine Andersen
Kay Denney
José Henrique Lamensdorf
Edward Potter
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:29
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Huh? Nov 13, 2018

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

I filled out the survey, but I couldn't.


?


Andy Watkinson
Chris S
Edward Potter
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:29
German to English
+ ...
answering Nov 13, 2018

Tom in London wrote:

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

I filled out the survey, but I couldn't.


?

It's explained in the rest of my post which you didn't quote.
Maybe I should have added the word "really".


Edward Potter
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:29
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Til minne om
Glitch on Q7 Nov 14, 2018

Q7 does not accept "Other" as an answer, it requires one of the other options to be checked.

AMOF my answer is ANY of these being self-sufficient on its own, none of them is more important than the others. Perhaps a multiple-choice structure would have been better.


Edward Potter
 

Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
"Reminder: We want your opinion", or Please don't send me survey reminders Nov 15, 2018

I don't mind getting an occasional email with a request to fill in a survey. Sometimes I do participate. If I haven't acted on that, it means I don't feel like it at this time or have other things to do. But please don't send me reminders. It'll only make me less likely to do what you want from me.

 


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