After issuing a quote to a client, how long do you wait before accepting another job?
Thread poster: conejo

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:34
Japanese to English
+ ...
Jan 23, 2019

When I issue quotes to clients, I typically have a time period for which the quote is valid.

For example: The quote is $___ USD, and if you issue a PO by X:XX pm, YY time zone, Jan. 26, then I will deliver the translation by Z:ZZ am, YY time zone, Jan. 31.

I also make it clear that if they respond after that time I may not be able to do the job if I have accepted other work, and that the delivery schedule would need to be recalculated based on my actual schedule at th
... See more
When I issue quotes to clients, I typically have a time period for which the quote is valid.

For example: The quote is $___ USD, and if you issue a PO by X:XX pm, YY time zone, Jan. 26, then I will deliver the translation by Z:ZZ am, YY time zone, Jan. 31.

I also make it clear that if they respond after that time I may not be able to do the job if I have accepted other work, and that the delivery schedule would need to be recalculated based on my actual schedule at that time.

But it still involves me holding time for a client until the time I have stated. Which I think is good in terms of being reliable for the client, but there are often too many times when I am holding time for clients who take too much time to respond. Most of the time I have been giving them 24 hours to respond before taking other jobs, but if other clients ask me to issue quotes during that time, it creates a problem because I want to honor the previous time frame, but I also don't want to wait forever and need to take the jobs that are available. And having multiple quotes in progress can be a problem because it means you promised too much to too many people that cannot all be done, and I don't like this situation to occur. I am wondering what other people are doing with regard to this.

So my question to the group is: After you issue a quote, how long do you think is reasonable to wait for a client to respond before considering that quote to be invalid and accepting another job from a different client? Or do you just go with "first come first serve", and take the first job that is actually confirmed to you after that, and notify any others you quoted that you can't do that project?

I am interested in your procedures and time frames for handling this issue. Thanks!
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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't Jan 23, 2019

You're much too nice.

I don't block time until a client has confirmed. The market is so dynamic that this is what any outsourcer should expect. First come, first served.


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Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 00:34
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
It depends Jan 23, 2019

It depends on the job and on the client. If the job I quoted on is interesting and pays well but is from a client I have never worked with before, and a few hours later I get a request from a regular, valued client, I will accept the latter and notify the prospective client that my deadline for that job has now changed. I think waiting for a response to a quote for 24 hours is too long, unless you want to take a day off. The prospective client may decide to accept a quote from someone else and n... See more
It depends on the job and on the client. If the job I quoted on is interesting and pays well but is from a client I have never worked with before, and a few hours later I get a request from a regular, valued client, I will accept the latter and notify the prospective client that my deadline for that job has now changed. I think waiting for a response to a quote for 24 hours is too long, unless you want to take a day off. The prospective client may decide to accept a quote from someone else and never even let you know and meanwhile you miss out on other jobs.Collapse


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finnword1
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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 09:34
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
'first come first served' Jan 24, 2019

This has been my procedure for the last 10+ years. I will wait 3-4 hours for a client to confirm her job, but if someone approaches me withing these 3-4 hours, I will usually accept the new project.

First come first served.



[Edited at 2019-01-24 09:02 GMT]


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Daniel Frisano  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 08:34
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Here's how I do it Jan 24, 2019

Example:

"Delivery before next Tuesday, 29 January, if confirmed today. Otherwise 5 working days from confirmation."

It rarely drags beyond the following day before they confirm or cancel.


Christine Andersen
Jennifer Forbes
 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
free vs tele vs almost slave Jan 24, 2019

While clients don't always have exp with contractors, they still should obey courtesy rules and biz etiquette. Of course, a translator may deliberately educate them, explaining the ropes, the terms, and the results.

I believe the main reason for misunderstanding is many clients still think locally--with narrow understanding, confusing freelancers (working independently) and teleworkers with mere bottom-feeders as a gang of semi-contract laborers.

Why, I often hear my
... See more
While clients don't always have exp with contractors, they still should obey courtesy rules and biz etiquette. Of course, a translator may deliberately educate them, explaining the ropes, the terms, and the results.

I believe the main reason for misunderstanding is many clients still think locally--with narrow understanding, confusing freelancers (working independently) and teleworkers with mere bottom-feeders as a gang of semi-contract laborers.

Why, I often hear my colleagues ranting that their clients insist translators ought to know everything in biz and inform their prospects or clients timely. However, most peers don't enjoy waiting and seeing till the next morning)
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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends on several factors Jan 24, 2019

It depends especially on how well I know the client and what we have agreed on.

One calls regularly with jobs to ask whether I can manage the deadline before finalizing his offer to the end client. He lets me know how certain he is of landing the job - anything from 99% per cent to doubtful.

I tell others how busy I am when I quote. Most of my jobs are small, so I can usually fit them in anyway, but if the job I have quoted for will take more than a few hours, I go by
... See more
It depends especially on how well I know the client and what we have agreed on.

One calls regularly with jobs to ask whether I can manage the deadline before finalizing his offer to the end client. He lets me know how certain he is of landing the job - anything from 99% per cent to doubtful.

I tell others how busy I am when I quote. Most of my jobs are small, so I can usually fit them in anyway, but if the job I have quoted for will take more than a few hours, I go by my gut feeling, should something else turn up.

A bird in the hand is worth ten on the roof, or however that proverb works in your language!

An interesting, well-paid job for a known client can very easily push out a new client who sounds as if they are desperately looking for a cheaper translator.
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Teresa Borges
Kevin Fulton
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
German to English
+ ...
my typical wording Jan 25, 2019

I have a general policy that my clients know, that I will quote a longer time period as a precaution, and try to deliver on time or early, rather than risking late delivery. Especially for agencies I'll write something like "2 - 3 days depending on how busy I am at the time of awarding". Agencies get clients who shop around, and it has happened that an agency will get back to me a full month after a quote, when the client has finally made up their mind. I do not quote by date but time period.... See more
I have a general policy that my clients know, that I will quote a longer time period as a precaution, and try to deliver on time or early, rather than risking late delivery. Especially for agencies I'll write something like "2 - 3 days depending on how busy I am at the time of awarding". Agencies get clients who shop around, and it has happened that an agency will get back to me a full month after a quote, when the client has finally made up their mind. I do not quote by date but time period.

Per the question: I do not "wait", because requests for quotes do not necessarily lead to a job. Once a quote has been accepted we confirm and tighten up details because at that point I'll know my exact circumstances.
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Mr.Q
 


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After issuing a quote to a client, how long do you wait before accepting another job?

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