Clients monopolizing your time
Thread poster: Sarah Hirsch

Sarah Hirsch  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:58
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 2

Does anyone else deal with this? I guess it's a good problem to have, but I have a couple clients who get huffy when I put limits on my output. I have multiple clients and multiple deadlines, so if you want all my time, offer me a job! Apart from that, it's never a good idea to focus on one client, because what happens when their workflow gets slow? It means I just dropped a few good relationships and now I'm out of work for the drier times. Is there something I'm missing? Do clients expect to b... See more
Does anyone else deal with this? I guess it's a good problem to have, but I have a couple clients who get huffy when I put limits on my output. I have multiple clients and multiple deadlines, so if you want all my time, offer me a job! Apart from that, it's never a good idea to focus on one client, because what happens when their workflow gets slow? It means I just dropped a few good relationships and now I'm out of work for the drier times. Is there something I'm missing? Do clients expect to be my only client? How do other people deal with this?Collapse


Yolanda Broad
Michael Newton
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:58
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Of course they want to Apr 2

So would you if you were the one looking for service, and it's up to you to make sure you're not neglecting your other clients. Your client is not responsible for making sure that your business is sustainable, and if the amount of work is not commensurate with the amount of communication required, you need to think about doing something about it.

I don't know how huffy they are, but clients "who get huffy when I put limits on my output" in anything other than a good-natured joking k
... See more
So would you if you were the one looking for service, and it's up to you to make sure you're not neglecting your other clients. Your client is not responsible for making sure that your business is sustainable, and if the amount of work is not commensurate with the amount of communication required, you need to think about doing something about it.

I don't know how huffy they are, but clients "who get huffy when I put limits on my output" in anything other than a good-natured joking kind of way is a red flag, and not a small one at that.
Collapse


 

Sarah Hirsch  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:58
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sound advice Apr 2

Thank you, and you're right. In my case, "huffy" (maybe not the ideal word) is telling them that I'm packed to the gills and them sending more work, or making subtle comments when I say that I'll have to push the deadline back after they've sent me more than was initally agreed to. Nothing horribly aggressive, but definitely frustrating.

 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Although CATs don't help much Apr 2

 Sarah, it's ok that very you manage your biz and time as you think appropriate, that's why for higher output you either need (1) to team up [for specific projects] with colleagues/ start an agency or (2) co-op with only those who consider you seriously--as an equal party.

 As for mitigation and security against risks, one should diversify the biz, looking for offers at different places, adding new specializations, offering mentoring/ rewriting copywrit
... See more
 Sarah, it's ok that very you manage your biz and time as you think appropriate, that's why for higher output you either need (1) to team up [for specific projects] with colleagues/ start an agency or (2) co-op with only those who consider you seriously--as an equal party.

 As for mitigation and security against risks, one should diversify the biz, looking for offers at different places, adding new specializations, offering mentoring/ rewriting copywriting/ transcreation--and interpreting or legal/ accountant/ other advice.
Collapse


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:58
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Two approaches Apr 2

Sarah Hirsch wrote:

Thank you, and you're right. In my case, "huffy" (maybe not the ideal word) is telling them that I'm packed to the gills and them sending more work, or making subtle comments when I say that I'll have to push the deadline back after they've sent me more than was initally agreed to. Nothing horribly aggressive, but definitely frustrating.

I think the former falls in the good problem category. You just have to say no, or go the extra mile and put in some longer hours if you have those and want the money.
The latter should be a concern.

The bottom line is this: It's ok to go the extra mile for a client, especially one with a longstanding relationship, as long as they recognize and appreciate it. Bad things start to happen as soon as they start taking it for granted.


Dan Lucas
Vera Schoen
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:58
Member
English to French
+ ...
Capitalize on the monopoly Apr 2

If you don't wish to be bothered with availability enquiries while other projects require your full attention, you can just tell this agency: I can take on new projects starting from [specify the date]. No need to specify that you are packed or give any other explanation. If they insist, offer no further details, "I'm sorry, but I really can't. I will be glad to accept new projects from that date and on".

Only go the extra mile and offer an extended deadline when YOU want to. Of cou
... See more
If you don't wish to be bothered with availability enquiries while other projects require your full attention, you can just tell this agency: I can take on new projects starting from [specify the date]. No need to specify that you are packed or give any other explanation. If they insist, offer no further details, "I'm sorry, but I really can't. I will be glad to accept new projects from that date and on".

Only go the extra mile and offer an extended deadline when YOU want to. Of course, keeping your collaborations alive is good measure, but that's up to you to decide, nobody else.

Also, this might be a good time to capitalize on the extra workload and apply a pricing update (I suggest uping your rates by 5-10% increments or so) across the board.

Jean




[Edited at 2019-04-02 05:21 GMT]
Collapse


Tanja Oresnik
Teresa Borges
Jessica Noyes
 

Omer Shani  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:58
Member (2012)
Simple solutions Apr 2

it is quite normall that once you start to gain and purchase clients, some will have the wrong impression that if they pay you for your work than it means they own you.

On the other hand, we all need clients and we sometime need to deal and offer our service for the least niceset of them.

But what you do? Well, it is very simple: You quote them higher. Above average.

Should they accept - you can consider it as a compsantion for your time.

If th
... See more
it is quite normall that once you start to gain and purchase clients, some will have the wrong impression that if they pay you for your work than it means they own you.

On the other hand, we all need clients and we sometime need to deal and offer our service for the least niceset of them.

But what you do? Well, it is very simple: You quote them higher. Above average.

Should they accept - you can consider it as a compsantion for your time.

If they don't - You gain several advanatages:
1) you have more time to market yourself to get new clients
2) you have more time to invest in relationships with existing clients and can upsell your services and deepen their commitemnt to you.

It's a win-win
Collapse


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
texjax DDS PhD
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:58
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
"Teamworking" ... Apr 2

Sarah Hirsch wrote:

Is there something I'm missing? Do clients expect to be my only client? How do other people deal with this?


... would be a solution, to cope with tight deadlines and requests of multiple clients at the same time, but I avoid teamworking (succesfully) like the plague since my time at University. Perhaps others here may have made better experiences?

[Bearbeitet am 2019-04-02 08:14 GMT]


Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:58
Member
Italian to English
Set your limits and stick to them Apr 2

A client "getting huffy" is a reflection on them, not you. Clearly set your limits and stick to them. It sounds like poor management on their part. Maybe they have trouble finding reliable translators, you may be the only reliable translator they have, and so they get panicky when you can't deliver what they hoped you would.
Calmly set your boundaries, and if they get too "huffy", drop them. There are better clients out there!


Teresa Borges
Kevin Fulton
Vesa Korhonen
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:58
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Don't take it personally and reset expectations Apr 2

Sarah Hirsch wrote:

I have a couple clients who get huffy when I put limits on my output. I have multiple clients and multiple deadlines, so if you want all my time, offer me a job!
there something I'm missing? Do clients expect to be my only client? [/quote]

In a word, yes. Some people think they are special just because. Some people think they are special because they are the customer. Some people think they are special because they are a regular customer. And sometimes they are right.

My reading of your post here is that you get bothered by the client's pushiness and passive-aggressive comments. Don't let it get to you. Don't take it personally. They are just trying to get their work done; perhaps they've made the mistake of becoming too reliant on you, so when you say no or push back, they overreact because they are worried about not getting the work done. Well, you don't have to be forced to overstretch yourself just because they don't like being told no. And while it's not their responsibility to worry about keeping your other clients happy, likewise it's not YOUR responsibility to make sure they have enough suppliers on their books so that when one is busy or on holiday they can still get the work covered.

So, how do I deal with this situation? I'm firm but polite when I say no or when I push back because they've sent something other than what we've agreed. It's about being assertive and understanding what rights I have, and what rights they have, and respecting both sides of that equation.

If they are serial offenders when it comes to being pushy or sending work that we never agreed to, I work to reset expectations. So I never give this type of client fast turnarounds unless I really honestly have nothing on my schedule. I make sure I add in a lot of extra buffer time to deal with each project. I say no a lot more often. Here's the deal: they are unlikely to leave you completely, so by saying no and insisting on longer deadlines, you are just adjusting their expectations and the more you do that, the less "huffy" and passive-aggressive they should get.

But anyway, some people just feel entitled regardless, and you can't change others, just yourself, so in that case you should focus on not taking it personally and just respecting yourself and your business.


Teresa Borges
Dan Lucas
Sheila Wilson
Kevin Fulton
Kay Denney
Pawel Bartoszewicz
Yvonne Gallagher
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Clients monopolizing your time

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Termsøk
  • Jobber
  • Forumer
  • Multiple search