Is It Ever Easy to Fire a Translation Client? - Part 1
We’ve talked in the past about marketing your translation services to higher paying clients with a view to finally getting rid of low-paying clients.
We’ve talked in the past about marketing your translation services to higher paying clients with a view to finally getting rid of (firing or parting ways with) low-paying clients. So, once you’ve achieved this (through your great marketing efforts!) and you’re now attracting better clients, what’s the right way to fire the clients you no longer need?
A Common Predicament for Translators
This is a customer relations issue that many translators have to deal with at one point or another in their career, and it arises for a variety of reasons. While we’ll point out that some of the reasons are client issues, to be fair to clients, sometimes they find it very difficult to work with certain translators. However, for the purpose of this post we’ll look at how to write a Dear Client letter.
Always a Professional!
With any business communication, the primary rules when interacting with clients are to always act professionally and always act with class. It doesn’t really matter what the issue is that you’re trying to address, you don’t ever get nasty, never get personal, and at all times you remain the professional that you are. This doesn’t mean of course that you can’t tell the truth about why you’ve decided to close the door on this particular client-translator relationship if that’s what you choose to do. It’s also perfectly acceptable to say as little as possible, and how you choose to go about this is a personal decision.
Many industries are very small industries, and the translation industry is definitely a small industry, plus it’s driven by word-of-mouth, which is all the more reason why you must always remain professional. At the same, time there’s no point in burning bridges when it’s not necessary, so let’s have a look at some ways you may want to interact with a client that you’ve decided, for whatever reason, you no longer wish to work with.
Some Clients Are Not Worth Your Time
The first point is probably an obvious one, but we’ll go through it anyway. If you have a client who you find unpleasant to work for, if (in your opinion) they act unethically, or they’re continually harassing you to accept work that you’ve repeatedly told them you’re not interested in, then you need part ways with this client immediately. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision for you to make because it’s not in your best interests to keep this type of client in your life. Say something like: ‘I’d appreciate it if you would remove me from your list of freelance translators’; or something similar. No-one should be expected to work for people who don’t improve the translation experience.
But, the clients we’re talking about in this article are not in the same category as the above clients: these are the clients you’ve been quite happy to work for in the past because, let’s face it, you needed their work and so they served a purpose. But now your situation has changed, so how do you let these clients go?
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International Translation Day is held in celebration of the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator widely considered the patron saint of translators. The International Federation of Translators is the promoter of International Translation Day, and has been since it was first held in 1953.
The translation industry is a relatively small one but it’s also a highly competitive one. Basically, do your research on a translation agency prior to making initial contact and it will certainly pay off; perhaps not immediately because there may not be any work available at the time, so just be patient. Your application must stand out above the rest, and by following these simple steps you should have no problem whatsoever in achieving your translation goals.