Written in collaboration with Adam Earl
A short while ago, we produced a Translators’ Hub post about the importance of getting personal with your clients. The post was well-received, and detailed what it means to be personal with a client, why doing so is important and wen raised the question of how personal is too personal.
In this article, we’ll be following up on that popular Hub post with some practical tips on how to stay personal with your clients when you simply don’t have much time to dedicate to exchanging polite niceties and making small talk. Enjoy!
1. Set reminders and stop trying to remember personal details
When one of your clients mentions something noteworthy, such as a birthday, holiday or other personal event, be sure to make a reminder of it in your calendar, reminder app or notebook. If you set an alert on a digital reminder, you can happily forget the information until it’s needed, saving you the time and mental energy of trying to remember numerous different things for a plenitude of clients.
2. Start a client mailing group
If you email old clients to get in touch when you haven’t heard from them in a while, consider creating an email group that you can send a single message to. This will let some of your lapsed clients know you’re still interested and available to contact when they need to, without having to spend time writing lots of individual emails.
3. Include personal questions in your business email (if appropriate)
If you feel the relationship you have with your client deems this appropriate, try asking the odd personal question in your business correspondence. Opening your email by asking your client how their recent holiday went, before beginning to discuss translation-related matters, is a good way to show your client you care about them without having to spend additional time asking such questions via other correspondence.
4. Find personal things that arise from your translation work
When working on one of your client’s documents, you’ll likely get an insight into a project or initiative that they’re working on. You can then use this insight to show a client that you care about their business or project, using it to make a personal connection to your professional service. For example, after you finish a translation, you could wish your client luck with the upcoming merger deal, the launch of their new product or their new website redesign. And if the client gets back in touch in the future, ask them how the event that your translation facilitated went.
5. Make personal conversation when you meet in person
Some freelance translators meet their clients face-to-face. This might be to talk about the client’s translation, or it could be in a completely different context altogether. Regardless of the context, if you see one of your clients in person, be sure to make a quick personal comment that shows you appreciate them and that you have remembered and valued their previous work.
Hopefully these five tips will help you to stay personal with your clients when you don’t have spare time to invest. After all, keeping up with your contacts through social media or email can be time consuming!. Do you use any of these tips? Do you think you could work any into your client dealings too? Let us know in the comments box.