E.g., 02/23/2018
E.g., 02/23/2018

Want to develop a great relationship with your client in the first meeting? Ask questions.

By: Zhana Borisova, General Manager - Omniage Ltd.

09 July 2015

It is common to feel anxious when meeting a client for the first time. It may be that we don't know the client yet or we don't know what to expect, and of course we want to make the best possible first impression.

A good way to calm your nerves while getting to know the client, what to expect from them, all while making a good impression is to start by asking questions.

Typically when translation vendors meet or start a discussion with a new client, they strive to share as much detail as possible about what they do, have experience in, subject fields they have mastered, CAT tools they have experience with, clients or projects they could mention as reference, etc. And in the process they often fail to relate to the client and as a result no true connection is created.

If, on the contrary, our focus redirects fully onto the customer, we will be driven by the inner desire to offer what they are looking for, to identify their needs, to help them solve a problem and as a result, make them happy with what they are doing and happy with the fact they have found you and not someone else.

Try to identify the true need of the client by asking questions - if, for example, the client plans to localize their mobile app into Chinese, but is not quite sure if this will be a good move, you could ask them to brief you on their potential Chinese target: what their overall impressions and experience are, whether they already work with end clients in China, whether their product environment is prepared for content internationalization and localization and discuss the details behind that.

Many times, especially with end customers, lack of information or technical focus is what could drive a decision to localize in a given language when the true need could be something different. By providing that information and/or technical focus you could help the client identify their true need and make conscious decisions.

Also, as questions that lead to a discussion about possible ways in which you could identify and add value to the client’s product. Any customer would love that! Do that by trying to learn as much as possible about the product in advance. This way you'll be prepared to discuss topics such as how translation could satisfy client needs or which of the client's problems translation could solve. The customer will be pleasantly surprised and will probably be willing to share and cooperate. This will help bridge the potential result to a future business target.

As a result the client would feel understood and respected — the most important prerequisite for building a conscious and long-term connection.

Zhana Borisova

Zhana Borisova is an established and recognized professional on the European language industry scene. For more than ten years now she has been helping international language service providers and organizations solve their language issues by managing her language company Omniage and providing exclusive services in the field of localization, translations and content management.

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