How to Ruin everything by lacking Translator Skills
Translator Skills: When running a translation business, it makes sense to have good basic translator skills i.e adopting the right attitude with customers and colleagues. If not, you take the risk of not being able to keep your current translation clients, if you are getting any clients at all.
Here’s the list of mistakes to avoid ruining everything and improve your relationship with your translation customers.
12 Mistakes You Avoid if You Have Good Translator Skills
- Not having an online presence (or not knowing how to behave professionally with your online presence)
- Disclose confidential information
- Complain in social networks about prices, about customers, about colleagues
- Be rude (to clients and colleagues)
- Take a long time to respond when the customer contacts you
- Avoid networking
- Disrespect clients and/or colleagues
- Not telling close people (friends, relatives) what you do – someone may need a translator right now
- Just translate, without trying to solve customer problems
- Not knowing how to negotiate (deadlines, prices).
- Lying (about areas of expertise, knowledge, skills, etc.)
Your Reputation: your Greatest Asset
What amazes me most about this list is that it reflects a huge lack of attention to one of your greatest assets, which the translator should make part of his/her translator skills: your reputation.
The ‘speak well, speak bad, but speak of me’ attitude that we see every other week is not compatible with our autonomous life.
We depend on our good reputation to get new customers and keep old ones.
And how do we do it? How do we build our reputation?
Participating in congresses, in-person events, being part of associations (yes, good customers consider this a sign of professionalism), thinking very carefully about what we post on Facebook and other social networks.
Protecting Your Image is part of your Translator Skills
Speaking badly about clients, disclosing confidential project information, cursing colleagues, all of which is bad for our image, not to mention the possibility of criminal prosecution (yes, there is a law for that, and it applies to everyone).
‘But ah,’ one might argue, ‘my clients will never know! there is no way they can find out…’
What if I tell you that the other day, I saw a fellow Spanish translator chatting loudly with the owner of a US agency who is my client.
Agency owners talk.
Project managers talk.
Translators talk. They even – amazing! – meet occasionally for coffee or lunch, or meet at the many translation conferences taking place around the world.
Do you really think that, after learning of the ~ indiscretions ~ that some translators drop on the four winds on social networks, potential clients will give those translators a chance?
Don’t Disclose Confidential Information
Very serious, too, is disclosing confidential customer information. Most of us sign confidentiality agreements (NDAs) that prohibit disclosure of this information.
Some NDAs even forbid commenting on the fact that you are working on certain projects. But even if you don’t have a signed contract with a particular client, the ethics of the profession dictate that you should treat any and all information as confidential.
‘But my client doesn’t care about these things, he doesn’t care if I disclose sensitive information!’
If your client doesn’t care about the ethics of the profession, I’d be worried about that client. The next victim of your client unethical attitude might be you!
That is why it is crucial that you fine-tune your Translator Skills.