You can never over-estimate the value of referrals for your translation business.
How do referrals work?
Imagine, as a customer, how do you shop for a wine, or a book, or a baby stroller? Or virtually anything if you want to try/get something new, and the selection is overwhelming? You can make a blind choice and let the result surprise you. I do it quite often with wines and books.
But when I need a print shop, a photographer or a lawyer I’m not so adventurous. I would never take my chances with professional services where serious matters and big money is involved. That’s the case with buying professional translations for your company. Doing sales for a translation agency I learnt that people and companies are reluctant to change translation suppliers unless they’ve experienced a major disaster. Convincing them to try out a new translation service provider is a hard job. For them it means a risk and putting their time, confidentiality, reliability and quite often money on stake.
And yet the situation changes dramatically when I come with a referral. If I was recommended by one of my long standing customers, there’s no sale to be done, no convincing, no objectives to be overcome. All we need to do is agree on a source language, target language, delivery and price!
It’s easy nowadays
Getting written referrals from translation clients is an important task in which all team members should be involved. Some referrals come when we ask for them, for others we need to reward clients in discounts or free services, like second proofreading or a glossary. When I was starting in the LSP business we used to collect letters of recommendation on clients’ letter paper with stamps and signatures. Fortunately, those days are long gone. In the age of Twitter and limited attention spans, an informal sentence is all that we need. We can post it on our website or fan page and even print in on a leaflet.
All kind words from our clients are precious as we all like to be appreciated. Please be generous with kindness and never shy with words of appreciation. Write to us!