Skip to main content

Saying "no" to a project and to a client - three reasons

After my first webinar recording, I started thinking more about freelancer-client relationship and those cases when we should say 'no'. And I came to the conclusion that sometimes we have to say 'no' temporarily, to a project, but sometimes we have to refuse to cooperate with a client forever. I came up with 3 main reasons for each of those cases. So, when do we have to say 'no' to a particular project?



1. Bad deadline. It can be a rush job that you just can't finish on time, but sometimes even if the proposed deadline is good there may be some family or personal issues that may keep you from finishing the project on time. After you have evaluated the approximate time your project may take and realized that you can't fit into the deadline, you either negotiate a better deadline with your client, or you say "no" to this particular project and, ideally, recommend a colleague who can fit the project into his or her schedule.
2. Bad price. I know some translators who immediately say 'no' to clients after they read their first message because the offered price is lower than they normally charge. I'd still suggest negotiating the price if it's the only reason for you not to take this project. Saying 'no' once may lead to some better paid projects in the future from the same client if you behave professionally and they see that you are worth the money you ask. I've had that happen to me once and I have been quite happy with my relationship with this particular client since then.
3. Wrong specialty field. Again, some people say that you just need to be a clever person, a good linguist and you must have good research skills. Maybe after I have worked in translation for 30+ years I'll change my opinion (though I strongly doubt that), but at the moment I realize that I can't do the same perfect job with a highly technical or medical or legal text as some of my colleagues who have education in these fields.

So these were the three main reasons for refusing a project. But what are the main reasons for saying 'no' to a client?


1. Payment policy. If the payment terms of a particular client are absolutely unacceptable (too long to wait for payment, very uncomfortable payment terms, the price is too low and negotiating it doesn't help etc.) then the cooperation just makes no sense.
2. No respect. If a client is plain rude, or if he/she treats you with disrespect then you will do yourself a big favour by saying good-bye to them. Even if they pay you well (although this is rarely the case with such people). After all, your emotional and physical wellbeing are more important than any money.
3. Communication problems. Sometimes a client may offer you an interesting project with good payment, but whenever you ask them a question they just ignore you. Sometimes those things are just minor disadvantages in your business relationship, but in some cases they may directly influence the result. If the client repeatedly ignores your messages, they are not as interested in your work as they say. Clients who are interested in the outcome of the project are usually ready to answer your questions and explain anything that's unclear to you.

Dear translators, what can make you refuse a project or say good-bye to a client? Comments are welcome, as usual :)

Popular posts from this blog

10 worst mistakes I made as a freelancer

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
Sir Winston Churchill If Sir Winston Churchill was right, then I should be very successful. We all make tons of mistakes. And I am not an exception. My mistakes nowadays may not be as big as they were at the beginning of my freelance career, but I still make them and do my best to learn from them. I also watch others make mistakes and I do my best to learn from them, too.

So here's the list of major mistakes in freelance business I made since 2007. Hope it helps other colleagues to learn and grow. And you are welcome to share the mistakes you made, so we can all learn from one another!

10 interesting facts about the Russian language

In my previous post I promised to follow with the  interesting info about some other languages. So here are 10 facts about the Russian language which might be of interest to those who are studying it. If you would like to have this list in Russian, please contact me and I will send it to you by email. So, what do I find interesting about my native language?

1. Russian has about 500,000 words, but only 2,000-2,500 of them are used frequently. 100 most frequently used words make 20% of all written and oral speech. A high school graduate's vocabulary usually has 1,500 to 4,000 words. Those who have graduated from a higher educational institution normally have a richer vocabulary consisting of approximately 8,000 words.
2. It's compulsory for all astronauts in the international space station to learn Russian, so we can call it an international language of space :)

Time for another update about guest posts, business, blogging and more!

Hi everybody! First of all, thank you for reading my blog. I love to see that the number of my subscribers is growing every week. That's so inspiring!
I've got some news for you. I am amazed with the way my work and business are developing. Life is getting more and more interesting and, hopefully, these changes will be good for you, too! So, here are my news: