When is the best – read: slowest – time of the year to go on vacation? Who is my best client in terms of translation volume? What is my proposal-to-job ratio? Do most potential clients contact me via e-mail or phone – and can I fire my fax?
To get a better idea of how many potential clients contacted us when, how, and how many times quotes turned into projects, we’d been keeping a very simple Excel spreadsheet for many years. It didn’t make us very happy and we wanted much more – actually, we were looking for an inquiry management tool/small customer relationship management tool. We also wanted the option of entering potential clients’ data and the option of exporting their e-mail addresses for sending them newsletters, special offers, etc.
The free, nifty Inquiry Wizard is exactly what we were looking for: it was created especially for freelancers (not just translators), it’s very easy to use, doesn't have functions we don't need or use and it runs entirely online. We enter the relevant data every day and the tool automatically generates insightful statistics (which become all the more meaningful the more data you add over time). In addition, it has the export function mentioned above that comes in very handy for marketing purposes. There is no need to download or install anything. All you have to do is register with your e-mail address. The FAQ section features two birds explaining the basics in a cute cartoon. Here’s one very insightful tidbit of information: 91.7% of all potential clients sent an e-mail.
The graph above was taken from the FAQ page on Inquiry Wizard and compares the number of inquiries received in 2009 to 2010 for a demo account. You also have the option of playing with this demo account before registering. Get started here.