New Client, New Payment Practices

Oftentimes we only hear bad news about payment practices in our profession, so we figured we'd share some good news instead. 

Earlier this week, we received a phone call from a Las Vegas law firm we know that had not previously been a client. Their translation needs were urgent and required us to drop everything, cancel dinner, and work a few hours in the evening to get it done. We usually ask for a deposit for new clients, but this was a last-minute and urgent request, so we used the highly scientific method known as gut feeling (which mostly works) and started working on the project right away. It was a small, yet intense team effort, and we delivered the project the next day a few hours before the agreed-upon deadline. We e-mailed the invoice at the same time as the project, and we received payment in the form of a check the very next day, which is a new record. We've received electronic transfers the very same day, but never a check from a brand-new client the very next day. We are not quite sure how they got it to us so quickly except that they must have prepared the check as soon as they received the quote (talk about trust!). Either way, we are very grateful for the quick payment and sent the client an e-mail to thank them.

So in spite of the many negative comments about client payment practices you may read, there are some great clients out there indeed. What about you, dear colleagues? We'd love to hear your best payment-related story!


EP on March 10, 2019 at 7:14 AM said...

That highly scientific method called gut feeling is also highly underrated. Great!

EP on April 27, 2019 at 12:23 PM said...

Good to hear that something like that is possible! They must have mailed it immediately, like you said. Normally that takes forever. More customers like that!

Matheus Chaud on August 9, 2019 at 1:12 PM said...

I had an amazing client in South Africa. It was my first relatively large job working at a decent rate, and I was very excited about it, but at the same time I was concerned. I had worked on that project for 3 weeks. He also paid the next day!
I have two other clients in South Africa, and both of them are excellent too.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on April 30, 2020 at 12:52 PM said...

@EP: Yes, we also didn't think it was possible -- what a treat indeed.

@Matheus: That is fantastic; so happy to hear that the client paid the next day for such a large project. Sounds like you have had fantastic experiences with South African clients (we don't have any, but sounds like we should acquire some!). :)

Steven Bammel on June 13, 2020 at 6:19 PM said...

That's a great story. I actually got a direct-deposit payment on a translation job a few weeks ago BEFORE delivery. Apparently the client set up the payment while creating the PO in their system, and then payment went out immediately!

BTW, the "gut feeling" method works well. In fact, it hasn't let me down yet. I don't use Payment Practices or other client vetting method, and so far... (knock on wood).

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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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