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Archive for November, 2011

How to Sell More.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

There are just a few questions in life to which, even attempting to confirm, a definitive answer is virtually impossible.  The first question could involve finding the meaning of life and the second probably would include locating the key to an afterlife.  The third question though, seemingly to be not as profound, often comes in the monetary form.  Recently, a colleague of mine asked me if I had any ideas about how to sell more.  I then looked at him and kind of chuckled a bit.  My initial sarcastic response was about why he wasn’t asking a more difficult question.  Then I thought about his question for awhile and within the next couple of days I came with my response.  The answer could only be found from within oneself.  Meaning, after working in sales for almost a decade, the process to increase sales had to start with me.

Here are a couple of tips to help you generate more revenue.

1.       Ongoing Education – When you begin to work with a company, you often participate in a short training program in order to learn the basic company procedures, products and services you are to follow and provide.  However, after the training period finishes, it is absolutely essential that you do NOT stop educating yourself.  Then, your ability to educate clients about how your product or service can meet their needs will in turn help gain their confidence and greatly improve your chances of closing the sale, establish a recurrent business relationship and gain referred clientele.

2.       Maximum Efficiency – Remember, we are living and working in the virtual age and it is time to put down the piece of paper and pen.  All too often do I hear my co-workers complain about working 10-12 hour days or how they missed an important email from a client.  Simply ask yourself “why” these things happen and adjust accordingly.  We all create bad habits but the most crucial part is that we indentify the problem and continue to work to correct it.  The more efficient your organizational skills are, the smoother the project workflow and happier the customer will be.

In conclusion, do not wait for somebody else to keep you from moving forward and improving your sales.  Even though it is important to take advantage of the knowledge of your managers and proven colleagues but, you have to reach out and start to ask the questions first.


Know these answers and get a quote in no time!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

When requesting a quote, you can simply call, email or fill out an online form, so that a sales rep can contact you. What the prospect is not expecting are the many questions that they will be asked by this sales rep. From what format the files are in, to how you’re expecting the files back and so forth. When requesting a quote, there is certain information that you will be required to provide to the translation agency. If this information is available, you will save a great deal of time in back in forth emailing or even phone calls. The more information you provide regarding your files, the more accurate your quote will be and will allow you to see exactly where the costs are coming from.

What to know before requesting a quote? Outlined below are some basic questions that you can expect to be asked by a sales rep.

What is the source and target language?

What language is your document in, and what language do you need it translated into?  You might also be asked if the document will be used in a particular country. This is important because some languages vary depending on the target country.

A good example is Portuguese. The cost per word will vary depending on whether your translation will be used in Portugal or Brazil.

What about word count?

You do not need to know the exact word count of your documents. As long as you send over your files, the agency will analyze the files and figure this out for you.

What file format are your documents in?

We will need to know what format your documents are in, and what format will you be sending them to us for quoting purposes. Are the documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Quark, InDesign, etc.?

You will also be asked how you would like the documents back or if these files will be printed. If you need the translated files to mirror the source files, they will need to be formatted by our Desktop Publishing team. If such services are needed, you will have to provide all editable source files with finalized designs and all image files.

Knowing the answers to these questions before you contact a translation agency will help you get an accurate quote in no time.


Does test translation mean investing in your prospects?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Have you ever asked a translation agency to provide you with a client reference or a test translation before you use their services? I am very sure you have, as in today´s translation industry there are millions of translation agencies offering you their services. How does one differentiate one agency from the other? Price is the most common driver; however, are you comparing apples to apples when comparing per word rates? Is the highest per word rate matching the best translation quality and the lowest per word cost the worst one? Obviously the scope of the translation project will play the most important role: do you need a small letter from your grandfather who lives overseas translated, or are you in need of a translation for a manual into Simplified Chinese as your company is trying to enter the Chinese Market?

It is always important to know exactly what translation process a translation agency is going through in order to provide you with a translation of your requested document. Many companies offer only translation and proofreading, and prospects believe that the translation quality will turn out great. There are many instances in which that is not the case. It is very important to have a second translator compare the translated text with the original text to see if any mistranslation took place, before the proofreading step can be executed.

How can you be sure that  you will receive a high quality translated document? Request a test or sample translation before you decide to use a certain provider.

I have a client who needs his company´s entire website translated and his selection process is quote tough. Which agency can he trust knowing that all the requested highly technical medical articles will be translated correctly?  Besides the detailed quote that we sent him, we offered him a sample translation of two different articles with over 6,000 words to translate – for free. Six thousand words sounds like a reasonable investment for a future potential 3,000,000 words scope. Why? It´s part of the confidence-building process between the prospect and us. Once he receives our test translations, he will be able to compare the quality with the offered cost per word and turnaround time and service that had been provided to him during the entire quotation and selection process.


Music, The Universal Language

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

How many times have you ever heard someone say “Love is the International Language” or “The Language of Love” or “Love knows no Language”? We have all heard these phrases used throughout our lives, and although I cannot disagree with these phrases, a music event that I attended this last weekend made me realize that music can also break the language barrier.
I was lucky enough to attend the Electronic Music Festival, Creamfields, last weekend in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. I met people from all over the world who had traveled to Buenos Aires to listen and dance to some of the best known DJ’s in the world. I must say that this was a life changing event. I have never seen so many people in unity and harmony, all brought together by music. It is almost as the music had taken over people’s souls. I saw strangers hugging other complete strangers. I saw people offering water to those who looked thirsty, people offering food to those who looked tired or hungry. It was one of the most beautiful displays of humanity I have ever witnessed, and it all happened with little or no words exchanged. There were many times when people from other countries would ask me a question in a language that I was not familiar with, but somehow we would just end up dancing and sharing great vibes.
We all know that music has broken language barriers by looking at artists like Bob Marley or Pink Floyd. You can go to any country in the world and see people wearing T-Shirts from these artists who do not sing one lyric in anything except English, but yet somehow everyone can relate to their music. How is this? How can music turn a bad day into a great day? In closing, I will say that, regardless of the problems that are going on in the world today, it is great to know that music can bring us all together, no matter what language we speak.


Tools of the TRADE

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source email and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It was released on December 7, 2004, it received a shocking of over 500,000 download hits in its first three days of release, and 1,000,000 in 10 days.

Thunderbird has a whole host of features and add-ons which together provide an all in one interface for reading and organizing email, RSS, web pages, and newsgroups.

Here are some of the main features that I feel are beneficial for our day to day activities:

Subject or Sender Quick Search: While browsing through folders you may have the need to quickly find an email by subject or sender. Thunderbird provides a quick search bar where you can find the message you’re looking for with one click and a few keystrokes.

Sort By: Make finding messages in your folders much easier by choosing from a wide variety of sorting options (e.g. date, star, order received, priority, sender, size, status, subject, read, tags, junk status, attachments, ascending, descending, threaded, unthreaded).

Junk Mail Filtering: By flagging spam in Thunderbird you can use adaptive junk mail filtering to train Thunderbird to recognize spam. Through this “learning process”, and over time, Thunderbird will have the ability to tell apart what you consider spam and filter accordingly.

Unread Folders: Not enough time  to browse your whole folder list looking for the ones with unread messages? If you have tons of email, newsgroup, and RSS folders, Thunderbird includes an unread folders view which makes it much easier to focus on the folders that need attention.

Open Source Add-ons and Plug-ins: No more waiting for Microsoft to update Outlook with that killer feature you think would rock. A whole community of developers out there are collaborating to do just that with Thunderbird plug-ins and add-ons. If worst comes to worst and there has been no one there developing your ideal feature, you can always do it yourself: It is open-source!!!

Cross-platform compatibility: A wide variety of platforms accept Thunderbird as an email application. The primary distribution site displays releases available for operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, OS2, Open Solaris and much more.

Besides, one more benefit is that the source code is freely available. Hence, it can be compiled and run on a variety of other architectures and operating systems.



Is side-by-side an option?

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

A side-by-side translation is a two column table with the source language text in one column (usually on the left) and the target language in the other (usually on the right).

Besides being a preferred layout for clients like the UN, the question here is: When is a side-by-side translation a good option to offer to your client?

– When the client’s designer does not know the target language.

– When the client does not have access to the source editable files and does not want to pay for our designers (DTP) to recreate the file from scratch.

– When you are dealing with a multiple language translation.

– When you need to handle transcriptions of audio files and their respective translation for subtitling, so that you can have a better control towards the similarity of length of both texts.

This table layout provides a more compact way of displaying source and translation allowing to see the texts side by side. This option will also save the client some bucks if they do not have access to the editable source files.  Instead of having to pay recreation hours for having a file recreated, a side-by-side translation will be a cheaper option.

A side-by-side translation is a really useful tool if you want to gain efficiency, organization, time and control with your translation.  So go ahead, take a look at this table and give it a try yourselves.

English Spanish
Park Boundary Límite del Parque
Bridge Puente
Picnic Area Área para Picnic
Connector Trail Sendero Conector
(unpaved trail) (sendero sin pavimentar)
Park Boundary (162 foot contour) Límite del parque (contorno de 162 pies)
Main Street Calle Principal
Nature Trail Sendero Natural
Front Street Calle del Frente
Fishing area Área para Pescar
Visitor Center Centro de Visitantes


How to Respond without Ridicule.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Have you ever received an email from a company in the middle of an ongoing project and thought to yourself, “I have never felt so ridiculed in my life.”?

As the use of non-verbal business communication channels such as email, text messaging and online chat continue to grow, the importance of accurately conveying your intended message has never been so crucial for service providers.  All too often is a message misunderstood by the reader without the intent of the writer.  Mainly this is due to the reader’s mood at the time of receiving the message rather than the actual information provided.

Here are 3 tips to keep in mind and to minimize the risk of offending your clientele.

  1. KNOW YOUR CLIENT:  All clients are unique.  Therefore, you should remember to approach them differently during the project work flow.  The best way to go about this is to mirror the client’s approach and writing style.  If they correspond in a brief and informal manner, then it is acceptable for you to respond the same way.  Problems often arise when the client writes a long and descriptive formal email and you respond with a simple “Will do” or “No Problem” without proving to the client you fully understand their request.  The key to a successful project, is to be on the same page all of the time.  The more you know your client, the less chance there will be a miscommunication.
  2. DO NOT ASSUME:  Making assumptions is likely to get you into some trouble.  Most of the time, clients are working on multiple projects simultaneously.  You cannot assume they remember all project details at the moment of receiving your message.   Remember to provide all pertinent information when communicating with your clients in order not to lose critical time and more importantly profit.
  3. PHONE FOLLOW – UP:  In my opinion, this is the most important step whether or not you feel comfortable about your outgoing correspondence.  You should always continue to build a good rapport with your clients.  Putting a voice and personality to your written messages will lessen the likelihood of sending the wrong impression and will help build a long term business relationship and recurrent future revenues.



Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Salesmanship in the New Century has changed. Top players today listen more than 80% of the time. They really listen and understand the customer’s real concerns. They look for opportunities to solve problems and to take the pain away. They are always striving for improvement. Their focus is to gain the majority of their targeted customers’ business.They increase market share on a constant basis. Their transactions flow through a well-managed relationship that they have established. Their time is focused on growth rather than transactional service (the team and the system do the servicing). They constantly seek to enhance their selling skills and the knowledge base of the industry they serve.  They not only focus on product knowledge but they also focus their customers’ products and industry knowledge.

  • The habit of prospecting.
  • The habit of planning.
  • The habit of using a professionally prepared sales presentation.
  • The habit of goal-setting.
  • The habit of record-keeping.
  • The habit of efficient time management.
  • The habit of self-development.
  • The habit of continuous development of their industry knowledge.
  • The habit of self discipline.


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