It is time to find cooperators and not competitors. Competition exists and will always be there, and actually I think that our competitors are more outside the translation industry that inside.
Compared to other industries, I think that the translation industry is quite collaborative, long before the term networking term was coined.
Therefore, we are very used to do networking. We attend congresses and seminars where we find both freelancers and translation companies with whom we discuss opportunities for collaboration, because even if we do the same, there is always something where you are the best and something where you need help.
The last event we attended was the GALA conference in Seville, Spain, held in the end of March.
It was the first time we attended a GALA event; we attended conferences in the past such as Localization World, or TAUS Summits, but we never attended any event from GALA. And I must say that it was nice to be back in a translation event.
I thought it was going to be a European event, so to speak, and it came as a nice surprise to see that there were people from all over the world, from the US to South Korea and a large representation of Argentinean companies.
From this blog I want to thank the GALA organisers for organising a networking event where, in a very few minutes, we had the opportunity to meet around 60 people, which is absolutely not bad.
Does this mean that I will make business with each person I met? That would be great, but it is not the purpose of a networking event. In a networking event you get a first picture of a person or business, and it is not until you are back in your office that you start contacting those that attracted your attention most. Do not be afraid if you do not close a deal after a networking event, or if you do not hear soon from someone you met. Maybe at that moment there was not a need to get in touch, but that need may arise later and be sure you will be contacted if they need you.
So, do not worry about preparing a perfect sales pitch for a networking event. Instead, try to get information from your counterparts, see how you can help them and they will in return ask you how they can help you. And it is then business may come.
Attending all sessions was completely impossible, for obvious reasons, so I had to make a choice. Due to my job position, I focused on the sales speeches, and I enjoyed very much the open discussion about collaborative selling with Anne-Marie Colliander Lindt from Inkrea.
Despite companies having a sales specialist, companies need to be aware of the fact that all departments are part of the sales cycle. The whole staff needs to be aware of it too, and for that they need information and training.
For example, if the IT department helps the production department, PMs and translators will be able to work more efficiently, and therefore, the client will trust the company more and this can lead to more sales.
PMs are the ones talking with clients on a frequent basis, they are the ones clients will ask when they need help, and they are the ones getting important feedback from the client that can help the sales staff to prepare specific offers and proposals to increase sales.
And this is true not only for translation companies, but for any company. Communication, proactivity, team spirit and thinking about the general benefits and not the individual ones will be crucial in the success of your company; no matter how good your translations are or how much you invest in technology.