To give or not give client references

Providing client references is a sensitive question. If a translation company requests you this type of information, how should you reply? If you send them a list of other translation companies, there are a few “breaches” to be considered:
  • you are letting that company know who is meeting the concurrents’ translation needs when it comes to your specific profile. 
  • you are giving away the level of their concurrents’ database.
  • you are providing direct contact for them to take your place.

Notice that I used inverted commas while mentioning “breaches” because providing references is not illegal or unethical. The problem concerns competition.

There is also an upside about providing references. Once you request permission to list that client as a reference, and the client is willing to provide it, you will have a client testimonial, which is a key piece of marketing for your services.

Remember that you must ask permittion from your clients to list them as a reference. Once you do, their reply will guide you on how to deal with this issue.

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