How to reply to a prospective client's first inquiry in email?


I'm an English-Chinese interpreter and receive prospective clients' email inquiry about my services from time to time. However, I found quite a few clients become unresponsive after I reply to their inquiry. Any ideas? What's wrong with my email in reply? How to reply to a prospective client's first inquiry in email?

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asked Jan 21 '11 at 18:18
1 point
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  • If you post the text of your email here or on your site, we could give you some intelligent feedback. – Susan Jones 13 years ago

3 Answers


Let me formulate it nicely: If you are as repepetive in your communication with customers as you are here,naturally they wll ignore you.

That said, this is just how it is. Prospects may have found someone else or have hada plenthora of reasons to realze you and them are not a good match. Why should they bother continuing dealing with you?

This is normal business. I send out an inquiry, if I dont like the answer or make another decision - I am not giong to start wasting my time talking around.

answered Jan 21 '11 at 23:22
Net Tecture
11 points


Well I was in need of something similar, I went ahead and sent you an email :).

Personally I didn't find anything that can put-off prospective clients. You responded in a timely fashion. Here are a couple suggestions though -

  • You may want to link to some past work/testimonials from clients. Extra details won't hurt.
  • You mentioned your rates in RMB. It would help if you can mention them in $$. Foreign clients or those venturing in china markets for the first time may not be conversant with the exchange rates.

On another note, a follow up mail is always good. All the best!

answered Jan 22 '11 at 02:39
Ankur Jain
566 points
  • I appreciate your test email. I have testimonials for interpreter and purchasing agent services, but no testimonials for translation service. Maybe I need to collect some from my previous clients. Another reason is that you didn't ask for past work/testimonials so I think It is not necessary to link to some past work/testimonials. – Steven 13 years ago
  • I didn't know that you are from USA. You know, my client may come from UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore,Germany,etc. so I didn't mention my rate in $$. Another reason is that USD is going down while RMB is relatively quite stable. – Steven 13 years ago
  • @Steven: Most businesspeople ignore quotes that they can't roughly convert to their local currency in their head. Almost nobody outside China can do that with RMB; it's just not commonly used in international trading. I would suggest you provide your quotes not only in RMB, but also in the major international currencies (US dollars, Euros, GB Pounds, and Yen) and then adjust your conversion rate weekly. – Bob Murphy 13 years ago


@Steven: USD is the preferred currency of trade for most of us who deal with international customers and irrespective of which country they come from.

Another reason is that USD is going
down while RMB is relatively quite

It's all about customer friendly policies. I try to keep my rates stable - as much as I can - irrespective of how my local currency is fluctuating against USD. This tend to make a trust among my clients and of course they can readily pay in USD without thinking once about conversion.

Of course this may depend upon the nature of work, for high value transaction it may not apply but for services such as writing/translation I don't think a reason why you can't mention USD rates.

(Also as a businessmen, you may have to absorb market fluctuation cost.)

answered Jan 22 '11 at 19:39
Ankur Jain
566 points

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