My permanent job is providing interpretation services and being a business agent in China. I work as an interpreter in the city that attracts a lot of businessmen from all over the world. Guangzhou does not attract them with its sights—there are few of them. The point is its industry and tons of various goods. In a couple of days, the 111th Canton Fair 2012 will begin. I am interpreting there, of course. The Canton Fair is an exciting event because here you can find your products of interest under one huge roof. But it does not end here. Chinese manufacturers offer their new products the Russian market is not familiar with at the fair. Perhaps not all the new goods are 100% Chinese invention. But it does not matter as China produces a lot of quality products today despite the stereotype of the Chinese product being low-quality.
Guangzhou is quite important in my life. I have spent almost 5 years of my life here for today. Let me say it again: I am not only the interpreter in Guangzhou, but also a business agent for my regular clients. Many people offer me to become their business agent in China. Perhaps visiting the Canton Fair can be useful because you can kill two birds with one stone: see new products, find alternative Chinese suppliers and meet me personally. Even if I can’t accompany you as the interpreter at the Canton Fair because I have only two legs and two arms, I can make time to meet you. It will be an important link for building further relationships.
Why do I invite my clients to meet me personally? First, to avoid possible distrust. Second, to know who will represent your interests in China. This is very important. Recently I have worked with two couples from Russia. One of the couples left us for two days as the purpose of their arrival was different. After joining us again, they told me the “secrets” of working with the other interpreter, who, by the way, calls himself a professional business agent in China. The result of their cooperation is 30% of the client’s work performed. The interpreter has not stood for the client’s interests, has not interpreted his demands, has been arguing with the manufacturers. A couple of times they were even kicked out of the office. The interpreter seemed to pay the client for hiring him. My clients told me a couple of other incredible stories about the interpreter. The incidents have taken place during the two days of work. Still, it is just a shame to post them on my website. You may say that I also write a lot about myself, but the information is easy to check. It is better to come to China to meet a Chinese manufacturer personally and then to arrange the cooperation. The same is true for arranging the work with a business agent.
It is possible to work without meeting each other personally, but not everyone trusts and not everyone is trusted. Recently, I have been offered to represent the interests of some companies, to carry out some work for them, and to receive compensation on a “pay-as-you-go” basis. But the thing is I don’t work that way. The explanation for my refusing to work on a “pay-as-you-go” basis is simple: how do I know that the work will be paid for? I’ve got different cases, there are different people with different values. Naturally, it’s not about everyone, but there is no way to find out the seriousness of intentions. Sometimes even large companies with all their capabilities are, to put it mildly, blabbermouthes. The personal meeting is important for both sides: for the business agent in China and for the client. The meeting will not only make it clear what work the business agent can do, but also how well he or she will perform it. Welcome to Guangzhou!