Are Your Salespeople Bilingual?

Translate!Consider for a moment that the president of your company has come to you with an incredible opportunity! You have been asked to start or lead the company’s presence in Brazil. Your compensation will increase by a factor of 10! All expenses paid. Your family will be well taken care of. It is a five year assignment based in Rio de Janeiro. What concerns would you have?

The first concern many would probably address is the goal of this assignment. How will my success be measured? Equally important could be the fact that you may not be able to speak Portuguese.

Could you be successful in Rio de Janeiro not being able to communicate in Portuguese? Quite possibly. Rio de Janeiro is a major international city. There are plenty of people there who speak English. However, would it make a difference if you could speak Portuguese? Most certainly! What might be some of the benefits of being able to communicate in the native language of the people with whom you will be working?

  • Improved Communication – translation creates confusion and makes comprehension difficult.
  • Credibility – you will be seen as credible and trustworthy if you know the local language.
  • Likeability – in general you will be better received if you speak the local language. You may not be seen as such an outsider.
  • Respect – you will be more respected if you speak the local language.
  • Differentiation – you will be set apart from others who don’t speak the local language.

This list is by no means exhaustive. We could go on, but you get the point. There are numerous benefits to understanding the language and the culture of your prospects and customers.

Every day sales people are asked to call on C-Level executives without fully understanding their language and culture. They have a language all their own. They think about things differently than most other people your sales people typically visit. Understanding the language and the culture of the CFO, the CIO, the COO or the CEO is just as important as understanding Portuguese in the preceding example. Do you or your sales people fluently speak “ROI“, “Life Cycle Return Analysis” or “Cost of Ownership“?

Master this language at our next Financial Justification course. Learn the language of the boardroom. Be comfortable and successful working with C-Level executives!