It’s incredible to think that in a world that is inhabited by approximately 7.5 billion people, 1.5 billion speak English, that’s 20% of the Earth’s population (source: Babbel). As a native English speaking company, based here in England we can sometimes take for granted that this amount of people in the world speak our language. But businesses that operate internationally and want to work with foreign territories understand the importance of making individuals comfortable in their own language, especially if they do not speak English or only speak a little as a second language.
Our top 4 reasons why speaking the same language is so important include:
If you are contacting a prospect in their country, and you are aware that their native language is not English, addressing them in their own language is far more respectful. Imagine it from your own perspective, you receive a phone call from France, and they are speaking to you in French. You may have basic understanding and knowledge that you gained at school, but it is not your native language, so you struggle to interact and eventually become disengaged. It’s no different. Building respect by appreciating their cultural differences, including language, is what will build a relationship giving you a much higher opportunity to convert that individual into a customer.
- Avoid misunderstandings
When engaging with a new prospect, no matter where in the world, ensuring your initial message is clear and well understood is essential. This initial conversation is what the prospect is going to remember about you and the brand therefore it needs to be conveyed correctly. If you are speaking to someone in English but they do not fully understand, it can potentially distort this initial conversation, your message and could destroy any relationship before it is ever created. Reinforcing the importance of speaking to them in their native language to ensure they fully understand the message, giving them the best opportunity to engage.
- Be competitive in the market place
Looking to expand your business to foreign territories opens up huge opportunities for you. However, you are also entering a new market space, with different cultures, languages and competition. You must be ready for this. If you enter the market replicating your business model from England, without any consideration of culture and language, you could come unstuck. To give yourself the best chance to be competitive, you must first understand the culture of the country you are expanding into; talk to them in their language, understand the cultural nuances that prospects would appreciate.
- Reach those you want to reach
In an increasingly noisy digital world, being relevant has become more important than ever. We see this all the time; is this brand relevant, is their service/product relevant, is this message relevant, are we contacting the right person etc. With this in mind, we only rarely have to consider whether the language is relevant, but for international business this is a key consideration. Imagine being sat at work in the UK and receiving a marketing email in Japanese, would you try translating it or would you just delete it as it is irrelevant – for many it would be the latter.
Multilingual telemarketing is a fantastic way to start conversations with your target market in foreign territories as part of your expansion plan. Conversations play a vital part in understanding customer needs, true customer objections and the market place. Supplementing telemarketing alongside other marketing activity provides a rounded approach to entering a new and different market.
Here at Air, we’ve run both B2B and B2C campaigns using native languages which include (but are not limited to) Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian.