Speaking the language of business

It’s no secret that in business the hard work of making a sale is 90 per cent building a positive relationship with prospective clients and just ten per cent actually selling the product or service.

People invest both their time and money in the salesperson in front of them and that is what will ultimately set you apart from your competitors. This really emphasises the importance of developing a rapport with your contacts to ensure a long-lasting arrangement, which will benefit all parties concerned.

While this may come naturally when dealing with domestic customers, once your business expands into overseas markets, this becomes a whole new challenge. Language barriers can sometimes prove to be a difficult thing to overcome on your own. It could be argued that if both parties know enough about the topic at hand, then they may be able to muddle through a conversation, but if this is the case, can you ever really hope to build up a real relationship and seal the deal?

When setting foot in a new, unfamiliar market, you may instantly find yourself at a disadvantage if there are similar companies already established that specialise in the native language. Even if your product is cheaper or of a higher quality, you could potentially miss out on sales, due to the your buyer feeling they are unable to effectively communicate with you regarding any questions they have or reassurances they are looking for.

Cultural sensitivity

As well as being mindful of getting your point across in a language both of you can understand, in some regions you need to be wary that by doing something, or not doing something, you could potentially run the risk of offending your contact or making yourself out to be ignorant.

How you introduce yourself to your prospective client can often indicate how culturally aware you are. In Austria, for example, it is generally considered polite for another to introduce you to someone, instead of introducing yourself. It is little gestures like this that, if you get right, can be the first steps toward cultivating a healthy business relationship.

One way to sidestep a lot of these faux pas is to hire a face-to-face interpreter to assist you. The investment can often pay dividends in helping you make the right impression and you can rest assured you are getting high-quality help by contacting reputable business interpretation firms like London Translations for a quote.

On occasions when a face-to-face meeting is not an option for you, then you can still use teleconferencing interpreters, who will facilitate a conversation in much the same way, albeit over the phone.

As long as you apply the same principles as you would towards a domestic meeting, in that you are always looking to engage your client, are accessible and build that ever-so-important rapport, an interpreter will help to smooth the process along and can prove to be a valuable asset.