As a native English speaker, it’s easy to take for granted the fact that our mother tongue has become a world language. Most places on the planet – apart from rural Mongolia, perhaps – have at least a sign or two printed in English, even if the locals can’t speak it.It’s hard for many of us to imagine operating in a second language, especially in a business environment. But this is the case for the billions of people who don’t have English as a first language, and who interact with businesses from the English speaking world. Being spoken to in one’s native language puts one far more at ease than being spoken to in another language – and therein lies the power of international telemarketing. Businesses that want to sell in foreign territories need to appreciate the importance of thinking globally and acting locally if they want to form ties with customer bases in these areas.
A prospect is far more likely to block out marketing messages if they’re not delivered in their native tongue
Imagine receiving an email addressed to you, but written in Mandarin? Or getting an international telemarketing call from a business and the person on the other end spoke to you in Spanish? Perhaps this wouldn’t be an issue if you were fluent in either and were currently residing in Shanghai or Buenos Aires, but what if you were in the UK? You might feel that the email or call was irrelevant and instinctively block out whatever the other person had to say. From a marketers perspective, this is bad news – especially when you’re trying to reach out to potential leads in a new country.
Reaching out to a lead in their own language signals that you respect them
Let’s imagine another scenario. You’re contacted by phone by that business in Buenos Aires and they address you by name in English. Chances are you’d listen to what they’d have to say and might even engage with them. If you’d react in this way, your target market in a non-English speaking country probably would too. Even though plenty of non-native English speakers can speak English proficiently, reaching out to them by international telemarketing in their own language immediately signals to them that you respect them – and it’s respect that builds the trust which builds a loyal customer base. It also gives them the opportunity to respond to the marketing you want them to on their terms and in a way they feel comfortable with.
Speak to your audience in their language and you avoid the risk of potentially disastrous misunderstandings
It’s easy to forget when in our English speaking bubble that there are only 375 million native English speakers in the world – the rest aren’t. Not taking this into consideration when selling abroad is a grave mistake. And it’s not just about respect for who you’re prospecting to. There are some very practical reasons for using international multilingual telemarketing, instead of solely English telemarketing. The first is about engagement. It’s extremely hard to remain engaged with the person calling you if you can’t understand what they’re saying – especially over a phone call as opposed to face-to-face. Next, if your prospect misunderstands key words in a sentence it can completely distort your marketing message, even if it’s just one word. Speaking to your market in their language can circumvent this potentially catastrophic situation.
Multilingualism can increase your business’ economic competitiveness
If you’ve invested in international telemarketing from the first contact, the downstream lead nurturing and sales process will run much smoother, even if the final sales meeting takes place in English, as you’ll have gained your leads’ trust and understanding. Not only that, but if you engage them in their language, they’re far more likely to open up about their business and the challenges they face – providing you with far more valuable information about a potential opportunity than if they’d spoken in their second or third language. There’s even evidence that suggests that multilingualism increases economic competitiveness for businesses that choose to operate in the language of the country to which they export.
Outsourcing telemarketing is a scalable solution to expand into new territories
Adapting your marketing to the language and cultural nuances of your target market will increase the efficacy of your marketing campaigns doesn’t mean you need to find and hire a telemarketer who can speak Polish and German. Not only would this individual be much harder to come by than one who can just speak French, this option isn’t scalable, unless you have a huge foothold in Poland and Germany. A more scalable and economically viable solution is to hire an international telemarketing agency that offers a diverse array of languages. This way you only need to use their services as and when the opportunities in those new territories come in.
GCL’s multilingual telemarketers adhere to the same high standards as our native speakers. If you’d like to find out how telemarketing can help you conquer new markets, download our guide: