Although knowing English is an important skill that comes in handy throughout the business world, it is more crucial for people working in some professions than others. For people in the sales and marketing sectors which rely heavily on communication, proficiency in English means access to a bigger market and strong connections with partners. Here are five tips that your employees might find useful while carrying out sales-related activities in English.
1. Learning Sales Terminology
Business English forms part of a larger subcategory of learning English as a second language called English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Some other components of this category include technical English, tourism English and scientific English. This categorization makes things easier for people who are learning English as a second language. It eliminates ambiguity, provides a database for vocabulary, and allows people to communicate more easily. Ideally, people should have a good command of the terminology specific to their professional fields. By learning terminology such as payment by instalments, sales pitch, quote, and supplier, your sales employees can communicate in English in a more professional manner.
2. Being Aware of Cultural Differences
Many multinational corporations find it increasingly complex to carry out international sales activities because of the great extent to which cultural values and behaviours vary from region to region. Applying sales practices that work in one region to another where the cultural context differs even slightly can result in companies yielding unprofitable results in that market. In other words, the language barrier is not the only obstacle that salespeople face when doing business. Being aware of cultural differences in the target market plays an important role in sales.
The business world is a unique arena where cultural differences can perhaps most closely be observed. Theoreticians such as Albers-Miller (1996), Hofstede (1991), Pollay and Gallagher (1990) agree that cultural values and behaviours form an integral part of the marketing world and that they play a huge role in companies coming up with marketing themes. Every stage of professional correspondence and marketing communications involves culture in some way. An interesting example of this was discussed at an event that ALTO organized in Berlin. The baby food brand Gerber saw a decrease in sales when they put their products on the market in Africa with a label that displayed the image of a baby. This was because in Africa, the marketing trends projected that people favoured labels that only showed the ingredients of the food products.
But aside from the marketing aspect of it, culture also plays an important role in the correspondence between professionals. For instance, this study that analyses cross-cultural sales calls mentions that when the parties in correspondence come from different cultural backgrounds and don’t share the same thought, emotion and behavioural patterns, this greatly affects the outcome of the calls.
The same research discusses concepts such as high-context and low-context. It appears that countries such as the United States, Canada and Germany have a low-context working style, meaning that in their correspondence, they use short and concise sentences that have an almost digital quality to them. What matters most is that the message is simple and to the point so that even a computer system could easily translate the words. On the other hand, countries like Japan, China, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Saudi Arabia have a high-context working style. In their correspondence, how the message is conveyed is just as important as the message itself. Non-verbal cues such as facial expression, gesture, tone of voice and attitude therefore hold more significance for them. In short, Business English is not as straightforward as you may have presumed. To be successful at sales, your employees need to know their partners and use the language accordingly.
3. Writing the Same Way You Speak
In their 15 tips on how to write an effective sales pitch, Forbes emphasizes the importance of writing in the same manner you speak. According to this article, to appear more personable and less stiff, companies should choose to use short sentences, and can also opt for fun adjectives such as “incredible”, “amazing”, “beautiful” or “happy”.
4. Exuding Confidence
Confidence is a universal trait that everyone is able to recognize. In his book High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price, Mark Hunter argues that ultimately, self-confidence is what drives sales activities. This article which focuses on how confidence and enthusiasm affects sales presentations claims that exuding confidence is directly proportional to credibility and positively influences sales performance. That is why it’s important for your employees to be confident while speaking in English with their business partners. This brings us to our next point.
5. Practicing English Regularly
There’s only one way to gain this skill: practice. According to research, people who practice speaking English on a regular basis learn the language much more efficiently. One of the reasons for this is that as they speak the language, they link different linguistic elements such as grammar, intonation, and vocabulary together and store them in their short-term memories. That is why lessons that form a good balance between speaking and listening practices are key to a productive path to learning.
If you want your employees to learn how to speak English fluently for success in the business world, you’ve come to the right place by choosing Cambly. Cambly offers its users the option to choose tutors who are not only native English speakers but also work in similar professional fields. That means that your employees can have one-on-one lessons with tutors who have sales and marketing experience.
Feel free to reach out to Cambly for Organizations to benefit from online courses to grow your business.
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Hi I’m looking to get connected to help me improve my accent. I need to reduce my accent.
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Excellent article! Your post is essential today. Thanks for sharing, by the way.
I want to overcome come on office English drafting and English writing
Do you provide some business related vocab