“If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.” This quote by the former German Chancellor Willy Brandt is more relevant than ever. 75 percent of world growth will soon come from emerging markets. A good command of the English language is taken for granted in international business. In the near future, knowledge of Hindi or Mandarin will be a key factor when entering new markets.
Successful sales performance is not just about facts and figures. Awareness of cultural backgrounds and an ability to talk in the client's mother tongue are vital to improving sales revenue. According to communications expert David Grossman of The Holmes Report, productivity losses that arise from communication barriers result in a cumulative cost of more than $26,000 per worker, per year.
All of us know how it feels to forget an appointment or send an urgent e-mail. Language-based miscommunication causes stress and pushes up costs. Training focusing on work-related communication keeps processes smooth and cost-efficient.
The Association for Talent Development discovered that employees who receive regular training outperform non-trained staff by 45%. In particular, enterprises with international and linguistically diverse employees are dependent on a high level of communication. Here, groundbreaking innovations and operational excellence are out of reach without excellent linguistic skills.
If a professor holds a lecture in a foreign language the audience expects fluency. If a customer service representative is able to talk in the customer's mother tongue, the latter will be immensely impressed. With just a little effort and some conversational training, customer liaison can be quickly improved.
For committed candidates, personal growth is important when selecting a job and staying at it. As every HR manager knows, replacing staff amounts to 50-150% of the employee’s annual salary. That’s why the most successful companies of recent decades (e.g. Apple, Toyota, Vodafone) offer their workforce lifelong learning.