International Marketing: Foreign Language Skill Importance

Learn a foreign language.

By: Anson Zong-Liscum

As international marketers you must have great communication and social skills in order to sell your products to potential buyers. Without a successful set of communication skill sets in your arsenal you probably will find your marketing job relatively short lived. When we look at doing marketing from an international perspective, your communication skill bars must be set much higher. Trying to reach out towards a foreign audience or consumer market is no easy task and requires much more out of you as the marketer to help them understand the benefits of your products. However, if you are able to speak a foreign language and reach out directly in a personal manner to your potential customers then you may have just sealed the deal.

Learning a new language is definitely a great challenge. As with any difficult task, in order to reap the benefits there must be hard work and sufficient time put into achieving the goal. A language is no different. For some it may take half a year to nail down a great amount of fluency in the language, for others it could take years just to engage in a normal conversation. If you are involved in international business the language skill sets almost become a necessity to achieve any further success or gains for your future. The world is becoming more global than ever and will only grow in this direction.

I list here five important reasons for you to learn a foreign language. There are of course many more reasons to learn a new language. However, I believe these are some reasons that will get you thinking even deeper about the great amount of options that will be given to you once you can speak a foreign language.

1. Connections and the development of new relationships: Have you ever thought about the amount of new interesting people out there that you could never before communicate with because of a language barrier? Those other people could be future potential business partners, customers, friends, or great contact sources.

2. Secret  communication channel: Ever watch those movies where one side of the negotiators speaks two languages and the other can only sit and stare dumbfounded? What kind of advantages can that bring to you and help wiggle you out of tough situations.

3. Learning a language branches into more advanced skill sets: Learning a new language is one valuable skill set. However, once you learn that language what other paths could that language skill set lead you on to? The paths are limitless.

4. Challenge yourself: A language is tough, but if it were easy wouldn’t every person be speaking multiple languages? Learning a language challenges yourself in ways inside and out. In the end you will find yourself a more successful, intelligent, and culturally broadened individual.

5.  Job prospects You will be light years ahead of the competition and have numerous opportunities shown to you because of your diverse skill sets.

Further Readings if you would like to read more about learning a foreign language

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Anson Zong-Liscum

Twitter: AnsonZongLiscum