Sprechen Sie (They Speak) What?

Sprechen sie (they speak) what? Do you find it more challenging these days to connect with people and engage in meaningful conversation? Or for that matter, to just get a response from the other party! It sometimes seems like we are speaking a foreign language, or that the communication link has been severed.

At no time in mankind’s history, since the Lord scattered the twelve tribes, has our language and basic communication been so complex and confusing. This can represent a big challenge for many businesses attempting to enter new markets either regionally or globally that are unfamiliar with the local customs, languages and preferences.

World Languages

How can you communicate effectively and ensure your message is heard by the target audience when there are so many language and communication variables to consider?

It has been written in song that “music is the universal language and love is the key”. However, in the business world, it is not that straightforward. There are 6,912 main languages and 39,491 alternate language names and dialects worldwide. That is a lot to deal with when you are trying to strike up a conversation with the broader global marketplace.

The task becomes even more daunting when you add in variants such as slang and symbols (i.e. OMG, #hashtag, LOL, :)), industry jargon, acronyms and so forth. Don’t stop just yet … there is also the matter of how your target audience likes to receive communications from third parties – phone, email, text, social media, etc. It is easy to become disconnected, or feel like you’re speaking in tongues when attempting to get your message heard.

So, where’s the best place to start to overcome the language and communication barriers?

The key is to find common ground to allow communication to occur naturally and seamlessly. For this to happen, you must first learn more about the audience you are trying to reach. How do they communicate today and in what form do they like to receive information from others. Also, what to do your prospects like, or dislike when dealing with people outside of their inner circle?

Next, what is top-of-mind to those remote prospects you are pursuing? Start with the obvious. What do we all want, regardless of our spoken language and communication preferences? We all desire more of something. We (they) want more customers, revenue, profits, free time, cool stuff, hair (oh that’s me!). You get the point. It sounds easy enough, but this will require some research on your part to determine the more.

After you have discovered the more, the task becomes finding ways to deliver and communicate out in a manner that will resonate with the market. In doing so, it will become more obvious from the content of your communications that you get it by “speaking their language”. CAUTION: Be sure that your message is compelling enough to keep them coming back for more!

Want to have those great conversations with your marketplace? Then get above the noise and confusion. Find that common ground to help you establish those seamless conversations in the future, regardless of the perceived language, communication and media challenges.

Disfrute del viaje :)!



COPYRIGHT © 2013 John Carroll