The Importance of Good Communication
In order to start or grow a business, some regions of the world find it necessary to import raw materials and/or machinery to establish or expand a functioning enterprise. When dealing with a foreign supplier there are differences in time, language and culture. For example, if you live in South America and need a piece of equipment from North America, you need to determine the best time of day to contact the supplier and if they have someone that speaks your language.
Multilingualism can often be an underrated skill in the workplace because we often don’t realize how difficult language barriers can make business transactions. Emails can only express what is written and can be a source of misinterpretation. Even the best translation tools can produce translations that don’t fully express what you intend to say. Sometimes the best way to get your message across is to pick up the phone and talk to the supplier directly. Not only will this help clarify any questions the two parties have regarding a certain transaction, but also makes the transaction more personal. The salesperson will be more likely to remember you and you will feel more comfortable contacting them in the future for spare parts, service and additional equipment or raw material needs.
Many exporting providers today realize the importance of having a multilingual staff. It is a win-win situation for both the seller and buyer and leads to a more seamless and comfortable business environment. As a buyer communicating with a foreign supplier, you should check right away to see if the company has someone that speaks your language. The receptionist might not understand you, but your region’s representative will most likely speak your language. If not, calling with an interpreter is always a good option. At Insta-Pro Intl, between the office staff and regional sales team, we speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, German, Italian, Arabic, Tagalog, Meru, Swahili and Igala. We also have individuals located in other regions with independent representative support for local languages.
Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call your supplier, regardless where they are located or what language they speak. The benefits of a back and forth conversation to clarify any doubts greatly outweigh the fear of not understanding or not being understood by the initial contact of the supplier. After the first time, it only becomes easier and you will be on your way to a better relationship with your supplier, which will only help your business grow.