A successful transaction is about translating the needs of both side of a tranaction into the "language" that the other side speaks and can understand and accept. While we may all speak the same language, what is said gets heard differently depending on the listener's perspective.
Imagine how hard that is when English isn't even your native language!
Recently I worked with a Nigerian couple to help them buy their first home. For both, English was their second language. And as articulate in English and as well-educated as they are, it was still difficult. The Seller’s agent was a S.E. Asian Indian who spoke heavily accented English as his second language. Not surprisingly, both parties arrived to the transaction with different cultural perspectives. Most Realtors would be stressed to the breaking point.
It was right in my wheelhouse!
I spent my first career working in bilateral US-Japan trade. My second language is Japanese. I’ve lived abroad and for over 30 years I’ve specialized in cross-cultural business on both sides of the Pacific.
From experience I know that non-native speakers need to communicate on multiple levels. Spoken explanations always need to be followed up with a written summary. Documents need high level summaries (written and verbal). Standard terms need to be defined and jargon must be decoded. Cultural reference points must be acknowledged, explained, and factored into the business equation. Because all cultures approach negotiation in different ways, understanding those differences and allowing for them during the negotiation process is critical to success.
I love working with foreign-born clients. If you know of someone who could use my help, call or email me today!
Kevin C. Crowell: #Determined!
For over 25 years I worked at the company I built, successfully selling high-tech products in Japan, the world’s most demanding market. My work there required a: close attention to detail, superior customer service, exacting quality, and continuous improvement.