I recently read an article on Linkedin by John White, MBA, who writes the following:
"Increased Size of Target Market
Want more customers? When you learn another language, the size of your target market automatically increases for which you can sell your product or service. There are an estimated 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide, making it the second most spoken language in the world. Of that 500 million, 50 million reside in the USA. So, whether your company is looking to grow internationally or expand into new domestic markets, knowing a second language increases who you can sell to.
More Marketable to Employers
In today's competitive job market being bilingual is a tremendous value add to employers that separates you from the other pile of resumes. The more diverse your skill set is the more hirable you become. Bilingual employees are in high demand in almost every business sector: health care, law, business, education, construction, criminal justice. (to name a few) Globalization is in full swing and worldwide markets are becoming more interdependent. Thus, the need for bilingual employees continues to rise.
Win Instant Rapport With Clients
Learning a foreign language is no easy task. For this reason, people instantly love you when they realize you have taken the time and effort to learn their native language as your second language. I have been the beneficiary of this many times in my career. On a cold call several years back, I one call closed a customer over the phone because of my Spanish speaking ability. I reached the company CFO, and the call was going nowhere fast. I detected a Spanish accent and out of no where switched the conversation to Spanish. It was the perfect 180 degree turnaround that I needed. By then end of the conversation, I convinced her to switch their company mobile voice and data services, and enter into a 2 year business agreement with my company! This sales cycle usually takes at least two meetings, a formal proposal, and weeks if not months of negotiation."
Michele Colledge CEO, VLLC