The War Room
Question
Post

How important is it for you to speak more than one language in your current sales position?

👑 Sales Strategy
💌 Cold Emailing
📞 Cold Calling
50
Bueller
Politicker
+2
Account Executive
I’m in Canada and speak both English and French so makes it very helpful as there’s a very good chunk of people who prefer to converse in French
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
That’s awesome! Love Canada!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Yeah, any country that is bilingual, makes it very useful!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
100%
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
A bit of an outlier, but I speak 4 languages fluently. I work in language services, and it can be useful, but not at all influential on my success in sales directly. A good salesperson is a good salesperson. If you have your region and speak that language, you'll be golden. How it has helped me is go from 3 different regions and roles in the same company to an eventual director, level position. 

To sum up: for sales it's nice to have but not at all crucial. For upper management/career growth, it can be a huge leg up!

Also, don't be fooled by Duolingo or any other apps. Learning a language should be done with a professional... ideally in that country. Also, not a plug, since I don't sell language courses anymore. But I have lived in 7 countries so far and have never met anyone who has learned a language through an app or website.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
That’s awesome! Great input? What languages do you speak?
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
English, German, Italian, and Spanish. What language are you considering learning?
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Stratifyz
Opinionated
+9
Business Development Rep
So Rosetta is a complete waste!?!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
I didn't like it, you'll find better courses (and cheaper) out there.
Show 14 more replies
Andr3dwar
Arsonist
+7
Logistics Manager

wow, that really is an amazing life and work experience, know 4 languages ​​also have lived and worked in 7 countries. I currently try to improve my English
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
ikr - monster
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
It wasn’t a requirement for me, but I have spoken to prospects in Spanish and once left a Voicemail in German. So it is used for sure!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Damn, German? Life’s too short to learn German 😂😅
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Most German's speak English, but they do love it when you can speak to them in German!
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RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
Noch wichtiger ist, dass deutsche Frauen gerne Deutsch hören.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Stimmt!
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cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
I wish I did, we've hired someone with no experience but speaks 4 languages...I speak one and a tad bit of Spanish but not enough to have a full conversation. Since they have joined we are now targeting the countries where the new colleague speaks the language...
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Absolutely, Latin America is a huge market!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
How is that going? 
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
Well, she is only a week in, but was tasked with finding 100's of companies within her markets...which we thought was a training type of exercise. Turns out they are now going to reach into those markets (not knowing if the companies are good or not). 
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Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
The Spanish-speaking population in the US alone has the estimated equivalent GDP of a medium-sized European country such as Italy!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Yeah! For example, south Florida (aka the Capital of Latin America) is a huge market and you MUST speak Spanish if you want to increase your odds, whether you’re working in real estate or just sales.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Very because I'm in a Spanish speaking country and we do sales in the States. hahahahahahahah
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
lol! It's hard to pretend that you shouldn't learn Spanish in the States either. I'm conversational but not nearly good enough to sell in Spanish yet. Only English French and German for now.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Only!!?!?!?! If I only had at least one more language in under my belt, I'll be shooting for Finnish for the time being.
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Molokomjolk
Politicker
+6
Sales Director
If you're in Europe it's a clear advantage being bilingual imo. Especially in the start up scene as you can hire one person to cover several markets (score). Even when I hire for just English speaking roles I still prefer if the candidate speaks another language as well as it gives me possibility to move this person around in the future. Not a deal breaker but it's a gold star sticker on the cv. 
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
I tried getting a visa but didn't know German at the time so a lot of French places near the border didn't want to hear it from me since they are near German and Belgium who speak German.
ragnarlothbrok
Politicker
+6
Key account manager
Not important here 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Where do you live?
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
Ragnar is probably in Norway, although he could also be from Sweden 😝
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CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Speaking Spanish has helped a couple of my friends. Otherwise, out of the US, it hasn't mattered.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Interesting. 
MontBlanc
Notable Contributor
+13
Senior Account Executive
Not important for me
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
That's great! 
Stratifyz
Opinionated
+9
Business Development Rep
Not needed, thankfully. Otherwise, I’d be screwed I suppose. Or, I guess it would force me to do something productive!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Yeah, learning new languages is hard. 
Stratifyz
Opinionated
+9
Business Development Rep
I took Spanish back in high school but couldn't tell you one thing from it. Probably because my neighbor spoke Spanish and did all my coursework - whoops!
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RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
Not at all. But some of my prospects are French and it gives me a leg up when I leave French voicemails. I’ve won an account or two doing the same in German.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Wow! that's nice! 
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
One of my friends was trying to sell something to a Polish bank, he happened to be Polish so after weeks of leaving them unanswered voicemails in English he left one in Polish and they called him back within three hours.
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Hittin' Dingers
Fluent in 2. English. (Quebecois) French. Conversational in Spanish, couldn't write it to save my life. 

Very important in role and even better in networking. 
Nairobi
Politicker
+7
BDR
Literally same lol English, quebecois/French and Spanish. However, I’ve only been speaking English in my current sales role.
Gyro25
Politicker
+6
BDR - Enterprise and Partnerships
I speak enough french to say I'd prefer to speak in English. That kinda helps when speaking to people in Montreal.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Is the french is Montreal different from the one they speak in France? (I apologize for the dumb question)
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
Sort of! It's like how Mexican Spanish and Spanish Spanish are different as well as American English and English English.
bareknuckles
Valued Contributor
+4
CEO of my kitchen table
Not necessary at all. We have other markets we play in with salespeople who speak the native tongue there. 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
That's awesome! 
th
thxfrthemxr
Good Citizen
Vp of Sales
In my case is extremely important, I work with people in Mexico and Colombia. 
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Belgium is a trilingual country (Dutch, French, German). I sold in Dutch English and French in the past although my french is not good enough to really have deep conversations. 
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Any real need for German? 
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
No it’s an extremely small part of Belgium. Around 100k people. But still it’s an official language
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
Being British and speaking a second language makes me quite unique, especially in sales. 

It doesn't actually help me in my current role, but has helped in the past
KingofGIF
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
I'm fluent in 2 and have working proficiency in. a 3rd one. I just use them to talk in the native language with others or light up their day, that's it. They're more useful for personal development (keep learning), and to understand other cultures - that's it
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
it's situational - especially when it comes to career path. Same as @Sgt_Trollingham, I speak 3 languages but sales are sales at the end. 
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
French was important in my previous role, thankfully my territory is now NC USA so I'm good being monolingual. 
SidFarkus
Politicker
+2
Corporate Sales Account Executive
I covered Canada in my previous position. Was personally frustrating without an understanding of the French language. Recently passed up an opportunity for a role where the territory was focused in Canada as well. Sticking to my first language.
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
I live in Canada and the only time I encounter French speakers is in Quebec (where my company does no business due to totally different regulations) and in some of the Maritime provinces, but it's rare. Hardly anyone speaks French in the Western provinces and if they do they also speak English. Curious where you were calling.
SidFarkus
Politicker
+2
Corporate Sales Account Executive
I covered the whole country as a BDR but the new position was Ontario/Quebec. Also avoided it because of the reason you gave above as it’s where things tend to be a little different.
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SaaSguy
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
It would be very helpful- something im working on.
looper1010
Celebrated Contributor
+13
Account Executive
US here.  Not too much but a hotly requested feature is to have a Spanish translation of our platform and lately some French.
Lh
Lhatem
Opinionated
+2
BDR
SO important - I cover the Middle East and North Africa so using English, Arabic and French on a daily basis
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Wow, pretty awesome! so you speak english, arabic and french? 
Lh
Lhatem
Opinionated
+2
BDR
Yes I do !
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
I'd say it's not sales related to me necessarily, but knowing at least 1 other language was important throughout my career
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ColdCallHotCoffee ,   kiwiaussiecanuck ,   FatVeinyTip   and 147 people voted
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