5 Reasons Why You Need Multilingual International Sales Leaders

Luxury and premium brands hire multilingual leaders in international sales to extend their brand to other cultures and groups around the world. Read on for more.

The combination of increased globalization and new technologies that facilitate communication have dramatically reduced barriers to the international expansion of the luxury and premium sector. Luxury eCommerce brands can make headway in international sales and even thrive in international markets, but they need skilled leadership to do it.

One of the most critical skills for a VP of international sales is knowledge of the regional language where you’re targeting. Expansions into Paris require knowledge of French, and opening a retail space in Hong Kong requires Cantonese, even if English has long been the primary official language.

Why is this so essential? Here are five reasons.

1: Greater Capacity to Make Contacts

The ability to speak the language of your target marketing zone increases your VP’s capacity to contact and communicate with influential individuals and organizations. Poorly translated pitches and content typically bombard these contacts, so it becomes a breath of fresh air to hear it from someone with fluency. Plus, this helps your VP make connections and expand their networking with individuals who wouldn’t otherwise resort to communicating with someone through a translator.

2: Fluency Facilitates Nuance

While many languages are related, broadly speaking, divergent evolution leads to similar words having dramatically different meanings. Take “embarrassed” in English. In Spanish, “Embarazada” means “to be pregnant.” A casual translator or machine system might not catch connotations to the words used in anything from official communication to sales copy. A fluent VP can oversee and understand these connotations and avoid catastrophic (and costly) faux pas.

3: Multilingual Capacity Indicates Creative Thinking

Studies show that the critical thinking and executive function of an individual can correlate to their capacity for languages. Bilingual and multilingual individuals tend to have a greater capacity for critical and creative thinking, multitasking, and sustained effort.

This capacity allows your international sales team to direct marketing and sales campaigns in local spaces with a greater degree of success. When the only acceptable result is the very best result, a talented, creative territory leader with fluency in the relevant regional language is essential.

4: Reduced Reliance on Translators

Translators, while necessary in many places throughout an international brand, are often a barrier. Due to the “filter” nature of translated communications, there can be delays and distorted meaning or context so that conversation isn’t as clear and concise as possible.

This is especially crucial in executive-level communications, where translators can introduce awkwardness and miscommunications. By hiring a multilingual VP, you’re better able to reduce reliance on translators or translation software and can save you both time and money.

5: Willingness to Learn from Other Cultures

Whether intentional or not, many cultures and some individuals in the upper echelons of commerce are less inclined to see beyond their own cultural experiences. The pandemic has only accentuated this disconnect, with travel restrictions increasingly limiting our ability to interact with other cultures.

The less we see and hear from other cultures, the greater the chances we’ll make incorrect assumptions on how marketing, sales negotiations, and communications work based on those experiences.

A multilingual sales leader has already demonstrated that they’re willing to learn from other cultures and groups around the world. It’s no stretch to say that they can leverage this flexibility to learn deeper, more nuanced details than their competition, leading to better outcomes across the board.

Finding the Best in Luxury Executive Talent

Globalization isn’t going away, and that is a good thing! Increased communication across national and cultural borders opens up boundless opportunities for forward-thinking brands capable of capitalizing on it. The modern luxury brand needs these insightful, capable VPs and Regional Sales Directors on their team. Whether such a brand is trying to revamp its existing presence or expand into a new market, it will need to find the right people to spearhead those efforts.

Luxury brands looking to expand into foreign markets require multilingual talent at the highest levels. Any brand that needs a multilingual sales leader should contact us today. Our premium, established recruitment process locates the best possible executive candidates specifically for your brand.