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Foreign language sales video DVD production, foreign language interactive multimedia CD-ROM production, foreign language versions of  export marketing presentations.  Translation, localisation, production service for exporters and multinationals for marketing presentations at overseas exhibitions, sales presentations, conferences from award-winning multimedia and video producer, Enlightenment Interactive

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cross cultural communication

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When you aim to make a real impression on a European business contact, delivering your communication in the same language can make all the difference. At a crowded trade fair for example, making an effort to communicate effectively in the same language as your prospective customer is sure to get you remembered amongst your competitors. However, the challenge of learning a language to a level such that it can be used effectively in business is not to be underestimated. It is not something that can be achieved in a matter of months - it does take a good few years of dedicated study. But it is something that will certainly pay dividends in the long term if you are prepared to invest the effort. If you are already fairly fluent in the language, it may only take a few weeks to learn the essential subtleties that will enhance the power of your business communication.

If you have never done business outside the UK before, you will be pleasantly surprised at what a friendly and amenable bunch of people the Europeans are. Each nationality of course has its own business etiquette and preferred ways of working, and this very much extends to language and communication in general. Having an awareness of the subtle differences in ways of working is also central to effective cross cultural communication. Bear in mind that your Spanish customers for example will want to take a very extended lunch break and will frown on your insistence on `grabbing a sandwich` when your morning meeting ends. Your French customers will be least pardoning of inefficiency; try not to complicate any situation by providing them with excessive information that they do not need. Your German customers will be appreciative of a common sense approach to business and will not want to overrun on time. These are important subtleties to be aware of when spending time with your customers, but by communicating with them all in their own native language, you will break down all the barriers and undeniably earn their respect. When it comes to language, the main things to remember are to use the polite form of verbs when addressing people, "vous" in French, "Sie" in German, or "usted" in Spanish. Provided that the rest of your language is kept fairly formal, polite and respectful, you should make a good impression. Of course you will need to ensure that your vocabulary can cope with the formality of the situation. If you are attending a business meeting for example, you will need to ensure that you can talk competently about reports, strategies, proposals and deadlines. There are a variety of different business language packs, specialised books and private courses on offer that can help you to reach these goals.

It is important to bear in mind at the same time that all your efforts to learn business vocabulary and expressions in your chosen foreign language will be of little significance unless you understand how to deliver your communication. It's less about what you know and more about how you use it. Language and the way we deliver it is central to the power we have to influence others, raise our own business profile and achieve our goals. It is also central to the way we are perceived by others and the confidence - or lack of it - that we radiate as individuals


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