Communication is the most important skill in shipping and commodity trading
Hey Damien! everyone speaks English, why should I care about another language?
Of course, everyone speaks a kind of globish English. But this is far from enough! when you want to be ahead, you need to communicate with your counterparties in their native language. By speaking their mother tongue, you will create a rapport different than your competitor. This relationship will allow you to get better deal, last refusal, ease the claims, etc…No wonder why the most successful people in the commodity and shipping industry are polyglot.
Furthermore, You don’t need to be fluent! Making the effort to speak in their languages and switching to English when it becomes too complicated is completely fine.
Did you for instance know that in Japan the color white represents mourning? So if you are selling party gifts to Japan make sure you don’t wrap them in white paper! The examples of businesses not succeeding because of such cultural misunderstandings are many. Make sure you don’t make this mistake! If you fail in bringing your message across – your business will also fail. If you can’t excite the people about your product – if you can’t get them to trust you.
By learning a new language, you will learn so much about new parts of the world. This is by far the best way to make you someone more interesting and waayyyyy more performant in your industry.
The following infographics show the languages importance per commodity
I know learning a new language could feel like a giant pain in the XXXXX, especially if you were a bad “language” student just like me… (a shame coming from a country with 4 official languages). Today it exists, you waaaayyyyy better way to learn new language than what we were taught at school.
Here a link a highly recommand Tim blog
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