Accent Attitudes Compromise Business Telemarketing

In business, nothing will ever replace the unique value of good communication (especially in this era of globalization). From closing deals to meeting up with prospects, you can’t have any ideas unless you learn how to express things clearly.


This is critical when you’re using telemarketing to boost lead production and sales. However, as businesses are transcending borders in terms of targeting and outsourcing, even trivial things like accents could start proving to be tremendous obstacles.


Here are just several common issues that accent pose for business marketing:


  • They show that English is not the person’s first language –This a challenge for those outsourcing to offshore telemarketing companies. Those companies might represent them to prospects as part of their appointment setting campaigns.


  • It compromises what is otherwise good grammar – A sentence that is properly constructed on print (e.g. on a telemarketing script) could still come off as awkward when spoken with an accent. This video certainly proves the point about their unique sound quirks.


  • It forces habitual rewording – When we speak, we have tendencies to repeat or reword something when it didn’t come out right. For a telemarketing conversation, this can be a waste of precious time.


Usually, you’d implement an accent neutralization program for your telemarketers. That doesn’t automatically solve your problems though. As with any form of education, these programs need to be evaluated:


  • Clear pronunciation is the primary goal – While it seems ideal to just eliminate an accent entirely, traces of it will always linger. That’s why competence is not just so much measured in terms of vocabulary but in the neutral flow of the speaker’s voice.


  • Cultural barriers must be considered – Accents don’t just create barriers in communication. It also creates barriers between cultures as attitudes toward them affect the overall tone of a conversation.


  • Psychological benefits are a must – Finally, given the attitude towards accents, the benefits of neutralizing it should include psychological perks like more self-confidence, better social skills, and higher productivity.


Before, accents just used to be the subject of cartoons and comedy routines. They still are but that doesn’t mean they’re not anything serious. It’s more likely the complete opposite as these are but reflections to problems that accents actually pose to international business.


Understanding one another is another important aspect of doing business. Sometimes accents make it difficult for others to understand what is being relayed to them and it can cause embarrassment to the speaker. Speaking less may cause lesser productivity and only minimal completed works.


Many people and organizations realize that language barriers exist, as people of different ethnicities often speak with heavy accents, possess more difficult-to-pronounce names, and have varying levels of English fluency. The challenge on both sides of the table is to accept and embrace cultural differences, and work on ridding the associated negative images. Quite often in work environments, ethnic groups tend to stick together. This is largely due to increased familiarity, and a certain degree of comfort attained when speaking and interacting with people of their own heritage.


Effective communication is key, and immigrants and minority individuals should be proactive about broadening their English skills. Practice pronunciations and expand vocabularies, even if it’s just a little at a time.


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