Have you ever heard someone trying to talk to a person from another country by speaking slowly and loudly? Why do they think that all foreigners are hard of hearing?
It’s really not that hard to communicate with New Americans. In fact, their English is probably much better than you’re giving them credit for (and far better than some Americans I know).
Turn down the volume, folks, and pay more attention to conversational do’s and don’ts when speaking with New American homebuyers. It’s cultural influence, not vocabulary, per se, that is important in a discussion with someone from another country.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about effective communication with multicultural new home sales prospects:
- Filipinos don’t like to be peppered with questions. When you do this, you give them the sense that you’re not very intelligent. They welcome personal questions, like “Are you married?” or “How much did you pay for your house?”
- Don’t try to talk politics, finances, or exports with Chinese homebuyers. Stick to topics like the arts, family, and local community.
- If you’re meeting with Japanese homebuyers and the conversation hits a lull, it’s okay. They prefer the quiet to filling dead air with worthless chatter, which will make you seem like you’re not a deep thinker or have something to hide.
- If you dine with an Australian, be advised that saying, “I’m stuffed” may not be understood as “I’m full”. It’s Australian slang for “I’m tired” or “I’m in trouble.”
So, how do you break the ice with someone from another culture? Try these questions:
- How many generations of your family live here?
- What languages do you speak?
- Why did you choose to come to America?
- What country did your ancestors come from?
- Where have you traveled?
- How many are in your family?
In my ebook, “New Home Sales Training: Selling New Homes In a Multicultural America”, I cover a wide range of topics on finding, negotiating, understanding, and communicating with New American homebuyers. Also stay tuned here for some help with improving your success with multicultural new home sales.
Next: Money matters: Helping New American homebuyers understand home financing in the U.S.