Turn Your Latino Culture Into a Selling Advantage…Not Just Because You Speak Spanish

5 major Latino culture benefits to take full advantage maximizing sales in the U.S.


After 22 years of working with sales organizations in three languages across Latin America, I have been able to verify the massive advantage that culture can provide right here in the United States, if done correctly.

Here are five major features from your Latino culture that you can use to take full advantage of maximizing sales in the U.S.:

1.  Padrino – “Godfather” Parientes – “Family”

Growing up in a Spanish family, there was and is always a sense of responsibility to family or those who you are closely connected to.

With simple things such as showing up to a birthday, anniversary, wedding, family holiday or event, you are obligated to be there for whomever is being honored. With Latin culture, there is also the same general obligation when it comes to business, which can be extremely powerful when worked properly through a system of selling to clients.

In today’s world, a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system is a tool that can be used to take cultural advantage of what we have in our heritage’s DNA.

How we normally behave as Latinos, with our sense of obligation and care for those who matter, along with an organized system, puts together a combination that customers will love. 

Furthermore, as business people, it will make us highly efficient in caring for our existing and potential customers. The thing to remember is, I am not saying a CRM system is the answer, however a CRM system is simply the tool that when used in conjunction with our cultural practice, you can take full advantage of.

This sense of caring for them like family, whether or not they are not Latino, will be well received from customers no matter where they are from.

As a result, it will increase your ability to win them over, keep them as clients, and have them refer more customers to you. Your goal would be to show how much you will do for them, so that they will feel that sense of obligation to continue being part of your business. Similar to when your family provides you with that sense of obligation to be there for them when it comes to “Familia o Parientes.”

2.  Our Expressiveness – Body Language and Tone

Latin communication is full of great body language and tone. I have seen it demonstrated in Spanish many times, how one can easily express positive emotion using insulting words.

Although it never seems to work as well in the English language.

According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, the author of Silent Messages, he determined that only 7% of communication is words, 38% is tone, and 55% is body language. Think about this as Latinos.   

We just about only communicate through our gestures, facial expressions, and the way we look at people; not to mention how we use volume, sarcasm, and overall tone to deliver messages as part of almost everyday conversations.

Can you see how being Latino, even if you are verbalizing in English in America, that this could be a huge advantage in sales?

Getting your message across to a customer is such an important part of selling, and therefore being Latino should provide you with some clear advantages in being well understood. Even how we speak compared to the English language, tells the story. I can recall when I began to deliver all-day sales training classes in English for two-days and then Spanish for two-days, how much more consuming the Spanish delivery was.

Taking full advantage of being Latino in communicating with customers can be a clear advantage.

3.  Being Cariñoso – Care

The dictionary word for cariñoso is actually an affectionate term, but it can also be received as showing more than just caring about getting your business, but really caring about you as a customer and as a person.

In sales, you need to determine what the customer’s needs and buying motivations are, and by doing it with this level of heartfelt care, the customer will feel and respond that way.  I believe we as Latinos have a clear advantage with the ability to deliver in this way, and the result will increase the number of customers we can win over.

Next page- Latino culture features #4, #5 and Summary 

Jaime Hernandez
Jaime Hernandez
Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.

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