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

Latino man on phone with laptop

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


After 25 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.

4.  Long Term – Relationship

Relationship seems to always come to the top or near the top in building a strong selling career.

The idea of just being good at prospecting or closing deals can work over the short term, but definitely not long term. We have learned in our research over and over since 1995, that Latino customers and salespeople are much more loyal, even more loyal when they are taken care of properly.

Although this may not be obvious to you as a Latino in sales, make sure you work everyday to build your sales and build loyalty in your customers.

This way of being more committed over the long-term will definitely pay big dividends in your customers coming back and being so loyal, they will also use some of their influence with their “parientes” to refer you even more business.

5.  Language and Common Ground

Having the language advantage is huge, but strongest if you combine this with the four points previously discussed. I grew up in Canada and in the last business there where I was a sales manager, we spoke 7 languages, all native speakers.

Our greatest advantage in the use of the language was also our ability to relate to the cultures that came with each language.

As a Latino, no matter where the customer came from in the Spanish speaking world, I would start out every conversation by learning about them and where in our Latino world they came from. The common identities I always learned were about family, trust, traditions, and living by shared values that are part of who we are.

Therefore, thinking that the language advantage is all you need, in my experience, is a big mistake.

In summary

In summary, I want to make sure I clarify some of my comments.

First of all, according to my latest search, there are 22 Spanish speaking countries (only four of which I have never been to), and I can confirm that not all Latino cultures are exactly the same. However, I can tell you that there are many things in common that Latinos share, and as described, many can give you an advantage in selling.

I would also like to note that one of the 22 countries listed as Spanish speaking is the United States, as Spanish is the #2 language spoken and is projected to be the most spoken language in the country by the year 2050 according to the Cervantes Institute.

Therefore, Spanish speakers could outnumber English speakers in the USA. If this is true, why not take advantage of our cultural advantages as Latinos and maximize our selling potential?

Related articles:

Bilingual Latinos a Distinct Business Advantage

Successful High Tech Latina Entrepreneur Re-invents Herself 

Selling is About 8 Simple Steps and Discipline


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