March 22, 2011
By Ron Cammel
The growing Latino market is diverse and cannot be reached by clichéd sales pitches, Juan Tornoe told hundreds gathered for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony Monday at the JW Marriott.
But that did not stop him from having some fun with stereotypes.
Tornoe, a national business consultant and blogger of Hispanic Trending, summed up the growth in the U.S. Hispanic population quite simply: Salsa now outsells ketchup.
But he was serious about businesses reaching the estimated 47 million Latinos in the United States, or 16 percent of the population, whose buying power has grown much faster than the non-Hispanic population’s.
How does a business connect?
“It’s the culture, stupid!” he said.
“Hispanic people overwhelmingly say they want to preserve their families’ culture,” Tornoe said. “If you speak to the heart of the Latino community, it goes a long way.”
He said Latinos value social harmony, social flexibility and social speed — they tend to become friendly faster. It’s important for sales people to spend a little more time on the small talk and getting to know a person in the Hispanic community before talking business, he said.
And family comes first, he said. Hispanic women are a growing force in Hispanic-owned businesses, not for the wealth, but to look out for the interests of their families, he said.
Don’t assume Hispanics want to be spoken to in Spanish, he said. The large majority of Hispanics who use the Internet regularly, for example, use English sites.
If you want to joke around with “Spanglish,” be careful, he cautioned. Some advertisements have turned off the Hispanic community. Regular English-to-Spanish translations are difficult enough: A T-shirt hawked after the pope’s visit to Miami read in Spanish, “I saw the potato.”
Tornoe said businesses reaching out to Hispanics need to remember the broad range of income, education and social levels, while recognizing some common cultural characteristics.
But in any case, the Hispanic market is here to stay, he said. “It’s not a matter of when you reach them. You will. It’s a matter of understanding them.”
2 posts categorized "Latino Owned Companies"
March 22, 2011
By Juan Tornoe
When having a discussion about any purchase decision with my wife I always have the final words; which always are “Yes dear”, or one of several variations that I’ve come up with over the course of the years for that phrase.
Seriously, by 2050 25% of all U.S. women, 48.9 million, will be of Latino origin; an increase of almost 340% from 1990. Considering that women have the final say on most buying decisions, more markedly within the Hispanic community, this should be enough to make you look back and reevaluate how you are approaching this very important segment of the United States population.
Even though there is a strong stereotype that the Latino culture is very much a patriarchal one, it actually is the other way around. Hispanic women, in a very accommodating way, let their men feel in control and strut their stuff with their fellow male friends. Still, get a group of Latino men in a room without their significant others, and I’ll bet the farm that when you get them comfortable enough they will begin to cough up who is the real boss at home (and it is NOT them).
It is not only at the family level, but in business, where women are the fastest-growing influence within the Hispanic community, the largest minority in the U.S. today. Both at home as well as at work, Latino women are much more in tune than their male counterparts with why they do the things they do; reduced to its core essence, its all about the well being of their family. They will do whatever it takes to make sure that the needs of all those close to their hearts are fully taken care of.
This is a powerful fact you should always keep in mind; are you truly, efficiently and effectively fulfilling a want or need for your Latina consumer base? With women (and as I contend, specially with Latinas) you better be ready to say it in a persuasive manner, totally delight them during the actual sales process, and have a product/service that at the very least lives up to the expectations you have created prior to its final purchase. You will be held accountable every step of the way.
You better be ready to present some real hard evidence that the product/service you are offering in fact delivers what you promise and then some. Not only that, but at the same time you must create a strong emotional bond. You better delight your Latina customers if you are expecting a fruitful long-term relationship with them. If you manage to with their hearts and minds, and your quality and service are consistently good, you are on the right track to keep them as customers for a long time.
You might say, “This isn’t that much different from what I am trying to accomplish on a daily basis with my entire customer base.” What I am telling you is that now you will be held fully accountable by one of the fastest growing segments, in size and influence, not only within the Hispanic community, but in the country as a whole.
Either if you are selling Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer, it is imperative to prepare yourself to be dealing more and more with Latinas.
I am talking about Hispanic women at every level of acculturation and assimilation; from the newly arrived to a 4th or 5th generation Latina.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, women accounted for 52% of the adult legal migrant population in 2005. Which means that more than half of the immigrants that come through the front door of America are women, who almost immediately are able to begin enjoying the benefits of all that the U.S. has to offer; having the means to purchase many products and services, including yours. These recently-arrived women’s profiles have changed over the last quarter century; they now are better educated, older, and less likely to have children; interesting mix as far as buying power is concerned.
Since nearly half (47.3%) of Hispanics of working age are women, we will continue to see an increase of Latinas in every segment of the workforce over the next ten years. This, combined with the fact that on average, Hispanic women have more education than Hispanic men (60 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics in 2000 went to women), guarantees that more and more decision makers, those who will be giving the OK to buy from you or not, will be Latinas (21.4% of Hispanic women have professional or managerial positions, compared to 14% of Hispanic men).
Hispanic women are increasing their influence on the National economy; phenomenon which is easily identifiable at the entrepreneurial level: in 2002 Latinas owned 470,244 firms, employing 198,000 people, and generating $24.9 billion in sales. By 2004, the number grew to 553,618 firms, employing 320,000 people, generating $44.4 billion. 17% more firms, 61.6% more people employed, 78.3% more sales in only two years. Notice that their sales and employee numbers have grown at a much higher rate than the actual number of Latina owned businesses. Indeed, more than one-third of all Hispanic-owned firms are owned by women and are growing at twice the rate of those owned by Hispanic men, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research.
As mentioned before, Latinas’ number one priority is the solid building of their family’s foundation. They are more than willing to take on the increased and constant responsibility of being their own boss since it allows them the flexibility to juggle work and family, without reporting to anyone.
This strong focus on family pays off at the bottom line. Their staff and their customers truly become their extended family; Latinas look out after them with the same passion they do for their immediate family. This translates into happy and loyal employees, which in turn contributes to higher customer retention, and into delighted clients that buy, return and recommend on a consistent basis.
Hispanic women are erasing the old Latin American notion that a woman’s “real job” should be at home raising a family. Even though this belief is being erased everywhere south of the border, the “movement” has been championed in America, where Latinas have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit of the country and actually have become role models, both domestically as well as internationally. Hispanic women entrepreneurs are starting business at a rate six times the national average, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Although still a challenge, the financial system is beginning to realize that there is a huge opportunity in financing Latina-run businesses. Since the mid 1990’s credit markets have begun opening to Hispanic women and we are still at the early stages of this transition.
Hispanic women are having a constantly increasing impact on the face of the U.S. economy; ignore it at your own risk.
Originally published on the September 2006 issue of InteleCard News Magazine