Basic communication skills that can take you from zero to Zorro

13 Oct 2016
Expanding your business opportunities to Spain is a great idea – especially before the Spanish property market really takes off again. The thing is, having a diverse property portfolio that includes incredible properties from international shores keeps you competitive and allows you to offer customers something that could really tempt them.

While you might know this, there may be one thing that is holding you back – the language barrier. But the dream doesn’t need to end here, because once you have familiarized yourself with some Spanish business etiquette rules, and practiced some of the Spanish basics, you can make use of these basic communication skills that will take you from zero to Zorro in no time:


Basic communication skills for business in Spain: General

basic communication skills

  • Keep in mind that all business communication is formal. Even if you have gotten to know your Spanish associate very well, it’s important that formal interactions and communication are kept that way.

  • Meeting and speaking in person is the preferred method of communication

  • The way in which you present yourself to Spanish associates is incredibly important to them.

  • It’s crucial to be able to form a personal relationship with your Spanish counterparts, but let them take the lead on sharing personal information.

  • Always remain modest when talking about any of your accolades or achievements.

  • The Spanish have a way of interrupting people. While this may be considered rude in many countries, in Spain, it’s a compliment, it means they are listening to and interested in what you are saying.

  • Spanish communication goes deeper than the words that are spoken, when it comes to basic communication skills in Spain, you actually need to master the art of their non-verbal communication too.

  • Oral contracts are very real in Spain. This comes first and a formal written one will come later. Do take these seriously.

  • Making and confirming meetings by telephone is a good idea.

  • For your business communication to really run smoothly, consider hiring a trustworthy interpreter or translator.

  • It’s relatively normal for Spaniards to talk at the same time.

  • Avoid embarrassing them at all costs, and avoid topics like politics. Stick to things about your country and sport.


Basic communication skills for business in Spain: Handy phrases and words (taken from Bright Hub Education)


General business terms

  • socio- associate

  • consultor - consultant

  • contratos - contracts

  • redactar un contrato - to draw up a contract

  • gerente - manager

  • materiales - supplies

  • solicitud - application


  • contabilidad - accounting

  • banca - banking

  • consultoría - consulting

  • marketing - marketing


Speaking over the telephone

basic communication skills

  • extensión - extension

  • ¿Con quién hablo? - To whom am I speaking?

  • No cuelgue por favor - Hold the line please

  • ¿Puede volver a llamar más tarde? - Could you call back later?

  • Le volveré a llamar - I will call back

  • Se ha cortado - We were cut off

  • No consigo hablar - I can’t get through

  • Está comunicando - It (the line ) is busy

  • Se ha equivocado de número - You’ve got the wrong number

  • Este es el contestador automático - This is the answering machine

  • Por favor, deje su mensaje después de oír la señal – Please leave your message after the beep (tone)



  • Muy señor mío - Dear Sir

  • Muy señores míos - Dear Sirs

  • Muy señora mía - Dear Madam

  • Le(s) saluda(n) atentamente - Yours faithfully

  • Acusamos recibo de - We acknowledge receipt of

  • Con referencia a - With reference to

  • Con relación a su carta del 5 de agosto… - Further to your letter of August 5…

  • Con relación a nuestra conversación telefónica - Following our telephone conversation-

  • Le adjunto…/Le adjuntamos - Please find enclosed


Basic communication skills for business in Spain: Where to from here?

Now that you have a good idea of what you can expect when it comes to basic communication skills in Spain, and have some basic words and phrases in your arsenal, here are some of the things you can do now:


  • Start a Spanish class or hire a private tutor

  • Download one of the many Spanish language apps to keep you practising daily

  • Read about Spanish Business Etiquette (if you haven’t already)

  • The best thing to do once you have learned these words and practised the stringing them together, is to actually go to Spain and immerse yourself in the language. Perhaps you could even try meeting with a Spanish business partner or two!


Looking for incredible properties in Spain to add to your international property portfolio? Then definitely take a look at the properties for sale in the Costa Blanca. Contact us for any information on Spain, the language, the culture, purchasing property or to take a look at our extensive properties on offer.

Recent Post
telephone Do you need some help or advice?