We’ve looked before at how to set up an appointment on the phone with someone you already know (BEP 119), but what about if you haven’t met the person or established a relationship with them yet? In today’s Business English Podcast, we’ll be looking at how to make contact with a prospective client and, on the opposite end of the line, we’ll examine language you can use to politely decline a request for information or a meeting.
We’ve already met Mario from Viva Fashions in previous episodes. Now Mario wants to meet with the head buyer for a chain of American stores owned by DeBourg Brands but, at this point, he doesn’t even know the buyer’s name. Mario is going to “cold call” the company and see if he can reach the buyer. First, he needs a name, and then he needs to try to speak to the buyer to make an appointment.
Listening Questions – First Call:
1) What techniques does Mario use to get information from Joan?
2) Why do you think Joan agrees to help Mario?
Listening Questions – Second Call:
1) Why does Mario keep saying “thank you” instead of “please” after making a request?
2) What language does Mario use when stating the reason for his call, and why?
3) Throughout the conversation, Mario uses informal language to minimize his request. Can you spot a few examples?
Download: Podcast MP3