BEP 227 – Telephoning: Making Sales Calls in English (1)

English Sales Call

In this Business English lesson, we take a look at making sales calls.

Many people hate making sales calls in English. They pick up the telephone and instantly feel a pit in their stomach. They might be afraid of rejection. Or they might know that most people hate receiving sales calls. But fear not! When you pick up the telephone, you’ve got an opportunity. If you approach it positively, you’ll have more positive results.

You start with a list of leads. This might just be names and numbers. They might be people you’ve met at a networking event or a trade show. Now it’s time to work those leads. In the first call, you’re not going to give them a hard sell or a pitch. You can save the real selling for a face to face meeting. And that’s your short-term goal: getting someone to agree to sit down with you.

You’re not the first person who has ever called someone to arrange a meeting. And there are some tried and true techniques that you can rely on. Today, we focus on the first part of a sales call. We’ll look at using a friendly professional greeting, showing respect for time, and referencing other clients. We’ll also look at both asking about a client’s needs and summarizing those needs.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Kate, a salesperson with a company called Thompson Medical. She’s calling Tina, who works at a dental office. Kate’s company sells “autoclaves.” An autoclave is a machine that sterilizes, or cleans, tools and equipment. It’s an important piece of equipment in any medical office.

Listening Questions

1. Why do you think Kate mentions that Tina must be very busy?
2. What does Kate say about another clinic that she visited?
3. What are the basic problems that Tina’s office has with their current system?

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