BEP 298 – Sales English 5: Dealing with Setbacks

Business English Pod 298 - English for Sales Lesson 5: Dealing with Setbacks

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on dealing with setbacks near the end of the sales process.

Working in sales can be really tough. Sometimes you put a lot of hard work into the process but still things don’t work out the way you want. You might understand your customer’s needs and propose a great solution. But still, some customers might not see the value of what you’re offering.

In some cases, that means they decide not to buy what you’re selling. In others, it means they don’t completely accept your price or terms. Whatever the case, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with these kinds of setbacks. After all, a good salesperson is not just a good talker, they can adapt and face challenges with confidence.

One part of dealing with setbacks is responding to the bad news with understanding and a positive attitude. Tell the customer you understand their concerns and let them know you’re still interested in doing business in the future. And you should be careful not to use language that shows disappointment or frustration.

If you have to negotiate on the price or terms, you need to proceed carefully. Sometimes you might agree with hesitation, making sure to tell the customer why something might be difficult. And sometimes you’ll need to stay firm, while remaining polite and friendly. It’s also a good idea to know the language we use to offer something, such as little extras that will make the customer happy. And finally, at this point in the sales process, you will often have to discuss or make suggestions about the schedule and timelines.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Aaron, who works in sales for a commercial refrigeration company. Aaron has been trying to sell cooling systems to a hotel undergoing remodeling. He has offered some great solutions and overcome some obstacles, and now he’s about to hear the customer’s decision. Aaron is talking on the phone with Eva, the hotel manager.

Listening Questions

1. How does Aaron respond when he first hears Eva’s decision?
2. What does Aaron emphasize about the deli cases in response to Eva’s concerns about the price?
3. What extra does Aaron offer to Eva to help push her to accept the price?

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