Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on socializing in English with your clients on the phone.
There’s an old saying that you should never mix business and pleasure. And sure, it might not be a good idea to get too close to your customers and clients. But if you are all business, and you shy away from anything personal, you’ll seem cold. And people won’t connect with you.
Ultimately, you have to find the right balance. You want to be personable, but not nosy. You want to be friendly, but not pushy. And you have to take your time. A conversation with a new customer will be naturally more formal than with an established one. That’s true not only in person, but on the phone as well.
In our last lesson, we learned about paying a visit to a client’s office. Today, we’ll look at checking in with a client by phone. As you’ll hear, we often make friendly conversation at the beginning of the call, and you might find yourself showing understanding of a client’s personal situation. But eventually you’ll want to switch from the personal to business. And once you’re talking business, you might mention personal connections, gauge needs, and discuss developments in your industry. This is all part of maintaining and building a relationship with your client.
In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Markus, an account manager for a company that sells servers. Markus is calling up a client named Jana. He wants to check in with her, find out how she’s doing, and see if she needs anything. And you’ll hear him strike a balance between business and personal issues.
1. Jana mentions a personal issue at the start of the conversation. What is it?
2. When Markus switches from personal matters to business, what topic does he mention?
3. How does Markus ask Jana about their server needs?