BEP 398 – English for Sales: Financial Services (2)

BEP 398 LESSON - Sales: Financial Services 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson, the second in a three-part series on selling financial services.

When many people think of making money, they think of having a job and earning a salary. But if you’ve ever saved money or made an investment, you know there are other ways to make money. I mean, the money itself can do the work, if you make smart decisions with it. And just as there are lots of ways to invest money, there are lots of words we use to talk about money and investments.

In our last lesson, we were introduced to the world of “wealth management.” And we met a character in the dialog who was “planning for retirement.” These expressions, “wealth management” and “to plan for retirement,” are what we call collocations.

A collocation is a natural combination of words. Proficient English speakers know to use the verb “to plan for” with the noun “retirement.” The words combine to create a collocation, or a set expression. Learning collocations can help you sound more natural, and it can be easier to remember words together, rather than separately.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Jessica, the person who’s planning for retirement, and Robert, a wealth manager. Jessica is visiting Robert’s office to learn more about his services. And Robert is trying to gently persuade Jessica to become his client. During their conversation, they use many English collocations, which we’ll explain later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. What kind of approach does Robert say his firm takes to wealth management?
2. Besides managing investments, what is another service that Robert’s firm offers to people like Jessica?
3. What type of investing does Jessica say she is particularly interested in?

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BEP 397 – English for Sales: Financial Services (1)

BEP 397 LESSON - Sales: Financial Services 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson, the first in a three-part series on selling financial services.

A wise person once observed that sales isn’t just about selling. It’s about building trust and educating. Nowhere is this more true than in world of professional services. And one of the highest stakes professional services to sell are financial services.

Convincing someone to let you manage their money is no easy task! Just think of your own savings, assets, and investments. You probably wouldn’t just entrust them to a faceless business entity. You want to know who’s managing your wealth and you want to know you can trust them to do a good job. Indeed, it’s all about trust.

So, when you’re meeting a potential client considering your financial services, it’s important to start by building personal rapport and establishing credibility. From there you can begin asking questions about a person’s priorities and level of wealth. Discussing these topics will set you up for looking more deeply into the person’s situation and demonstrating you’re the right one to manage their wealth.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a conversation between Robert and Jessica. Robert is a financial advisor with a company called Vickers Wealth Management. Jessica is a working professional looking for financial help as she plans for her future. Robert and Jessica have been introduced by a mutual friend. Now they’re sitting down for the first time in Robert’s office.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Robert mention when the company was founded and their advisors’ qualifications?
2. What does Robert want to ask about before discussing Jessica’s current situation?
3. What does Robert want to get a “rough idea” about?

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Business English News 53 – TikTok

Business English News 53 - TikTok

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to technology and TikTok.

It seems like every week there’s news of another attempt to ban TikTok. Indeed, the federal government and half the states in the U.S. have outlawed use of the app on government-owned devices. Never before has there been such a reaction to an app’s sudden popularity. So just how did the app reach one billion downloads and 150 million active users in the U.S.? According to the Guardian:

TikTok owes its phenomenal success to a host of canny choices. They feature easy-to-use video, with creation tools that blur the line between creator and consumer. Their vast library of licensed music allows teens to soundtrack their clips without fear of copyright strikes. And a billion-dollar advertising campaign on Facebook brought in new users as quickly as Zuckerberg’s company could send them over.

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BEP 29c – Meetings in English: How to Disagree

Welcome back to Business English Pod This lesson is the second part of our series on agreeing and disagreeing. Today we’re going to look at how to disagree.

In the board room or the break room, it’s great to be able to support other people’s ideas by agreeing. But you won’t get far in business if you just agree with everything. You need to be able to disagree confidently and politely. Only then can you convince people that you have an even better idea.

In this lesson, we’re going to talk about how to disagree in meetings in English. Sometimes you’ll need formal polite expressions, and sometimes you can use shorter more informal expressions. And to take things to the next level, you can learn how to disagree using the “yes… but” approach. Another effective technique is to use questions to disagree. As you can see, you’ve got lots of options for disagreeing.

In today’s dialog, we’re going to listen again to a conversation between Gene, Louis, and Carina. They work for a pharmaceutical, or drug company, and they’re talking about the tests of a new drug. During their conversation, they use many different expressions for disagreeing

Listening Questions

1. How does Carina start her first statement to show she disagrees?
2. What negative question does Carina use to show disagreement about the test results?
3. How does Gene disagree with Carina’s statement that there may still be issues with the new drug?

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BEP 396 – Strategic Decision-Making (2)

BEP 396 LESSON - Strategic Decision-Making 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on making strategic decisions. This is the second of a pair of lessons on business strategy.

According to the old saying, good ideas are a dime a dozen. There’s no shortage of possibilities in business. But not all those ideas and possibilities are equal. You have to be able to sort out which ones are the right fit for your business. Given limited time, resources, and capacity, you can’t chase after every shiny new thing that comes along.

This is where strategy comes in. Strategy helps you separate the excellent business opportunities from all the merely good ideas. Strategy allows you to say yes to the right ones, and no to the rest. Without a strategic perspective, companies are doomed to go the way of Blockbuster.

Strategic decision-making involves asking whether your company is the right company to pursue the idea. That means assessing whether it plays to your strengths and fits with your brand. It also means discussing the opportunity costs, or the things you’ll be giving up to pursue the new idea. And any new opportunity has to have long-term potential. It can’t just be a flash in the pan.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Paolo, Adrian, and Michelle, who work for a solar panel company. The company has traditionally focused on commercial projects. Now they’re discussing whether it’s a good idea – strategically speaking – to get into the residential market.

Listening Questions

1. Why is Adrian concerned about the opinions of residential customers?
2. What does Adrian say is the focus of their company’s brand?
3. What is Michelle’s concern about the idea of providing energy audit services?

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