Business English for Sales Lessons

Learn English for sales with Business English Pod lessons for sales English. Learn English for making sales calls, dealing with customers, attending trade shows and the entire sales process with our sales English lessons. Our English for sales lessons are listed by release date, with the newest lessons first.

BEP 388 – Business Development 6: Discussing a Proposal

BEP 388 LESSON - English for Sales - Business Development 6: Discussing a Proposal

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business development and discussing a proposal with a new client.

In business development, as you build relationships with prospects, you’re on the look-out for problems you can solve or gaps you can fill. And when you find one, you’ll likely want to submit a proposal to the potential client. But clients rarely come back and accept your proposal as it is.

Indeed in the consulting world, it can take a lot of work just to get from the proposal to signing the contract. You need to discuss your proposal and close the deal. To help you get there, it’s a good idea to show enthusiasm for the project and invite questions. And during this process you’ll most likely need to educate the client about costs. You may also find yourself managing client expectations and asking some of your own questions.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a conversation between Nick, an HR consultant, and Andria, an HR manager. Andria’s company is experiencing high turnover, and she’s looking for an outside perspective. Nick has submitted a proposal to help Andria’s company understand staff engagement. Now they’re discussing the specifics of the proposal with the aim of coming to an agreement.

Listening Questions

1. When Nick invites questions, what does Andria ask about?
2. What does Nick say to manage Andria’s expectations about the timeline?
3. What important information does Nick ask for at the end of the conversation?

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BEP 387 – Business Development 5: Consulting on a Project

BEP 387 LESSON - Business Development 5: Consulting on a New Project

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business development and talking about a potential project with a new client.

Once you’ve done the hard work in business development of attracting prospects and building relationships, what comes next? The ultimate goal, of course, is to make a sale. And the best business development professionals know how to turn a prospect into a client.

In the consulting world, making a sale isn’t simply about touting the benefits of a product. It’s more about understanding your client and matching support and solutions to their specific needs. So when it comes to an initial conversation, you need to ask about the background, goals and budget. That will help you suggest the right approach. And as part of building rapport, you might want to normalize the client’s problems and show understanding by echoing their words.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to Nick, an HR consultant, as he talks with a potential client, Andria. Nick met Andria at an event and has been slowly building a relationship with her. They’re now discussing a specific project.

Listening Questions

1. What problem does Nick tell Andria is quite common?
2. What words does Andria use that Nick repeats back to her as he confirms his understanding?
3. What expression does Nick use to diplomatically raise the issue of budget?

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BEP 358 – English for Purchasing 4: Negotiating Terms

Business English BEP 358 - Purchasing 4: Negotiating Price and Terms

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and negotiating price and terms.

We’ve talked a lot about how important it is to find the right vendor. They can make or break your business. That’s why we put so much work into meeting, interviewing, screening, and qualifying potential vendors. But once you’ve found the right vendor, you still need to actually make a deal. Specifically, you need to agree on price and terms.

To set yourself up for success, it’s a good idea to do some research and preparation. If you know what things should cost, and you know what you need from a deal, and you can anticipate what the vendor needs, then you’ll be in a good position to negotiate.

In your discussion, you’ll likely make price comparisons in your efforts to get a deal. You’ll have to propose terms to the vendor, and show consideration for their position in the negotiation. Because things like delivery and quality are so important, you’ll also want to discuss penalties. And, like any negotiation, at some point you’ll probably suggest a compromise. With these skills, you should be able to get a price and terms that work for you.

In today’s business English conversation, we’ll hear Adam, a purchasing manager who works for a company that makes fitness equipment called XFit. He’s been talking with Jenny, a sales rep for a manufacturer that can make pulleys for XFit’s equipment. XFit has chosen Jenny’s company as a vendor, so Adam now has to negotiate the price and terms.

Listening Questions

1. What is the first issue that Adam brings up in the negotiation?
2. What does Adam first propose for delivery terms?
3. What is Adam willing to agree to if Jenny agrees to his suggestion about penalties?

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BEP 357 – English for Purchasing 3: Vendor Qualification

BEP 357 - Business English for Purchasing 3: Vendor Qualification

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and qualifying vendors.

Whether you’re buying raw materials, equipment, or services, purchasing decisions are high stakes. Make a bad decision, and it’ll cost you time, money, and goodwill. Make the right decision, and you can increase your revenue, improve operations, and gain more customers.

Because purchasing decisions are so important, companies invest a lot of energy into the process of vendor selection. In previous lessons, we’ve looked at sourcing suppliers and discussing vendor criteria. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you need and you’ve had some discussions with possible vendors, then you need to qualify them.

Basically, vendor qualification is about talking to a vendor to make sure they’re the right fit. And that’s best done during a visit to their facilities. Vendor qualification includes asking for documentation and getting samples, as proof of quality and a clean track record. As you talk, you may try to identify any inconsistencies between what you have heard and what you see. It’s also important to ensure comprehensive quality management and to probe for proof of consistency.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Adam, a purchasing manager who works for xFit, a company that makes fitness equipment. Adam has just taken a tour of a potential vendor’s factory. He’s talking with the manufacturer’s representative Jenny, and asking questions to see if her company is a good fit to supply parts for xFit’s exercise equipment.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Adam want product samples?
2. Why does Adam mention that he didn’t see the equipment or a set-up for the “powder coating” process?
3. What does Adam want Jenny to provide in order to show proof of consistency?

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BEP 349 – Purchasing 2: Product and Vendor Requirements

BEP 349 - English for Purchasing 2 - Product Requirements and Vendor Criteria

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and discussing product requirements.

For purchasing managers, choosing the right vendor can be like choosing a business partner. After all, your company’s reputation is tied directly to the performance of your vendors. People judge you by the goods you use to run your business or build your products. If something goes wrong, your customers blame you, not your vendors.

But what makes the “right” vendor? Well, that discussion begins with your needs. If you’re in manufacturing or product development, you’ll be talking about design requirements. These design requirements, or product specifications, are going to help you determine whether a vendor can do the job. And the engineers or merchandizers in the room are going to have some strict technical requirements.

Once you have a sense of what you need, then you can discuss vendor criteria and qualifications. And because purchasing relationships are ongoing, you may also want to establish performance indicators to ensure everything goes well once you’ve selected a vendor.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a meeting in a company called xFit, which makes fitness equipment. Adam is a purchasing manager in Asia who has been looking for a new manufacturer of an important component. He’s on the phone with Crystal, another manager who is leading the meeting, and Jason, an engineer. The team is talking about the product requirements and vendor criteria.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jason emphasize as a “must” in terms of design requirements?
2. What does Crystal say is the most important criteria for evaluating potential vendors?
3. What other criteria does Adam want to discuss?

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