Skills 360 – Networking Skills (Part 2)

Welcome back Business Skills 360 for the second part of our look at networking skills. In this episode, we’re going to focus on “network maintenance,” or how to make sure your network is healthy, organized, and effective.

You see, passing out business cards is not enough. I can spend all week attending events and talking to people and manage to hand out 200 business cards but still not have a healthy and effective network. To do that, you need to maintain your network. You need to take care of it and reinforce its connections. You need to work your network. Just how can we do that?

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Skills 360 – Networking Skills (Part 1)

Welcome back to Business Skills 360 – the podcast that looks at the other side of Business English.

Today’s Business Skills 360 lesson is about business networking, and goal-setting for networking events. To get the most out of your networking, you need to go into these events with a clear objective so that you can make good use of the opportunity. We set goals for everything else, so why not networking?

To brush up on your Business English for networking, check out BEP 155 & 156.

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BEP 156 – English for Socializing: Networking (Part 2)

This is the second of a two-part Business English Pod lesson on business networking.

Networking is all about people and connections. You never know when someone you meet at a conference or trade show may be able to help your business in the future. Likewise, you may be able to help someone else out. So building and maintaining a network of business contacts is essential.

But once you meet a prospective contact, how do you maintain that connection? This is what we’ll focus on today. We’ll talk about ways to steer a conversation toward a lead. We’ll also cover ways to shoot for a meeting and be persistent. And we’ll look at the other side and discuss ways to politely leave a conversation.

Today’s lesson is mainly about sales, but these functions can be easily applied to other situations.

Last time, we met Ian, a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company, and Marissa, a pharmacy manager at Children’s Hospital. They met at a conference and Marissa mentioned her frustration with her current pharmaceutical supplier. Deliveries are often late and are sometimes packaged incorrectly. She’s concerned about getting supplies for her hospital’s vaccine clinics. And that’s where the conversation resumes today.

Listening Questions

1. What supplies does Marissa’s pharmacy need?
2. Why does Ian suggest grabbing a cup of coffee?
3. What is Marissa’s schedule like right now?

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BEP 155 – English for Socializing: Networking (Part 1)

This is the first of a two-part Business English Pod series on networking.

In business, so much depends on who you know. A network is a group of business contacts that have the resources to help each other out. Former and current colleagues, outside business associates, vendors, friends, acquaintances – these can all be part of your network.

The term “networking” refers to developing this group of contacts. Most businesspeople are looking to expand their networks – for sales leads, job referrals, information, and advice. Networking also means being helpful to others. There should be mutual benefits for all involved.

Networking often involves approaching people you don’t know, which can be a little awkward. How do you network in a way that seems genuine? In this lesson, we’ll look at ways to approach people. We’ll also cover greetings and introductions, 10-second elevator pitches, and talking about your industry.

Today we’ll listen to Ian and Marissa’s first interaction at a pharmacy conference. Ian is a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company. Marissa is the manager of a hospital pharmacy. A pharmacy is a place that distributes medicine and drugs.

Listening Questions:

1. How does Ian break the ice with Marissa? In other words, how does he start their first interaction?
2. How did Ian learn about the flu vaccine clinics?
3. Why is Marissa frustrated with her supplier?

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BEP 96 – Socializing: Business Meals

In most parts of the world, having lunch or dinner together is an important part of doing business. In places such as North America, eating meals is a way of building a relationship or celebrating a partnership. And in other cultures, such as China, much of the real work of making deals actually often gets done over the dinner table.

No matter where you are doing business, it’s important to be able to handle the basics of dining out. This includes ordering food, recommending dishes, proposing a toast, and paying for the check, among other things. These skills will be the focus of this episode.

In the listening, we continue to follow Mario and Francesca, who represent the Italian fashion company Viva, on their visit to the U.S. As planned, they are having dinner in Las Vegas with their distributor Adriana, who works at the American company Foxtrot. Bill, one of their new customers, has also joined them.

When the dialog begins, the group has already made some small talk and looked at the menu. Now they are ready to order.

Listening Questions:

1) Why doesn’t Francesca want to try the “steak tartare?”
2) How does Francesca signal that she’s ready to go back to the hotel?
3) Who pays for the meal?

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