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 333 – Business Development 4: Following Up with Partners

Sales English - BEP 333 Business Development 4: Following up with Partners

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to follow up with potential partners.

Everyone knows that business is a competitive world, sometimes brutally competitive. But it’s not all “dog eat dog,” as they say. Good business people know that one of the keys to success is collaboration. You find other people and businesses that are doing great things, and you cooperate so that you both benefit.

In fact, forging good partnerships is an important aspect of business development. And every partnership begins with a conversation in English. Or a few conversations, I should say.

Once you’ve identified someone as a potential partner, you’ll want to follow up, by phone or in person. And that conversation might involve asking about the person’s work activities, before steering the conversation toward your own field of work and what your company is doing. From there, you can carefully move toward the idea of working together. You might even propose a small joint effort to get the partnership going.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, a business development executive with Quest HR. Nick is talking to Ian, who works with a management consulting firm. The two met at a conference, and Nick quickly identified Ian’s company as a potential partner. Now Nick is trying to figure out how they might be able to work together.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick say his company believes is the secret to success?
2. What does Nick suggest Ian do if he’s interested in the work of Nick’s company?
3. What joint effort does Nick propose at the end of the conversation?

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BEP 332 – Business Development 3: Following Up with Prospects

Sales English - BEP 332 Business Development 3: Following up with Customers

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on following up with prospects.

English for Business development is all about the art of conversation. A smile, some chit chat, and a few good questions should be able to tell you if someone’s worth following up with. And when you do follow up, you’ll need to take your English conversation skills to next level.

When you’re following up with a prospect, you’ll likely start off with some English small talk. But pretty soon you’ll have to steer the conversation toward business. More specifically, you might ask leading questions to get the prospect to talk about their challenges. From there, you can set up solutions, and connect these solutions to their goals. If they have doubts along the way, you’ll need to address them. And if you’re successful, you should be able to arrange a follow-up meeting.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, who works in business development for an HR consulting company. He is talking on the phone with Andria, the HR manager for a manufacturing company. Nick met Andria at a conference, and now he’s trying to find out more about Andria’s potential as a customer.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick say he wants to understand about HR departments?
2. What does Nick say engagement surveys can help with?
3. What doubts does Nick ask Andria to explain in more detail?

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BEP 326 – Business Development 2: Networking with Partners

Sales English - BEP 326 Business Development 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on networking in English with potential partners.

Every business development professional knows that doing business in English means knowing how to work a room. You go to events, parties, and gatherings. You smile, shake hands, and talk to new people. But that’s not all. You have to figure out how those people might fit into your network. Are they potential customers? Or are they potential partners?

The strategies you use with potential partners are similar to those you might use in any sales English conversation. You need to start by breaking the ice and asking about someone’s company and work. But once you realize you’ve got someone who might be a good partner, you should start finding overlaps in your work and build a connection with that person.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, a business development professional with Quest HR Consulting. Nick is at an after-dinner party at a conference, when he starts a conversation with Ian, a strategy consultant. Nick uses some important techniques to start the conversation and develop Ian as a potential partner.

Listening Questions

1. What topic does Nick comment on to break the ice with Ian?
2. What are the overlaps in Nick and Ian’s work?
3. What theme does Ian mention that Nick agrees with or echoes?

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