BEP 325 – Business Development 1: Networking with Customers

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English for Sales - BEP 325 Business Development 1
Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to talk with customers in English. Potential customers, that is.

If you work in sales or business development, a big part of your job is meeting new people in search of new customers. That might include cold-calling, where you phone someone at work or drop by their office. But often this kind of networking takes place at events, like conferences, forums, and pretty much anywhere else you have a lot of people in one place.

At these events, you don’t usually begin a conversation talking about business. Instead, you talk about the weather, or sports, or other non-work topics. This is where socializing in English and doing business in English are closely connected. You’ve got to break the ice socially before you introduce your company, the work that you do, and other clients. And then you’ve got to lead into talking about the customer’s needs and asking to follow up at a later time. The trick is doing this naturally.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, who works in business development for an HR consulting company. Nick is at a dinner event during a big HR conference. He is seated at a table with Andria. Nick clearly demonstrates how an English sales conversation works, as he identifies Andria as a potential customer.

Listening Questions

1. How does Nick introduce his company?
2. What do Nick’s company and Andria’s company have in common?
3. What does Nick ask to identify a gap in Andria’s HR strategy?

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