Business English is… 14 Module 3
4. Video: What‘s in a brand name? (Linda Lawson, ‗Further ahead‘) Watch the segment and
get prepared to talk on (a) how Leapfrog started and (b) how qualitative market research is
5. Video: ‗Building Brands‘ (David Cotton ‗Market Leader‘) Watch the segment and sum up
its contents in writing (250 words)
6. Read the following article. Give it a title and sum it up in a few sentences.
The marketing function is usually seen as or not they have money of their own to spend.
anticipating consumer wants and then proceeding Those of us who begrudge giving aid to the less
to satisfy them. While many see evils in the fortunate must expect to pay a high price for our
capitalist system of which marketing is a part, selfishness. We may enjoy material prosperity,
the richest countries in the world are those which but the society in which we live may become
have adopted the market economy. Is that a ugly and unstable.
coincidence or is it cause and effect? Another major criticism can be levelled at
It seems a fact that the people in capitalist what is produced in the free economy. The
societies are generally better dressed, less hungry quality of our lives is no doubt improved by
and live longer. Prices are determined by the much of what we produce, but the value of some
forces of demand and supply. The people choose activities are questionable.
which goods are going to be produced and, just For example, if some people want to drive
as importantly, which goods are not going to be sleek sports cars at 100 miles per hour on the
produced. They vote with their pounds, liras, motorways, do we allow the world's car makers
francs, marks and pesetas. If people like a to provide them with such cars, even though the
particular product or service, they will buy it, lives of innocent road-users are put at risk?
and that will encourage the suppliers to produce Cigarette manufacturers in a market
more of the same. If people do not 'vote' for it, economy, facing restrictions on television
production of the commodity will cease. advertising as a result of a government which
It seems natural that the notion of a sees their product as 'dangerous to health' may
political democracy becomes fused with the export their cargoes to less sophisticated
concept of consumer sovereignty. Yet we need to overseas markets. Nuclear waste is sometimes
understand the limitations of the free market similarly exported to developing countries with
philosophy. It is dangerous to think that the price less protected populations.
mechanism can solve all the problems which Of course it can be argued that people
face our societies. For example, unemployment should be able to smoke tobacco if they want to,
remains the scourge of capitalism and no society but do we take the same liberal stance in relation
can be described as either fair or efficient while to hard drugs? Perhaps the market for heroin is
large numbers of our population are denied the after all just like any other market? Should
opportunity to work. The sick and entrepreneurs be allowed to maximize their
underprivileged must also be cared for, whether profits regardless of the social costs?
7. Read the following article and give a 3-minute talk on the job marketers are expected to do.
Most management some recent examples, were largely created
and marketing writers rather than identified.
now distinguish Marketers are consequently always
between selling and looking for market opportunities - profitable
marketing. The 'selling possibilities of filling unsatisfied needs or
concept' assumes that creating new ones in areas in which the company
resisting consumers is likely to enjoy a differential advantage, due to
have to be persuaded its distinctive competencies (the things it does
by vigorous hard- particularly well). Market opportunities are
selling techniques to buy non-essential goods or generally isolated by market segmentation. Once
services. Products are sold rather than bought. a target market has been identified, a company
The 'marketing concept', on the contrary, has to decide what goods or service to offer. This
assumes that the producer's task is to find wants means that much of the work of marketing has
and fill them. In other words, you don't sell what been done before the final product or service
you make, you make what will be bought. As comes into existence. It also means that the
well as satisfying existing needs, marketers can marketing concept has to be understood
also anticipate and create new ones. The markets throughout the company, e.g. in the production
for the Walkman, video games, personal department of a manufacturing company as
computers, and genetic engineering, to choose much as in the marketing department itself. The
Business English is… 15 Module 3
company must also take account of the existence influence the target market. The best-known
of competitors, who always have to be classification of these elements is the '4 Ps':
Rather than risk launching a product or product, place, promotion and price. Aspects to
service solely on the basis of intuition or be considered in marketing products include
guesswork, most companies undertake market quality, features (standard and optional), style,
research (GB) or marketing research (US). They brand name, size, packaging, services and
collect and analyse information about the size of guarantee. Place in a marketing mix includes
a potential market, about consumers' reactions to such factors as distribution channels, locations of
particular product or service features, and so on. points of sale, transport, inventory size, etc.
Sales representatives, who also talk to customers, Promotion groups together advertising, publicity,
are another important source of information. sales promotion, and personal selling, while
Once the basic offer, e.g. a product price includes the basic list price, discounts, the
concept, has been established, the company has length of the payment period, possible credit
to think about the marketing mix, i.e. all the terms, and so on. It is the job of a product
various elements of a marketing programme, manager or a brand manager to look for ways to
their integration, and the amount of effort that a increase sales by changing the marketing mix.
company can expend on them in order to
8. Read the following text and discuss the main points in pairs. Jointly work out an outline of
the text and plan a presentation on the subject ‗Public Relations‘ to be delivered on a
training course for middle managers of your organization. Write, rehearse and deliver your
presentation in class. Divide the responsibilities with your partner, so that each could
contribute to the joint project equally.
This can be a low-cost method of getting each week. Press releases stand a better chance
across a message to the market place, although it of publication if there is a photograph attached. It
can be time-consuming. The basic aim is to get can be a good investment to have some
information or news about your business in interesting photos of you and the business, which
magazines or newspapers, in the form of an can be appended to the release get to know the
article or news item. If you can achieve this, such editor or journalist. In this way, if you have a
items are seen as very credible and 'true', in a story, you could ring your contact before issuing
way that advertising is not, because readers place a press release, to see if they would be interested
greater trust in the objectivity of journalists. because it is 'exclusive'. This may well be a more
Sometimes the newspaper or magazine will only successful way of publicizing your story than
accept editorial material if it is accompanied by issuing press releases try writing suitable small
an advertisement, which obviously you have to articles, for example, for trade or technical
pay for. The main way of achieving this use of papers, and sending them in. There are many
the press are to: issue press releases when there ways of trying to ensure that your
is a news item. You will have to write this communication reaches your target market in the
yourself, or pay someone else to do it. If you do most efficient manner possible. These are: 1.
the latter, you are losing one of the benefits of Using a mailing list and sending leaflets or a
public relations, which is its low cost. To write a letter through the post. 2. Putting an insert in a
press release yourself, keep to the facts, brief and trade or regional magazine. 3. Delivering by
salient. The length of the press release should be door-to-door distribution agencies, such as
as short as possible and summarize all that you postmen, free newspapers. Look in Yellow Pages
want to say in the first paragraph, as this may be for Addressing and Circularizing and Circular
all there is room for in the journal. Somewhere and Sample Distributors to find the names of
on the press release, put a name and the agencies. Alternatively, you could see if
telephone number, where editors and journalists teenagers or retired people might be interested in
can speak to someone about the release. If there the work. 4. Sending direct mail shots with other
is a good quote which you can include from companies. This would work if you are doing a
yourself or person in your business responsible joint promotion, or, if you are not competing
for this item, this can be an excellent way of with the other company but are aiming at the
lightening the copy and making it more readable. same target market. 5. Leaving your leaflets or
If there is any other personal or human angle, whatever at a sale outlet, for example, a shop,
which might appeal to the public, do not forget top be picked up by customers. 6. Delivering
to introduce that. Do not be too optimistic about your communication by a salesperson. This is
the chances of getting your press release in - very expensive. The most personalized method
hundreds will be sent to the journal or newspaper in the list above, apart from delivering by sales
Business English is… 16 Module 3
staff, is sending your message through the post written. To have a successful mail shot by
using a mailing list. The other methods might sending to customers through the post, the
work best for fairly general notices to raise accuracy of the mailing list is paramount. Why
awareness of the existence of business or waste the postage and cost of printing letters or
product. The success of a mail shot depends on: leaflets to send to customers who have died,
The accuracy of the mailing list, or other means moved away or gone out of business?
of distribution the impact of what you have
9. Read the following recommendations. Decide (a) which topics they are grouped around, (b) whether all of them are relevant
and why. Choose one of the groups to be the basis for your essay on one of the three topics
1. Do not neglect your existing customers as a way of increasing sales. You will need to achieve a good long-term
relationship to exploit their full potential.
2. Existing customers can be a useful source of new leads and you can use them as references in your negotiations
3. Qualify all potential customers to avoid wasting time and effort. Narrow down your list to those most likely to
buy from you.
4. If you employ salespeople, you will need some back-up organization and system. You need to be able to record
information about customers to help with negotiations and to help you plan, control and forecast your business.
5. If you are doing the selling, try to develop personal selling skills. There are some hints about starting sales
negotiations, developing them and closing the sales on pp. 162-5.
1. To communicate your message about your product's benefits, you need to know who you want to talk to, what
your message is and the best way of getting your message across.
2. Advertising can create attention, inform, remind, prompt sales and improve the image of your product. But the
return from advertising is uncertain. It costs more and takes longer than you think.
3. Advertising which is most suitable for small businesses includes brochures and leaflets, public relations, mail
shots, advertisements in technical magazines and entries in directories.
4. Do not rely on one form of advertising to achieve your objectives. If you can afford it, use a mixture and try to
organize a spread of advertising over a period of time (unless you have specific timing to consider for your
product) or even an integral part of your products.
1. People buy particular products or services for rational and emotional reasons.
2. You should aim to create a 'good feeling', a brand image, a reputation, about your product among customers.
Make sure that your product can live up to this.
3. Industrial or unique products still need brand images.
4. Analyze your market and your customer requirements to decide on your image.
5. A business or product name will be built up over the years to summarize what your image is all about.
6. If you can afford it, have a logo designed for you.
7. Try to encapsulate as many pleasant (or positive) associations in your name as you can.
8. Letterheads are a most important way of projecting messages about your business. Keep the style consistent with
labels, stickers and packaging.
10. Look through the following stock of data on sales. Pick up all the necessary bits of
information to prepare and give a short talk on ‗Sales‘ to the listeners of training courses.
Try to use as extensively as possible the highlighted terms.
A person who sells to customers is called predicting the number of future sales in a certain
a salesman, saleswoman, salesperson or sales period, and setting sales targets for a particular
representative, often shortened to sales rep. All area or period. As part of a sales campaign, a
the sales representatives of a company are called drive to boost sales, customers are frequently
the sales force. The geographical area covered offered sales promotions such as price
by a sales rep is known as his or her sales reductions and free gifts. Printed information for
territory. Within a company, the sales customers is called sales literature. Sales
department is responsible for sales forecasts, ie. literature helps you to communicate information
Business English is… 17 Module 3
about the company's products and services. The incentive. There are a number of ways to talk
sales representative’s responsibilities: to find about people who buy things. Customers are
new customers, to develop customer relations, to individuals or organizations who buy things from
support customer service, to deliver point-of-sale shops or other organizations. Consumers are
material, to leave samples, to provide product individuals who buy things, especially when
updates, to give new product information, to considered as members of large groups of such
liaise between company and customers. The people. Clients are individuals or organizations
purpose of sales promotions is to attract who pay for services provided by a professional
customers to buy a a| product or service by person or organization, such as a lawyer or
communicating its benefits and offering a special advertising agency.
IV. SUMMING IT ALL UP
1. Revise all you have learned in this section and make sure you can give a brief account of the
1. Market as a form of contact between buyers and sellers
2. The functions of marketing department in a business organization
3. Methods of seeking information from customers
4. Influencing people‘s behaviour through advertising
5. The marketing mix
6. The product life cycle
7. The‘selling concept‘ and the problem of social responsibility
8. Market research
9. International marketing
2. Get prepared to discuss the points in the list above in class.
3. Write an essay on one of the points in the list above at your choice.
4. Choose a topic for a ‗Debating club‘ session. Split the group into two parties. Within your group discuss and work out your
joint position on the issue in question. Decide who will make a statement on behalf of your group and whose job will be to
support the main speaker, defend the position by contributing argumentation, asking the opponents ‗nasty‘ questions, etc.
Exchange the statements. Debate the issue. Vote.
5. Prepare an oral report on the topic ‗Marketing‘.
V. LANGUAGE PRACTICE
1. Complete the following sentences with appropriate words from the box.
sales force launch family brands
the best-known brands sales promotion brand loyalty
brand switchers cost-effective about branding
own-label brands overseas agents loss leader
increase the advertising open run out
budget best-known retailers volume
mail-order mark up
factory outlets supermarket‘s turnover
1. Each member of the_______ is responsible for two or three products.
2. We decided to _________by twenty per cent.
3. She's been working in PR for ten years, that is why she‘s been made responsible for organizing a big PR event to
accompany the _________of our new product.
4. The 'two-for-the-price-of-one' offer has been our most successful_________ so far this month.
5. Air-freight is the most_______ method of transportation for our South American orders.
Business English is… 18 Module 3
6. Could you send this report to all our_________ please?
7. The number of_____________ firms is on the increase in the UK.
8. Clothing manufacturers do a good trade through____________.
9. They plan to_________ a new outlet every month for the next three years.
10.Marks and Spencer is one of the UK's___________.
11. I'm afraid we've ________ of this model. We'll have to order some more from the wholesaler.
12. Canned beans are the week‘s._____________.
13. A large_________ of sales is needed to make discount pricing successful.
14. A forty percent____________ was recommended by the wholesalers.
15. This product now accounts for a large proportion of the________.
16. Ford is one of the world's best-known__________.
17. In the war between the major soap-powder producers, _______ has been a major factor.
18.Sales promotions are particularly effective in attracting__________.
19. Decisions_________ affect our investment in promotion and packaging.
20. Calvin Klein is one of ________of jeans.
2. Translate the following sentences into Russian
1. The marketing department will specify the type of packaging that will appeal to prospective customers.
2. Imported beers are usually positioned as premium products.
3. We need to take a look at our product portfolio, and improve our offer of low-priced units.
4. The product launch was covered by the regional press.
5. A sample of women between the ages of twenty and thirty was interviewed.
6. Because of errors in the questionnaire, the results of the survey were invalid.
7. A focus group of eight people discussed the image of the company's products.
8. The primary data suggests that there is a slowdown in this market.
9. Could you check the Internet for sources of secondary data?
10. ‗Teenage magazines are expensive‘. Select the response that is closest to your opinion.
11. He works for one of the big advertising agencies in London.
12. The advertising campaign was launched on the first of June.
13. With this budget we can't even consider TV commercials. The client's brief stated that the advertising should
target the 20-30 age group.
14. The choice of media open to us is limited by the budget. Advertisements in the national press for computer
systems have been particularly effective.
15. The planned series of sales promotions will enable us to meet the sales target for this year.
16. The concepts of 'advertising' and 'publicity' are sometimes confused, but they have different meanings.
Advertising is paid for by the company, while 'publicity' simply means 'notice or attention from the media', which
can be good or bad for a company's reputation.
17. Layton Thomas is looking for enthusiastic sales representatives to join its sales force.
18. Her sales territory includes both counties.
19. Joe will now present the sales forecasts for the next quarter.
20. Unfortunately, the sales campaign failed to make a significant impact on the sales figures for the period.
3. Picking up from the box below, make word-combinations with the word ‗customer‘, that refer to:
1. things that people buy that last a long time, like refrigerators or televisions.
2. a period when consumers are spending a lot.
3. refusal by consumers to buy things from a country or company that they disapprove of.
4. the feeling that people have about economic prospects.
5. the amount consumers spend, often referred to when discussing the economy as a whole.
6. the study of how, why, where, and when people buy things.
7. the resistance of consumers to things or organizations that they disapprove of.
durables boycott boom confidence
behaviour backlash spending
4. Look through the following sentences and pick up the word combinations to do with ‗competition‘ (1-7) and ‗market‘ (8-15).
Explain their meaning in English in your own words.
1. Like most businesses, British Airways would rather be rid of its competitors.
2. Despite the inevitable comparison with Compaq, however, Texas Instruments' new notebook won't be a direct
3. European airlines yesterday warned the European Commission that proposals governing airline reservation
systems would hand a competitive advantage to American airlines.
Business English is… 19 Module 3
4. In the words of one exporter, 'If you want the competitive edge, you've got to get over there frequently and let
your foreign partners know you care about them.'
5. Fisons has suffered a setback in its ambitions to become a key player in the pharmaceuticals industry.
6. The merger of Nestle and Perrier is a significant obstacle to the maintenance of effective competition in the
7. Telecoms is still widely associated with 'natural' monopolies that competitive businessmen have to be kept away
from in order to prevent chaos.
8. Boeing has produced figures showing that there will be striking growth in the market for aircraft with 350 or more
9. Japan has tried to block imports of various uncomfortably cheap foreign products, claiming unique conditions in
the Japanese market.
10. Body Shop, to use modern management jargon, was 'market-driven', that is, it identified real demand, from real
people, for something that those people were prepared to pay for.
11. If we can bring in the new Adidas and change it from being product-driven to market-led, I think we've got a
12. The argument is that organizations that are market-oriented, i.e. those that track and respond to customer needs
and preferences, can better satisfy customers and hence perform at higher levels.
13. From now on, factories that work without getting paid will go bust. Making that happen is the single most
important step the government can take to push Ukraine into a real market economy.
14. It is sometimes argued that corruption oils the wheels of a hugely over-regulated economy such as India's, which
would otherwise grind to a halt. There is something in this. A black market price, is, after all a market price.
15. Daniel Ward, director of consumer affairs for Nissan Europe said, 'It is a difficult marketplace for everyone. We
do not see any great signs of growth in the last part of the year and it will be a slow struggle upwards.'
16. The newspaper made much of the fact that the Asterix Park did not sell hamburgers. Mr de Schonen said market
research showed that customers preferred not to sit down for meals.
5. Use some of the ‗market‘ partnerships (above) to complete the commentary below.
A ______________ ___________________is one where things are bought and sold freely and not under
government control. In a market economy, prices are decided by __________ _____________, the factors that
influence the demand for things, their availability, and consequently their price.________________
__________________is used to indicate that a price has been 'decided' by the market, and not in some other way,
for example by the government, _____________ _________________means the same as market,_______________
_________________ is the gathering of information on markets, products and consumers: on what people need,
want, and buy; how and when they buy; and why they buy one thing rather than another.
6. Complete the following table.
word opposite synonym
construct (v) destroy build
Business English is… 20 Module 3
7. Match the common business English words(1-8) and phrases with the definitions(a-h).
a) to try to increase the sales or popularity of a product, for example by special
1. cash cow advertising
2. loss leader b) a profitable product or business generating a steady flow of sales revenue
3. market share c) expensive compared to other products of the same type
4. niche d) the proportion of sales that a company or product has in a particular market
5. promote e) a part of a larger market
6. saturate f) a product sold unprofitably in order to attract customers who will then buy
7. sector profitable products
8. upmarket g) a special area of a market which has its own particular customers and
h) to fill the market so completely that no more products can be added
8. Match the following words to their abbreviations.
development point (proposition) research threats
new public sale unique
of relations selling weaknesses
opportunities product strengths
1 NPD 3 POS 5 R&D
2 USP 4 PR 6 SWOT
9. Look at the eight word partnerships with the word brand. Match them to the definitions below.
Brand awareness 1 A brand associated with expensive, high quality products
Brand image 2 The person responsible for planning and managing a branded product
Brand stretching 3 The brand with the largest market share
Brand loyalty 4 A famous brand with a long history
Brand leader 5 The ideas and beliefs which consumers have about a brand
Brand manager 6 The tendency of a customer to continue buying a particular product
Luxury brand 7 Using a successful brand name to launch a product in a new category
Classic brand 8 The knowledge which consumers have of a brand
10. Many of the words used to describe the features of a product are compound adjectives. These are made up of two words
joined by a hyphen. For example: brand-new, record-breaking.
These compound adjectives have been jumbled. Try to sort them out.
1 economy- purpose
2 multi- friendly
3 precision- free
4 relief- saving
5 space- modern
6 trouble- size
7 ultra- giving
8 user- built
11. Look at the following list of familiar terms and say which of these are makes and which are brands? What is the difference
between these easily confused words?
Marlboro (cigarettes) Miele (washing machines)
Nescafe (coffee) Persil (washing powder)
Volvo (cars) Yamaha (motorbikes)
12. Look at the pictures below. Can you recognise these registered trademarks? Define the word ‗trademark‘
Business English is… 21 Module 3
13. Rewrite this passage filling in the blanks from the list of words below.
recoup products product persuade
customers provided perfected attitude
attracted emerge tested economies
reaction fade during bound
stabilize described queue reach
continues develop sales careful
flow cyclical obliged trend-setters
The Product Life Cycle
Much of the world about us is .................. in nature. The moon circles the earth every 24 hours. The earth
takes 365 days to circle the sun. The flowers in the garden bloom in the summer.................. in the autumn, die in the
winter only to .................. again the following spring. In much the same way, industrial .................. have a life cycle.
The original ideas may come from either the marketing or the production side. Interaction .................. as the market
is ……….and designs are modified. Eventually the .................. is ready for the market. The first stage entails
introducing the product to the market. No one will know about our wonderful new creation unless we tell them
about it. So this is when we are .................. to spend money on advertising. One way or another we must..................
potential customers to 'taste our wares'. At this stage the people who buy the product are often aptly .................. as
.................. or innovators. Their.................. is often, I‘ll be one of the first ones to have this.'
At the second stage the sales grow and our organisation begins to .................. some of the expenditure
incurred .................. the development stage. We also begin to benefit from .................. of scale. Many of the
people who buy the product at this stage will be saying, 'I mustn't get left behind.' A problem may .................. as
sales outstrip the supplies coming from the factory, but the .................. will be keener than ever to buy because it is
obvious there is a growing demand for our product. It is the same .................. as when you go to the cinema. If there
was a long ..................outside the cinema you would think it was going to be a good film. Conversely, if there was
hardly anyone in the cinema you would think it was almost .................. to be boring. In the third stage the product is
said to .................. maturity. At this time sales reach a peak, perhaps they even .................. on a sort of plateau.
People will have got used to buying the product. There will be repeat purchases. Some will say, ‗ We always buy
these.' However, the time will come when .................. begin to decline. Customers will be.................. to other
products, perhaps .............. by competitors. By then we should have .................. a new product which we can now
introduce. By.................. timing of new products we can hope to maintain a steady …………of revenue and profits.
14. Translate from Russian into English in writing.
Маркетинговый комплекс состоит из продукта, системы его распространения, рекламы и цены,
Предприятие использует его для обслуживания потребителей на целевом рынке. Он является одной из двух
составных частей маркетинговой стратегии.
1. Мероприятия по наблюдению за рынком: что покупают, что продают конкуренты, доля рынка,
приходящаяся на продажи предприятия представляют собой разведывательную систему
2. Сегментация рынка – это процесс разделения рынка на субрынки, каждый из которых образован
группой портебителей в чем-то похожих друг на друга, напр., уровнем образования, возрастом.
3. Дифференцированный маркетинг – это один из трех основных подходов к маркетингу, при котором
организация производит ряд родственных продуктов или марок, каждый из которых удовлетворяет
нужды специфического сегмента рынка.
4. Обозначение продукта, которое состоит в использовании дизайна, символа, имени или их
комплекса для идентификации продукта, дает производителю ряд преимуществ.
15. Translate from Russian into in English in writing
Маркетинг – процесс выяснения и удовлетворения потребностей - важная составная часть
деятельности не только бизнеса, но и государственных учреждений, а также некоммерческих организаций.
Он является одной из трех основных составляющих менеджмента. Ограниченный масштабами отдельной
организации, этот процесс формирует микромаркетинг. В целом для общества он формирует
Микромаркетинг – процесс выяснения нужд потребителей или клиентов, а также путей, следуя по
которым, товары и услуги могли бы их удовлетворить. Микромаркетинг включает в себя следующие
1. Выяснение нужд потребителей. Какого рода блага? Какого размера и формы? Где и когда эти блага
2. Выяснение суммы, которую потребители желают платить за эти блага. Покроет ли она издержки? Как
изменится спрос, если изменится цена?
3. Сообщение потребителям о товарах и услугах, а также условиях их предоставления. Необходимо ли
рекламировать товары и услуги каким образом ? Нанимать ли специальный штат распространителей?
Business English is… 22 Module 3
4. Перемещение товара или услуги из места производства к месту распределения. Какой вид транспорта
необходим для доставки товара потребителю? Должен ли потребитель сам приходить к производителю
(при торговле услугами) или производитель к потребителю? Кто посредники – оптовые или розничные
5. Выяснение насколько удовлетворены потребители. Действительно ли потребности удовлетворены?
Необходим ли ремонт или дополнительное обслуживание? Какие изменения хотел бы видеть
Последний этап, смыкаясь с первым этапом, образует как бы кольцо микромаркетинга.
Макромаркетинг представляет собой процесс, с помощью которого производственный потенциал
экономики используется для удовлетворения индивидуальных и общественных потребностей. Законы
спроса и предложения в рыночной экономике наиболее эффективным образом распределяют ресурсы
общества, принося наибольшую предельную полезность.
SECTION 2: Business Communication
1. Read the following lecture, devoted to the skill of business writing. Write 15 Wh-questions and working in pairs discuss the
main points. Write a summary of the lecture (300 words).
A. Business Letters.
Letter-writing is an essential part of business communication. The written word is one of the surest and
most-widely used ways of passing information. Written communication has several core advantages, among
which are the following:
● ideas can be fully explained, the risk of misunderstanding is diminished;
● there is record for reference and for legal purposes;
● identical copies can be distributed to several people at one time;
● personal letters are more appreciated than a telephone call.
The business letter reflects the competence and professionalism of the person sending it. The quality of
its contents and presentation is an advertisement for the company.
Though business letters vary greatly in format and language used, depending on the content, certain
general principles should be singled out.
I. Before you start to write, think clearly and try to formulate your objectives. Failure to do that will
result in a muddled letter which will only cause confusion and frustration. Preparation in the form of notes and a
draft will ensure that you include all the points you want to make in a logical order.
II. When writing a letter:
● write clearly and logically,
● remember that each separate idea belongs in a paragraph by itself,
● be brief and to the point,
● target your message to your recipient (Will they understand what you mean? Do they have all the background
● always check spelling and grammar;
● be polite and courteous.
Business English is… 23 Module 3
III. Special attention should be paid to the style of business letters. Although everyone has a
characteristic way of writing, it must be remembered that the subject of a routine business letter lacks variety
and certain accepted phrases are in general use. You should always try to:
● express your meaning as simply and directly as possible;
● avoid ambiguous phrases, irrelevant and unnecessary technical and formal language;
Jargon: “An enhanced commitment to a public relations effort remains a viable option for the firm”.
Better: “We may also wish to improve our public relations”.
● make your points in the fewest possible words (be brief);
IV. Certain commonly used phrases are wordy and should be reduced or omitted. For example: ―it is our
opinion that” = we feel, “without further delay” = immediately.
● make positive rather than negative statements;
● use active rather than passive verbs when possible;
● use linking words to connect sentences within the paragraph;
● punctuate a letter properly.
Form and Layout of a Business Letter.
It is not only the content, but also the salutation that will include all possible readers:
visual impression created when your letter is ―Dear Sir or Madam:‖… Sometimes the
read for the first time that determines how much abbreviation Messrs. (Messieurs) is used to
attention the recipient will give to the message. address a partnership.
Letters should be typed on the company‘s In standard punctuation a colon (:) is placed
letterhead in single-line spacing with double after the salutation in a business letter. A comma
space between paragraphs. The mostly widely is used only in a personal letter. Some businesses
used and economical layout for a business letter use an open punctuation mark after the
is the fully blocked style with ―open‖ (no) salutation.
punctuation. All the parts of the letter are usually V. Attention line (optional). Attention line is
set against the left-handed margin which should frequently included in business letters that are
be aligned with the firm‘s printed letterheading. addressed impersonally to a company.
No punctuation is used except to ensure clarity in VI. Salutation. Salutations establish a
the address and the text of the letter. relationship between the reader and the writer
The obligatory / essential parts of any which can be either formal or informal.
business letter are: Official business correspondence usually
I. Printed letterhead, which gives all the requires a formal greeting, though the current
necessary information about the company: trend is to be more informal. There is a direct
registered name and office, the type of correspondence between the chosen salutation
business it is engaged in, its logo, list of names and complimentary close. The usual salutation
of directors, branch offices, telephone for British letters is 'Dear Sir(s)/ Madam‘
number(s), telex, fax number (if any). followed by ‗Yours faithfully‘ or ‗Dear Mr/
II. References. Reference (identification) initials Mrs / Miss / Ms‘ followed by ‗Yours
and/ or numbers indicate who wrote, dictated sincerely‘. American business letters use the
and typed the letter. References may also be salutation ‗Gentlemen‘ followed by ‗Very
placed at the bottom of the letter, usually truly yours‘.
above ‗Enc‘. VII. Subject line. A subject line informs the
III. Date. The formula - day, month, year - is the reader briefly about the letter‘s contents. The
simplest and the clearest of all current forms use of subject or topic headings, especially in a
used in the English-speaking world. However, complicated matter, helps the letter to be
one should be aware of the American style - correctly routed, gains the reader‘s interest and
month, day, year - that can cause ambiguity. saves time. Some companies prefer to use the
IV. Inside Address – the address of the Latin word RE (thing) in place of subject.
recipient, which should conform to the address VIII. Body of the letter - a business letter can
on the envelope. generally be broken into three main parts:
Use ‗Mr‘ or ‗Ms‘ (unless you are aware of a ● Introduction (one paragraph), which states
clear preference for ‗Mrs‘ or ‗Miss‘), ‗Dr‘, the subject of the letter and acknowledges a
‗Professor‘, etc., before the person‘s name and, if correspondent‘s letter if one has been received,
short, the person‘s position in the company. If quoting its date and reference (if any). A brief
you know only the position of a particular person introductory paragraph should also set a
within the organisation, you may address your courteous tone.
letter to ‗The Manager‘, ‗The secretary‘, etc. If ● Development (one or more paragraph) deals
you know neither the name nor the position of in a methodical way with the subject
the person who will read your letter, address previously referred to in the introduction, i.e.
your letter directly to the company concerned, lists facts or arguments, gives detailed
e.g.: ‗Smith and Wesson Ltd‘ and use a explanation, outlines a course of events.
Business English is… 24 Module 3
● Conclusion (one paragraph), usually kept for XI. Name and position of the writer.
expressions of goodwill, is intended to leave a XII. Carbon copies (optional). If copies are
favourable impression in the reader‘s mind. It sent to other persons, a carbon copy notation is
can also suggest possibilities for further action. added. Several styles are acceptable: one may
However, the exact composition of any list the initials, names and addresses of those
letter will naturally depend on the purpose of who receive copies or blind carbon copy is
writing. used if the recipients are to remain
IX. Complimentary close. The close should anonymous.
maintain the same tone as the salutation. (See XIII. Enc. / Encl. / Enclosure – optional.
above). The complimentary close is followed Enclosure notation is used if other materials
by a comma. are included with the letter.
X. Signature. A signature may be prefaced by XIV. Postscripts. In business letters a postscript
the abbreviation ‗pp‘, meaning ‗per pro‘ – for is used only to emphasize an important point,
and on behalf of – when the letter has been not to include information that was left out of
signed by someone else on behalf of the the letter.
Model Business Letter
(1) COMPANY LETTERHEAD
Address: Street, City, State, ZIP
(3) Day, month, year
(4) Addressee, Title
City, State, ZIP
(5) ATTENTION: LINE
(6) Dear Addressee:
(7) Subject: Typing Instructions
(8) The text of a business letter is single-spaced with double spacing
(9) The left and right margins should be set as follows: two inches for
short letters; one and a half inches for medium-length letters; one inch
for long letters.
(10) The bottom margin should be at least one and a half inches or six
(11) Complimentary close,
(12) Writer's Name, Title
• Before sending the letter, be sure to proofread it carefully.
• Standard models are not inflexible, however, and writers should feel free to exercise personal judgement in adapting these
examples to their own needs. Thus, many large firms employ their own ―house style‖.
Types of Business Letters.
An application letter introduces the writer to a potential employer. If there are a lot of applicants a good letter can
get you an interview, whereas a bad one will simply be ignored.
● to promote your qualifications for the job;
● to document your education and work experience;
● to arrange an interview;
● to persuade the reader to hire you.
Business English is… 25 Module 3
1. Introduction - announce your attention to apply for the In reply to/ With reference to your advertisement
position; in … of … I would like to apply for the position
- state where you heard about the opening or saw of … in your company.
2. Body - state the reasons for applying; I would like the opportunity to work on my
- document your qualifications; own initiative …
- list your relevant work and educational My reason for applying for the post is that …
experience in logical order; I have a degree in … from the University of …
- describe your current duties and give reasons I have had … years’ experience in …
for wanting a change. I served my apprenticeship at …
3. Conclusion - state your willingness to be interviewed; Please refer to the enclosed curriculum vitae
- thank reader for considering your application; for further particulars / more details.
- refer to resume or recommendations. For information about my work record/
character, please contact …
For a simple enquiry, a postcard stating the nature of the enquiry and giving your address and the date is all that
is needed. If you need a lot of information or want to give details of your needs, write a letter of inquiry.
- to acquire information
- to star or continue a business relationship
To enquire about:
- description of the goods in as much detail as possible;
- supply of goods;
- availability of the goods and delivery time;
- catalogues, brochures / patterns or samples;
- prices, quotations;
- terms of payment, method of delivery and insurance.
1. Introduction. - recall the nature and date of the solicitation; We were given your name by …
- state the reasons for enquiring. You have been recommended to us by …
We refer to your special offer of …
There is a brisk demand … for … of the type you
We are interested in …/ We would like to expand
our range of…
2. Body. - information about your business; We are a company specialising in … / a
- justifying your interest in the product; subsidiary of …
- (explain why the reader has been selected as We have received many enquiries from our
subject of inquiry); customers for …
- describe in detail the information requested; Please send your current/ latest catalogue (price
- give references. list …
Please quote your prices for these articles …
We should be grateful if you could send us …
We would appreciate a sample of each item
Please send further details/ information about …
Please let us know your terms of business.
For information about our company please refer
to/ contact …
3. Conclusion. - extend thanks for the assistance; If the goods come up to our expectations, we
- suggest opportunities for doing business, would expect to place regular orders.
mutual gain. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Common terms relating to prices are:
B/E = bill of exchange
FOB (free on board) = the price includes delivery to a named port and loading on to a ship
CIF (cost, insurance, freight) = the price includes all costs and insurance to a named destination
COD = cash on delivery
Ex-works, ex-factory = price without any transport
Business English is… 26 Module 3
III. Reply to an enquiry.
A reply to an enquiry may take the form of a simple quotation, containing only the prices and other information
asked for. Most companies, however, take the opportunity to stimulate a customer‘s interest in the goods or
services asked about and write a letter.
A firm offer is subject to certain conditions, such as a deadline for the receipt of orders or a discount for certain
quantities or prompt payment.
Unsolicited offers can be sent to prospective customers who have not made an enquiry. These offers try to sell a
product and should include all the information which will encourage a prospective customers to buy.
1. Introduction. - (if the offer is your initiative) tell the recipient Thank you for your enquiry of …
where you found his/her name In reply to your enquiry of …
- (if you reply to the letter of enquiry) thank the we have pleasure in offering you the following …
counterpart for the enquiry, citing the date of we enclose our estimate for the supply of …
the enquiry letter in the first instance We are pleased to note from your letter of … that
you are interested in …
2. Body. - give a detailed description of the goods, We have a wide selection of …
emphasizing the selling points; We enclose our quotation for the supply of …
- enclose current price lists and catalogues, state The prices are stated (quoted) … and include
discounts (if any), inform the customer of packing…
other items in stock that may be of interest; Prices are subject to variation without notice, in
- state the terms of delivery and payment and accordance with market fluctuations.
delivery times, We offer quantity discounts on orders over …
- make sure that all the enquiries have been A … discount is offered on payment within …
Our terms are .. within …days
Delivery will be effected as soon as possible.
Our delivery date is … after receipt of your
3. Conclusion. - show willingness to supply further information; Will you kindly let us have an early decision.
- express the hope of receiving an order. We know that you have made an excellent choice
in selecting this product … and can assure you
that your order will be dealt with promptly
We would like to thank you for your interest in
We hope that our favourable prices will induce
you to place an order with us.
Our whole experience is at your service.
We hope to hear from you in the near future.
Orders are placed either on the buyer‘s own initiative or in response to an offer. An order letter requests goods
or services. If an offer suits him, the buyer simply places an order, often using a printed order form. However, if
there is no order form or certain points have to be discussed, then a letter is needed.
- to place a written order for goods and services
- to confirm in writing an order made by person or by telephone
1. Introduction. - thank the seller for the offer or say where Thank you for your offer of …
you have seen the goods advertised
Please find enclosed order form № …
- state directly and in details the goods and
Please accept the following order for …
2. Body. - indicate relevant data as to quantity, size, The quality must be up to/ match the sample …
color or style First-class material and workmanship are
- cite identifying information such as serial essential.
number, catalogue page, or advertised What special discount can you offer for orders
- indicate unit price, subtotal cost, and total We enclose a trial order. If the quality is up to our
sum and method of payment expectations, we shall send further orders in the
- include shipping information future.
If pattern … is not available, please send …
We are arranging for the consignment to be
inspected before shipment and must ask you to send
only goods in perfect condition.
Business English is… 27 Module 3
3. Conclusion. - briefly thank the person or department for Your early attention to our order will be
attentive service appreciated.
We hope that you can give this order your prompt
and careful attention.
Complaint letters express dissatisfaction with a service or a product. Although a problem may arouse anger, a
complaint letter should be firm, precise, and controlled in tone. The writer wants to persuade the reader to
respond favourably by correcting the problem or by making an adjustment.
- to inform the reader of an unsatisfactory service or product
- to receive compensation
1. Introduction. - identify the problem, We are sorry to tell you that your last delivery has
- state reason for the complaint given us cause for complaint.
Part of the order/ consignment was damaged in
You have supplied the goods below the standard we
2. Body. - give details about the product or service; Under the terms of your guarantee…
- explain how you were inconvenienced; Please exchange the faulty items …
- request correction, compensation or We are prepared to accept the goods if you reduce
adjustment. the price by…
This has caused a great deal of annoyance …
3. Conclusion. - politely but firmly express thanks for action, We hope you will look into this matter as soon as
- encourage goodwill. possible.
We hope that this will not happen again.
We must insist on more careful execution of our
B. Report Writing.
Your business communication conveys an they are circulated within or outside the
image of your company to the outside world, as company, in frequency of submission, in degree
well as reflecting your professional competence. of formality, in organization, the segments and in
Business people often find themselves at a format.
loss when confronting paper work and report Factual orientation.
writing in particular. For Russian learners of Verifiable data is essential to business
business English report writing skills are of reports. No matter how far reports go into
paramount importance especially when they find interpretation and analysis, they begin by
a position with a foreign company or a joint presenting and summarizing facts. Reports share
venture which are mushrooming in the country. the writer's interest in the fundamentals of who,
Reports are a mainstay of corporate life what, when, where, why and how.
and administration, their role is hard to Circulation.
overestimate. Reports may be circulated either inside or
The vast majority of reports are assigned outside the company. External reports may be
but some are offered voluntarily by perceptive sent to regulatory agencies, sponsors of a project,
employees who see specific problems and wish or stockholders.
to propose solutions. Reports are so important Internal reports may be sent in any
that a person's advancement within the corporate direction within the company - laterally, upward
structure depends in part on his or her ability to or downward. Reports sent laterally may inform
write clear, substantive, accurate reports. employees of the events in the company life or
Business reports are hard to describe since forthcoming changes and innovations. Reports
they have such a wide variety of characteristics. sent upward may simply present information or
But they are unified by emphasis on factual may discuss situation in some detail. Reports
information. They differ, however, in whether sent downward may announce various
Business English is… 28 Module 3
procedures and forthcoming events or changes in the report it is advisable to use more subtle
the management in the company. indirect order. Start with positive comments that
Frequency of submission. represent mutual agreement and only then pass
Reports differ as far as frequency of on to outlining the difficulties resulting from the
submission is concerned. They can be submitted current situation. The reader's mind must be
routinely and periodically - weekly, monthly, appeased and the impression should be created
quarterly, semiannually or annually. Such that the situation is not serious enough to start
recurring reports as sales figures, product action. Discuss the negative point in a very
distribution data, expense accounts frequently objective and factual manner, omitting any hint
use preprinted forms. Nonrecurring reports such of personal criticism. Then present the details of
as project proposals, progress reports and final your proposal and describe the benefits of your
reports usually include more analysis of the data plan.
than periodic reports and often include Arrangement of points.
recommendations. It should be mentioned that discussion
Formality. reports in contrast to preprinted ones allow a
The formality of reports is influenced by great deal of flexibility in arrangement of
the audience or the addressee and the subject material. Of course logical manner is of great
matter. Reports sent upward in a company or importance and to achieve it certain options can
intended for wide distribution use fairly formal be recommended. Various segments of the report
language and precise format. If a report is can be organized in some kind of order:
designed for a peer reader a more casual style chronological, strongest-to-weakest, subject-by -
may be adopted. First names, contractions, subject, general-to-specific, specific-to-general
parenthetical comments, abbreviations can be and others. Chronological order is good for
used. It is only natural that the relations between time-oriented documents. From strongest-to-
the writer and the reader as well as the weakest order is suitable for various kinds of
importance of information presented influence recommendations: a person for a position, a
the degree of formality. project etc. When you submit a comparative
Direct and indirect approach. analysis of equipment or a procedure you may
The writer should choose between direct follow subject-by-subject or point-by-point
and indirect approach for arranging the material. order.
Direct order is best if you anticipate a neutral or Format
positive reaction. The purpose of the report As far as format of reports is concerned it
should be stated in the first or the second is obvious that standardized forms are very
paragraph. Very often the writers begin by helpful. They allow the writer to focus on the
stating: "The purpose of the report is…". The details needed and allow readers to scan the data
body of the report then relays factual information quickly. For longer reports you may select
and the conclusion recaps the major ideas and memorandum lay-out or the formal report format
makes recommendations. On the other hand if (formal report writing requirements will be dwelt
the reader is not expected to react on individually).
enthusiastically to the information presented in
Main Types of Reports.
Although the variety of reports is infinite surveys of select groups etc. In some cases only
they may be broadly categorized into four a single report is needed in others a series of
essential types: periodic reports, detailing routine progress reports are required to assure the
company activity; annual review and policy superior or a client that the work is being done.
reports; assigned or commissioned reports; Progress reports are usually short and present
proposals and other self initiated reports. information on work completed, work to be
Periodic reports. done, problems faced and projections on meeting
Periodic reports may consist of internal the scheduled deadline. For an uncomplicated
accounts of company activities or external project one paragraph on work accomplished and
reports to agencies outside the company. They one on work remaining will suffice.
may be weekly, monthly, quarterly and so on. Proposals.
Annual reports. Proposals can be either initiated by the
Annual review and policy reports include writer or commissioned by a supervisor. In both
performance reports and policies and procedures cases they are designed to provide solutions to
description. They often include assessment problems. Proposals begin with the statement of
ratings and descriptive analysis. When writing the problem. The discussion of the current
this type of report one should focus on facts situation or procedure should be detached and
rather than impressions and assumptions. professional. The second section advances the
Assigned reports. proposal itself incorporating statistics and
Assigned reports are often aimed at precise data. A report of this type should include
confident decision-making. They may require details pertinent to the study: background,
laboratory testing, plans for future activities,
Business English is… 29 Module 3
purpose, methods, sources, scope, areas to be studied, time frame and costs involved.
2. Determine the type of a letter each of the extracts below belongs to.
1. Mr Kazoulis would like a double room with shower and full board from 12 to 14 September inclusive. 2. I
am extremely sorry about the incident last week during the visit of your representative to our offices. Unfortunately
... 3. This is not the first time that this has happened and I must inform you that if it happens again we shall be
compelled to issue a formal reprimand. 4. I regret to inform you that your application/or the post of Deputy Catering
Manager has been unsuccessful. Thank you for... 5. Please find enclosed my CV and a recent photograph. 6. I
should be grateful if you would send me more information about your LK range of products including details of
prices and discounts. 7. Thank you for your letter of 9 June. Please find enclosed a price list and full details of… 8.
Please would you send to the above address 37 units of product reference number 37/LK (brown) and dispatch the
invoice to our West Central Office in the usual way. 9. Kazoulis Communications would be pleased to welcome
Udo Schmidt to the opening of its new… 10. With reference to outstanding invoice number 9602/32/64, we should
be grateful if you would settle… 11. I wish to draw your attention to the very poor treatment our representative
received when she called on you last week.
3. Choosing from the words in the box, label the parts of the letter. The first has been done for you.
date introductory paragraph complimentary
main paragraph concluding paragraph ending enclosures
letterhead recipient's address (abbreviation) position/title
references (sender's) address signature
salutation (typed) signature
(1) WIDGETRY LTD
(2) 6 Pine Estate, Westhornet, Bedfordshire, UB18 22BC
Telephone 9017 23456 Telex X238WID Fax 9017 67893
(3) Michael Scott, Sales Manager,
Smith and Brown plc,
North Molton Street,
Oxbridge OB84 9TD.
(4) Your ref. MS/WID/15/88
Our ref. ST/MN/10/88
(5) 31 January 20—
(6) Dear Mr Scott,
(7) Thank you for your letter of 20 January, explaining that the super widgets,
catalogue reference X-3908, are no longer available but that ST-1432, made to the
same specifications but using a slightly different alloy, are now available instead.
(8) Before I place a firm order I should like to see samples of the new super widgets.
If the replacement is as good as you say it is, I shall certainly wish to reinstate the
original order, but placing an order for the new items.
Apart from anything else, I should prefer to continue to deal with Smith and
Brown, whose service has always been satisfactory in the past. But you will
understand that I must safeguard Widgetry's interests and make sure that the
quality is good.
(9) I would, therefore, be grateful if you could let me have a sample as soon as
(10) Yours sincerely,
(11) Simon Thomas
(12) Simon Thomas
(13) Production Manager
Business English is… 30 Module 3
3. Complete a letter replying to a complaint. Choose from the alternatives given to fill in the gaps. The first has been done for
1. a. the 25 of October 4. a. investigated 7. a. mislabelled 10. a. suggest
b. October the 25 b. looked b. misspelt b. demand
c. 25th October c. traced c. mishandled c. insist
2. a. defect 5. a. bothered 8. a. certified 11. a. charge
b. problem b. killed b. checked b. subtract
c. asset c. horrified c. tried c. reimburse
3. a. demand 6. a. suppliers 9. a. apologise 12. a. debit
b. order b. creators b. sorry b. cost
c. request c. models c. regret c. credit
Thank you for your letter of (1) c 2002, about the (2) ...................you have had with your
I have (4)................... into the matter and I was (5)................... to find that our (6)................... had
sent us the wrong components and had also (7)................... them, so that our clerks did not realise
the mistake. Of course we should have (8).................... but I am (9)................... to say that we did not
The only thing I can do is to (10)................... that you return the faulty items (we will, of course,
(11)................... the shipping costs) and we will replace them with the correct items or
(12)................... you with their value.
We apologise for the error and are taking steps to ensure that it is not repeated.
4. Choose from the words in the box and put the word into the correct place. One has been done for you.
order no. catalogue item no. description marks
your ref./our ref. packing delivery address
quantity discounts subtotal unit cost
total cost authorised signature date
1, rue des Bagndes 75023 Paris, France
To Camford Spares Ltd Purchase (1) order no
Avon XL 8295 AG (2)_______6th March 20__
Please supply the following
(4) ______ (5) ______ (6) _______ (7) _______ (8) _______
5 931A fan motor assembly $199.99 $999.95
100 1052C brake pipes $45.00 $4,500.00
10 52K steering dampers $95.00 $950.00
25 193T front fog lights $6.50 $162.50
(9) ________ $7,612.45
Less (13) ___________________
5% for orders over $1,000 $380.62
2,5% for settlement
within 30 days $190.31 $570.93
1 June 19—
(10) ________________ 14________ ___________
(11) ________________CMX 1-5
1, rue des Bagndes
Business English is… 31 Module 3
5. The bar chart below shows the percentage of sales made by retailers in Britain on each day of a typical week during the years
1996 and 1998.
Using the information from the bar chart, write a short report summarising the changes that took place between 1996 and 1998.
Write about 100 words
Day by day: The shoppers' week
II. SPEAKING + LISTENING
1. This lecture looks at strategies, key words and phrases that will help you with your calls. when doing Telephoning. Read
it through. Make notes of most essential things. Discuss them with a partner and improve them. Use your notes to prepare
and give a talk on ‗Telephoning Strategies‘ and write a Memo on ‗Key Language of Telephoning‘.
Telephoning is a very direct form of In business, people may want to make a
communication, and although the use of e-mail is phone call for any of the following reasons: to
a popular alternative, there are times when give or get information, especially in a hurry
phoning someone is more effective, for example or in an emergency, to keep in contact with
when you want to locate a particular person in an someone, to make an appointment or to make
organization, or get information quickly. This arrangements, to confirm details of something,
chapter looks at key words, phrases and such as an order, to clarify a misunderstanding,
strategies that will help you with your calls. to make a complaint or explain a problem, to
follow up a meeting, to thank someone.
The following expressions can be used to talk about telephoning. Phone, call and ring are other ways of saying
● make a call = to telephone someone: I'll meet you downstairs in five
minutes. I just have to make a call.
● give someone a call = an informal way of saying 'call' or 'phone': I'll give you a call on Monday to tell
you my arrival time.
● call back = to telephone someone again: She's not in? I'll call back tomorrow,
or I'll call back later.
● return someone's call = to call someone who called you before: Good morning Mr Hughes. My name is
Carol Macfarlane. I'm returning your
● call someone back = to call someone who called you before: Could you ask her to call me back?
● get back to someone = to contact someone again: Could you get back to me with that
● put someone through = to connect the caller to another person or Could you put me through to the sales
department: department, please?
● get through to = to be able to contact and talk to someone: Did you manage to get through to the
someone Marketing Director?
● be engaged (BrE), = to be in use; the number you are calling is The number is still engaged. I can't
be busy (AmE) not available: seem to get through.
Business English is… 32 Module 3
I'm sorry, the line's busy. Would you
like to call back later?
● be on the phone = to be using the phone: I'm sorry, she's on the phone just now.
Can you call back later?
● hold on = to wait: Hold on a moment. I'll see if she's free.
● hang up = to end a call and put the phone down: After waiting for thirty minutes, he
The words below are frequently used when telephoning or talking about calls.
● extension = an internal telephone number: Extension 22054 ['double two, oh five
● answering service = an electronic service which records I left a message with his answering service.
messages for you and gives them to you
● answering machine = a machine connected to the phone If he's not there I'll leave a message on the
which records messages from callers: answering machine.
Saying telephone numbers
● We usually say telephone numbers as individual digits.
● Note '0' can be pronounced as 'oh' or 'zero', eg. 01234 473950:
oh one two three four; four seven three, nine five oh
zero one two three four; four seven three, nine five zero
● As you speak, note that you can separate the digits into groups with a slight pause
Strategies for making a call
Making a phone call in a foreign language can be difficult because you cannot make eye
contact, show samples, or draw diagrams; you can only communicate verbally. It is therefore
important to be prepared beforehand. Remember also that the person you are speaking to may
not use English as their first language.
Here are some ways you can help yourself to make effective calls:
● Learn how to greet people.
● Learn how to ask for a specific person by name or job title.
● Plan what to say if that person is not available.
● Have the relevant papers with you to refer to.
● Be ready to ask people to repeat or clarify something if necessary.
● Make sure you know how to say numbers and the alphabet in English; you may need to
write names, prices, dates and other details.
● Always confirm the details at the end of a call.
● Follow up the call with a fax or an e-mail to confirm arrangements or appointments,
especially if you have any doubts.
Making a call: structure
Although every telephone call is different, you can use the simple structure and the specific
phrases below to help to prepare for a call.
● get the person you want to speak to
● explain the purpose of the call
● talk about the main subject of the call eg. Arrangements
● confirm details of the conversation
● signal the end of the call
● thank the other person
● refer to future action
Business English is… 33 Module 3
Essential language of telephoning
Below is some of the basic language you need to make and receive calls, followed by
some more detailed alternatives to select from.
MAKING A CALL.
1. Greetings Hello.
2. Identifying My name is [your name].
yourself This is [your name], [if the person receiving the call knows your name]
My name is [your name]. I'm calling from [your department and the name of the
company], [if the person receiving the call doesn 't know your name]
3. Asking to speak to Bob Robbins, please.
someone Can I speak to (Bob Newman), please? [you know the man]
Could you put me through to the (marketing) department, please?
I'd like to speak to (Anna Bredin), please.
Could I speak to someone in charge of (customer services), please? [you don't
know the name of anyone in that department]
Could I speak to someone about (business accounts), please?
I'd like to speak to whoever deals with (planning permits).
4. Explaining the I'm calling to ask you for (a copy of invoice 221/TW).
purpose of the call I'm calling about (the ad in today's newspaper).
I'm phoning in connection with (the March trade fair).
I'm trying to get in touch with (John Alien).
I'm trying to find out about (model T40).
5. Leaving a message Could you give Tanya a message, please?
Do you think you could give him a message, please?
Could you ask him to call me back today?
Could you tell her that (I can't make this afternoon's meeting)?
6. Thanking Thanks for your help.
Well, thank you very much.
Thank you. You've been very helpful.
Thanks a lot. [informal]
7. Ending I'll talk to you soon.
Well, I'll see you next week then.
Business English is… 34 Module 3
Do not say ‗I‘ am ...' to identify yourself on the phone. 'I am ...' is
used to introduce yourself in person, or to describe your job title or
profession. Instead, say 'This is...'.
When you make a call, you can check that you are speaking to the
right person, department or organization by asking:
'Is that James O'Brate?
the Customer Services department?
Wilde and Langley?
RECEIVING A CALL.
1. Greeting Hello.
2. Identifying Kingston Clothing, Jane speaking.
yourself and your Reeves and Coates.
3. Offering to help Can I help you?
How can I help you?
4. Asking who the Who's calling, please?
caller is Who shall I say is calling?
And your name, please?
5. Asking the caller Just a moment, please.
to wait Could you hold on, please?
6. Connecting the Right, you are through to Mr Walters.
caller to the right I'm just putting you through to her now.
I'll put you through to Accounts.
7. Explaining that I'm sorry, he's not available just now. I'm afraid she's out at the moment.
someone is not on holiday this week.
in a meeting just now.
Sorry. I can't locate her. She's on another line just now. Do you want to hold?
8. Offering Would you like to leave a message?
alternatives Can I give him a message?
Could you call back later?
Can you tell me what it's in connection with?
Would you like to speak to someone else from his department?
9. Taking a message Can I have your name, please?
And your number?
Could you spell your name for me, please?
Business English is… 35 Module 3
10. Checking So, that's Paula Martinez on 558 90 96 and you would like Mr Walters to call you back.
11. Ending a call Thank you for calling. Goodbye.
TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT SUBJECTS.
When you reach the person you want to speak to, there are many ways in which the conversation might
develop, depending on the purpose of your call. You can choose from the situations below to help you to prepare for
In business you frequently need to make arrangements for meetings, conferences, appointments, deliveries,
travel, social events and other activities.
We need to get together to confirm (the details of the trip) / discuss (your proposal) /
plan (our presentation).
I'd like to meet up with you to discuss (my idea) / look at (the samples).
Can we meet on (Tuesday at three o'clock)?
How about (tomorrow afternoon at about four)?
That would suit me fine.
Could we deliver the order on (May 14)?
Shall I make a booking for (twelve people)?
I'm afraid (Friday) will not be possible after all.
I'm sorry but I have to cancel (the appointment) / postpone (the meeting) / delay (the
delivery) / rearrange (our schedule).
There has been a problem with (the flights).
Can we meet up a little earlier than planned?
I'd like to book the conference room for [date, time, number of people].
3. Making a
reserve a flight to [place] on [date] for [number of people].
Could I make a reservation please? A table for (eight people) at (seven o'clock) on
Right, I look forward to our meeting next week.
So that's two tickets for the fourth of May at three o'clock.
So we'll see you on Friday.
2) Requests (asking people to do things).
Could you tell me (the order number), please?
Would you send us the details of (the offer), please?
Do you think you could ask her to contact us?
I'd like a copy of (the report please).
Certainly, I'd be happy to.
2. Responding to
Yes, of course.
Sure, I'll get on to it straight away.
Sorry, I'm afraid that's not possible, [explain why not].
Sorry, I can't help you there.
It is essential to be able to give and take down names, quantities, dates, prices, addresses, numbers and other
details. To do this you need to know how to spell words in English and to be able to say numbers.
Business English is… 36 Module 3
Could you give me the reference number please?
1. Asking for details
... and your address?
What exactly is it that you need?
How many crates have you ordered?
That's R-0-S-C-O-M-M-O-N. Reference Number 3 4 2 Z / R Model number 207.
Could you spell that for me, please?
2. Asking for
Did you say two o'clock?
I'm sorry, I didn't catch the last name. number.
first part of the address. flight time.
Could you repeat that please?
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Could you speak more slowly, please?
3. Confirming details So, that's 200 boxes of 40 at £50 per box. OK?
So that's Mr Sean Cusack from GRT International, and you want Gretta to call you. Is
4) Complaints and problems.
Explaining a problem over the phone requires preparation, so before you make your call, think about what is
wrong, the words that you need to describe it in detail, and the result you want from the call.
1. Making a complaint I bought a (box of stationery supplies).
I ordered some (tools) from you last week.
I'm calling to complain about our last order.
I'm not at all happy with the service / your response (to my request).
The (wiring) is faulty.
I've been waiting for (my equipment) for three months.
2. Explaining your I can't understand the (instructions).
problem The (light) doesn't seem to be working properly.
3. Responding to Could you tell me exactly what happened?
complaints and What seems to be the problem?
problems Have you tried (restarting it)?
Could you send me the details in writing?
5) Listening actively.
On the phone, it is important to let the caller know that you I see.
are listening. You can do this by using the words below. Yes, I understand.
6) Apologizing I'm sorry to hear about that.
We are sorry about all the problems you have had.
7) Promising I'll check it out and call you back.
I'll get on to that right away.
I'll see what I can do, (Mr Jefferson).
You'll get a replacement this week.
Business English is… 37 Module 3
2. Below are two examples of telephone conversations in a Russian version, one where
the caller leaves a message and the other where the caller gets through to someone in
the right department. Translate them into English, consulting the lecture above, where
In the following telephone conversation, the caller knows who he wants to speak to but she is not available. Jonathan Rankin, a
supplier of fabrics, calls Laura Williams, Purchasing Manager of a clothing manufacturer, to arrange a meeting. They have done
business together before.
- Oдежда Джей Мэк. У телефона Соня. Что я могу для Вас сделать?
- Это Джонатан Рэнкин из АэнБи Фэбрикс. Можно поговорить с Лорой Вильямс?
- Минутку. М-р Рэнкин.
- Мне очень жаль. Сейчас она не может подойти. Могу я ей что-нибудь передать?
- Да, будьте добры. Скажите ей, что у нас новый ассортимент тканей из Индии, и я бы хотел ей их показать,
если возможно на этой неделе. Не могли бы Вы попросить ее мне сегодня перезвонить?
- Передать ей, чтобы она перезвонила Вам по поводу ассортимента индийских тканей?
- Да, правильно.
- Хорошо, м-р Рэнкин. Я передам ей Вашу просьбу.
- Спасибо. До свидания.
In the telephone conversation that follows, the caller does not have the name of the person he wants to speak to. This is his first
call to this company.
- Гран и Вильямс. Чем могу помочь?
- Доброе утро. Я бы хотел поговорить с к-л о семинарах по коммуникации.
- Одну минуту я соединю Вас с Патриком Бизли.
- Патрик Бизли у телефона. Что я могу для Вас сделать?
- Здравствуйте. Меня зовут Питер Коухен. Я из отдела по работе с персоналом Ратланд Принтинг. Мы
планируем серию семинаров по обучению коммуникации наших торговых агентов. Мне нужна
информации об услугах, которые вы представляете.
- Ну, мы проводим как однодневные так и многодневные семинары по межкультурной коммуникации . Мы
можем предоставить курс той продолжительности, которая вас устроит.
- Хорошо. А Вы не могли бы прислать мне информацию?
- Да, конечно. А может быть лучше встретиться?
- Ну, на этой стадии я бы хотел просто ознакомиться с тем, что вы предлагаете.
- Прекрасно. Не могли бы вы дать мне ваш адрес?
- Это Ратлан Принтинг Лимитид, 22. Роуланд Плейс, Йорк УК44ВЕ.
- Вы сказали 22?
- Да, правильно.
- Хорошо. Я сегодня же вышлю вам сообщение.
- Спасибо. До свидания.
- До свидания.
3. Use the flow chart below as the basis for a telephone conversation involving a complaint. Berraondo S.A. Work with a partner,
doing one of the roles, then change parts and do the talking again. Change a partner and do it one more time.
Tao Loon Company (Sales Office)
Greeting. Introduce yourself.
Offer to help.
Order HF5618 for 20 printers.
Only 17 have arrived.
This is second time you have received an
Suggest possible error in order
Agree - say you need the other three
Business English is… 38 Module 3
Delays are costing you goodwill - unhappy
Explain stock problems.
Ask for a promise of delivery date - ASAP.
Promise next Monday.
Complain - you want despatch now.
Express regret - not possible.
Ask for fax to confirm dispatch.
Agree - apologise. End call.
Now listen to the recording of a model answer.
Business English is… 39 Module 3
4. Fax should reflect the best principles of customer service. Look at this model fax, and comment on the way it is structured.
Reproduce with a partner the telephone conversation that preceded it.
STELLA COMMUNICATIONS PLC
PO BOX 45, 27 PARKWAY, HALL GREEN,
BIRMINGHAM BH56 4TR ENGLAND
Phone: 44 121 312 769/221 Fax: 44 121 312 593
Fax To: Hamid Nadimi From: Peter Carr
Ahmed AI-Hamid & Company
Fax number: 966 1 367933
No of Pages (inc. this one): 1 Date: 14 July 19—
ATTN: Hamid Nadimi — Operations Director
Re. Faulty Valves on Pipeline System
Following our telephone conversation today I am pleased to tell you that
Mr Bains will return in four days with the relevant parts and the system
will be repaired within five days.
If there is any way I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to
contact me again.
Once again, please accept my apologies for the delay in carrying out the
Furthermore, let me assure you of our very best standards of service in
5. You will hear two telephone conversations. Write down one or two words or a number in the spaces on the forms below.
Conversation 1 (Questions 1-5) Conversation 2 (Questions 6-10)
TELEPHONE MESSAGE TELEPHONE MESSAGE
For: Liza Philips For: David Winger, (6) .............................. Marketing
From: Tim Lowe Division
Company: (1) ........................ Design Inc. From: Sam Cook, Conference (7) .............................. at
Tel No: (1202)6508397 Sunway Hotel
Please (2) ........................................................................ . They have received your speaker's (8) .........................
It's about your invitation to speak at a business lunch for form.
local (3) ................................................... . The topic Could you let them know if you will need a (9)
should be about best ways to promote to (4) ...............................? He also wants to know which (10)
.................................................... markets. They are .............................. you want.
particularly keen to know about your (5) Please call him as soon as possible.
6. The staff of this company are having problems with their prepositions on the telephone: some of the prepositions in these
sentences are wrong. Find the wrong and put the correct preposition in the space after the sentence. Choose from the wing
words. Some words are used more than once.
off on back
down through up
1. Just a minute while I look up his number in the company phone book.' (LOOK..............…........)
2. I'm sorry I can't talk to you now. Could I call you back in five minutes?' (CALL...................…....)
3. I'm trying to get off to Mr Schmidt. Could you give me his extension number?' (GET.....................…….)
4. I need to take down his name and number.' (TAKE.....................…..)
5. Could you hang on a minute while I get a pen?' (HANG.....................….)
Business English is… 40 Module 3
6.'I was talking to Mrs Bazin when we were cut up.' (CUT.....................……)
7. 'Please could you put me down again?' (PUT....................……..)
8. 'I've been trying to talk to her all day but every time I call she hangs back.' (HANG.....................….)
9. 'The phone rang and I picked off the receiver straightaway.' (PICKED.......................)
10. 'I'm sorry I don't have this information right now. Can I get up to you tomorrow?' (GET………………….)
7. Watch video segment‗Telephoning‘. Make notes of the lng used while doing telephoning. Compare your notes with the
partner. Distribute the phrases in accordance with their functions.
8.Watch video segment ‗Communication‘. Get prepared to talk on the topic of ‗Communication difficulties and lng problems‘.
9. .Role play the following:
l You are meeting some important guests and would
like to take them out to dinner. Ring the Grand
2 Make a call to the restaurant that has been
Palace Restaurant and book a table for four
recommended to you.
people at 8p.m. today.
3 Use your own name. You need a hotel room in 4. You are Peter Probe, Chairman of the Scottish
Bergen, Norway, for five nights from 17 January. Association of Market Researchers. Ring
Your company pays you NOK (Norwegian Professor Patricia Malcolm and see if she is
Crowns) 1250 per day for hotel accommodation. prepared to be the keynote speaker at your next
If the difference in price is not too great, you'd conference (opening day 16 November). You can
like your wife/husband to accompany you. Ring offer her a fee of £275. The theme of the
the Sola Beach Hotel. A friend has recommended conference is 'Recent developments in market
5. You are on holiday in Britain and would like to 6. You hold a ticket on flight BA312 from London
hire a car. You'd like a small car for the weekend. to Paris at 18.00 on Friday 19 September. You
Phone Rentacar Ltd (Al) and then Cheaprent Ltd know you will be a little delayed. Change your
(A2) and see what they can offer you. The total booking to the Air France flight (AF 794) that
cost (without petrol) must be under £30. leaves one hour later.
7. Your name is Sara Leijonflycht. You work for the 8. You are staying at the Bristol Hotel. You ordered,
Data Communications division of Scandata AB. by telephoning Room Service, continental
You will be in London in week 48 and would breakfast (with tea) and the London Times, You
very much like to meet Derek Hodgson, British have received continental breakfast (with coffee)
Telecom's Euronet manager, to discuss using and the New York Times. Ring Room Service, ask
some of your company's equipment. You are free for the manager and complain.
on Monday morning and from Wednesday
lunchtime to the end of the week. From Monday
lunchtime until Wednesday lunchtime you are
with BCL Computers outside London. Phone
Derek Hodgson. 9.You asked Brown Trading Ltd for information
about their F12 photocopier. They have sent you
information about the F13. The information is in
German and not, as you requested, in English.
Ring and complain.
Business English is… 41 Module 3
Section 3: Case Study
Read the case and deal with the tasks placed after it.
In January 1984, Comtec Corporation, a for Comtec to shift from a hardware to software
small manufacturer of industrial microcomputers emphasis. Specifically, Ms. Malcolm advised the
and application-specific software in Cambridge, company to begin producing IBM-compatible
Massachusetts, was having a difficult time software for general purpose laboratory/technical
competing in both the domestic and international uses. Her third recommendation called for the
markets. Sales of its primary product, the company to shift its advertising and sales
Comtec lOO Microcomputer, were slow, and the promotion from heavy reliance on journal
company's profit was practically nonexistent. In advertising and press releases to direct mail
short, Comtec was facing a serious financial advertising and trade show exhibits.
crisis. All three conclusions, though not
In an attempt to save the company, the explicitly critical of the vice president for sales
president. Dr. Daniel Needham, hired an outside and marketing, Mr. Harry Otto, were implicitly
consultant, Ms. Roberta Malcolm, a seasoned so since Mr. Otto had been instrumental in
professional with years of high-tech marketing implementing the present marketing strategy. It
experience. After studying the situation for a was now up to the company to decide whether to
couple of weeks, Ms. Malcolm made three risk its remaining capital on an entirely new
recommendations. The first called for closing direction or stay with the pre sent course,
down the European sale; office in Amsterdam namely, continuing Mr. Otto's strategy of
and concentrating, for the present at least, on the industry-specific hardware/software production.
U.S. market. The second recommendation was
DIALOGUE: A NEW MARKETING STRATEGY?
CAST: Dr. Daniel Needham, President, Comtec Corporation
Mr. Harry Otto, Vice-President, Comtec Corporation
Ms. Roberta Malcolm, Computer Consultant.
The three are discussing Ms. Malcolm's report in Dr. Needham's office at Comtec.
Malcolm: Let me just say at the beginning that I realize my recommendations may seem very bold, but given
the present financial situation at Comtec I think bold measures are needed.
Otto: Right on both counts. The question is, are these the right measures? My feeling is simply that we
haven't been aggressive enough in our marketing. Also, the new targeted fields — materials-testing
automation and chromatography automation — are not quick sells; i-t takes some time to build up
orders. We launched our new campaign in the early fall; it's just January now. I think you're
premature in your assessment that this is not the right market.
Needham: Harry's right to some extent. But the truth is the orders just aren't coming in fast enough. We can't
play a long-term waiting game. We don't have the capital to last.
Otto: All right. Orders aren't coming in in the necessary quantity, but we're getting more and more
inquiries, and with proper action we should be able to turn them into orders.
Malcolm: Mr. Otto, I understand your position, but I don't feel that you've received enough inquiries to
Otto: I'm not that optimistic at all about it, but I feel we have to give this market, this product, some
Needham: Harry, what are you basing your sales projections on?
Otto: First, our sales manager in Amsterdam, Max Mendel, is right now working on an order for ten
Comtecs, .plus software. That amounts to $200,000.
Malcolm: But an order isn't an order until you get a P.O.* number.
Otto: Right. But Max feels confident he'll get it.
Needham: That brings up the whole matter of the European sales office.
Malcolm: Yes, it does. And I can't see that it's worth keeping. It doesn't even pay for itself.
Needham: Well, I don't think that's true. But it barely pays for itself.
Otto: Ms. Malcolm's correct, Dan. It hasn't paid for itself in four months. I still don't feel that means we
should shut it down, The potential is there. Max is a good sales rep, and things are beginning to turn.
Business English is… 42 Module 3
Malcolm: Gentlemen, let me make a couple of things clear. I was hired by you to do a study and make some
recommendations. I did that. It's your choice whether to accept the recommendations or not. I
happen to think my recommendations are sound, but it's up to you to decide. The reasons I think
they are sound are detailed in the report, but let me just reiterate a few facts here. First, in three
months of active effort you have only six orders. Second, the competition, particularly in
chromatography, is keen. Third, the European sales office is costing more than it's producing.
Fourth, your microcomputer is too expensive, given the fact that an IBM PC costs one-fourth as
much as the Comtec and is an industry standard. Granted, it may not do as much, but it is basically
all most researchers need, given the right software. If you convert your software so that it will run
on the IBM PC, you'll be in a position to do just that. And if you are more horizontal than vertical in
your approach to the market, you'll have a larger target. Fifth, your advertising and sales promotion
measures are not getting to the right people. Buy some lists and then do a direct mail shot. Go to
every trade show you can and demonstrate your product. The audience you're trying to reach doesn't
take journal advertising seriously. They want more information than they can get in an ad. Direct
mail can give that to them; a demo can do even more.
EXHIBITS AND SUPPORTING MATERIALS
Exhibit I. Ad for the Comtec 100 Microcomputers
Automate Your Lab NOW
When is laboratory automation more than just laboratory automation?
When you automate with a Comtec 100—the most powerful R & D
micro on the market. The Comtec 100 features multitasking,
multiprocessing, ultra-high-speed analog input, and a real-time
operating system. These features make the Comtec 100 capable of
being a central computer for all your automation needs. Special
application-specific programs for Materials Testing and
Chromatography, as well as general-purpose R & D software, make
Comtec a leader in laboratory automation.
Call, Write, or Circle Inquiry No. for Action
Circle Reader Service Card No. 363
Exhibit 2. Sales of the Comtec 100, Third and Fourth Quarter, 1983 (in US$)
Juli Aug. Sept. Okt. Nov. Dec. Total
Domestic 38,900 48,600 61,642 54,282 42,623 43,624 289,671
International 31,090 21,438 37,583 21,438 21,438 --- 132,987
Business English is… 43 Module 3
Exhibit 3. Comtec's Balance Sheet as of December 1983 (Actual US$)
raw materials 98,070
work in progress 3,230
finished goods 107,440
Prepaid expences 10,756
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS 539,530
Fixed assets 12,462
less depreciation (4,790)
Net fixed assets 7,672
Other noncurrent 190
TOTAL ASSETS 547,392
Notes payable 54,182
current intercompany 82,591
accrued expences 23,693
accrued taxes 97,330
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES 527,700
Share capital (privately held) 18,131
TOTAL LIABILITIES 547,392
Exhibit 4. Memo from H. Otto to D. Needham
To: D. Needham
Re: Direct Mail
Date: Jan. 23, 1984
I contacted the people at Industrial Collaborative today in an effort to
purchase direct mail lists. They claim to have very vertical lists of
primary purchasers both in the U.S. and abroad for materials-testing
automation and chromatography automation. They will sell one list for
$1,200 or two for $2,100 (over 1,000 names in each) . The lists include
names and titles. I strongly suggest we purchase the lists, as
recommended by Ms. Malcolm, and create a direct mail piece to
accompany existing product literature. David, at International
Communications, says he can have design and copy in a matter of days
for a four-page brochure describing our automation packages. He will
check back later today to confirm. Let's talk this afternoon.
Business English is… 44 Module 3
Exhibit 5. Letter from Manchester Metals, Ltd., to Comtec's Amsterdam Office
MANCHESTER METALS, LTD.
4, Surrey Rd.
27 January, 1984
Mr Max Mendel
Dear Mr Mendel:
I enjoyed talking with you last week when you were in Manchester and
am pleased to report that I was quite impressed with the Comtec 100
Microcomputer. I have recommended to the purchasing section that one
Comtec 100 be purchased as soon as possible . The order should be sent
to you within ten days. As I informed you last week, our long-term needs
could conceivably call for additional purchases of eight to twelve
Comtecs. This initial purchase, therefore, should be viewed as a trial. I
have few doubts, however, that the Comtec 100 will perform to our
Looking forward to doing more business with you.
Most sincerely yours,
Susan T. West
Susan T. West, Ph.D.
Director, Mechanical Testing
Some Points to Keep in Mind:
Business strategies, by their very nature, In this case, the dilemma is precisely that
are continually subject to change. Regardless of described above. Comtec's strategy initially was
a company's past performance, innovative ideas to produce microcomputers for general industrial
are absolutely essential if the company wishes to use. When that was not successful, Comtec
increase or even maintain its market share. Since targeted two specific areas: materials-testing
business is not a science, however, it is automation and chromatography automation.
impossible to determine exactly how long a Now, that strategy too seems to be failing. Is it,
particular strategy should be employed before it however, the case, as Mr. Otto believes, that
is changed. Premature shifts in marketing simply more time is needed to penetrate these
strategy often have negative results. At the same special targets, both domestically and overseas,
time, in order to minimize losses, it is important or is a new direction needed? Finally, is the
to recognize when a strategy is not successful so radical change proposed by Ms. Malcolm the
that it may be altered. right direction if Comtec should decide to change
CHECKLIST AND WORKSHEET
In coming to a decision about this case, did you consider the following?
Otto's original marketing strategy
The importance of the European office
The poor financial situation of Comtec
Otto's revised strategy
The risks involved in radically changing the nature of the corporation
What other factors should be considered?
Business English is… 45 Module 3
I. Background and Dialogue
1. What does Comtec Corporation do? What is its major product? For what market does it manufacture?
2. What are Malcolm's three major recommendations?
3. How would you characterize Otto's position regarding the new marketing strategy? Needham's?
4. At the end of the Dialogue Malcolm has a very long speech in which she lays out her recommendations. What is the overall
effect of that speech? Is her tone authoritative or weak? Are her points clearly made? Do the recommendations seem to help
support the issues raised earlier in the Dialogue?
II. Exhibits and Supporting Materials
1. Analyze the ad in Exhibit 1. Is it easily understandable or too technical? Does it seem appropriate for the audience it is
trying to reach? If yes, how? If not, how could it be improved?
2. Exhibits 2 and 3 show Comtec's financial situation. Judging from these figures, is Comtec in serious trouble? Support your
answer with specific references to the exhibits.
3. Does Exhibit 3 suggest that Otto is adopting Malcolm's suggestions? Why or why not?
4. Evaluate West's letter (Exhibit 4). Does it seem encouraging? In your opinion, what do the following sentences really
... our long-term needs could conceivably call for additional purchases of eight to twelve Comtecs. This
initial purchase, therefore, should be viewed as a trial.
III. Prepare an outline for Ms. Malcolm‘s report to Comtec. Your outline should include detailed sections analyzing both the
present situation and giving specific recommendations for the future. Use the information from the Background and the
Dialogue to help you.
IV. Debate one of the following topics.
1. Needham should listen to Otto, not Malcolm.
2. Otto is not willing to accept new ideas.
3. A successful business must continually seek new and dynamic solutions and strategies.
4. Write an analysis of the case from the point of view of either Otto or Needham.
1) Divide into two competing creative groups of marketers. Research the market for some one new product (at your own choice).
2) Within teams discuss branding, your marketing strategy, the advertising campaign to be carried through. in the form of
brainstorming meetings .Prepare questionnaires, write ads, develop your marketing strategy step by step.
3) Prepare a series of presentations to (a) inform the Board on the essentials of your project, (b) to convince the Board that your
project has an edge over your competitors.
Business English is… 46 Module 3
Actual (potential) Domestically Marketing environment Provide data
demand Existing needs Marketing function Public relations
Advertise intensively Explicitly warrant Marketing mix Rank
Advertising campaign Eye-catching Marketing objectives Rate
Advertising expenditure Facet Marketing plan Reach a peak
Advertising space Factory outlet Marketing programme Research instruments
Allocate a budget Fair competition Marketing strategy Research objectives
Ambiguous questions Falling sales Market-oriented firm Research task
Amend (withdraw) the Family brand Market-place Respondent
advertisement Favourite ploy Markup Response rate
Amount of agreement Fill unsatisfied needs Markup on the price Retail outlet
(disagreement) Focus group Material prosperity Retail outlet
Analog Follow a logical pattern Maturity phase Retailer
Anticipate needs Forerunner to all Microcomputer Route
Application-specific competitions Mid priced Sales force
Basic list price Free economy Multiprocessing Sales promotion
Blaze of publicity Free market philosophy Multitasking Satisfy needs
Brand Free samples Nonexistent Saturation phase
Brand loyalty Generate sales of the Off-licenses Scaled question
Brand manager product Online databases Scourge
Brand name Getting round Open questions Seasoned professional
Branding Give opinions and Outlets Secondary data
Breach the code reasons more freely Outside consultant Sell at a loss
Bring into disrepute Growth stage Overseas Selling concept
Bring to the notice Hard-selling techniques Overseas markets Selling strategy
Build a brand Heavy advertising Own label brands Set prices
Bulk-buying Heavy informative Packet tops Set up
Call for advertising Penetrate Single-use consumer
Capture sales Heavy reliance on Persuasive advertising good
Chamber of commerce High-priced Points of sale Slow sales
Change brands Hire purchase Poor quality Sluggish sales
Channel of distribution Horrisontal (vertical) Position a product Social costs
Clear stock approach to the Possible credit terms Specialised goods
Closed questions market Potential market Standard product
Code name In a matter of days Premature shift Standing order
Commercial Individual markets. Premium product Stick to a known brand
Commercial transaction Initial purchase Press release Stimulate sales
Compatible Input Price mechanism Stock the product
Conceivably Interest-free credit Pricing Stop sales from
Consumer preferences Inventory size Pricing policy declining
Consumer preferences Large stocks Pricing policy Subject to change
Consumer sovereignty Loss leader Primary data Subtle advertising
Contact methods Low sale Primary product Target audience
Convert Low-priced Primary purchaser Target customer
Cost effective Loyal customers Prioritizing question Target market
Decline phase Lure Proceed Target market
Design a questionnaire Luxury goods Producer market Test on a sample of
Desk research Mail-order Product launch consumers
Develop advertising Market leader campaign Thought-provoking
campaign Market niche Product life cycle Top end of the market
Develop marketing Market opportunities Product literature Trade show exhibits
objectives Market opportunities Product portfolio Trial
Differential advantage Market research Product‘s wrapper Ultra-high-speed
Direct debit Market researcher (container) Unstable society
Disapproval Market segmentation Production issues Unwelcome publicity
Discount pricing Market share Production line Usable questionnaire
Distinctive Market size Promote products Wholesaler
competencies Marketing concept Promotional work