In today’s final post on the topic of networking, we’ll cover what is takes to continue the “networking cycle” event after you’ve closed a conversation, handed out your business card, and left the event. How can a new person be brought in your professional business circle? This is the focus of our content today.
Important business English language phrases are bold.
1. Follow up with your new contact. It is extremely important that you follow up with a promising new connection within a short time frame after the event. This can either be via phone, email, or networking sites (LinkedIn or Xing). Remind the person who you are, where you work, and what you talked about. A sample message line may read:
It was so nice meeting you at last’ weeks Clean Energy Professionals Network Lunch. I really enjoyed our conversation about strategies for the residential solar market in our region ….
At this point, perhaps you’d like to invite the person to meet for coffee (see below) or just invite them to collaborate further with your work. In this case, useful phrases include:
- “I look forward to connecting further”
- “Let’s continue to stay in touch”
- “I look forward to future collaboration”.
2. Ask them to refer you to another contact. Oftentimes, your new contact will be an open door for career advancement. If you are seeking to connect with a manager at another company, ask you network contact for help. However, be careful that you do so in a respectful manner; no one likes to be used. For example:
I hope you’re having a nice week! It was great connecting with you at the Network Lunch last week. I really appreciated hearing about your experiences on coastal wind energy projects. When we spoke, you mentioned your manager is working on a market innovation project for solar energy. I am very enthusiastic about this idea and would love to discuss with him …
Here, the writer takes the time to compliment Shannon, and acknowledges that he listened to what she was saying. She is more likely to help him due to his respectful tone.
3. Invite them to meet. Confident business leaders don’t just make connections; they foster long-term working relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask your new contact to meet, because those informal conversations could lead to really wonderful career and leadership possibilities. Following the email to Shannon from above, the write can continue as follows:
…. Perhaps the three of us could meet for coffee in the next two weeks? I would really appreciate the opportunity to learn from both of your experiences.
Or, if it’s not possible for the manager to meet, the writer can ask Shannon to virtually introduce him:
…Shannon, I am looking forward to our coffee meeting next week! I am sorry that your manager won’t be able to join us, but would it be at all possible for you to introduce us via email?” Since you already have a positive rapport with Shannon, she is most likely going to comply with your request. Remember to thank her!
Netzwerken ist in der heutigen Welt eine unverzichtbare Fähigkeit und ein wichtiges Werkzeug. Netzwerken auf Englisch… so geht’s:
Networking is an essential skill in today’s world and is a key trait of successful business people. Yet, for non-native English speakers who find themselves thrust into an environment where they should network in English, the prospect could be extremely intimidating. Today’s post is focused on getting over that fear, and helping ESL learners feel prepared to take on basic networking conversation skills.
1. Be prepared to introduce yourself- and do it well! Business networking is all about first impressions, and introducing yourself for the first time is the sure-fire way to make a positive connection, if done right. Western business culture mandates that a handshake is the norm when meeting someone new in a business context, regardless of their gender. Be prepared for that, and for saying some of these conversational warmers:
-“Hello, I’m ___. What’s your name?”
-“Nice to meet you ____ (name of person)! Are you enjoying the event so far?”
“I work as a ___(title) at ____ (company name). Which company do you work for?”
Also be prepared to volunteer additional information about your job role and your feelings about work at your company, but remember to always be positive.
2. It’s not all about talking-be prepared to listen. Language studies have shown that of the 4 essential language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) listening is the one that is most often neglected when teaching English as a foreign language. However, in a networking event, it’s all about the listening!
Successful business networkers start by asking their new acquaintance questions about themselves, to show interest and engagement. Speakers should therefore prepare for these events by prepare questions to ask. Some common ones include:
- “What is your role at ___ (company)?”
- “What is your favorite thing about working as a ___ at ____ (company)?”
- “What is your opinion of the event so far?”
- “What do you think is the biggest business trend in ____ (type of business sector) right now?”
Non-native speakers should then be ready to listen for the answer and pick up conversational cues from is to find common points of interest with their new acquaintance.
3. Show genuine interest in the other person’s answers. Networking is all about forming positive, interesting connections. If your conversation partner has answered some of the questions above, make sure you respond in a way that shows you truly understood them and are interested in what they have to say. Responses could be:
- “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve heard good things about ____ (company they work for).”
- “I completely agree. That’s very similar to why I enjoy work at ____ (name of your company).”
- “Yes, I’ve really enjoyed that part of the event as well!”
Remember to smile, be positive, and don’t forget the person’s name! This could be a really valuable connection for something in your career further down the road. In the next post, we’ll cover some further networking tips to help break the ice in the conversation, and
how to ask for further business connections.
Welcome to our final blog post on the topic of telephoning in Business English language. In this post, we will cover two remaining points that are essential when having a phone call in a Business English context: Asking for clarification and how to end a conversation.
(Essential phrases are bold)
1. Asking for Clarification. This is a vital skill when having a phone conversation with a client, colleague or superior at work. Asking for clarification ensure correct information is given, which is essential in a phone conversation when all communication is verbal. Let’s take this dialogue as an example:
… Ring…. Ring….
“Stan White at Business101, how may I help you?”
“Hello Stan, I’m interested in placing an order for business letterhead paper for my company.”
“Certainly, I’d be glad to assist you! May I have your name and the name of your company, please?”
“Yes, I’m Tom Smith from Smith Brothers and Co.”
“Ok, Mr. Smith…. Hmm, I don’t see you in our system. Is this your first order with us?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Great! Then I’ll need the phone number, email, and address of your business, please.”
(Stan White logs the new client information and order request)
“Thank you for the information, Mr. Smith. I just want to double-check the order. So, that’s 500 sheets of business letterhead paper for Smith Brothers and Co. to be shipped to 123 Oak Street, Emerald City, NY 98765. Is that correct?
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Excellent. That will be $50.55. How would you like to pay today? We accept credit card or direct debit. Will you need an invoice?”
Let’s assume that Mr. Smith wants direct debit and needs an invoice. Stan White would then need to recite all the account information back to Mr. Smith to make sure it’s correct. As we see in this dialogue, Stan White continuously checks information with his client by asking “is that correct?” to make sure all information is accurate.
Stan White goes over one piece of information at a time, which is the same protocol for Business English telephoning, no matter the topic. If there is total misunderstanding on a topic, the phrase “can you please clarify that?” is helpful gather more information.
2. Phases for Ending a Conversation. To end a professional business call, there are several common expressions. The phase “Goodbye. Have a nice day.” is perhaps most common, in addition to “Thank you, see you soon.” Other options include:
- “Take Care.”
- “Bye for now.”
- “Talk to you soon.”
Obviously, use the one that is most suitable for the nature of your call and your relationship with the person you are speaking with.