There are significant differences between having a multilingual team and a team that gambles on the fact that they can speak basic English, even at a basic level this can often have an impact on the ability to develop business relationships. I recently designed a course of lessons designed to help students identify with telephone etiquette as this seemed to be of most interest to companies who were losing business.
The course is designed over 4 hours and provides very realistic role play tasks with a native speaking teacher who will help you to identify the relationship between an order and a request. The telephone relies on voice tones and pronunciation which are two main features of this course.
I am famed for use of this example but if you imagine that you look outside your window and you see a beautiful sports car and that you turn to your friend and say; "Thats a car!" you have created a statement with high intonation points that reflect how you feel.
Using the same example but changing the parameters, imagine that you looked outside the window and there was an old car barley fit for use, you turned to your friend and said; That's a car?, you have created a sentence using the same grammatical structure with the same number of words but the voice tone applied turns this statement into a question.
If we now apply this concept into a business model we can relate to the importance of voice tones. Here are a few common mistakes:
- Tell me your name?
Giving an order as opposed to a request is a mistake that is extremely common, in the English language we use modals to help sentence constructions sound more polite. In this case we would change this sentence.
- Could I have your name please?
- Can I have your name please?
- May I have your name please?
Intonation is higher on the modal not on the word "please". Empathetic value is key here as client's feel less intimidated and more comfortable with carefully applied voice tones especially within a sales environment.
The Present Tense
Another problem which is common place is trying to keep a client. In business when someone is not available students often use this form; "They are not here". This statement is somewhat final and is not effective in retaining a client. Retention is critical and can often lead to significant loss of business over time. This sentence would be altered to:
- I'm sorry but Mark is not at his desk at the moment can I take a message or can I help at all?
- I'm sorry, Mark is in a meeting at the moment, he should be back in an hour or so can I help or can I take a message?
The structures shown are only examples and there are many more options that can be provided but the key is not just based on grammatical correctness but the voice tones used. Curious? This course is available from our specialist courses section.
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DEAR MANDI, LET ME SAY YOU A BIG "THANK YOU" FOR YOUR HELP WITH PREPARING ME TO IELTS EXAM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE AND SUPPORT. EVEN WHEN MY HOME WORKS WERE DIFFICULT AND I HAD NO TIME,- I ALWAYS TRIED TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING IN TIME BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO DISAPPOINT YOU. YOU HELPED ME TO BE MORE CONFIDENT IN EACH PART OF THE EXAM, ESPECIALLY IN SPEAKING. IN THE BOTTOM LINE - ALL MY GOAL WERE REACHED! I HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT TIME YOU VISIT IN ISRAEL.
I TOOK A LESSON WITH SANJ IN ORDER TO PREPARE TO A TELEPHONE INTERVIEW I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE. SANJ GAVE SOME VERY GOOD TIPS FOR THE INTERVIEW AND A BRIEF LESSON TO IMPROVE MY GRAMMAR AND SPEAKING SKILLS. HE ALSO HELPED ME TO FORMULATE BETTER ANSWERS TO COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – ALL OF THESE IN ONLY ONE HOUR! THE PREPARATION DEFINITELY HELPED ME TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT AND TO SPEAK MORE FLUENTLY DURING THE INTERVIEW, AND EVENTUALLY TO GET THE JOB!
I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT YOU HELPED ME GROW IN MORE THAN ONE DIMENSION. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION WITH ME IN THE CLASSES – I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW MUCH I HAD LEARNED UNTIL I GOT SUCH A NICE GRADE IN PTE ACADEMIC EXAM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONCERN FOR ME – YOUR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT WAS INDEED PRICELESS. I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO BE MANDI’S STUDENT AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO TAKE HER EXAM PREPARATION CLASSES.