Business English Resources

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How to Sell Your Product, Course, or Service to the English-speaking Marketplace

When you decide to market a product, course, or service to the English-speaking marketplace, as in every marketplace, you must present a professional image of yourself and your business to your potential clients. Most clients won’t judge you on your physical appearance – but they will judge you on how you introduce yourself to them.

You must create a good image of yourself in your clients’ minds. You want them to think of you as an expert or authority – one that they will be happy to purchase from. The goal is to demonstrate that you are responsible, trustworthy, and intelligent.

To achieve this goal, the words you speak and write must portray that you are confident and well-informed. Unfortunately, that is difficult to establish if they have difficulty understanding your pitch, your teaching, or your written materials.

If you sound professional in your business writing, speaking, and presentations, your potential clients will take you more seriously and be more likely to purchase from you.

Your message to potential – and existing – clients must be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Presenting your message effectively in business is not difficult, but it does need practice.

Even native English speakers have problems with presenting themselves clearly. It is twice as hard for non-native English speakers – but you can use ESL coaching to improve your message and written materials to establish your authority and trustworthiness.

When you present yourself as an authority, don’t allow clients and potential clients to be distracted by grammatical or syntax errors. Make sure you are using common idioms correctly and not as a literal translation from your native language.

Following are some common idioms, words, and phrases that are used in everyday situations by native English speakers. Using these idioms, words, and phrases correctly will help you to better connect with your clients and potential clients and help you increase your sales. Try sprinkling them into your everyday conversations with English speakers and let them focus on the message you are delivering – not the delivery of your message.

Idioms

Idiom

Does Not Mean

Meaning

To think outside the box

You are not standing next to a box.

You are thinking of a solution to a problem that is more creative than normal.

To stay on top of

You are not standing on top of something.

You are staying in control.

To pull strings

You are not pulling a bunch of strings attached to…something.

You use your influence to make something happen.

Multitasking

 

Doing several things at once.

Brainstorm

 

Come up with lots of ideas on a topic or problem.

To be on the ball

You are not sitting on a ball.

You are alert and focused.

To bite off more than you can chew.

This has nothing to do with eating.

Accepting (or volunteering for) more work than you can do either due to quantity or difficulty.

To get the ball rolling.

You are not rolling a ball to anyone.

You are starting something, such as a project or a process.

Downtime

You are not lying down.

This is time when you are not busy working on your primary job.

Using common idioms, words, and phrases will certainly help you sound like a more fluent English speaker. If you want your clients and potential clients to view you as a professional, however, pay heed to the following suggestions for clearer communications:

What NOT To Do…

Don’t use very long sentences. Very complex sentences are often difficult to understand and may contain multiple ideas. Use proper punctuation to separate your ideas.

Don’t use incomplete sentences. Incomplete sentences are confusing. Your clients or potential clients may wonder what you meant to say or be unimpressed with your wandering thoughts.

Don’t combine many ideas into one paragraph. Each separate idea deserves its own paragraph.

Don’t use texting language. While texting language is appropriate for instant messages, as a professional, compose full sentences and words in your presentations, course materials, web content, and client communications.

Don’t misspell words. Now that almost every type of client communication is done by or via a computer, use the tools available to create the best English sentences possible. Grammarly has a free service for checking spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Your computer or laptop should also have a spell check feature and most word processing programs can be set to notify you (via a red underline) if a word is spelled incorrectly.

Don’t repeat words when there is no need to repeat anything. For example, She has been delayed due to bad weather, but we are not sure when she will arrive. You could stop after “weather” and your message would be perfectly clear.

Don’t leave out articles like “a,” “an,” and “the.” This is a common mistake with non-native English speakers because articles may not exist in your native language. These three words refer to a specific noun or an indefinite noun.

Don’t confuse singular with plural nouns. Another common mistake, because plural nouns may not exist in your native language. In general, if you are talking about one specific thing, you would use the singular noun and if you are talking about multiple things, you must use the plural noun.

Don’t change tenses in mid-sentence. Tenses show the time when an event happened. Many other languages may have fewer tenses or no tenses at all. Generally, it is easier to use the same tense within each sentence.

Don’t translate directly from your native language. Most people will do a direct translation from their native language to the language they are learning – no matter what language you are learning – especially when you are newly conversant. You think in your native language and translate your thoughts, word-for-word into English. Your writing – presentations, course material, website content, client communications – will then reflect the grammar and sentence structures of your native language rather than those of proper English. No two languages have the same grammar rules and structures. They are not the same. This can be very confusing and sound strange to clients and potential clients who may misunderstand your message.

ESL Presentation Coach will help you practice your oral presentations as well as polish your written course materials, web content, and client communications. Contact me today for a FREE 15-minute consultation on how I can help you be more confident and professional in all of your client communications and increase your sales.

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