Business|Adults|Intermediate|6. Sales skills

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Answer the question

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Answer the questions

Listen to and read the article and match each of these headings to one of the paragraphs

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Listen to the audio and do the exercise.

Women on top in new sales industry survey

A new survey of the sales industry shows who sales professionals believe make the best salespeople and the qualities needed in order to succeed.

1. A new survey of over 200 sales professionals has found that two-thirds of women and over half of men believe that women make the best salespeople, underlining the growing reputation of women in the sales industry.

2. The survey was carried out for Pareto Law, a recruitment and training company. It questioned sales professionals on what they considered to be the most important qualities for a salesperson. It also asked who would be most likely to succeed.

3. Both men (53%) and women (66%) agreed that women do make better sales people, with Hillary Clinton voted as the top female celebrity most likely to succeed in a career in sales.

4. When asked why women make the best salespeople, men believe the main reason is that women are better at actually closing a deal, while women stated they are better than men when it comes to dealing with people. Other female skills highlighted included being more organised and being able to handle more work, while male skills were identified as strong personalities and selling skills.

5. Jonathan Fitchew, Managing Director of Pareto Law, said: «Television programmes have increased people’s interest in the sales industry, but have also highlighted the different approaches of men and women to the same sales issues».

6. When it comes to the individual qualities required to become a successful salesperson, men ranked honesty as most important (53%), while women placed most value on personality (47%). Both agreed that integrity was also key, coming third overall (41%). Good looks came at the bottom of the list, with only 3% of sales professionals ranking this as important.

7. This focus on professionalism, rather than the hard sell, supports the fact that over half of the sales professionals questioned believe that the reputation of sales has improved over the last 10 years, with 55% of men and 47% of women considering this to be the case.

8. Both men (87%) and women (86%) agreed that the top incentive for salespeople was money, with the average sales executive expecting to earn between £25-35k, including bonuses and commission, in their first year of work. Other incentives included verbal praise, overseas holidays and cars.


Women on top in new sales industry survey

A new survey of the sales industry shows who sales professionals believe make the best salespeople and the qualities needed in order to succeed.

1. A new survey of over 200 sales professionals has found that two-thirds of women and over half of men believe that women make the best salespeople, underlining the growing reputation of women in the sales industry.

2. The survey was carried out for Pareto Law, a recruitment and training company. It questioned sales professionals on what they considered to be the most important qualities for a salesperson. It also asked who would be most likely to succeed.

3. Both men (53%) and women (66%) agreed that women do make better sales people, with Hillary Clinton voted as the top female celebrity most likely to succeed in a career in sales.

4. When asked why women make the best salespeople, men believe the main reason is that women are better at actually closing a deal, while women stated they are better than men when it comes to dealing with people. Other female skills highlighted included being more organised and being able to handle more work, while male skills were identified as strong personalities and selling skills.

5. Jonathan Fitchew, Managing Director of Pareto Law, said: «Television programmes have increased people’s interest in the sales industry, but have also highlighted the different approaches of men and women to the same sales issues».

6. When it comes to the individual qualities required to become a successful salesperson, men ranked honesty as most important (53%), while women placed most value on personality (47%). Both agreed that integrity was also key, coming third overall (41%). Good looks came at the bottom of the list, with only 3% of sales professionals ranking this as important.

7. This focus on professionalism, rather than the hard sell, supports the fact that over half of the sales professionals questioned believe that the reputation of sales has improved over the last 10 years, with 55% of men and 47% of women considering this to be the case.

8. Both men (87%) and women (86%) agreed that the top incentive for salespeople was money, with the average sales executive expecting to earn between £25-35k, including bonuses and commission, in their first year of work. Other incentives included verbal praise, overseas holidays and cars.


What do these numbers refer to in the article?

  • two-thirds
  • half
  • 53
  • 66
  • 53
  • 47
  • third
  • 41
  • 3
  • 10
  • 55
  • 47
  • 87
  • 86
  • 25-35

Listen to and read the article and match each of these headings to one of the paragraphs

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Listen to the audio and do the exercise.
How to master the art of selling
1. Selling is an area of business that many people dislike, whether it’s telemarketing or face-to-face selling. It takes quite a bit of skill to become an effective salesperson, but through developing a particular mindset and following some important advice, you can begin to master it.

2. One of the most important attributes to have when selling is confidence — you must sound and appear confident. Remember that many of the most confident people aren’t inwardly confident, yet they can show confidence on the outside.

3. There’s nothing worse than a salesperson who doesn’t fully understand what they are selling. Make sure that you know your product, business and industry inside out.

4. Research suggests that you have less than 30 seconds to interact with someone before they form an opinion of you. For face-to-face selling, having a professional appearance is vital. For selling over the phone, the first 15 seconds are vital, so make sure you know what you intend to say. Getting words mixed up or sounding hesitant will result in a bad first impression.

5. Rejection will happen, but don’t take it personally. Too many people focus on this rejection and often end up making contact with fewer prospects than they otherwise would. You will receive setbacks, but the more people you call, the more leads or sales you’ll make. It’s a numbers game — hit the high numbers, and success will almost always follow.

6. Don’t think that you have to make a sale the first time that you speak to a prospect. Many telemarketers know this and rarely attempt to generate sales, but instead focus on leads. A lead may be anything from obtaining permission to e-mail over some more information to organising a meeting in person.

7. Never call a prospect or attend a sales meeting without knowing how far you’ll negotiate. You should know your starting point, the point which you won’t drop below and a mid-way point which you’ll aim for.

8. Finally, seasoned sellers talk of adopting a «sales mindset». Don’t approach selling with dread, as an area where rejections are commonplace. Selling should be a challenge. You should enjoy closing deals, making sales, and each rejection should be looked on as a result — you’re one step closer to meeting your next customer.


How to master the art of selling

1. Selling is an area of business that many people dislike, whether it’s telemarketing or face-to-face selling. It takes quite a bit of skill to become an effective salesperson, but through developing a particular mindset and following some important advice, you can begin to master it.

2. One of the most important attributes to have when selling is confidence — you must sound and appear confident. Remember that many of the most confident people aren’t inwardly confident, yet they can show confidence on the outside.

3. There’s nothing worse than a salesperson who doesn’t fully understand what they are selling. Make sure that you know your product, business and industry inside out.

4. Research suggests that you have less than 30 seconds to interact with someone before they form an opinion of you. For face-to-face selling, having a professional appearance is vital. For selling over the phone, the first 15 seconds are vital, so make sure you know what you intend to say. Getting words mixed up or sounding hesitant will result in a bad first impression.

5. Rejection will happen, but don’t take it personally. Too many people focus on this rejection and often end up making contact with fewer prospects than they otherwise would. You will receive setbacks, but the more people you call, the more leads or sales you’ll make. It’s a numbers game — hit the high numbers, and success will almost always follow.

6. Don’t think that you have to make a sale the first time that you speak to a prospect. Many telemarketers know this and rarely attempt to generate sales, but instead focus on leads. A lead may be anything from obtaining permission to e-mail over some more information to organising a meeting in person.

7. Never call a prospect or attend a sales meeting without knowing how far you’ll negotiate. You should know your starting point, the point which you won’t drop below and a mid-way point which you’ll aim for.

8. Finally, seasoned sellers talk of adopting a «sales mindset». Don’t approach selling with dread, as an area where rejections are commonplace. Selling should be a challenge. You should enjoy closing deals, making sales, and each rejection should be looked on as a result — you’re one step closer to meeting your next customer.


Answer these questions


  1. What should you do if you are not inwardly confident?
  2. What do you need to know well?
  3. What do «30 seconds» and «15 seconds» refer to?
  4. What should you do when you are rejected?
  5. What should you focus on?
  6. What do you need to know when negotiating?
  7. What sales mindset should you have?

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Read the rules

Modal verb — Usage — Example

  • must / need to / has/have to — to say that something is compulsory or necessary — You must sound and appear confident. / I think you have to pay a sales tax. / I need to sell my car quickly.
  • had to — to refer to a past obligation — When I lived in Tokyo, I had to learn Japanese.
  • should / shouldn’t — to give advice or to suggest the right course of action / Should often follows the verbs suggest and think. — You should follow up all your leads. / You shouldn’t talk about yourself. /I suggest/think we should aim at the top end of the market.
  • should — to say that something is likely to happen in the future — Interest rates should come down soon — that’s what the economists are predicting.
  • don’t have to / don’t need to — if something is not necessary — You don’t have to make a sale the first time you speak to a contact. / If you buy now, you don’t need to pay anything until next year.
  • mustn’t / must not — when things are forbidden or against the law / Compare the uses of mustn’t and don’t have to in this sentence. — Drivers must not park their vehicles by a traffic light. / You mustn’t sell cigarettes to anyone underage. (= Don’t sell cigarettes to anyone underage.)
  • must — to say we are sure of something because of what we know — He must be very rich — he drives a Ferrari.
  • have to — is more common in questions than must — Do we have to make a decision now?

Read these rules of a timeshare* vacation club. Then answer the questions below

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💡A timeshare is the right to use holiday accommodation for a specific amount of time each year.


Example: 1. (Yes/No) Can you be a member if you earn $50,000?

Match each of these sentences to a suitable ending

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Write an advice sheet on how to be a good salesperson, including the qualities you need to succeed. Try to recall the information from the texts

You must sound and appear confident.

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Which of these rules do you agree or disagree with?

  1. Be friendly.
  2. Have clear aims.
  3. Tell the other side what you want.
  4. Listen carefully.
  5. Be strong and try to win.
  6. Ask a lot of questions.
  7. Prepare carefully before you negotiate.
  8. Have a lot of options.
  9. Pay attention to the other side’s body language.
  10. Don’t change your plan during the meeting.
  11. Never be the first to make an offer.
  12. Ask three of your own questions.
  13. From time to time summarise the points you agree on.
  14. Change your strategy during the negotiation if necessary.
  15. Never show any emotion.

Match each sentence to the meaning expressed by the modal in italics

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Choose the correct word

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Match the sentence halves


Complete the table with the correct forms of the verb have to

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Complete the online order form with items from the box

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These phrases are often used when replying to an order. Complete them


Choose one from each pair of items to complete this formal e-mail

We look forward to doing / We hope we can do,
Hugs, / Yours sincerely,
things / goods,
Dear / Hello,
Thanks / Thank you,
We confirm / Just to say

Read this article from the Financial Times and select its central idea

The days of amateur selling are over

By Stefan Stern

Don’t you just love it when you come through the arrivals gate at the airport and you see a driver there waiting for you, holding up a board with your name on it? How much is that service worth to you? If it is a business trip and your company is paying, do you know what price you will be charged?

I didn’t think so. The individual customer doesn’t have this sort of information. The travel department in your company can handle it. But what if the travel agency that they are buying from doesn’t know the price either? Good news for your company’s purchasing department: they can get a better all-in deal. But the travel agency, through its amateur approach to buying and selling, is throwing away a large amount of money.

That is the story of a real travel business as told to me by Michael Moorman, head of ZS Associates, a Chicago-based sales and marketing consultancy. Mr Moorman is critical of some of the old-fashioned, amateur selling techniques that go on in many businesses, that are unsuited to today’s commercial environment.

A new report from the UK’s Cranfield School of Management has also described some of the problems. «The average sales person is a pleasant individual who knows a lot about their products,» the report says, «but is not able to show how their products are different from the competition, or to solve the customer’s problems .» This game has changed. «Today sales people have to go in and negotiate with professional negotiators,» Mr Moorman says. «You have to be able to speak the language of finance.» It is not good enough to be a «born salesman» any more. It is the smart salesmen and women who will keep their businesses afloat in the months ahead.



Complete the table with the words from paragraphs 4 and 5

A new report from the UK’s Cranfield School of Management has also described some of the problems. «The average sales person is a pleasant individual who knows a lot about their products,» the report says, «but is not able to show how their products are different from the competition, or to solve the customer’s problems .»

This game has changed. «Today sales people have to go in and negotiate with professional negotiators,» Mr Moorman says. «You have to be able to speak the language of finance.» It is not good enough to be a «born salesman» any more. It is the smart salesmen and women who will keep their businesses afloat in the months ahead.



Put these pieces of information in the order they appear in these paragraphs

A new report from the UK’s Cranfield School of Management has also described some of the problems. «The average sales person is a pleasant individual who knows a lot about their products,» the report says, «but is not able to show how their products are different from the competition, or to solve the customer’s problems .»

This game has changed. «Today sales people have to go in and negotiate with professional negotiators,» Mr Moorman says. «You have to be able to speak the language of finance.» It is not good enough to be a «born salesman» any more. It is the smart salesmen and women who will keep their businesses afloat in the months ahead.

Professional salespeople…

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Listen to the interview with Indira Thambiah, Head of E-Commerce at Argos, and complete the sentences

Interviewer: Argos sells goods in its high-street stores and online. How do you run these operations successfully side by side?
Indira Thambiah: The key to our success is that we treat the customer as a single individual, and we don’t treat customers as online customers or store customers. Our experience shows that customers will sometimes buy online, sometimes order on the telephone and sometimes go into the stores to pick up goods. So we need to understand what our customers want at any one time or what our customers want depending on the product that they’re buying, and serve those customers in the most appropriate way. In terms of our operation, our operations are fully integrated. The prices that we show on the website are identical to the prices that you would pay in the store. You can call up a call centre and enquire about an order that you, you placed through any channel, whether that’s the store, the website or the telephone. And if you buy something from the website and you don’t like what you’ve got, you can return that item to a store. So running a multi-channel operation is the key to our success. We don’t run operations side by side; we run a truly integrated multi-channel offer.


Here are some of the keys to successful online selling, in Indira’s experience. Listen to the second part of the interview and put each point in the order she mentions them

Interviewer: What do you think are the keys to success in online selling?
Indira Thambiah: I think the, the most important thing is to understand that customers use websites for lots of different reasons. Some people are coming to a website to actually buy something on that day; um, other people, uh, and a lot of people, are coming to a website to acquire information either about a product, um, or about the retailer, um, and the key to selling online is to understand or recognise what the customer wants when they’re on your website and try and provide that information. So the keys for us are providing good images and good information — technical information on all of the products that we sell; being very clear about the price of the product and any promotions that are running alongside those products; being very clear to the customer about what the delivery options are for each individual product; and then, allowing them to find all of that information and then buy once they’re ready.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Sales skills
  • Women on top
  • Art of selling
  • Modal verbs
  • Advice sheet
  • Negotiating
  • Modals
  • Modals 2
  • Placing an order
  • Replying to an order
  • The art of selling
  • Selling online
  1. 1. Business|Adults|Intermediate|1. Career moves
  2. 2. Business|Adults|Intermediate|2. Changing jobs
  3. 3. Business|Adults|Intermediate|3. Case study: Recruiting
  4. 4. Business|Adults|Intermediate|4. Describing companies
  5. 5. Business|Adults|Intermediate|5. Making sales
  6. 6. Business|Adults|Intermediate|6. Sales skills
  7. 7. Business|Adults|Intermediate|7. Partnership
  8. 8. Business|Adults|Intermediate|8. Working across the cultures. Revision
  9. 9. Business|Adults|Intermediate|9. New ideas
  10. 10. Business|Adults|Intermediate|10. Successful meetings
  11. 11. Business|Adults|Intermediate|11. Stress in the workplace
  12. 12. Business|Adults|Intermediate|12. Business owners feeling stress
  13. 13. Business|Adults|Intermediate|13. Participating in discussion
  14. 14. Business|Adults|Intermediate|14. Eating and drinking
  15. 15. Business|Adults|Intermediate|15. Corporate entertainment
  16. 16. Business|Adults|Intermediate|16. Organising a conference
  17. 17. Business|Adults|Intermediate|17. Doing business internationally
  18. 18. Business|Adults|Intermediate|18. New business
  19. 19. Business|Adults|Intermediate|19. Business ideas
  20. 20. Business|Adults|Intermediate|20. Suitable location
  21. 21. Business|Adults|Advanced|1. Good communicators
  22. 22. Business|Adults|Advanced|10. Working across cultures
  23. 23. Business|Adults|Advanced|11. What makes people successful
  24. 24. Business|Adults|Advanced|12. The greatest achievements
  25. 25. Business|Adults|Advanced|13. A sponsorship deal
  26. 26. Business|Adults|Advanced|14. Job motivation
  27. 27. Business|Adults|Advanced|15. Job satisfaction
  28. 28. Business|Adults|Advanced|16. Relationships at work
  29. 29. Business|Adults|Advanced|17. Taking risks
  30. 30. Business|Adults|Advanced|4. Marketing and partnerships
  31. 31. Business|Adults|Advanced|18. Insuring trade risk
  32. 32. Business|Adults|Advanced|19. Evaluating risks
  33. 33. Business|Adults|Advanced|2. E-mail: for and against
  34. 34. Business|Adults|Advanced|20. Working across cultures 2
  35. 35. Business|Adults|Advanced|3. The price of success
  36. 36. Business|Adults|Advanced|6. Going global
  37. 37. Business|Adults|Advanced|5. Marketing internationally
  38. 38. Business|Adults|Advanced|7. Describing relations
  39. 39. Business|Adults|Advanced|8. How East is meeting West
  40. 40. Business|Adults|Advanced|9. Building customer loyalty
  41. 41. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|1. Brand management
  42. 42. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|10. Case study 4: Relocation
  43. 43. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|11. Cultural differences
  44. 44. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|12. Case study 5
  45. 45. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|13. Employing the right people
  46. 46. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|14. Case study 6: Fast fitness
  47. 47. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|15. Revision 2
  48. 48. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|16. Free trade
  49. 49. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|17. Training for Negotiating
  50. 50. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|18. Right or Wrong?
  51. 51. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|19. Ethics and Companies
  52. 52. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|2. Building luxury brands
  53. 53. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|20. Revision 3
  54. 54. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|4. What business travellers want
  55. 55. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|3. Case study 1: Hudson Inc.
  56. 56. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|5. Case study 2: Solving problems
  57. 57. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|9. Company structure
  58. 58. GE|Adults|Upper-Int|20. Business and advertising
  59. 59. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|6. Helping companies to change
  60. 60. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|7. Case study 3: Acquisition
  61. 61. Business|Adults|Upper-Intermediate|8. Revision 1: Polite "No"
  62. 62. IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 3|2. Time for a change. Business and marketing