English for entrepreneurs: your secret for talking to new clients.

By 25 August 2022 Non classé 3 Comments

If you have a business and you want to find international clients, you already know you need English. And did you know…a lot of smart, successful entrepreneurs are afraid that means getting perfect English? Or that they’ll never be able to do business in English.

If you feel that way–or have ever felt that way, you can relax. It’s a really common worry people have. And, lucky for you, it’s not true!

You can start doing business in English. You don’t have to be perfect to be good enough, or confident enough to do it. And…you can start with the English you have.

Remember, you just need to pick one thing that is important to your business. And small enough to change today. And that’s what today’s lesson is all about.

Today you’ll learn the number one skill you need to successfully and confidently contact new clients. And I’ll teach you the three things you need to say in those super-important first 10 minutes.  It’s easier than you think.

This lesson is part 2 of a series designed to help you find new clients–in English. If you missed part 1 of this series, be sure to check out the lesson: Why you need to speak English well when you have your own business.  

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so that you get an invitation to the next live masterclass that will help you contact new clients in English.

Take the quiz at the end of this lesson!

Did you know that I’ve created a quick and easy quiz to go with this lesson so that you can practice everything you see here today? I want you to make this part of the English you actually use in real life! To try out today’s quiz, just scroll down to the last section and you’ll find the instructions there…and the answers too!

What you’ll learn in this article:

1. Finding new clients in English: the first 10 minutes are key!🔑
2. Your conversation with your next client: say this first.
3.  English for Entrepreneurs: starting right also means CONFIDENCE.
4. Your conversation with your next client: don’t forget to say thank you.
5. Your conversation with your next client: ask about the other person!
6. A great conversation with your next client: practice it!

1. Finding new clients in English: the first 10 minutes are key!🔑

In last week’s blog post and video lesson we talked about how your English might be hurting your business and how you can fix that. We also talked about a former client of mine, we’ll call him Manuel. He had a lot of potential clients for his business in the States, but he was afraid to contact them–because of his English.

So how did Manuel solve his problem–and how can you solve yours?
Start by focusing on one extremely important new skill. One small thing that will have the most impact on your business.

If you want to start finding new clients, that one thing is the first 10 minutes of your business conversation.

Why are those first ten minutes so important?

And why am I 100% sure you can master this (if you have an intermediate level already)

Last time we learned that, in business communication, “The end depends on the beginning.” This is advice from an article called “The proper way to start a business conversation.” It’s advice for native speakers –because we need to remember this too!

It tells a story of the author visiting France, asking for directions…and not getting any. The person he asked told him that in France, you need to say “Bonjour” first!

The same is true in business with English speakers. There is a way to start a conversation that you shouldn’t forget if you want that conversation to end well. So this is a great example of something really important to learn.

Also check out my lesson: “Let’s touch base”: an English expression you can use.

2. Your conversation with your next client: say this first.

So, what’s the 1st thing you need to do correctly?
Greet the person--with the correct greeting.
Say one of these:
“Good morning” (or “Good afternoon”)
“Hi, it’s nice to see you!” 
Or simply: “Hello, how are you today?”

Does this sound easy? Too easy even?
Here’s why you should practice in advance anyway.

How do you feel when you get on Zoom and the pressure is on? You start to feel nervous.

You start to wonder…
Should I say “Hi!” or “Hello”, or “G’day mate!” or “Good afternoon” wait, is that too formal?

And then you’re stressed out and wondering if you’ve said the right thing.
Why do that to yourself?

Choose the greeting you want to use ahead of time and stick with it. That tiny, simple step will do a lot for your confidence. Speaking of confidence…

3. English for Entrepreneurs: starting right also means CONFIDENCE.

Creating a good business relationship with your new client is a really good reason to start your conversation correctly. But it’s not the only one! If you’re an entrepreneur who is also working on your English, knowing how to start can change everything for you. Why?

Because when you know exactly how to start a conversation,

  • You feel confident,
  • You can practice a few key phrases,
  • You won’t get stuck wondering what to say or searching for your words,
  • You won’t panic (which makes the rest of your conversation really hard!)

This is a secret I’d like to share with you after working with many business owners and entrepreneurs like Manuel. It works anytime you want to get ready for a conversation that’s important to your business.

When you start out with confidence, the rest of the conversation is much easier.

And…everything is much easier when you start with something small and doable.

Also check out my lesson: How to be more confident speaking English

4. Your conversation with your next client: don’t forget to say “thank you.”

Next, take a moment to thank the other person.

The person you’re speaking with most likely agreed to take time in their busy schedule to meet with you and hear what you have to say. It’s so easy to do, but don’t forget to say thanks!

You could say,

“Thanks so much for meeting with me.”


“Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.”

It seems simple, because it IS. And yet, many, many people forget to say “thank you.”  Including advanced speakers of English and native speakers.

Practice starting your conversations this way every time and you will feel more confident, make a better impression on your client and you’ll get the habit of always starting your business conversations the right way.

Are You an Entrepreneur Who Needs English for Your Business?

Then you need these emails!  Get  “8 Must-Have Emails for Entrepreneurs–in English.” 

5. Your conversation with your next client: ask about the other person!

One thing Manuel had to work on was not just speaking English–it was communicating the right way in a business situation.

A lot of people get directly down to business. They don’t stop to talk about the person they’re talking to. And that is how you can make the difference.

Maybe before your meeting, you looked at your client’s LinkedIn profile, or read their website. You just need to think of one question you can ask about their recent activity. Use one of these for inspiration:

If they announced a new product on LinkedIn, for example you could say…

“I saw on LinkedIn you’re getting ready to launch a new product. How is that going?”

Or maybe their company recently posted information that’s relevant to their clients. You could say…

“I noticed your company recently posted about security for international companies, what a great topic.” 

If the person you’re talking to mentioned they were attending a conference or traveling for business, you could ask them about that:

“I saw that you went to the CES in Las Vegas last month–how did that go?

Also check out my lesson: Entrepreneur Vocabulary in English

6. A great conversation with your next client: practice it!

People I’ve seen, like Manuel, do something really important after preparing for that first meeting. They practice. You could practice by trying this in front of the mirror, or recording yourself. Even better, find a friend to “role play” it with you.

I’ve worked with a lot of people, like Manuel, and like you. Maybe you think you can’t reach out to new clients in English.

Or you’re afraid to do it, because you think your English isn’t good enough. And do you know what?

I’ve seen a lot of people feel that way too, and then learn how to do it–like Manuel. And I know you can too.

Yes, it takes work, but as a business owner, I know you’re not afraid of working.

Yes, you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone–but if you couldn’t do that, I doubt you’d be in business!

You’ll need to be willing to try something new…again, as an entrepreneur, you’ve got that covered!

Contacting your next client in English is one of the most important steps you can take to growing your business. And it’s a LOT easier when you know what to do.  Let’s work together to make that happen.

Your quiz for the week: practice for your next great conversation!

Do something simple to test your knowledge and help you remember the first things you need to say in the first 10 minutes of your conversation. (Note: in a real-life conversation, you’ll leave some time for the person you’re speaking with to answer. And you’ll listen 😉)

For this quiz, just focus on what you’ll need to say–and put the following introductions in a logical order:

How did that go for you?
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
Good morning!
I saw your company just launched its new accounting software in English.

Thank you so much for setting up this meeting.
Hello, how are you doing?
That must be keeping your team busy.
I noticed on LinkedIn that your company is rolling out a new App.

Improve your English in the comments

The best way to become more confident using Business English is to practice!
Here’s your Confidence Challenge for this week:

  1. Share one time in your life when you did something that you were previously too afraid to do.
  2. Tell us about it in the comments so we can remember that we can feel afraid and still do great things.

If you learned something from this lesson, please share it with your coworkers & friends. You can send your message to them in English for more practice!

Click here to share this article on LinkedIn
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Are You an Entrepreneur Who Needs English for Your Business? Then you need these emails!

We asked our community of entrepreneurs about the emails they need to send NOW to grow their businesses. These are the emails they need to make new contacts, and turn them into clients…or maybe just get paid for the work you did!

We also asked our entrepreneurs what business emails were the hardest to write.

Then, we created 8 perfect email models so that you can write an email that is effective and polite–fast. Because you need email to start a conversation with your international clients.

And because you shouldn’t have to spend an hour writing an email in English–and then wondering if you said that right.

Get  “8 Must-Have Emails for Entrepreneurs–in English.” 

…and write emails that can change your business today.

More good stuff…

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