English at Work
Doing your homework
Episode 170426 / 26 Apr 2017
After Anna and Tom's dinner date, the idea for a new plastic vegetable is developing in Anna's mind. But before she can pitch the proposal to Paul she is going to need to do some thorough research!
Language to use in customer research
This episode focuses on the language you need to carry out customer research.
Phrases from the programme:
- Could I ask for your opinion on a new product we are hoping to develop?
- What plastic products do you currently use?
- What products would you like to see us sell in the future?
- How do you feel about the idea of selling plastic vegetables?
- Any particular vegetable you would like to see?
What did the first company that Anna called sell?
The answer is at the bottom of the transcript below:
Hello again. Last time on English at Work, we heard Anna leaving Tom crying into his cold pizza. He may not have had the evening he was expecting, but for Anna it was a huge success. She came up with an idea for a new plastic vegetable and now she needs to pitch it to Paul, the boss.
… so I think I'll go for the blue, Marge, it matches my eyes… well almost…
Oh, hello Anna …yes, Anna, bright girl, what she sees in Tom I'll never know… what?!... ha, ha, I'm sure you would…
Oh hi Tom. You're in early.
Uh? Oh yeah, couldn't sleep after you'd left.
Tom, it was a fantastic night – unforgettable in fact. Thanks so much.
Did you hear that Marge? She said it was 'unforgettable'! Looks like they're getting very serious…
You're such a gossip, Denise. The only thing Anna is serious about is her new idea. How's it going Anna?
I'm really excited about launching a new product, although Tom doesn't seem so keen.
Don't worry about him. You need to concentrate on convincing Paul that your new idea will bring in the business.
You need to pitch the idea to him but before that, you need to do some research.
Yes, of course – research – but how do I do that?
Check out the competition, work out some costs and find out what new product people would really like to see. Why not do a customer survey?!
A customer survey. Right. But what should I ask?
Say: 'Could I ask for your opinion on a new product we are hoping to develop?' 'What plastic products do you currently use?', 'What products would you like us to make in the future?', 'How do you feel about the idea of selling plastic vegetables?', 'Any particular vegetable you would like to see?'
OK, so it's like a questionnaire. I need to do some cold calling again!
I think I'm going to need some help with this. Tom, Denise, have you got time to help me… please?
Of course Anna.
Yeah, well it's a bit tricky with my… ouch… sprained arm. But go on. As it's you.
Thanks. We need to call up some companies and find out how interested they would be in buying plastic vegetables.
Oh lovely. I love talking to people on the phone.
You certainly do Denise!
Good Denise. If you work your way through our business directory, call our existing customers and ask these questions.
I'll get onto it straight away.
Great, and Tom, could you help me by cold calling some new businesses?
Oh yeah sure. I've got loads of contacts.
I suppose I had better make some calls too. Hmm, let's try this one. 7-4-3-9-1-0-0
Hello. Plastic Purr-fection. Can I help you?
Oh hi. I'm Anna from Tip Top Trading, we make and sell plastic fruits. I'm trying some to get some opinions on a new product we're trying to develop. Can you spare a few minutes to help me?
Well I'm quite busy at the moment but I'll try and help.
Thank you. I'll be as quick as I can. Firstly, what plastic products do you use at the moment?
All sorts – plastic balls, plastic fish, plastic mice…
Plastic mice?! Oh, I see. And… errr… what sort of things would you like us to sell… in the future?
Let's think… erm … more squeaky toys.
Squeaky toys?! What about plastic vegetables?
Do they squeak?
Err, not really. I think there might be some confusion here. Do you use plastic fruits in restaurants and shops?
No. We just sell plastic toys… for cats, hence the name 'plastic purr-fection'.
Oh I see, ha, ha. A good name, but, I'm sorry you're not really the business I was looking for. Thanks for your time anyway. Bye.
Bye. Get down Tiddles!
Uh-oh Anna. It's a good idea to check exactly what type of business you are calling before carrying out your survey. Better luck next time! If you're doing some research and want to get the opinions of your customers, here's a reminder of the questions you could ask:
Could I ask for your opinion on a new product we are hoping to develop?
What plastic products do you currently use?
What products would you like to see us sell in the future?
How do you feel about the idea of selling plastic vegetables?
Any particular vegetable you would like to see?
Let's find out how the team is getting on.
That was fun. I called 10 companies, asked them your questions – one man asked me out for dinner – anyway, I've created a database and put all the information there.
Well I've called 20 companies and they all say plastic vegetables would be a great addition to their range… especially aubergines!
Great. Well, I had some success too so I'll put all the results in that database. Thanks everyone. Oh no… what's happened? Denise! Denise! Everything's disappeared off the computer!
Hey, my computer's gone blank. We've lost all our documents!
Oh no a computer crash! Has Tip Top Trading lost all its valuable information? Find out next time in English at Work. Bye!
Listening challenge - answer
What did the first company that Anna called sell?
Plastic toys for cats.
تازه ترین English at Work
Episode 171004 / 04 Oct 2017
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Episode 170927 / 27 Sep 2017
Just as Tom leaves to start a new life in Australia, Anna realises her true feelings. Will she be able to catch him before he's gone for good?
Episode 170920 / 20 Sep 2017
Tom's walked out after Anna rejected his marriage proposal. Will things at Tip Top Trading ever be the same again?
Episode 170913 / 13 Sep 2017
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Episode 170906 / 06 Sep 2017
It's decision time for Anna! Will she accept the offer to become the new boss at Tip Top Trading?
Episode 170830 / 30 Aug 2017
Paul's been sacked from Tip Top Trading. Mr Socrates is about to make Anna an offer she can't refuse – will she accept it?
Episode 170823 / 23 Aug 2017
With the new plastic aubergine finally launched, things should be looking up at Tip Top Trading. But someone's about to lose their job! Who will it be?
Episode 170816 / 16 Aug 2017
Tip Top Trading finally launch the plastic aubergine. But will the presentation of their new product go according to plan?
Episode 170809 / 09 Aug 2017
The team are getting ready to launch their new product and there's lots to do. Will they get things done on time?
Episode 170802 / 02 Aug 2017
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Episode 170726 / 26 Jul 2017
Denise is back at Tip Top Trading, but not everything is going smoothly! Will Anna be able to get everyone organised?
Episode 170719 / 19 Jul 2017
Denise is back – and she's going to take on more responsibility. Will Anna be able to help her settle in and show her the ropes in her new role?
Episode 170712 / 12 Jul 2017
Tip Top Trading is in chaos! The place is a mess and important messages are being lost. Paul may have to eat humble pie to make things better!
Episode 170705 / 05 Jul 2017
Chaos at Tip Top Trading! Denise has left and things are getting busy! How will the team cope being one member down?
Episode 170628 / 28 Jun 2017
It's Denise's last day at Tip Top Trading and she's worried about the future. Hopefully Anna can give her some good careers advice!
Episode 170621 / 21 Jun 2017
Anna's consulting the development team about her plastic aubergines. Will they understand the project?
Episode 170614 / 14 Jun 2017
Triumphant Tip Top Trading are back from the awards ceremony, but it's not all good news!
Episode 170607 / 07 Jun 2017
It's award time at the International Plastics Convention! Will Anna and the Tip Top Trading team win the prize?
Episode 170531 / 31 May 2017
The International Plastics Convention is here and the Tip Top Trading team are looking to promote their business. Will Anna be able to network effectively?
Episode 170524 / 24 May 2017
Anna's in charge following Paul's biscuit-related accident, but things are about to take a turn for the worse. How will she and Tom deal with a mysterious note they find in the office?
Episode 170517 / 17 May 2017
Paul's gone missing after he went to a biscuit convention. Anna and the others at Tip Top Trading have been left on their own – who will step up and take charge?
Episode 170510 / 10 May 2017
It's time for Anna to pitch her idea for a new plastic vegetable product to her boss Paul. Will she be able to capture his attention and get her idea off the ground?
Episode 170503 / 03 May 2017
Crisis at Tip Top Trading! Something's happened to the computers and everyone's work has disappeared! Anna needs tech support but can she say the right things to get them to help?
Episode 170426 / 26 Apr 2017
Anna is developing her idea for a new plastic vegetable. But has she considered all the information before she pitches the idea to her boss Paul? She's going to have to do some proper research before she can!
Episode 170419 / 19 Apr 2017
Anna and Tom are finally on their dinner date! Tom has romance on his mind but Anna is thinking about something else entirely – putting together a perfect business proposal!
Episode 170412 / 12 Apr 2017
Tom's had an accident! Can Anna find the right language to use to sort out health and safety problems at work? Find out!
Episode 170405 / 05 Apr 2017
It's time for Anna's appraisal - a chance to review how things are going and to set some challenges for the year ahead. But will Anna like what Paul has to say?
Episode 170329 / 29 Mar 2017
New recruit Rachel has been making life difficult for Anna and she's been making some bad business decisions. It's time for discipline and someone to give her a warning!
Episode 170322 / 22 Mar 2017
Tense times at Tip Top Trading! Anna is having trouble working with new employee Rachel, who's making some big mistakes. What can Anna do before Rachel goes too far?
Episode 170315 / 15 Mar 2017
Anna's struggling to work with Rachel, the new member of staff at Tip Top Trading. She's becoming more and more difficult and Anna will have to deal with it soon!
Episode 170308 / 08 Mar 2017
Anna's back from her French trip, so things should be going well at Tip Top Trading. But there's a new person coming in to work – will she and Anna get on with each other?
Episode 170301 / 01 Mar 2017
Anna and Tom have managed to complete a lucrative deal selling their Imperial Lemons. But not everything is going so well – their flight back to London has been cancelled! What will they do?
Episode 170222 / 22 Feb 2017
Anna and Tom are still in France trying clinch the deal with the French trader.Will they get him to sign the deal?
Episode 170215 / 15 Feb 2017
Anna and Tom are off to France to finalise a business deal. Will Anna manage to book the flight with Denise's help?
Episode 170208 / 08 Feb 2017
Can Anna renegotiate a deal with Tip Top Trading's customers in France?
Episode 170201 / 01 Feb 2017
Last time we left Anna and Tom locked in the stationery cupboard – will they escape and will Anna be able to secure a deal with a French company?
Episode 170125 / 25 Jan 2017
One of the companies Anna cold-called has got in touch! Will she get her negotiating hat on and get them to make an order?
Episode 170118 / 18 Jan 2017
Anna's making some cold calls to find new clients for Tip Top Trading. But will they warm to her approach?
Episode 170111 / 11 Jan 2017
After announcing a new strategy, Mr Socrates joins the team at the pub. But after a few beers he says some things he shouldn't!
Episode 170104 / 04 Jan 2017
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Episode 161228 / 28 Dec 2016
The big boss is visiting from America, and he's quite fussy about his hotel room. Looks like Anna has to do some complaining!
Episode 161221 / 21 Dec 2016
The boss is in town! Can Anna use the right language to book him a hotel room?
Episode 161214 / 14 Dec 2016
Emergency! There's a fire at Tip Top Trading! Will Anna be able to use the right phrases in this tricky situation?
Episode 161207 / 07 Dec 2016
Anna's been accused of smoking! Paul decides it's time to give his team a health and safety update!
Episode 161130 / 30 Nov 2016
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Episode 161123 / 23 Nov 2016
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Episode 161116 / 16 Nov 2016
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Episode 161109 / 09 Nov 2016
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Episode 161102 / 02 Nov 2016
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Episode 161026 / 26 Oct 2016
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Episode 161019 / 19 Oct 2016
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Episode 161012 / 12 Oct 2016
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Episode 161005 / 05 Oct 2016
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Episode 160928 / 28 Sep 2016
Anna's making her pitch to Mr Lime, but it's going wrong! How will she cope?
Episode 160921 / 21 Sep 2016
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Episode 160914 / 14 Sep 2016
Anna's been burning the candle at both ends. But will her efforts pay off?
Episode 160907 / 07 Sep 2016
The team get together to share ideas about the launch of a new product, but they can't agree!
Episode 160831 / 31 Aug 2016
Tip Top Trading's big boss has ordered a re-check of every order this month. How will Anna get on checking information with the warehouse staff?
Episode 160824 / 24 Aug 2016
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Episode 160817 / 17 Aug 2016
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Episode 160810 / 10 Aug 2016
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Meet Anna, Paul, Denise and Tom. English at Work focuses on English communication in the office. Join Neil in this special introductory programme as he finds out about the characters who work in the offices of Tip Top Trading.