Module 5- Task 1: Activity 3: Talking business with potential customers 

Downloadable version of Activity 3a

Downloadable version of Activity 3b

Downloadable version of Activity 3d

You can access this activity on Moodle from here.

Activity 3: Talking business with potential customers 

Phoning customers is one of the most common tasks Ss will have to perform in their future business careers. They need to know how to do it in accordance with business etiquette as well as language rules (formality). In this activity Ss will phone their potential customers to ask them about their needs.


Input materials. Ss are asked to revise what they know about making phone calls before coming to class:

  1. Essential  Business English – a telephone call:

Essential Business English – a telephone call [15 min] Module 5-Task 1-Activity 3a Interactive option available

  1. Revise vocabulary connected with making phone calls [15 min] Module 5-Task 1-Activity 3b


Instructional strategies:

  1. T stresses the need for the right level of formality in business phone conversations. T points out language use that contributes to the level of formality [10 min]:
  • using modal verbs could, would, can when making a request
  • using thank you and please phrases when asking for or receiving help
  • using modal verbs to show politeness
  • using more formal phrases eg. to return a call to ring smb. back etc.
  1. Ss check if they can distinguish between formal and formal phrases used in phone conversations [10 min] Module 5-Task 1-Activity 3d
  2. T asks Ss about their ideas of how to make a customer want to answer the needs questionnaire – what kind of incentives can be used? They should write their ideas in [10 min]
  3. Pair work: Ss prepare a phone conversation script between a product manufacturer and a customer in which a product manufacturer will assess customer’s needs [20 min]
  1. Role-play: in front of the group each pair plays out a conversation according to the script they have prepared before. Other Ss make notes on what they like/do not like about the conversations. [15 min]
  2. T asks for the feedback and a discussion follows [15 min.]


Estimated timing for activity 3:   

In class: 80 min.

Out of class: 30 min