Business English lesson 10 : Attending a meeting

Beginner level / CECR : A2/B1

1st Part

2nd Part

3rd Part

4th Part

5th Part

6th Part

Read the following text

Chris: Now you all know why I’ve called this meeting. Uh… Sales figures for our region are down and we need to address this as soon as we can. So, I’d like to start by asking Maya to explain the figures, OK Maya?

Maya: Thanks Chris. Well, I’ve prepared some handouts to show you how the figures are looking, if we look at sales year to date. So, in order to meet our budget this year, we will, in my opinion, have to start some cost-saving measures.

Chris: Okay, thanks Maya. Look!  Cost-cutting is something that we need to think about, but we also need to stop the downturn in sales and regain market share. So, Stephen, can I bring you in here? Any comments?

Stephen: Well, it’s hard to know what the problem is. Our products are competitive

Chris: So, they’re not getting better offers from the competition.

Stephen: I don’t think so. 

Chris: Okay, thanks Stephen, that was all useful information. So, Deirdre, can we turn to you now? Do you have any ideas why this downturn is happening?

Deirdre: Well, it’s true we can observe a decrease in sales in our region, there’s also been an increase in customers cancelling new contracts within 14 days.

Chris: Do you know why? Do the customers say why they don’t like our offers? I personally feel that this is vital information, I mean… 

Deirdre: if I can finish what I was saying, procedures from first contact to after sales care.  I mean, perhaps, it would be a good idea to start with that and see if the sales figures improve.

Chris: Thanks Deirdre. What do you two think of that?

Maya:  Can I make another suggestion? I think we need to see the whole picture from the customer’s point of view. A customer survey, perhaps…. Actually, I was thinking about hiring an external researcher, get a neutral view on our position in the market and customers views on us. 

Chris: Oh, I like that idea. I think it could be very useful information. Do you agree in principle, though, that we need to understand the cause of the problem.

Deirdre: Yes, I suppose so.

Chris: Good. Stephen, could you look for a market research company we could work with on this?  

Stephen: Sure. 

Chris: Great. Well, let’s move on to 

1️⃣ Learn the vocabulary:

a number, especially one which forms part of official statistics or relates to the financial performance of a company
(Traduction : chiffres)

number, digit, numeral, symbol

to think about a problem or a situation and decide how you’re going to deal with it.
(Traduction : s’occuper de)

to deal with, to handle, to tackle 

a document that is distributed to each person in a meeting. 
(Traduction: polycopié)

brochure, leaflet

reduction of the amount of money spent on something
(Traduction: réduction des coûts)

cutbacks, reduction of costs

the number of products or services that a company sells compared to the number that other companies sell
(Traduction : une part de marché)

a part of the market

make or become smaller or fewer in size, amount, intensity, or degree.(Traduction: baisse)

reduce, drop, downturn


any support provided to a customer after a product or a service has already been purchased.
(Traduction : SAV : Service Après Vente)

customer support

to put forward an idea or a plan for other people to think about.
(Traduction: suggérer)

to make a suggestion, propose, recommend

an investigation of the opinions, behaviour, etc…of a particular group of people by asking questions
(Traduction : une enquête)

a poll

2️⃣ Read, listen and repeat the following sentences:

We need to address that as soon as we can.

Traduction : Nous devons y remédier dès que possible

It is true we can observe a decrease in sales.

Traduction : Il est vrai que nous pouvons observer une baisse des ventes.

I’d like to suggest we review our customer accounts.

Traduction : J’aimerais suggérer que nous examinions nos comptes clients.

Can I make another suggestion?

Traduction : Puis-je faire une autre suggestion ?

We need to see the whole picture from the customer views on us.

Traduction : Nous devons avoir une vue d’ensemble de l’opinion des clients à notre égard.

3️⃣ Written comprehension