Talking about your company on the phone
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When you are doing business with a new company, or when a company wants to do business with you, you have to find out as much as you can about them – or tell them about your company. This is often done on the phone. Here are some questions and answers you can use to ask about another company or to talk about your own.
Asking about companies
These phrases are all direct, polite and suitable for any business situation, either on the phone or face to face.
Can you tell me a little bit about your company?
What does your company do?
What business are you in?
So are you a retailer or wholesaler?
Giving general information
We’re in the stationery business. We supply all kinds of stationery made from recycled paper: printer paper, envelopes, labels, notebooks and so on.
We’re in the manufacturing sector. We make components for car production plants.
We’re in the health / service / education sector
We’re the largest cosmetics firm in Europe.
We’re the second-largest steel plant in the world.
We’re one of the biggest banks in Germany.
We’re a public limited company (plc).
Asking for more details
So what do you make, exactly?
What does that involve?
What do you specialise in?
And where do you get your raw materials from?
Where are your production facilities?
Where are your headquarters?
Do you have branches and subsidiaries?
Giving more detail
As well as supplying the computer industry we also sell raw material to the solar power sector.
We specialise in medium-size generators.
We import our raw materials from China.
We have factories / production facilities / plants in Germany, the UK and Poland.
We have three domestic plants, ten in other European countries and one in Australia.
Our headquarters are in Mannheim. We have branch offices in all major German cities and subsidiaries throughout Europe.
Note that when we talk about production, we use the simple present tense, “We make car parts,” “We manufacture medium-sized fans,” “We operate three
factories,” and not the present continuous (“We are making”). This is because we are describing a routine process.
Talking about markets and competition
Where are your biggest markets?
Who are your main competitors?
Our biggest markets are in Europe, but we are making inroads into China and India. Northern Europe is our biggest market, with Sweden accounting for twenty-four percent of sales and the rest of Scandinavia for a total of twenty percent.
Our main competitors are in Eastern Europe.
We can’t compete with Korea.
Talking about figures
How many people do you employ?
And when was the company set up/founded?
What’s your annual turnover?
We have about 3 000 employees worldwide.
We have just under 200 employees.
The original company was founded in 1984.
Our annual turnover last year was just under four billion dollars.