Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios



LECCION 13 - PAGINA 2   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente



Listening and Checking with Transcription

In this third step, listen to the conversation again while you read the transcription. Finally, read the glossary information, phrasal verbs (highlighted in yellow) and notes at the bottom. This step also means good practice for your reading comprehension skills. To get information in Spanish, just place the arrow of your mouse on any highlighted word without clicking.

Dealing with an Important New Market


(John Martin is asked to come to Hector Grant's office) 


You wanted to see me, H.G.?


Yes, I did, John. I've just been going through the expenses you incurred on the Habraka trip. We haven't had a single order out of your visit to Habraka.


It's a bit, early to say, but I don't think the Habrakan visit will be fruitless.


You went there and we haven't heard a thing from them. What's our agent doing out there? Sleeping?


As a matter of fact, I think there may be something moving out there. We've been asked for a quotation for a very large order... office furniture and equipment for two entire government departments.


What are the chances of getting this large order? It's only an enquiry, isn't it?


No, it's more than that. We've already sent pro forma invoices so that the Ministry of Works can apply to the National Bank for foreign exchange. They want a reduction on our unit price per desk for a larger quantity than we originally quoted for, the price to be c.i.f. Djemsa.


... c.i.f. Djemsa. Two government departments, you said? Well, this sounds more like it.


It'd be the largest single order in the history of the firm. It's a package deal. We've costed it in detail. It's true we'd be below normal price levels, but we're up against big competition. We have the capacity to produce the order and it'd be in addition to the budgeted turnover for the year, so all recovery on marginal cost would be profit. I'm certain it'll lead to other orders in the country. Here's the letter.


"A representative of our Ministry of Works will be coming to London... obliged if you would book him accommodation... glad to visit your factory and view the merchandise... special requirements..." Here, what's this about "special requirements"? What do they mean by that?


I don't know, H.G. That's the one mystery. They mentioned it in their original letter of enquiry.


I don't much like the sound of that. What do they mean by "special requirements"? I suppose we'll soon find out. What's the method of payment?


We require an irrevocable letter of credit, confirmed on a London bank. We've quoted in local currency, and this, of course, is conditional. It's conditional on the rate of exchange which prevails on the date of our quotation not fluctuating more than three per cent either way. So we'd be protected if the Habrakan currency, for instance, was devalued in relation to sterling.


Hmm! Is Peter happy about delivery dates?


Yes, we can meet them. It's meant an immense amount of work in the production planning section.


Well, you'll arrange some sort of meeting for us all then? Have you booked their representative into a hotel?


Yes, I have, and I think we should provide a car and show him a bit of this country.


All right. But you'd better find out more about the special requirements. It may be some condition we can't fulfil, and I don't think...

(Mr. Babukar, the government representative, arrives and is entertained royally. His "special requirements" cause some difficulty. John goes to see Hector Grant)


A mahogany desk with built‑in cocktail cabinet, secret drawer and radio!! Leather top? Oh, really, John, what kind of firm does he think we are? Our business is mass produced office furniture!!


I said we'd make it. It's for the Minister's personal use. They are prepared to pay. It would be additional to the main contract.


Don't be ridiculous. We've dropped this sort of line from our range. That was part of our rationalisation policy.


Couldn't Bob Hardiman make it?


That old chap?


Yes. He's a master craftsman of the old school. Look at this beautiful desk he made for you. You said at the time we introduced work study, during the productivity drive, that he was redundant. Well, here's a job he can be really useful on, and he'd be delighted to do it. He'd produce a magnificent piece of furniture. It'd be the envy of all the Minister's visitors and a splendid advertisement for us.


Well, you have committed us to it, so we must go ahead, I suppose.






Amounts paid for goods and services that may be currently tax deductible (as opposed to capital expenditures). In general, this means any expenses incurred in running a business. Its more particular common use refers to money spent by an employee on behalf of his firm, which is later refunded. Someone who is frequently outside the office can be said to have an expense account, a salesman, for example (gastos).


Unproductive, unsuccessful (infructuoso, improductivo, de poco provecho).

as a matter of fact

Actually, in fact (en realidad).


A letter or email asking for prices and payment conditions and terms (consulta de precios y condiciones de pago).

pro forma invoice

Invoice (factura): a list of goods supplied, with prices and charges. Pro forma invoice (factura proforma): a sample invoice sent to a potential buyer so that he can see clearly what his total costs will be; also sent in advance to a new client, or one whose references are not satisfactory, informing him that goods will be delivered only on receipt of payment.


A contract in which the payment for the goods includes cost, insurance and freight (costo, seguro y flete).
f.o.b. - free on board (libre a bordo):
the cost of the goods includes all charges up to the time when the goods are put on board the ship. After that, the charges must be met by the buyer.
f.a.s. - free alongside ship (libre al costado del barco): the cost of the goods includes all charges up to the time when the goods are put on alongside the ship. After that, the charges must be met by the buyer.
f.o.r. - free on rail (libre puesto en vagón):
price quoted includes all costs until the goods arrive at a specified railway station

package deal

This expression refers to a contract for the bulk sale or purchase of a large variety of goods at a special all-in price. A typical example of this would be a firm grouping together items of high profit-margin with items of low profit-margin and letting one subsidise the sale of the other (oferta, paquete promocional).

to cost

to cost / costed / costed / costing: To calculate or estimate the price to be charged for an article, based on the expense of producing it (presupuestar). Please, do not mistake this regular verb for the irregular to cost (costar): to cost / cost / cost / costing (This computer costs/cost 3,000 dollars, Esta computadora cuesta/costó 3.000 dólares).

to be up against

To compete against, to be facing, to be opposite (competir con).

budgeted turnover

Turnover is the amount of business done, degree of business activity. Budgeted turnover: estimated turnover (movimiento o facturación estimada).

marginal cost

Marginal costing (costo marginal) is a method of calculating the product cost after excluding all costs which are unaffected by changes in the volume of output or production, for example, fixed costs (los costos fijos). It is almost synonymous with direct cost (ie. material and direct labour).

to find out

To search, to investigate (analizar, investigar);.

letter of credit

A foreign buyer transfers money to a bank in the exporter's country. This bank then informs the beneficiary (the person to whom the money is owed) that a sum of money is available when certain documents (e.g. a bill of lading) proving that the goods sold have been loaded on board a ship, are presented. Letters of credit are valid only for a certain time, after which they are said to have expired (carta de crédito).
Irrevocable letter of credit
(carta de crédito irrevocable): the agreement to pay a certain sum of money cannot be revoked (to revoke is to refuse to fulfil an obligation). It means that the buyer cannot change his mind if he decides that he does not want the goods.
Transferable letter of credit
(carta de crédito transferible): the amount agreed to be paid can be transferred to another person.

local currency

Also domestic currency. The metal or paper medium of exchange that is presently used in your country (moneda o divisa local); foreign currency (moneda o divisa extranjera): the official currency used in a foreign country.

rate of exchange

Also exchange rate. The charge for exchanging currency of one country for currency of another (tipo de cambio).

to fluctuate

To be unstable, to have ups and downs (fluctuar, variar).

to meet

To satisfy (in this context) (cumplir, satisfacer).


Wood of mahogany trees; much used for cabinetwork and furniture (madera de caoba).


Located inside the desk and built as a whole (empotrado).

leather top

The upper part of the desk built in leather (tapa del escritorio forrada en cuero).


The simplification of a business on logical lines, avoiding unnecessary work, actions or expenditure which usually produces higher organisation (racionalización).


Artisan (artesano).


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