A handover conversation

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    Transcript: A handover conversation

    Hello, this is Ken Taylor from London. Imagine a situation in which you are changing to another job in your organization. You need to brief your replacement on a key customer you deal with. What should that briefing be like? Here’s a five-step process you can use, based on Mike Hogan’s article in the latest Business Spotlight.

    We’ll go through the process step by step. First, take a few moments to think of a customer you have in your own work who you know very well. It could be an external or an internal customer. If necessary, pause the track while you are doing this.

    OK. Do you have a customer in mind? Good. I’ll tell you about each step in turn and then suggest what you should say to your replacement. You speak in the pause. Then you will hear a model version. Your version may well be different as you are talking about your own customer. OK? Let’s start.

    The first step is to give some background information.

    So, tell your new colleague that you want to give some background information about who the key customer is. Use the phrase, “Let me give you...”.
    → Let me give you some background information about this key customer.

    Now, say when you started working with the customer. Use the phrase, “We first started...”.
    → We first started working with the customer in 2010.

    Say how the collaboration has developed over the years. Use the phrase, “The collaboration has developed...”.
    → The collaboration has developed well over the years.

    OK, good. Now, step two is giving more specific information.

    Tell your replacement something your customer has done recently. Start with the phrase, “Recently, they have...”.
    → Recently, they have started selling in two new countries.

    Give an example of what you are doing with this customer at the moment. Start with the phrase, “At the moment, we have...”.
    → At the moment, we have a project helping them with their marketing.

    In step three, you need to talk about your customer’s priorities.

    So, tell your replacement what your customer’s top priority is at the moment. Start with the phrase, “Their top priority...”.
    → Their top priority at the moment is budget control.

    Now, give an example of an important thing that your customer expects you to do. Start with the phrase, “It’s important...”.
    → It’s important to visit them at least twice a month.

    Good. Step four is to talk about the future.

    Give an example of something your customer might be interested in doing. Start with the phrase, “In the future, ...”.
    → In the future, they want to expand into Asia.

    In step five, offer support to your replacement.

    Tell them to to get in touch (with sb.)sich (bei jmdm.) meldenget in touch if they have more questions. Use the phrase, “If you have more questions, ...”.
    → If you have more questions, please get in touch.

    Finally, tell them you’re happy to support them in the future.

    Use the phrase, “I’m more than to be happy to do sth.gern etw. tunhappy...”.
    → I’m more than happy to support you in the future.

    How was that? Not that easy, right? You can go over this exercise a few times, using different customers as your example, until you feel comfortable talking about your customers in this way.

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