With so many different rules and odd words, English can seem like a complex language to learn – especially for the business world. But, if you’ve made it this far, you probably have a good grasp on it, so now it’s time to learn some advanced business words.
To play with the big boys (and girls), you’ll need some big words to go with it. So, let’s get to it!
11 words and phrases to learn for advanced business English
The English vocabulary below will often come up in business meetings, so to stay in the loop, and possibly even earn yourself a promotion, it’s highly worthwhile to get familiar with them as soon as possible.
Marketing is defined as the promotion of a product, service, or business. Sometimes, marketing can even mean promoting oneself as in “I’m on LinkedIn marketing myself to potential employers.” Without marketing, a business might not survive.
In today’s digital world, online marketing such as the very blog you’re reading right now has become essential to business. Instagram Ads that you scroll through on your feed or magazine advertisements are all forms of marketing that attempt to persuade you to take an action on behalf of that company. If you’re learning Business English, marketing is likely one of the most common terms you’ll hear.
2. As far as I’m concerned
“As far as I’m concerned” is a phrase that means, “in my perspective” or “in my opinion”, which is then followed by an opinion. You might hear someone in a meeting say something like, “as far as I’m concerned, the case is closed” or, “as far as I’m concerned, that’s okay with me.” As far as I’m concerned might often be interchanged with, “as far as I know.”
One thing to mention here: this phrase should be used a bit carefully, because you can say it before presenting a negative opinion, so be sure to take note of the tone you use in order not to cause offense.
3. Get the ball rolling
Although that’d be hilarious, “Get the ball rolling” does not mean to roll a bowling ball. Simply put, it means to get started with something.
Visualise you’re in a business meeting with a conversation like this:
Kevin: “Alright, we have three client projects that have upcoming deadlines.”
Amy: “That’s correct, we have a week to get it all done.”
Kevin: “Okay then… let’s get the ball rolling!”
4. Cold call
“Cold call” is a phrase that means to reach out to someone you don’t know personally and solicit them with a business service or product, and is a typical phrase used in sales departments. Nowadays, businesses might also refer to cold emails or cold outreach, which are all different avenues for the same purpose: to sell stuff.
The word leverage has multiple meanings but in the business and finance world, it means to maximise your resources to make profit quickly. I first heard of it in the book, “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker.
Imagine this: you get to the hotel and you use a cart to transport all your heavy luggage to your room. The cart is leverage. The cart is maximising the resources in the hotel to get the job done more efficiently.
So, what’s one thing you can leverage as you enter the English-speaking business environment? Your business English language skills!
6. Skill set
This is the set of abilities you have such as creativity, teamwork, or adaptability. One might refer to a skill set when talking about a CV or whether or not someone is a good fit for a project.
Speaking multiple languages is definitely something you’d want to add to your skill set – especially because it can give your business career a huge boost!
7. Low-hanging fruit
Low-hanging fruit means pursuing something that is obtained with minimal effort. For example, if you find a luscious apple tree on a hike, and see crisp apples on all parts of the tree, chances are you’ll pick one from the lowest point that you could reach. That my friend is exactly why this metaphor means pursuing the easiest route first to get results quickly – just in the context of the business world.
8. Helicopter view
This might refer to the view you see from a small aeroplane but in business terms, it mentions viewing a project or business venture at a glance. Another synonym for this phrase is “the big picture”, as in to holistically look at something as opposed to looking in detail.
9. Pain point
This pertains to a problem that a customer has that is solved by a company’s product or service. For instance, let’s say Amanda’s kids only eat vegan food but she doesn’t have time to sort through a grocery store with her busy career. So, a company created a vegan shipping service where they deliver pre-arranged vegan meals just for kids. That company would focus on the customers’ pain point (no time to find vegan food) to promote their service.
10. USP or unique selling point
This is a statement that describes how different or unique a company is. If you’re a chocolate lover you may have heard this one…“the milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” M&M prides itself on having creamy chocolate without the mess due to its outside protective layer, so that is their product’s USP.
A brand is a compilation of characteristics that make up a company, basically like a business identity. This could be how a company makes its customers feel, or visual assets. For example, if you see a black check mark on a gym shoe, you most likely would associate that with Nike.
Now that you have greater knowledge of English business-related vocabulary, you’re ready to crush your next meeting! I wish you all the best!