Successful phone calls in English

Phone calls are now everyday tasks in a person’s job.

Whether you are a self-employed businessman or an employee at a firm, calling a business partner or assisting a client, you are required to be confident and fluent when interacting with other people. So your business English for telephone conversations have to be effective.

Here are 4 steps to follow in order to successfully start a business call:

1. Greeting: ordinary ways to greet someone on the phone, provided it is a business call, include “Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening”. Remember to avoid casual greetings such as “hi”, “hello”, and so on.
2. Thank you: phrases such as “Thank you for calling (company name)” lets the caller know that he/she has called the right, or the wrong, number.
3. Your name: identifying yourself is useful in a business context so that the caller(s) know who they have talked to. A typical way to do so is “This is (name)”.
4. Offer help: once you have answered the phone and introduced yourself, it is now time to see what you can do for the person on the other end. “How may I help you?” is a good, formal way in which you can offer help.

Sometimes making arrangements is tha goal of a conversation on the phone. Some making arrangements tips and useful phrases are the following:

  • For introducing the need of a meeting: “I’d like to arrange an appointment (or a meeting) with tyou (or with Mr./Mrs….)”
  • For defining the moment: “ll just look in the diary”, “When would it be convenient for you?”, “What time would you like to meet?”
  • For checking the understanding: “So shall we say Tuesday at 2:30?”

In concluding the call, remember to ask the best way in which you can contact your caller (be it email or phone call) and state what you will do (i.e. “I will do (XX) and contact you before (XX)”).

Remember to be formal, kind and professional to your client, be it a single person or a company with which you are making business. A good communication forms the basis of a long and trusty business relation.