It’s fairly true that our means of communication has shifted greatly over the past few years. Smartphone technology and instant chat apps have urged us to take to texting, sharing GIFs, sending voice chats or photos to all the people we’d like to keep in contact with. So phone conversations have taken quite a quick decline.

But… there is one instance where phone conversions need to take place and probably will on a day-to-day basis: business.

Whether it’s a phone interview or a simple conversation with a client, getting your message across clearly and accurately requires a few key expressions to keep the conversation active and professional. Here are a few of them:

Introducing yourself

There are many ways of introducing yourself in a professional conversation;

Outward calls from a company: “Good morning/afternoon Mr/Ms Smith, this is Alice from Phonebox, is this a good time to speak to you?”

You can even choose to state your full name if you want to sound more formal.

Receiving calls at a company: “Good morning/afternoon Phonebox, Alice speaking, how may I help you?”

It is always important to state the company name and your own name in the introduction whenever you answer a call at work.

Asking who’s on the phone

It happens quite often, you pick up the phone and either miss the caller’s name or find that they’ve never introduced themselves; here are your options;

  • Excuse me, who is this?
  • May (Can) I ask who is calling, please?

If you’re answering calls for your employer, remember to get the caller’s name for future queries or reconnections.

Asking for someone on the phone

There will be instances where you need to ask for someone to come to the phone. This happens rather often when you call a company and require a specific individual; here are a few examples on how you can ask:

  • Can I connect to extension 321?
  • Could I please speak to…?
  • Is Jack in?

Always remember your please and thank you, since there are no facial expression involved in your conversation, your tone of voice needs to be friendly and professional.

Connecting someone through to a colleague

If you answer the phone for a company, you may need to pass them on to another colleague. Here are some useful phrases you may want to try out:

  • Yes, sure I’ll put you through
  • Can you hold the line?
  • Please hold for a moment?

Here it is a must to get the caller’s name – this is your opportunity to double check if you missed the name earlier or forgot to ask.

When Someone Is Not Available

If you receive a phone call at work for someone who is not in the office or unavailable at the time of the call, you’ll need to equip yourself with some key expressions:

  • I’m afraid Jack is not available at the moment. Can I take a message?
  • The line is busy… can I please ask him to call you back?
  • Jackson isn’t in… who can I tell him is calling?
  • Jackson is out at the moment… he’ll be back in an hour/tomorrow.

While every phone call scenario may differ, the basics to keeping your phone calls friendly and professional are to always speak clearly and allow your callers to finish what they’re saying; they might give you all the information you need without even asking them.

Phone calls may have lost their power with the younger generations, but business conversations sometimes require over the phone instructions or communication. Remember to use your expression to get the most out of your phone conversations.