Using The Telephone For Business

One of the most important aspects of using the telephone at work is getting the right level of formality. You want to sound professional, but friendly too! So, in a business context you should try and use, "can, could, would, may" when you make a request. Always use, "please, thank you, thanks very much" whenever you ask for or receive help or information. Using the telephone in a second language can be really tricky. Of course, it is important to practice these phrases in your English lessons...perhaps with me! :)

The start of the call:

Hello. You've reached the accounts department.

Please hold and I'll put you through.

Could I speak to Daniel, please?

Who shall I say is calling?

My name's Sofya Pulinova.

When someone is busy:

I'm afraid he's out of the office today. Can you call back later?

Sorry, he's not available at the moment.

I'm afraid she's in a meeting at the moment.

Would you like me to take a message?

Can I take your number please?

OK. I'll make sure he gets the message.


I'd like to arrange an appointment, please.

When's convenient for you?

Would next Friday be OK?

Sorry I'm busy then. But I could make.......( eg Wednesday).

Shall we say.....( 4:00pm)?

That sounds good. Thank you.

OK. See you then.

Making An Enquiry:

I'd like to enquire about........( eg flights, prices, products, services etc)

Could you tell me about....( eg flights, prices, products, services etc)

Is there a cheaper...( eg flight etc) than that one?

I just need to check a couple of things. Can I call you back later to confirm?

Remember these phrasal verbs for telephoning:

hold on- wait

hang up- finish the call by disconnecting

to pick up- the phone

to pick up - a message (listen to)

to put (someone) through- to connect someone to another telephone

to call (someone) back- to return a call

You can try out these phrases in a FREE TRIAL class with me by clicking here