The Three-Second Trick to Impress on Every Business Phone Call

business phone call“Hello” Thanks to Adele and her world-class vocal chords, it’s the greeting on everyone’s lips (well done, SNL). The sweeping pop ballad features lyrics that sound like one side of many a business phone call.

“Hello, can you hear me? I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be. Hello, can you hear me?”

Yep. We all can, Adele. Loud and clear.

Let me ask a different question. When you make a work-related phone call, what’s your move after the person says “Hello?”

Too often, I hear people do the following:

“Hi, is ____ there?”

To which the person is forced to say:

“Can I ask who’s calling?”

Of course the person needs to ask who’s on the line. We never said our name. How would he/she ever know?

That’s why, in only three seconds, you can impress people on phone calls with one simple strategy:

Introduce Yourself Right Away

It’s a tactic I discuss in Chapter 8 (“Phone Conversations”) of my new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?which is available now on Amazon.

Adele, starts us off: “Hello?”

“Hi, my name is Jane Doe from Acme Industries. Is John there?”

“Sure, let me get John for you.”

“Great. Thanks.”

See the difference? Plus, we sound much more confident if we lead with our first and last name and then ask for the person. Yes, it’s a subtle move and takes up one percent of phone calls. Still, a proper introduction sets the tone.

Remember, in the business world you need to impress everyone at every turn. Let’s say you call a company for a prearranged phone interview. The boss has five interview phone calls that day. Each time, the receptionist answers and the applicant says, “Hi, is Ron [the boss] there?”

Then, the secretary needs to say, “Can I ask who’s calling?”

A Proper Introduction

You, however, dial the number, sit up straight, clear your throat and…


“Hi, my name is Jane Doe, and I’m calling to speak with Ron Gandry about the assistant director position.”

“Oh, hi Jane. Yes, let me put you through to Ron.”

A proper introduction is a small detail, but maybe you score points with the secretary and the other four candidates don’t. Maybe the boss asks the secretary which person had the best phone etiquette. Maybe you gain extra credit. Maybe it helps land the job. You never know.

What I do know is when “Hello?” happens, you need to be ready. It’s a little word with big opportunity.

I think Adele would agree.


For this post, YouTern would like to thank our friends at News to Live By.




Danny_RubinAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert and author of the new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. For more of Danny’s insights and sample chapters from the book, visit his blog, News To Live By, which highlights the career advice in the latest headlines. Follow him on Twitter.



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