Telefonieren auf Englisch: Wie Sie eine Situation erfolgreich klären!

Welcome to our final blog post on the topic of telephoning in Business English language. In this post, we will cover two remaining points that are essential when having a phone call in a Business English context: Asking for clarification and how to end a conversation.

(Essential phrases are bold)

1. Asking for Clarification. This is a vital skill when having a phone conversation with a client, colleague or superior at work. Asking for clarification ensure correct information is given, which is essential in a phone conversation when all communication is verbal. Let’s take this dialogue as an example:

… Ring…. Ring….

“Stan White at Business101, how may I help you?”

“Hello Stan, I’m interested in placing an order for business letterhead paper for my company.”

“Certainly, I’d be glad to assist you! May I have your name and the name of your company, please?

“Yes, I’m Tom Smith from Smith Brothers and Co.”

“Ok, Mr. Smith…. Hmm, I don’t see you in our system. Is this your first order with us?

“Yes, it is.”

“Great! Then I’ll need the phone number, email, and address of your business, please.

(Stan White logs the new client information and order request)

Thank you for the information, Mr. Smith. I just want to double-check the order. So, that’s 500 sheets of business letterhead paper for Smith Brothers and Co. to be shipped to 123 Oak Street, Emerald City, NY 98765. Is that correct?

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Excellent. That will be $50.55. How would you like to pay today? We accept credit card or direct debit. Will you need an invoice?

Let’s assume that Mr. Smith wants direct debit and needs an invoice. Stan White would then need to recite all the account information back to Mr. Smith to make sure it’s correct. As we see in this dialogue, Stan White continuously checks information with his client by asking “is that correct?” to make sure all information is accurate.

Stan White goes over one piece of information at a time, which is the same protocol for Business English telephoning, no matter the topic. If there is total misunderstanding on a topic, the phrase “can you please clarify that?” is helpful gather more information.

2. Phases for Ending a Conversation. To end a professional business call, there are several common expressions. The phase “Goodbye. Have a nice day.” is perhaps most common, in addition to “Thank you, see you soon.” Other options include:

- “Take Care.”

- “Bye for now.”

- “Talk to you soon.”

Obviously, use the one that is most suitable for the nature of your call and your relationship with the person you are speaking with.