Making phone calls

Taal en communiceren

Can I to speak to?

– Could I speak to Ferdinand Ilahi please?
– I should like to speak to Mr. Ilahi, please.
– I’d like to speak to the head of the purchasing department, please.
– Could you put me through to Mrs Van den Ende, please?
– Can I speak to her secretary / assistant, please?

Who’s calling please?
– Yes, of course. And your name again?
– I’m sorry, who shall I say is calling?
– Sorry, who’s calling / speaking, please?
– Sorry, what did you say your name was?
– Are you one of our suppliers?
– What would you like to speak to him / her about?

Is it convenient?
– I hope I’m not disturbing?
– Do you have a sec / second?
– Are you busy right now?
– Is this a good moment to talk?
– Have I rung you at a bad moment, Marie-Claire?
– Can we talk now or perhaps later?
– What time do you want me to call you back?
– Do you mind calling back this afternoon?
– Sorry, can you call again later?

Asking contact details
– What’s the department manager’s name?
– I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name?
– I wanted to ask you some detailed address information.
– May I have her contact details, please?
– Could you give me the direct telephone number and fax-line please?
– What’s your postal address / full address?
– What is the post(al) code (UK) / ZIP-code (USA) please?
– Where is your company located?
– Just give me your PO Box address please.
– Would you be so kind as to give me Mr Ilahi’s e-mail address?
– Who have I been speaking to?

Who’s responsible for?
– Who do I need to contact for information about the Floyds?
– We want to inscribe. Which department is responsible for this?
– I would like to ask information on the latest recipes. Who is dealing with this matter?
– I’d like to speak to the person in charge of […], but I don’t know his or her name. Can you help me?
– I was given your name by Mrs Van den Ende.
– Could you tell me who’s responsible for the consumer market, please?

Getting past the secretary
It can always be helpful to have one or two phrases prepared, that quickly explain the reason for the call. As sometimes it might be necessary to ‘get past the secretary’. On the other hand it can also be helpful to prepare against questions like below:

– I’m returning Mr Floyds’ call.
– It’s confidential I’m afraid.
– Well, Ferdinand rang me this morning, and I was asked to call him back.
– I would like to offer some background information on […].
– Well, it’s a bit technical / complicated. Can I have a quick word with Mrs Van den Ende to explain it briefly?
– My name is Ferry, Ferry Ilahi. We met at a conference in Supperclub last week.
– It’s Marie-Claire. I’m phoning to check on the prices.
– It’s with regard to placing an order.
– I’m phoning to request a schedule of rates and prices.
– I found your company on internet and I’d like some information about […].

‘I’ve suffered from all of the hang-ups known, but none is as bad as the telephone.’ Richard Armour (1906 – 1988)

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