7 tips for surviving unexpected phone calls from English-speaking business partners

Mit einer guten Vorbereitung gelingt Ihnen das Gespräch spielend.  Und so bereiten Sie sich optimal vor.

1 Calm yourself by taking a deep breath.

This also makes your voice sound stronger and deeper. A deeper voice sounds more professional.

2 Talk slowly.

If you talk quickly you will sound nervous.

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3 Always say the name of your company first, then your own name.

This gives the caller a chance to get used to your voice, and he or she will be able to understand you more easily.

  • Hello, this is XY Components. Angelika Ritter speaking.

4 Make sure you can spell your name, your boss’s name and the name of your company.

These are the names you will use most often. Make yourself absolutely clear by using the international telephone alphabet.

  • My name is Braun: B as in Bravo, R as in Romeo, A as in Alpha, U as in Uniform and N as in November.

5 Don’t be afraid of interrupting if the caller has a strong accent or is talking too quickly.

An interruption provides you with a wonderful opportunity to check that you have correctly understood important facts. Ask him or her to go over the facts once again.

  • Excuse me, but could you slow down a little? I’m having trouble following you.
  • I’m afraid I didn’t catch all that. Could you say it one more time?
  • Sorry, can I just check that please? Did you say nineteen – (one – nine) or ninety (nine – zero)?
  • Just hold on a moment, if you would. I didn’t catch the name of the hotel. Would you mind spelling it for me, please?
  • I’m sorry, but could I just go over that one more time to make sure I’ve got it right?

6 Offer to call back if the connection is bad.

  • It’s a very bad line. Can I call you back?
  • I’m sorry, but you’re breaking up. Can I reach you on a landline?

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7 Remember to smile

Even though the person at the other end of the line can’t see you smile, they will hear it in your voice. Keep a mirror next to your phone so you don’t forget!