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Moderatus Puisne
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you're calling someone on a business purpose, and another party answers the line, how do you ask for the person you're trying to reach?

I go with "John Smith please," or, if calling a larger business with multiple extensions, "Hello, Argentius at Generico calling for John Smith please."

My coworker uses what I remeber as a child "Hello, is John there?"

Does this strike you as unprofessional, or am I just being quirky?
 

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Diphthong
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I ask for a first and last name if I have both. Asking for a first name only is opening yourself up to headaches. Is it unprofessional? I say no but not the best way to approach.
 

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tofurkey hunting
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strikes me as unprofessional...

i go with:
may i please speak with First Last (or Mr./Ms. Last)
 

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corning my own beef
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Gruntled
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First name only is unprofessional, unless you know the person you're asking for AND the person who answered the phone.
 

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Back from the dead
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If another party answers, say "Who is this? What have you done with John Smith?"

Seriously, if someone else answers, simply ask for whomever you want. No need to say who you are or where you are from unless they ask.
 

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Shirtcocker
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mohair_chair said:
If another party answers, say "Who is this? What have you done with John Smith?"

Seriously, if someone else answers, simply ask for whomever you want. No need to say who you are or where you are from unless they ask.
I always say, "may I tell them who's calling?" and if it's a solicitor I hang up.
 

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Premium Member
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Argentius said:
When you're calling someone on a business purpose, and another party answers the line, how do you ask for the person you're trying to reach?

I go with "John Smith please," or, if calling a larger business with multiple extensions, "Hello, Argentius at Generico calling for John Smith please."

My coworker uses what I remeber as a child "Hello, is John there?"

Does this strike you as unprofessional, or am I just being quirky?
What I say depends on the circumstances. (A typical lawyer answer. :p )

1. If the person on the other end of the phone is someone I do not know and answers "ABC Company"), I would say: "May I speak with John Smith, this is Mark S calling." Given that most people who have someone answering the phone for them want their messages screened, I usually add why I am calling: "I am returning his call" or "I am calling in reference to ABC v. XYZ"

2. If the person on the other end of the phone says something like: "Mr. Argentius's office," I would say: "May I speak with him, this is Mark S calling."

3. If I am calling the office of someone with whom I deal regularly and know the person who is answering the phone (i.e., the person's secretary or assistant), I will say: "Hey X, Is John there, this is Mark calling."

One thing that I find weird is when people introduce themselves with a title. For example, if you called and said "This is Mr. Argentius calling." If you want to be called Mr., you can signal that to me by saying, "Mr. S, this is Firstname Argentius calling." I will get the message. If you feel are so important that you should be called Mr. or some other title, then you should have one of those self-important secretaries who places calls for you and announces: "Mr. S, Mr. Argentius is calling for you, please hold." (BTW: For the uninitiated, this is the typical way that judges telephone lawyers. Although one of the most important judges in Maryland has a habit of calling and not telling the person who answers the phone who his is other than his first and last name. Once he called me and my secretary said: "Some guy named F. is calling you, I did not catch his last name." I was about to say "Take a message," thinking that F. was some kind of salesman, then I remembered that Judge X, whose first name is F, does not introduce himself as a judge or have his secretary place his calls.
 

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Captain Obvious
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it depends if you are calling them directly or not. plus, i assume it's not a cold call.
 

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Registered
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I am a little new to corporate cube land but it amazes me

when I call somebody and they answer "hello". No "good afternoon this is xxxx" or any sort of greeting. I also work at a good ol boy defense company but still a little professionalism please.

Oh well - another let down of corporate America.
 

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still shedding season
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We tend to deal with the same small group of people most of the time so you get to know them. I think a lot of my co-irkers are way too casual on the phone - talk like that if you're drinkin' buddies, but when you're at work you're representing the company.

It's funny how at some places you call, the person who usually answers the phone will know your voice but always ask who you are anyway. When I call those people I try to remember to be proper (OP's second line) but if I happen to forget it's almost like they're scolding me for being casual (by saying something like Hello, John Smith please). These days, anything to keep a customer happy...
 

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Cheese is my copilot
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kykr13 said:
It's funny how at some places you call, the person who usually answers the phone will know your voice but always ask who you are anyway.
That's good policy. I got in a lot of trouble in high school because my father and I sounded very similar over the phone and my friends would assume I'd answered and say things they shouldn't have.

When I'm making a business call I always ask for first and last name or title and last name, and I always identify myself by name and sometimes company. When I'm answering the phone I always answer first and last name, usually without any pleasantries beyond hello.
 

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eminence grease
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"Hello, this is Argentius at Generico, may I speak with John Smith?"

If the person answered with their name, I always say "Hello Mavis, my name is Argentius. May I speak with John?"
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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For morning calls especially I make sure I'm wide awake and speaking clearly. I try to be pleasant yet assertive, clear but not loud, prepared yet unscripted. I try to give the other person the kind of respect I'd like to receive in kind. I usually start with something like: "Where John at?"
 

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hit it
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Mine seems to go like this:

Hello, this is Nutt from teh Lawnje, may I speak t <click> .... Hello? Hello? Ahh shiite.
 
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