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Proper Phone Identification

Written by Peter Post

OJ_phoneid_WOIs there a proper phone etiquette for a business person who's calling another company's office? 

People often call my office looking for a specific person, yet they don't identify themselves as with another business. Whenever I call another business, I always say, "Hi, my name is (blank), I'm calling from (name of my company), and I would like to speak to (blank).”  


The appropriate thing to do when making a business call is to identify yourself and the company you're calling from. Far too often, callers simply assume the other person knows what company they're calling from. Even worse are people who assume everyone else knows who they are simply by the sound of their voice.

This etiquette holds even if you're calling someone you know well.  For instance, I identify myself even when I'm phoning my closest friend here in Vermont (who's also named Peter): As soon as he picks up, I say, “Peter here, I was calling about…” In this case, because of our familiarity, saying my first name is enough to ensure he knows who's calling. If I'm calling someone with whom I'm less familiar, I’ll say, “Hi, Tom (or Mr. Smith), this is Peter Post. I’m calling from the Emily Post Institute.”


Source: Post, Peter. "Etiquette at Work." Boston Globe 29 Jan. 2006.


For more information on Emily Post Business Etiquette Programs contact Director of Sales and Relationships, Dawn Stanyon at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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