Written by Peter Post

Is 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 or the business they represent. 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.

When making a business call, the appropriate thing to do is to identify yourself and the company you’re calling from. For example, 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).”

This etiquette holds even if you’re calling someone you know well. For instance, I identify myself even when I’m phoning my closest business associate here in Vermont (who’s also named Peter): As soon as he picks up, I say, “Peter, it’s 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

For information on Emily Post Business Etiquette Programs contact Steven Puettner, Director of Sales, at Steven@emilypost.com or 802-860-1814.