Phone Greetings That Make a Positive Impression

In today’s lesson I will share with you some of the little things I learned years ago about how to properly introduce yourself over the phone. Once again, this is an opportunity to make an impact. We make judgments about people the first time we see OR hear them. Your tone of voice and the words you use will create an impression. Make sure it is a positive one.

Calling a place of business

When you call a business or organization and someone other than the person you are calling answers the phone, I recommend introducing yourself in the following manner: “Hi my name is Todd Smith. May I please speak with Katy Williams?”

If the person answering the phone uses their name in the greeting, you should take the time to repeat their name. For example: “Thank you for calling ABC Widgets. This is Amber, how may I help you?” I would respond in a friendly tone, “Hi Amber, my name is Todd Smith. How are you doing today?” After exchanging pleasantries with Amber, I would then say, “May I please speak with Katy Williams?”

When you introduce yourself as I’ve described, you will stand out from all the other people calling and you will likely make a positive impression on the person answering the phone. Not only is this a friendly and professional way to request to speak to someone, but also it’s important to recognize the person answering the phone often has influence on the decisions made within a business or organization. Even if I call a utility company to report a problem, I’ve learned that being friendly and introducing myself often results in better service.

Another reason I immediately introduce myself is to save time. Rather than having an exchange where the person asks, “May I tell her who’s calling?” and I have to respond with my name, I eliminate a step and save time for both of us. This may seem inconsequential but if you can implement 100’s of tiny time management tips throughout your day, they will compound for increased productivity.

Calling a friend at home

When you call someone’s home, I recommend doing the same thing as I described with respect to calling a business. If the person you intend to speak with does not answer the phone, introduce yourself and engage in conversation before asking for the other person. As an example, if I am calling my friend Mark Davy and his wife Ann answers the phone, I would say in an upbeat and friendly manner, “Hi Ann, this is Todd. How are you doing?” After a short period of small talk, I would say, “Hey, is Mark around?”

Side tip–If I make a call and I am not sure that the person who answers is the one I want to speak to, I always introduce myself by saying, “Hi this is Todd Smith. Is Sherry available.” Even if it turns out to be Sherry, I haven’t offended her by asking. It’s always better to play it safe.

Answering The Phone

When you answer the phone, be proactive and introduce yourself as part of your greeting. Don’t make people wonder if it’s really you. As an example, I answer my phone “This is Todd”. Most of my successful friends answer their phones by using their first and last name. For example, my friend Jeff’s greeting is “Jeff Mack” and my friend Tina answers her phone by saying, “Hi this is Tina Williams.”

If you are a business owner, let me strongly suggest that you have all your employees answer the phone by introducing themselves within the first sentence. Obviously they should also speak in a professional and friendly manner. Something along the lines of: “Thank you for calling ABC widgets, this is Amber. How may I help you?” This is such a simple thing to teach your employees and it will make a huge impression on the people who are calling your place of business.

If you will implement these little tips, you can be assured of making a positive impression on everyone you call and everyone who calls you.

You can achieve anything that’s important to you, if you will focus on the little things that matter.


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  • Juanita

    Great tips. One thing I usually ask though is instead of saying, "How may I help you" I say "How may I direct your call". Working at a motorcycle dealership we get bombarded with phone calls and with so many departments, i.e. Service, Parts, Bike Sales, Finance, Apparel. a lot of times if I ask customers "How may I help you?", they go on and on about whats wrong with their bike, or they'll start rattling off a bunch of part numbers for parts that they need... So I have found that asking, "How may i direct your call has been far more efficient and time saving.

  • Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hathor

    I agree with P. Smith, I don't really appreciate being asked how I am doing that day when being called when I don't know who it is who is calling me, it implies that they know me, and care how I am doing, which they don't. Just be succinct, polite, and tell me who you are and why you are calling. I feel that "pleasantries" are to make me more willing to buy what they are selling, because they are being "nice". What if I say to them, " Oh I am having a terrible day and my dog just died and its been lousy weather" etc. Please just get to the point.

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