Unit 07 :
Business Calls


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Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

1. afraid  (adj.) 
filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation

2. enthusiastic (adj.)  
feeling or showing a lot of interest and excitement about something

3. professional (adj.)  
showing that someone has been well trained and is good at their work

4. impression (n.)  
the opinion or feeling you have about someone or something because of the way they seem

5. courteously (adv.)  
in a way that is polite and shows respect

6. enunciate (v.)  
to pronounce words or parts of words clearly

7. buzzword (n.)  
a word or expression from a particular subject area that has become fashionable by being used a lot, especially on television and in the newspapers

8. emphasize (v.)  
to show that something is very important or worth giving attention to

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Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Hello, finance department.

Hello, can I speak to Adrian Hopwood, please?

I’m afraid he’s in a meeting at the moment. Can I help?

No I need to talk to Mr Hopwood, I think. What time will he be out of the meeting?

In about an hour. Can you call back later?

Okay, I’ll do that.

Or can I take a message?

Actually, would you mind? Could you tell him that Jay McAndrews called and that I’m in the office all day if he could call me back.

Can I take your number, please?

Yes, it’s 5556872.

5556872.  Okay, I’ll make sure he gets the message.

Thanks very much for your help, bye!

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Read the article with your teacher.

How to Answer the Phone Tips

1. Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.

2. When you answer the phone, be warm, enthusiastic, and professional. Your voice on the phone is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.

3. When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization immediately. Say, for instance, “Good morning. Cypress 

4. Technologies. Susan speaking. How may I help you?” Don’t just say “Hello”. No one should ever have to ask if they’ve reached such and such a business.

5. Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone so your caller can understand you easily.

6. Control your language when answering the phone. Don’t use slang or buzzwords. Instead of saying, “OK”, or “No problem”, for instance, say “Certainly”, “Very well”, or “All right”. If you’re a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as “uh huh”, “um”, or phrases such as “like” or “you know”, train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone. 

7. If people have had to leave you messages, answer all your phone calls within one business day. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved… and reinforce the favorable impression of your business that you want to circulate. Few things annoy callers trying to reach your business more than unreturned calls.

Source: & BBC Learning english

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Answer the following questions to your teacher.

  1. Do you prefer to talk to the person you are calling or to leave a message? Why?
  2. What would be the biggest obstacle for you when making a business phone call in English?
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Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. Hello, _________ Adrian Hopwood, please?

A. may I call
B. where is
C. can I speak to
D. who is

2. I’m _____ he’s in a meeting at the moment.

A. worry
B. afraid
C. know
D. wonder

3.  ___a.___ clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak __b.__ and __c.__ when answering the phone so your caller can understand you __d.__.

slowly / easily / clearly / circulate / of / enunciate

4. If people __a.__   __b.__ to __c.__ you messages, answer all your phone calls __d.__ one business day.

have / had / to / leave / within / on