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Telefonieren auf Englisch - Unerwünschte Anrufer professionell ausfiltern

Schlagwörter: Telefonieren auf Englisch, Englisch Telefonieren, Englisch Telephoning, Englisch am Telefon, Telefon Englisch, Anruf Englisch, Anrufe Englisch, Anruf abwehren Englisch, Anrufe filtern Englisch, Anrufe kontrollieren Englisch

A decision-maker’s day is extremely full. Decisions must be made. Conference calls with important customers and partners are everyday tasks. Meetings with staff and personnel from other departments are required to handle daily business. Proposals and/or reports must be written. E-mails must be answered. And then there’s the telephone.

It’s rare that a decision-maker has time to take every call coming in for him or her. It can even be a problem accepting the important incoming calls that need to be taken. Few decision-makers have time to speak with sales people. And yet, as a decision-maker, they attract sales calls like honey attracts house flies.

Blocking sales and other seemingly low-priority calls is therefore one of a secretary’s most important jobs. It’s the only way to reduce a decision-maker’s stress.

May I ask who’s calling?
One of the most common call-screening phrases used in business today is “May I ask who’s calling?” (variation: “May I tell him who’s calling?”) This phrase is polite, sounds harmless and came into use as part of call-answering processes of the past. And although it’s still acceptable, it’s no longer recognised as the most effective way to screen calls.

International businesses who are sensitive to intercultural issues have found that the phrase can lead to uncomfortable situations. Specifically, it may lead a caller (an important customer or partner, for example) to believe that his call has been screened because he is “not important today”.

Consider the following conversation:


Receiver: “Mr Cahle’s office, this is Astrid Benk.”

Caller: “Hello, may I speak with Mr Cahle please?”

Receiver: May I tell him who’s calling, please?

Caller: Yes, this is Mr Barrow from Alaskan Refineries.

Receiver: “I’m sorry, Mr Barrow, but Mr Cahle is out of the office today. Would you like to leave a message?”


The conversation sounds harmless at first. However, the caller could have found the exchange insulting. Phrases like he’s out of the office and he’s in a meeting are frequently used as replacements for the more brutal variants he doesn’t have time to speak with you now, other things are more important and you’re unimportant. Combined with the fact that the caller was asked for his name before Mr Cahle’s status was announced, it’s easy to understand how he could feel that this is indeed the case. At the end, the receiver offers to take a message, which sounds like a block as well. The receiver doesn’t offer any help or assistance.

Professional call screening
In addition to being pleasant on the phone, your treatment of the caller may determine his impression of your department and possibly your entire company. It’s thus important to carry out your responsibility to screen calls without leaving the caller with the impression that his call has been screened. Consider this new conversation:


Receiver: “Mr Cahle’s office, this is Astrid Benk.”

Caller: “Hello, may I speak to Mr Cahle please?”

Receiver: I’m sorry, Mr Cahle is currently unavailable. May I help you?

Caller: Yes, this is Mr Barrow from Alaskan Refineries. Could you take a message for me?

Receiver: Ah, yes, Mr Barrow. Mr Cahle asked me to interrupt him if you were to call. I’ll put you right through...

In this conversation, it’s clear that Mr Barrow was on Mr Cahle’s acceptable callers list. If he had not been, the conversation would have ended with taking a message. What’s important to note is that this approach leaves a very different impression with Mr Barrow. First, he was informed right away that Mr Cahle was unavailable. Using these words prevents the caller from being able to make judgments, and also avoids informing people outside the company about what Mr Cahle is doing. The caller cannot suspect that Mr Cahle is screening his calls. Second, the receiver offered to assist Mr Barrow, which creates a positive customer-service impression. Third, Mr Barrow was ultimately put through to Mr Cahle, leaving the impression that he is important to the firm.


Professional call screening procedure

  1. Announce yourself


  2. If the caller does not state the name of the person he wants to speak with, ask: How may I direct your call? Do not offer to help at this point. You’ll need to do this later. Do not ask for the caller’s name if it has not been offered.


  3. If the caller has offered his name and he is on the acceptable callers list, go to Step 7.


  4. Say: I’m sorry, but Mr/Mrs X is currently unavailable. I expect him/ her to be free this afternoon after 3. Can I help you with something now? If the caller has provided his name, repeating it after “I’m sorry” shows respect. Stating a time after which the person should be again available (it may not be the case) indicates that he really is unavailable, and not just filtering calls.


  5. The caller will now answer Yes or No. If No, end the call. He will call back. If Yes, he may make a brief statement about what he needs or whom he would like to speak with.


  6. Ask for or confirm the caller’s name.


  7. If the caller is on the acceptable callers list, say Oh yes, [Name], I have been asked to interrupt him if you were to call or I know he would want to speak with you. Then put the call through.


  8. If the caller is not on the acceptable callers list, have a brief conversation about what assistance you can offer: taking a message, transferring the caller to voice mail, etc. End the call with a pleasant goodbye or thank you.

Schlagwörter: Telefonieren auf Englisch, Englisch Telefonieren, Englisch Telephoning, Englisch am Telefon, Telefon Englisch, Anruf Englisch, Anrufe Englisch, Anruf abwehren Englisch, Anrufe filtern Englisch, Anrufe kontrollieren Englisch

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