There are several reasons that you may need to end a business phone call. Maybe you're on a deadline or need to move on to the next call, or perhaps you're on the line with a chatty person and the call isn't progressing. Whatever your reason, it's always important to end the call politely and professionally, leaving the person on the other end with a favorable impression of you and your company. Put these business phone etiquette tips to work to ensure that you always do your best to leave your callers happy.
Before you decide that you need to end a phone call, make sure the business part of the conversation is complete. You don't want your caller to think that you are avoiding the business at hand, or are cutting them off. A good way to initiate the close of a call is to say, "It's been a pleasure talking with you, is there anything else I can help you with?"
Always Be Professional
Choose what you say carefully. Again, you don't want the caller to feel like they're getting the brush-off. Avoid any appearance of being condescending in your words or your tone of voice. Be assertive, but avoid being rude or impolite and avoid making statements or asking questions that will prolong the conversation.
Set a Time Limit
Part of every successful business is building relationships with your customers. This could mean listening to them talk about their vacation or their grandchildren. Personal attention to detail is particularly important if you're in sales. Here's a way to make sure you find that balance between polite chit-chat and wasting time: When you are sure the business portion of the call is ended, look at the clock or call timer on your phone. Give the caller another three or four minutes to wrap up before you start winding things down.
Seize the Pause
Wait for the caller to pause in their conversation before jumping in with a pleasant, call-ending statement that makes it clear that you're steering the call to its end. For example:
- "Well, congratulations on the new house! I'm going to wrap up so I can take this next call, but please let me know if there's anything else you need. You have my number."
- "It's been nice speaking with you, but I need to wrap up. Can we set a time for our next call?"
- "Always a pleasure to hear from you. Is there anything else you need before I let you go?"
You may have methods other than the phone that people can use to contact you. These could include email, texting, web chat, or even your secretary or assistant. If your phone call would be better served by one of these alternative forms of communication, pivot the conversation.
For example, if an email would be an easier way to receive this same information, then request that they caller follow up in your inbox: "I'm going to let you go now, but here's my email address, if you need anything else."
You can also let them know how they can contact your assistant or the person who can handle additional concerns or issues. Better yet, offer to transfer them directly to that person.