How do you initiate the conversation? Should you use the phrase "How are you?" after or before introducing yourself? I assume it is after you introduce yourself?

"Hi, this is ... calling, how are you?"

However, I've seen some indication that you might as well omit the "how are you" altogether.

1: Where do you put this "how are you?" question in the introduction? Is it even acceptable to ask this when you are the one calling, or is it reserved for people answering the phone?

2: What is the most common in the united states, these days? To omit it, or include it? What about UK? Is there any difference?

1 Answer 1


Of course, you never call a company, you always talk to a person. What you say depends on the type of relationship you have (or want) with that person.

There are several possibilities:

  • Calling a person who you know. You might be calling a company and speak to someone you met already. Here it is very appropriate to ask "How are you?" It's not a real question, and most people just reply "I'm fine" (or similar).

  • Calling a company that you have a relationship with (eg as a customer), but a person you don't know (perhaps a salesperson or receptionist you have never met) You might use "How do you do", but you don't really need to say much.

  • Cold calling a company that you have no relationship with. Stick to formal. You don't need to know how the person is doing.

The same goes if other people call you. If you know them well, you can ask "How are you". If not then "How do you do?" is possible but not really required.

You would ask how someone is right when you know who the person is.

Hello, Sarah Ross speaking.
Hello Sarah, its Arthur Cemp here; we met at the convention in Detroit last summer.
Oh Hello Arthur, how are you? ...

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