Useful Tips

10 ways to end a conversation on the phone and not offend someone


It is easy to imagine a situation in which many feel very embarrassed when it is necessary to say that you can no longer talk on the phone. The most difficult thing is to end the conversation with those who are either simply excessively talkative, or are constantly distracted by details that have a direct bearing on the case. Maybe you don’t have to run to the meeting or call somewhere at the moment, but continuing the conversation, we won’t do the rest of the work, and then we will miss the meeting scheduled for later hours.

You can’t tell your interlocutor that he says too much that you are tired of listening to him or that everything he said is very far from the essence of the matter. To terminate a conversation with an eloquent interlocutor, without offending him at the same time, delicacy is necessary. The tone of your voice should express genuine interest in the topic of the conversation, but you have to say what they usually say: “I would like to talk with you longer, but I have to return to the abandoned business,” or: “Thank you for calling, but I have now urgent business. "

There are various circumstances that can be used to interrupt a conversation without offending the interlocutor, but it is better if they are present in reality, otherwise you will have to live with a feeling of guilt for the forced lies:

  • · “I don’t want to interrupt you, but I have to go in, otherwise I’m afraid to be late for the meeting.”
  • · “Sorry, the time has come for another meeting, I have to go.”
  • · “It is very nice to talk with you, but now I need to call another place. May I call you back later? ”
  • · “I interrupted the negotiations when you called. Sorry, I need to continue them. ”
  • · “I'm busy right now, can I call you back?”
  • · “I was very glad to hear from you, but now I need to leave.”

You need to end the phone call the way you would end the memo, that is, with some suggestions regarding future steps, for example:

  • · “Let's discuss it again in a few days.”
  • · “I'll call you next Monday.”
  • · "Call when you have something to clear up" with our meeting. "
  • · “Let's talk one more time and figure out what we ended up with.”

Suppose in September you are talking with a person with whom you do not communicate very often. Overcome the temptation to say frankly that the next conversation between you should take place soon. For example, such words: “I think it is unlikely that we will have to talk before the New Year. “Sound too dry. It’s better to demonstrate more restraint and optimism: “I hope we’ll talk again” or “Well, I think, there will be some more chance to talk.”

Do you answer calls when you have a visitor? If someone is sitting in your office, ask the caller to wait. Courtesy prescribes not to interrupt a conversation with a person by telephone. Typically, the employee also seeks to ensure that a person who visits his office does not accidentally hear personal or confidential information. When the person you accept sees that you are putting off other things while talking to him, it makes him feel his worth. Moreover, interrupting the conversation you will be not only important and busy, but also ill-mannered.

When meeting with a specific person, instruct your secretary with whom to connect you, whom to ask to call back later, to whom to say that then call yourself. Get this order, otherwise it's easy to get into a mess. Here is one example. The employee called the employee. When asked whether it was possible for her husband to call her back later, she said that she was calling on an important matter and would be waiting. The secretary did not tell his wife that her husband got three phones at the same time, instead he interrupted the important conversation of his boss, showing him a note: "Your wife is calling, saying something is urgent." Not only were important negotiations interrupted, but also the employee was worried: what could happen? If his wife had known that he had a tense telephone conversation, she would probably have agreed to call back. And he himself would have to explain to the secretary the difference between the “important matter” and the “urgent matter” in order to avoid such misunderstandings in the future.

Be very careful when ignoring calls that later “hang in the air.” There are conversations that, for one reason or another, can’t be brought to an end, and if it’s possible, then only after a considerable period of time, say, because both numbers are very congested, and you and your potential interlocutor are trying to phone each other for days or even weeks.

In the end, endless reciprocal calls to call begin to annoy, but they still can't talk. It happens that someone calls at an inconvenient time, you promise to call back tomorrow, but the next day you are busy with other things and you can’t call. Only a few days later it turns out that you never called back. It happens that you remember the whole vacation that you need to call. but when you return, you’ll get so stuck in the trickle that you don’t even bother to end these old debts. Sometimes someone leaves a request to be called back and behaves as if he had phoned and the job was done.

Do I have to wait for the dock to call you back? Do I need to leave additional notes or continue to call until you catch the right person? It happens that you call someone with some question, but he is not there, you ask to be transferred so that they call back, you leave the phone. after a while this person calls you, and you have already found out everything in another place, from another person. And the one you don’t need anymore, now asks to be sent so that you call him back.

Will you call even though you no longer need his help? Chat, even admit. that this time without him, but call back anyway? Or try to name the original reason for the call. even sat down she has already lost relevance for you? Or maybe wait until a new need arises so that joint efforts to communicate are not wasted?

It is best to call back in any case, so that there are no “dangling in the air" calls that leave an unpleasant aftertaste, or even create a reputation for us as a person who is not interested in contact. You can explain that you were propped up by the deadline for the work that you called about, so you had to solve all the issues that arose without assistance. But you can figure out how else to use the ideas or services of a colleague, even if you just chat with him on common topics.

Thus, both calls and the resulting conversation can become important for both of you in a broader sense - in the sense of strengthening personal relationships. So, from the point of view of etiquette, you should do the following: call back in any case, whether the need forces you or not. Be polite. If you were asked - call.

Method 1. Good reason

Listen to the essence of the client’s problem, and if the situation does not require a quick response, explain why you cannot talk with the client right now. Promise to call back at a specific time. The reason must be valid in understanding the customer.

For example, a client calls and asks to discuss the layout of the site by phone. You can say: “Ivan Ivanovich, right now I can’t see the layout, because I’m not at the computer. I’ll be at the workplace in 15 minutes and I’ll call you back right away, okay? ”

Good reasons can not be Calls from other clients coming in parallel. If you tell the client that you cannot talk with him, because another client is calling at the same time, you will belittle the status of the customer and offend him. If you really have a different client on a parallel call, just come up with a different reason for the calling client.

Important tips:

  • Think in advance of good reasons why you cannot speak with the customer. When the customer really calls, quickly coming up with a reason will be more difficult.
  • Always call back customers at the promised time, otherwise you will offend people. They will think that you have forgotten about them.

Method 2. “I need time to analyze the situation”

Sometimes customers call and try to find out why something is going wrong on the project or why there are any errors. You cannot answer right away, because the situation requires analysis. In this case, we can say: “Ivan Ivanovich, I understood the essence of the described problem. I need time to analyze the situation and prepare solution options. Let me see the project information today and write a letter with a detailed analysis of the situation to you by 18:00.

Method 3. "Nowhere to write"

There are clients who are trying to dictate a list of edits or other information by phone. You should never accept edits by phone, because the client can forget what he asked to do and say that he didn’t say that.

In this situation, we can say: “Ivan Ivanovich, I’m not in the workplace right now, and I don’t have the opportunity to write down edits, I don’t have a pen and paper. Could you send the list of edits to my e-mail? ”Typically, clients come forward and send the list of edits to the email.

Method 4. "Switching"

It does not work for all situations, but it works efficiently. For example, you sent the client a layout or text for approval. And suddenly this customer calls you, but on a completely different issue. You listen to him carefully and say: “Ivan Ivanovich, I understood the essence of the problem. Please tell me, did you receive my letter with such a layout or text? There are a couple of important issues that I would also like to discuss. ” If the client says no, you continue: “It’s so good that you called. Let me duplicate the layout / text to your mail right now, you’ll look at them, and after 30 minutes I’ll call and we will discuss both issues at once, so as not to pull them? ”As a rule, the client agrees and you have at least 30 minutes to resolve others tasks.

Do not forget to duplicate what you promised!

Method 5. Chav Chav Chav

When you work, keep a candy, a sandwich or something edible on the table. If a call comes from a friend, but you can’t talk for a long time, take food in your mouth and start chewing. Then answer (with candy in your mouth): “Hello! Chav chav chav. Listen, I'm eating now, with my mouth full. Chav chav chav. Can you call me back in 15 minutes? Chav chav chav. Thank!"

Just do not choke during a conversation :-)

Method 8. I get up early to work

There are friends who like to call late at night. If you have just such a friend, you can talk to him. If the conversation drags on, and you cannot continue it, say that you should get up early for work tomorrow. You would be glad to continue communication, but you can’t do it. A friend will understand, and the conversation will end.

Method 10. Refer to well-being

You can well tell a friend or friend that you are not feeling very well, especially if this is true. It is unlikely that a friend will insist on continuing communication if you are tired or not feeling very well. Most likely, the phone call will end quickly.

We examined 10 ways to end a telephone conversation and not offend the other person. I hope this information will help you regulate the flow of calls and not be distracted by communication if you are busy with important matters or cannot talk right now. Write in the comments what methods you use to quickly complete a telephone conversation!

Find the preposition

Often, such non-verbal signals are enough for the interlocutor to bring the dialogue to an end. If not, you have to do this:

Oh, look at the time!Look at the time!
I promised to meet my sister in half an hour.I promised to meet my sister in half an hour.
I have another appointment in an hour.I have another meeting in an hour.
I’ve lost track of time, gotta run.I don’t follow time at all, I have to run.
I wish we could talk a bit more but I’m running late.I would like to talk a little more, but I'm late.
I’ve just noticed I’m late for my next appointment.I just realized that I was late for the next meeting.
I’ve got a pressing deadline.I urgently need to hand over the work.
I need to get to the shop before it closes.I need to go to the store before it closes.

Maybe someone is waiting for your call ("I need to make a phone call"). At a party, it’s appropriate to say that you want to take another drink (“I need to get another drink”) or saw a friend at the other end of the room (“I’ve spotted my friend across the room”). To a late guest, let them know that you are practicing conversational English with a native speaker and the Skype lesson is about to begin.

If you notice that the person you are talking to is already impatient, you can say:

I don’t want to keep you any longer.I don't want to hold you back anymore.
You're probably busy.You seem busy.
I don’t want to monopolize your time.I do not want to take your time.

The word just will come in handy:

Just wanted to make sure you’re Ok.I just wanted to make sure everything was fine with you.
Just wanted to see how the new job was going.I just wanted to find out how things are going at my new job.

It does not hurt to emphasize that you enjoyed the conversation:

It was nice meeting you but I have to go now.It was nice to meet you, but now I have to go.
It’s been a pleasure talking to you.It was nice to talk with you (this option is more suitable for the official situation, unfamiliar people).

If the interlocutor says so with upward intonation, as if pushing you to answer, you can also use this to retreat, for example: So it’s been great catching up with you but. (“It was great to talk with you, but.”). In this case, the word so is already pronounced with downward intonation.

Promise to chat again

You can get off with vague wording:

We’ll have to get together soon.We should soon meet again.
Let’s get together soon.Let's get together someday.
I’ll call you next week.I'll call you back next week.
I’ll be in touch.I'm on.
I’ll probably run into you later.Probably still cross a little later.
Hopefully we can pick up this talk later.I hope we continue this conversation later.

But the interlocutor will probably be more pleasant to hear something specific:

See you on Saturday.See you on Saturday.
What about next Wednesday morning?Maybe next Wednesday morning?
May I call you next week?May I call you next week?


The time has come for a farewell smile: “Bye for now. Take care! ”Or just“ Bye now! ”. You probably know a lot of options: on this issue, teachers who teach English on Skype or "live" must stop first of all, as well as on the topic of English greetings.

If the interlocutor does not understand the hints

Be polite, but firm. In the end, you do not ask permission to end the conversation, but say that you leave:

I’m awfully sorry to cut you off, but.I really apologize for interrupting, but.
I don’t want to be rude, but I’d like to bow myself out.I do not want to seem rude, but I would like to take my leave.

There are more elegant tactics. For example, ask an interlocutor to introduce you to one of those present. Or invite you to go somewhere with you right now - he will probably refuse, leaving you alone. When a new participant connects to a conversation, this also gives you a reason to retire.
We hope you’ll try at least one of these phrases today! To work them out, it is not necessary to be in a language environment. If you study English at home with a personal teacher, you can ask him to focus on these expressions. And do not forget about the opportunity to chat in the Skyeng club: this will allow you to hone your spoken English on Skype without leaving your usual home environment!

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