Sam Brown

Hello, Sam speaking

How do you answer your phone? I’ve been having a small dilema on this topic for a while now, and it bothers me somewhat. I used to just answer my phone, home phone and mobile phone with a polite ‘Hello?’, but now I’m not sure if thats the most appropriate way to answer the phone. At work, I’m stuck with ‘The Topia Project, Sam speaking’ whilst on my mobile I really don’t know what to say.

I don’t feel that ‘Hello’ cuts it as friendly, for my friends, and business like for my clients. ‘Hello (or Hi) Sam speaking’ is my best alternative, but I’m not really that comfortable saying that, something isnt quite right. My dad, with the same name as me, answers his mobile phone with ‘Sam Brown’, this is informative to the caller on the other end, but it doesn’t seem as polite and friendly as I’d like.

Back home in Scotland our house phone was mostly answered with the words 449-6825 which was the number for anyone living in the surrounding suburbs.. this only recently struck me as an odd way to answer the phone, and would more than likely be annoying to everyone except for those who perhaps dialled the wrong number, and having the wrong number read back to them would they realise their mistake.

Currently, I’m trying to give up just saying ‘Hello’ when I answer, and substituting it with ‘Hi, Sam speaking’. Hopefully it grows on me over time unless I can come up with a worthy alternative.

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Tek 28 March 2005, 12:02 #1

Wow… that’s quite different, answering the phone with “449-6825”. I’ve never heard of that one before—it’s certainly cool. I would say answering the way you feel most comfortable and what’s common in the area. At work, I say hello the same way you do ‘company name, Chris speaking…’ On my mobile, unless I know the person who is calling, I most likely say ‘Hi, Chris speaking…’ Teehee—I have to try the reading out my number as hello! :)

Deb 29 March 2005, 07:00 #2

Hey Sam,

I think its purely a Balerno thing – we used to do it too. Abbreviated to ‘5536’ and Gareth’s folks still say ‘7143’. When we moved to Livingston there was this big dilemma whether we should start saying ‘01506 435008’ which is far too long winded or should we just say hello!! (The Hello won!).

Its a tricky business – for the record I haven’t found anything better than hello (saying my full name is too long winded too!!)

D x

richie 29 March 2005, 23:29 #3

My grandma still says the last 4 digits of her phone number whenever she answers it, too, and she emigrated from England a good 25 years ago. I just say ‘Hello’... because if it’s my mobile, I’ll usually get the number coming up, and if not (and on home phones), it’s really up to the caller to identify, since they started it! :)

Sam 30 March 2005, 00:35 #4

I think a mixture of the two will be my best bet. “Hello” for those that I know (identifiable on my mobile), and “Hello, Sam speaking” for those that I don’t know.

Work, will be the same as always.

Amy 5 April 2005, 02:35 #5

Yep, They do it in England too!! Although I definately think it’s an old fashioned thing. Purely for information purposes, incase, as Sam said, the person calling had dialled the wrong number. These days, you don’t often hear it (unless you are calling the Kingon-Rouse farm)

By saying “Hello, Amy speaking” to an un-identified number, you are still making the caller aware of who they’ve rang AND it’s still polite! Good call Sam!

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.