(Shāngwù diànhuà lǐyí) 商务电话礼仪 Business Etiquette – Make a phone call

商务电话礼仪 (shāngwù diànhuà lǐyí) Business Etiquette—Make a phone call
(Listen to the Chinese nursery rhyme related to making a pone call.)

Key learning points preview:

商务电话 (shāngwù diànhuà): n. make a call for business purpose


保持联系 (bǎochí liánxì): v.  to keep in touch


Making a phone call be the first step in building business relationships, and can have an important impact on the success or failure of such relationships.

In the context of business Chinese, when you make the first contact, the first sentence used should be “喂,您好!(wèi, nínhǎo!) How do you do?” We usually don’t use “你好 (nǐhǎo),” which means hello, because “您 (nín)” shows more respect than “你 (nĭ)” does, and is often used to call those who are older or have a  higher ranks.

Another etiquette in the context of business Chinese: when receiving a phone call while not knowing who is calling, we often use “请问您是哪位 (qǐng wèn nín shì nǎ wèi) may I know who is speaking please?” But in daily conversations, we often use a less respectable form: “你找谁 (nǐ zhǎo shuí) whom are you calling?” “请问 (qǐng wèn) may I ask… please?” shows that you are polite and have good manners. “哪位 (nǎ wèi)” and “谁 (shuí)” both mean who. “哪 (nǎ)” in this sentence means which, “位 (wèi)” is a measure word. “你找谁 (nǐ zhǎo shuí)” is used in daily Chinese and the tone is not as polite.

When you are ready to hang up the phone, you can say:

Zàijiàn, hěn gāoxìng hé nín zài diànhuà zhōng gōutōng, bǎochí liánxì.
再见, 很     高兴    和 您  在    电话      中        沟通,    保持  联系。
Goodbye, it was nice to talk with you on the phone. Let’s keep in touch.

(Answering the Phone? Make Sure You Greet Them the Right Way!)

Key learning points:
 商务电话 (shāngwù diànhuà): n. make a call for business purpose

“商务 (shāngwù)” means business and “电话 (diànhuà)” means telephone or phone call.


Shāngwù diànhuà yào jíshí huífù.
商务          电话   要   及时  回复。
Business calls should be returned in a timely fashion.

保持联系 (bǎochí liánxì): v. to keep in touch

“保持 (bǎochí)” means to keep and “联系 (liánxì)” means contact.


Guì gōngsī de dǎyìnjī yàngpǐn fúhé wǒmen de yāoqiú,
贵    公司   的 打印机   样品   符合   我们    的   要求,

zhè shì wǒ de míngpiàn, bǎochí liánxì.
这    是  我 的     名片,   保持   联系。
The sample printer offered by your company meets our requirements. Here is my name card, keep in touch.

Learn more Chinese business etiquette and avoid embarrassing situations and awkward misunderstandings when doing business in China.

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78 thoughts on “(Shāngwù diànhuà lǐyí) 商务电话礼仪 Business Etiquette – Make a phone call”

  1. I’m a beginner. In your business Chinese section, I know 哪 means which, but what’s the meaning of “那?” I guess they are same, or “那” is the abbreviation of “哪?”

  2. “哪” appeared in this business Chinese post is a question word, for example: “哪里 where.” But 那 is a demonstrative pronoun, for example: “那个 that one,” they are totally different.

  3. Yes, they are different! Business people in China use honorific words a lot! I know “交流” means to communicate. But in the previous business Chinese posts, I also learned “沟通,” which also means “communicate.” Are they pretty much the same thing?

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