Your company’s telephone greeting is likely the first point of contact for many potential customers. With so much riding on this first interaction, it can seem like a tall order to craft a greeting that both gives repeat callers the warm fuzzies and shows first-time callers you’re someone they want to do business with. After all, a greeting that does all that surely includes a more than few words—a couple of quick paragraphs, perhaps?

Let’s try this greeting on for size:

“Funvestments, Springfield’s source for innovative financial planning solutions since 1998 and three-time winner of the SmartBucks award. Your retirement savings is our passion!”

Wow—there’s a lot to this greeting, that’s for sure! Sounds like the folks at Funvestments know how to help clients save for the future. Yet, did you notice something missing from this greeting?

There’s no actual greeting—instead, it begins with the company name: Funvestments. This isn’t uncommon, but it is a little odd when you think about it. You wouldn’t greet someone new by blurting out your name, would you?

A bit awkward, right? If you kick off your greeting with your company name, you miss the opportunity to welcome your caller.

A great greeting is not unlike meeting someone for the first time at a networking event. You want to make a good impression, but you also want to start building a relationship. And since Ruby is well-versed in the art of making personal connections, we’ve got some tips on crafting the perfect telephone greeting for your company.

Are you ready?

We recommend starting with a friendly “Hello!” or “Thank you for calling!” If callers share your time zone, “Good morning/afternoon/evening” is a nice option, too. Since “Thank you for calling” is a winner every time, so we’ll go with that. We’re off to a great start!

Next up: Let ’em know who they called. State your company name. This part is a piece of cake!

“Thank you for calling Funvestments!”

If you want to personalize it a bit, throw your first name in there—“Thank you for calling Funvestments! This is Ruby.”

What next? You’ve got a potential client in your hands—don’t blow it! How do you show your eagerness to help, your dedication to customer service, AND your passion for creating connections?

Simple: How may I help you?

What beautiful words! This little phrase tells callers, “If help is what you’re seeking, you’ve called the right place—I’m here to provide it!”

Now, we’re ready to unveil our final product. Ahem:

“Thank you for calling Funvestments! This is Ruby. How may I help you?”

I know what you’re thinking: You promised me a great greeting. Where’s the panache? The dazzle? The caller doesn’t even know how long we’ve been in business or how many awards we’ve won! Why, this greeting is so…so…straightforward.

Remember, this exchange isn’t about you and your (many, hard-earned) accolades. It’s about the caller. People don’t call your company to hear a list of achievements, just as someone doesn’t rattle off their awards and honors when they’re introduced to you. Chances are, if they’re calling, they’ve already scoped you out. They’re looking for help. What kind? You don’t know yet. That’s why you gotta ask.

When delivered with a smile, this simple greeting clearly shows your desire to help. In the original, well…not so much. Sometimes less is more, and a telephone greeting is one of those times. If you include three key elements—a greeting, your company name, and an offer of assistance—you’re sure to make a great impression every time.

Looking for even more great tips? Check out other posts in the Conversation Makeover series.