Following up

    Business Spotlight 4/2016
    Telefonieren im Büro.
    © Shironosov/thinkstock
    Von Mike Hogan

    We often have to wait for information or work from other people before we can continue with our own work. In such cases, you may need to give the other person a friendly to give sb. a reminderjmdn. an etw. erinnernreminder, for example, through a follow-up phone call or email. But remember, even though the issueAngelegenheitissue might be at the top of your priority list, it could be at the bottom of the other person’s list. In fact, they may even have forgotten about the issue completely. So you’ll need to manage the situation carefully in order to get the information or work you need, even though the other person might not have planned time for it.

    Read the following dialogue from a phone call and the email that follows it. As you read, think about the answers to these questions:

    Questions on the following texts:

    1. How does Pavel help Linda to focus on the topic?

    2. Why does Pavel offer to help Linda?

    3. How does Pavel make sure that what they agree on during the call is not forgotten?

    How to follow up: examples

    Read these examples of a follow-up phone call and a follow-up email.


    Dialogue: Following up via the phone

    Linda: Supply chain departmentAbteilungdepartment. Linda ... speakingSie sprechen mit ...speaking.
    Pavel: Hi, Linda, it’s Pavel here from the logistics centre. Do you have a minute?Hast du/haben Sie einen
 Augenblick Zeit?Do you have a minute?
    Linda: Sure, but only a minute. I have to go to a meeting.
    Pavel: No problem. I’ll be quick. Do you remember we spoke last week about the new product-shippingVersandshipping process? I’m calling about the logistics planning. I still need your forecast figuresPrognosezahlen, -werteforecast figures from the supply chainLieferkettesupply chain so I can plan enough shipping space. I don’t know how much you plan to produce, as I still haven’t received the information.
    Linda: Oh, yes, of course. I’m very sorry I haven’t sent you the figures yet. I’ve been very busy, and we had some problems with our suppliers. This to affect sth.etw. beeinflussenaffected our forecasting.
    Pavel: Is there anything I can do to help you to to finalize sth.etw. abschließen, fertigstellenfinalize the forecasts?
    Linda: No, I don’t think so. But thanks for asking. I just need to find time to to updateetw. aktualisierenupdate the figures. Can I do it tomorrow and send it to you then?
    Pavel: Yes, that’s OK, but I really do need them tomorrow.
    Linda: OK. I’ll send them to you before the end of the day tomorrow.

    Following up via email


    To: Linda
    From: Pavel
    subjectBetreffSubject: Supply chain forecast figures for logistics planning

    Hi Linda

    It was good to talk to you this morning. I have just found out that I will be in meetings for the next two days, so you don’t have to to rushsich beeilenrush to send me the figures tomorrow as we agreed.

    It’s OK for you to send them to me the day after. But I really will need them by then, when I’m back in the office.



    Answers to the questions:

    Click here to find the answers to the questions above.

    To help Linda to focus, Pavel reminds her of the new product-shipping process and of what needs to be done.

    Pavel offers to help Linda so that she might have more time to do the task he needs her to do.

    To make sure that their agreement is not forgotten, Pavel sends Linda a follow-upAnschlussfollow-up email to to confirm sth.etw. bestätigenconfirm what they have agreed.



    Useful phrases for following up


    1. Saying who you are

    • Hi, it’s Pavel here from the logistics centre.
    • Hello, Andreas, it’s Marie here from the Paris office.
    • Good morning, Mr Hurst. This is Jo Brown calling from London.

    2. Checking if it is a good time

    • Is this a good time to talk about… ?
    • Are you free for a few minutes to discuss… ?
    • Do you have a minute?
    • Could I just talk to you for a moment about… ?

    3. Talking about the last contact

    • Do you remember we spoke last week about… ?
    • It was good talking to you yesterday.
    • At the recent meeting, we agreed that…
    • When we met at your office, you said you could help me with…

    4. Saying what you need

    • I’m calling about…
    • I still need you to send me the…
    • Could you send me the information about… ?
    • I need to know…
    • I’ll need the information bybis spätestensby tomorrow.
    • Could you get the figures to me by next week?

    5. Identifying the next steps

    • OK, so I’ll wait to get your email before the end of the week.
    • So you’ll send me the information by the end of the week.
    • If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll send you a reminder.
    • If we have more time on this, I’ll let you know.


    Mehr zum Thema

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    Following up: Alternative phrases

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