How Do You Say Goodbye?

October 8, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

At a recent workshop I was asked for advice on a challenge I’ve never encountered. While I certainly have some thoughts and suggestions, I’ve decided to share this challenge with you.

Have you also experienced this challenge? Please share your ideas and feedback in the comments section below.

Two people in the workshop mentioned that they have difficulty ending a phone call. They find themselves in an awkward back and forth situation that I can only describe as verbal volleyball. It might sound something like this:

“Okay, well thanks.”

“Yeah thanks. I’ve enjoyed talking to you.”

“Yeah, me too. Always great to talk to you.”

“We’ll talk again soon.”

“Yeah, for sure. I look forward to it.”

“Yeah, so do I. Well … okay.”

“Okay, uhm, bye.”

“Yeah, bye.”

My first, somewhat thoughtless answer to this question is … goodbye – to end a phone call I say “goodbye”. But even as I said this, I knew it wasn’t true. The word “goodbye” didn’t feel or sound right when I said it. I don’t think it’s a word we use very often any more. Perhaps we are favouring the more casual “Bye” instead?

Since I was asked the question, I’ve been paying more attention to how I end my phone calls. My habit is to quickly summarize the conversation, get agreement and then hang up. Much to my surprise, I’m not even saying “Bye”.

Here’s a sample of how I wrap up a phone call:

“Well, thanks so much for calling. Based on what we’ve discussed, I’ll prepare a proposal for you and send it on Monday. Does that work for you?”

“Yes, Monday’s fine, and even later in the week will work for us as well.”

“I’ll make sure you have it on Monday and we’ll talk again once you’ve had time to review it.”

“Sounds great.”

“Okay, we’ll talk again soon. ” Click

So now I’m curious. How are you ending your phone calls? Is there an etiquette we should be following? What do you think?



Where’s The Phone Lady? 


Tuesday Oct 10 – Telephone Excellence, TD Private Wealth Management, Tele-training

Wednesday Oct 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax

Thursday Oct 12 – Telephone Excellence, CIBC, Tele-training

Friday Oct 13 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust, Fredericton

Tuesday Oct 17 – Telephone Excellence, Canadian Credit Union Association, National Virtual Conference

Wednesday Oct 18  – Telephone Excellence, Knowledge First Financial, Tele-training

Friday Oct 20 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust, Charlottetown

Tuesday Oct 24 – Celebrating Small Business with Halifax Public Libraries at the Central Library: Top 10 Ways to Use Conversation to Build Trust, 6 to 8 pm, Halifax

Thursday Oct 26 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Bluewater, Porters Lake

Thursday Oct 26 – Telephone Excellence, CIBC, Tele-training

Monday Oct 30 – Phone Skills for the 21st Century, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, Atlantic Chapter, Halifax

Tuesday Nov 7 – Telephone Excellence, Canadian Credit Union Association, National Virtual Conference

Tuesday Nov 14 – Create Consistent Revenue, CEED, Halifax

Wednesday Nov 18 – Telephone Excellence, Killam Properties Inc, Halifax

Tuesday Nov 21 – Telephone Excellence, RBC, Tele-training



  1. Natasha Marchewka says:

    Hi Mary Jane!

    I tend to be very swift and to the point with this, often taking people by surprise.

    I say, “Okay, thank you for ___. It was a pleasure speaking with you. Have a great day!”.

    “Oh, you’re welcome….”




    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks, Natasha, for sharing this. Wondering if you receive any feedback from others. You acknowledge that you know they are surprised. Are they also appreciative? I believe that people do appreciate when we are efficient and allow them to get back to their day and tasks.

      • The Phone Lady says:

        Here’s Natasha’s reply: “Yes, I do believe people are pleasantly surprised! It demonstrates my professionalism in keeping things brief for all involved. I think it is appreciated and I don’t plan on changing my M.O. any time soon!”

  2. Linda Daley says:

    I try to end with ‘have a great day’.

  3. Peggy says:

    Great topic! I usually say, “Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today.” “Oh, you’re welcome.” “Bye” “Bye”

    I don’t like “have a great day” as it rings false to me. The person I’m speaking with is usually a stranger and I have no idea of what challenges they will be facing during the day. I would only say it to someone that I know well.

    Many thanks!

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks for your comment, Peggy. It is so important to use language that “rings” true to us. That way we always sound authentic and our message is heard in a truthful way. So … saying “thank you” is perfect.

  4. Paul says:

    Depending on the conversation, I usually do end it with a “Have a great day” or “Bye Bye”. For me when I say “Have a great day!”, I mean it… if the others don’t feel it’s rings true, that says more about them, than I. Again, it depends on the conversation, and sometimes on who I’m speaking with.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks for your comment, Paul. As with Peggy’s comment below, authenticity is what works. People will hear that you are sending them wishes for a good day and it will be appreciated. I often do a variation on this which is “Enjoy your day”.

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