U.S. vs Great Britain: Ed or Mr. Smith?

5 replies
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In the United States it is fairly common to call a new business contact by their first name, as in, "Hi, Ed, I'm calling to follow up on the proposal."

Is this the same in Great Britain? Or would you address them as "Mr. Smith" until you've worked with them for awhile?
  • Even in the US, I customarily address a new client formally, then ask if I can address them by their first name on initial or second contact (depending on the signals, or customs of the person) that might just be me...
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

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  • LOL! I love that sketch!
    (Btw: perfect example, Frankie Baby! )
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      In the UK it's common to say: "Hi asshole, remember me, the company you owed 50k to before you bankrupted your last business".
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    For me, it depends how they introduce themselves. If they call themself by their first name only, I know that is what they expect to be called. If they add their last name to the introduction, then I use the formal until told otherwise. If they do not say their name at all - if you enter an office via a receptionist sending you in - I call myself by my first name, and let them signal if it's okay to consider them by their first, too. I have found that most often those that prefer being called Mr or Ms are usually those who are older than myself. Younger generations are much less formal as a rule.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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