What to Say When You Need an Answer Now

BY Jessica Helinski
Featured image for “What to Say When You Need an Answer Now”

The phrase "as soon as possible" can sometimes come across as pushy, but how else can a salesperson stress urgency? There are at least 12 other phrases you can use that are less forceful but just as effective, according to Aja Frost, writer for the HubSpot Sales Blog. Here are a few of her suggested alternatives:

… by [date and time] because [reason].”

This statement gives the other person a specific deadline, as well as insight into why you need urgency. This insight can make you seem less pushy since he or she understands your rationale.

I apologize for the urgency, but could you please [do X, send me Y, complete Z] at your soonest possible convenience?”

While this conveys the same urgency as “as soon as possible,” the delivery is much more considerate.

Is [date and time] feasible for [reviewing the contract, arranging a meeting etc.]?

Frost suggests, when using this statement, to ask for an earlier deadline than needed. This gives the other person the option to have a say in the matter. Your request will seem more reasonable because you are offering to modify it. And what if the person is fine with the suggested deadline? You’ll get what you need even earlier than expected!

When you have a chance [in the next day, before tomorrow, this week]…”

Saying this gives the other person some breathing room while still asking for a specific reply date. They won’t feel as pressured, which may make them more likely to respond in a timely manner.

It’s understandable that a salesperson will have deadlines, but there are more tactful ways to communicate that than saying “as soon as possible.” Rather than cause anxiety or create pressure, consider using one of Frost’s suggestions the next time you request something by a deadline.