Why The Term ASAP Is More Counterproductive Than You Think

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Why The Term ASAP Is More Counterproductive Than You Think”

Has it happened again? The end of the month is nearing, and you still haven't closed that big account. You're tempted to fire off an email and include the term ASAP to get a response.

Be careful with that approach. As the old saying goes, most clients and prospects don't feel that your poor planning results in an emergency for them.

ASAP — The Term is Counterproductive

Our research shows that 30% of potential buyers dislike salesperson behavior, which pushes them to decide before they are ready. Including this term in your email definitely suggests pushiness. You may want to avoid it entirely with prospects to maintain credibility. Existing clients may be more open to an email with text that includes something like the following:

Offering an Apology with the Timed Request

Dear Riley, We don't often send out a limited-​time offer. But we have just released a new product and, as a valued customer, we want to offer it to you first at a discounted price. So, if you place an order with us by the end of the month, you'll receive the product first, along with complimentary delivery and on-​site training. We anticipate significant demand for this product, so we know you'll understand the time-​sensitive nature of this offer.

How to Say ASAP Politely

As we have pointed out in previous blogs, sales representatives often default to using common jargon in email messages that simply fills the space and wastes the reader's time. Instead, sending an email is your opportunity to stir emotion in your prospects. You hope they'll follow through on their feelings and take action. Specifically, you want them to move to the next step in the sales cycle.

Your prospects don't want to read that you are "just checking in." Boring. You also don't want them to receive an email from you filled with ASAPs and red exclamation points.

If you're dealing with a prospect that has been dragging their feet, their product trial might be coming to an end. In this case, you need to know how to say this term politely. They've had plenty of time to evaluate the product. You need them to make a decision. But you also don't want to lose them.

You'll want to use positive email messaging for an important potential client. For example, you could include wording that addresses how quickly their pain points will disappear once they purchase your solution, as Johnny-​Lee Reinoso at C‑levelpartners.com suggests:

Dear Riley,
I hope you've enjoyed the helpful features of our market research tool during your trial period. As you know, your trial is scheduled to end this Friday. I'm happy to answer any questions you have or to demo some of the advanced features if you haven't had time to explore them. This tool will be a game-​changer for your company. “Now, I don’t want to slow you down. We’ve identified what’s mission- critical here, and you need to get this done. So, I have time early this week – I can put a kickoff meeting on the calendar so we can start this sooner than later.”

Being Direct

If your potential client still isn’t taking any action, you can directly address their pain levels. Reinoso acknowledges that some reps will feel this approach is unethical. But some prospects need to be reminded that they are losing money by not buying into your solution. 

He encourages reps to “talk about the undesirable outcomes that the prospect faces. if they keep on with business as usual. “Be specific in your email and point out that they’ve mentioned losing $5,000 a quarter because their systems are so old.”

The next time you need quick action from a prospect or client, resist the urge to make demands highlighted with ASAP. Don't push your responsibilities onto them. Instead, take the opportunity to engage them with positive suggestions, actions, and phrases.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.