The phrase “I look forward to hearing from you” is one of the most commonly used responses in the business world. It’s a solid, professional way to request a response from a contact, which is why so many people use it. But its commonality makes it a little impersonal, or at least unoriginal.
Fortunately, you have lots of alternatives to choose from. Whether you’re looking to improve your sales strategy, or just want to know the appropriate way to respond to messages in a professional environment, you should have an arsenal of responses at your disposal depending on the situation and the person to whom you’re speaking.
Crafting the right response in a professional setting is important for three main reasons:
- It will help you move prospects through the sales cycle: When you sell your product, you are dealing with human beings, not robots. The way you interact with them matters, so you must carefully edit any messages you send them. By talking to them in an appropriate manner, you increase their trust in you and therefore move them closer to buying from you.
- It shows the other person you consider them important: A flippant, inconsiderate response or — worse — no response at all suggests to the other person that you don't value them. This decreases trust and damages a potential professional or customer relationship.
- It makes you look professional: By responding appropriately depending on the situation, you increase the perception of your own professionalism. This makes it easier to develop the kind of relationships you want in the business world.
Here are 10 great alternatives to “I look forward to hearing from you,” each with its own strengths and the scenarios in which you should use them.
1. "I await your immediate response.”
This response has a direct tone and conveys urgency — I’m waiting to hear from you, so please do so soon. It motivates the client to act by making it clear that time is of the essence. It doesn’t quite strike the friendly tone that “I look forward to hearing from you” does, so use it sparingly. However, it’s useful in situations where you really, really need a response soon.
Best used when: A fast reply is necessary, or you suspect the individual will delay responding for whatever reason.
2. "Please keep me informed.”
This response takes a more passive, indirect tone. Unlike the previous response, it expresses less urgency and conveys that your timeline is flexible. Use this only for situations that are not time-sensitive because it will give the recipient the impression that they can contact you only when they feel it is necessary and not until then.
Best used when: You just want to make sure the individual thinks of you if there are any relevant developments on the matter at hand.
3. "Always happy to hear from you.”
This is another example of an indirect tone, and it’s a lot warmer and friendlier. It also demonstrates flexibility with the response and indicates the timeline is open-ended. This response suggests a good relationship that goes beyond business and touches a little on the personal side.
Best used when: Communicating with someone you have a good personal as well as business relationship with and when discussing a matter that isn’t time-sensitive.
4. "Appreciate your prompt response.”
Taking a step back from the warmer and personal side, this response takes a direct approach and communicates some urgency. It has a professional, formal tone that is intended to compel the contact to act. This is a useful response when in a strictly professional setting and working under tight deadlines.
Best used when: Communicating urgency to someone with whom you have a strictly professional relationship.
5. "Eager to hear your feedback.”
This response takes a bit of a friendlier tone even though it remains professional and doesn’t really touch on the personal. It indicates that you value the opinions of the contact. This indirect tone shows some enthusiasm and warmth, and it indicates flexibility with the response.
Best used when: Having an ongoing dialogue with an individual with whom you have a good working relationship, albeit entirely in a professional setting.
6. "Should we not hear from you by X day, we’ll assume we're confirmed to move forward from here.”
This response is meant to be a bit pushy, so be careful in employing it. It takes a direct tone and communicates the seriousness of the matter, and it aims to nudge an indecisive individual to act. It may succeed in motivating some type of action, prompting the contact to either accept the terms or push back and ask for more time.
Best used when: Trying to get a final decision from someone who has been indecisive, such as when using it as a sales tactic to try and close a deal with a client.
7. "We kindly request a response by X day.”
If you’re unsure about using the response above, this is a good alternative to dealing with an indecisive contact. It takes a direct tone and conveys urgency, but the tone remains polite. It tells the contact, “We understand you’re still thinking things over, but we really would like to hear from you on this date.” For individuals with whom you have a good rapport, this prompting may be enough to get them to act.
Best used when: Dealing with individuals you have a good relationship with and who generally respond to polite requests for a decision.
8. "Please respond at your earliest convenience.”
This is a common response in a professional environment for those who want to formally convey urgency to someone they don’t know particularly well. It takes a direct tone while maintaining an air of politeness and formality. It expresses some urgency without demanding an immediate response and provides some flexibility to the contact while indicating that a response sooner would be better.
Best used when: You need a response from an individual soon although not right away, and you want to convey that sentiment as professionally as possible.
9. "Talk to you soon!”
For individuals with a good relationship, this is a perfectly fine response that communicates warmth and enthusiasm in an indirect tone. It doesn’t apply any urgency or indicate a timeline. This response is not the most professional one available, so use it sparingly and avoid it when addressing someone you don’t know well.
Best used when: Communicating with someone whom you know well and with whom you have a friendly relationship.
10. "A fast response is appreciated.”
This is a formal option that takes a direct tone and communicates urgency. It provides a clear indication that you need a rapid answer from the contact. However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t make clear who the contact is. It could be the original contact, or it could be that person’s boss or colleague, or someone else. As a result, it makes sense to combine this response with an opening greeting such as, “To whom it may concern.”
Best used when: Requesting action from an organization as a whole and you’re operating under a tight time frame.
Use software to connect better with clients
Getting better at interacting with clients and improving your close rates need more than just an appropriate response. You must be effective at prospecting, keeping your contacts organized, and having a killer sales pitch at the ready.
That’s where CRM software comes in. Software platforms have many tools for increasing your effectiveness as a salesperson. For example, they have features that allow you to immediately dial up prospects and see how close you are to closing, plus they have advanced analytics that will show you how well you’re performing and help you identify areas for improvement.
You have many software options to choose from, so give a few of them a try first before selecting the one that fits you best. Remember, not everyone operates the same way, so don’t just go with the most popular option. A software platform must fit you like a glove if you want to get the most out of it.