I Don’t Hear from You

In sales letters and email (and even in telephone messages), many people end like this:

"If I don’t hear from you before then, I will call you on Friday."

There has always been something about that statement that has not felt right to me.  It’s not a threat, no. And it is positive: "I will call you." But it just doesn’t work for me. The other day I realized why not.

I was staring at the words on the screen when I saw the problem:

" . . . I don’t hear from you . . ."

It’s that negative peeking out of the sentence that must have made me nervous. That’s why I like these alternatives:

"I look forward to talking with you. I will phone on Friday."

"I will call you on Friday unless we have talked before then."

"Phone me if you get a moment, or I will follow up on Friday." 

"If you have a chance to call me before Friday, great! Otherwise, I will call you then."

What do you think? Are you satisfied with "If I don’t hear from you?" or do you use another approach? Please share your views.

And if you would like more ways to be persuasive in writing, please read my latest newsletter. Its theme is "Be More Persuasive." (Note: If you subscribe, you will not hear from me unless you want to. It is simply a monthly newsletter, no strings attached.)

Lynn

4 COMMENTS

  1. I think you are on to something. I would be especially careful about using this term with lawyers. I am a lawyer who did business litigation for a decade, and this phrase was always used in a threatening manner, as in “If I do not hear back from you by Friday, I will have no choice bu to seek relief from the court, including sanctions against you.”

  2. “Phone me if you get a moment, or I will follow up on Friday.” That sounds just as threatening to me. I prefer “Phone me if you get a moment, or I can follow up on Friday.” I’m not sure why “can” sounds softer than “will.” But it does.

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