Context: I have to persuade the recipient to close the billing cycle by today and I have to be polite, since the recipient holds a very high position.

  1. I urge you to expedite the billing of ModuleXYZ at the earliest

  2. I request you to please close ModuleXYZ's billing ASAP

I am inclined towards #1 but I feel it is impolite. Is it possible to frame a sentence which is both polite and persuasive?

  • 1
    'I have to persuade ...' is an invidious position. Especially when followed by 'today'. But I'd depersonalise the request/demand if possible: According to ..., it is essential that.... Dec 11, 2015 at 8:26
  • Don't use urge. It sometimes has the meaning of force/drive someone to do something. How does 'I humbly request you to expedite the billing of ModuleXYZ at the earliest possible' sound to you?
    – Grizzly
    Dec 11, 2015 at 8:51
  • 1
    At your earliest convenience is a broadly used phrase that doesn't sound impolite. "I would like you to close ModuleXYZ's billing at your earliest convenience". How does it sound?
    – user140086
    Dec 11, 2015 at 8:59
  • @EdwinAshworth - Thanks for the point. Is it unacceptable to use a persuasive tone , rather to persuade someone in a professional setting? I'm confused as to why it is invidious...
    – BiscuitBoy
    Dec 11, 2015 at 9:08
  • @Rathony - "at your earliest convenience" does sound polite. I will incorporate it in my email writing. Thanks!
    – BiscuitBoy
    Dec 11, 2015 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


When speaking truth to power do not grovel and do not threaten. Above all do not make it personal.

Explain the risks professionally. Document your communication and if faced with unaceptable inaction invite your recipient to a meeting with someone higher up the chain where you both can explain your concerns.

Both 1 and 2 leave out the most important thing: "by today".

The billing cycle must be closed by [todays date] or X will happen resulting in Y.

  • You are right. I missed to highlight the deadlines for want of politeness. I wrote - "Please consider closing the billing cycle of ModuleXYZ by 8.00 PM EST to avoid billing loss" and it worked! :)
    – BiscuitBoy
    Dec 13, 2015 at 6:54

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