Tutorial for “Give Professional Advice”

Tips

Keep your language simple. Do not assume your reader knows all the jargon of your profession. Also, in our litigious society, giving professional advice may backfire despite your good intentions. Take precautions. Be sure your advice is professionally defensible. Consider including outside references or another person's opinions to reinforce your advice as well as protect yourself. Keep a copy of your letter and send one to any third party you think should have it.

Steps

1. Explain why you are writing (you were asked to by your reader, etc.)

Sentences

  • You asked what I thought of the proposed change in business hours. Staying open an extra hour on weekdays will definitely bring in more customers in the evening hours, especially those who work until five o'clock. However, why don't you consider extending business hours on Saturday as well?
  • Ever since you asked for my opinion about the Doe line, I've been thinking the situation over. I have tried to weigh the obvious benefits against the sizable costs.
  • After speaking with you on November 15, I reviewed your financial status and have come to the following conclusions:
  • I looked over your proposed plan for restructuring the department's debt load. Many aspects of it have merit.
  • You asked me for some basic information and advice about using discount brokerage houses.

Phrases

  • after weighing the pros and cons
  • after careful consideration
  • after speaking with you
  • asked me to recommend a good
  • asked for my opinion about
  • asked what I thought of
  • ever since you asked
  • have determined that
  • have come to the following conclusions
  • have reviewed your
  • have been thinking the situation over
  • have given much thought to
  • have done some research on your
  • in reviewing our records
  • let me offer a piece of advice
  • requested my advice about
  • share your concerns about
  • thank you for asking me
  • the tips you requested
  • to advise you about
  • wish to alert you to

2. Give your advice.

Sentences

  • It's my impression that we get a good portion of our business on Saturdays. Perhaps we should try closing late for a few weeks, keeping records of the times of all sales. Then we can meet to look over the sales record and decide what to do in the future.
  • In my opinion you should consider hiring an accountant.
  • I believe it would be a very bad idea to take out the home equity loan that you are considering. I strongly advise against mixing your personal funds with the company's.
  • However, you might want to consider the long-term costs of freeing up your monthly fixed costs. The Doe Group specializes in this type of thing. I suggest you get some advice from them.
  • I think you could really benefit from using a discount brokerage. Doe and Doe has done the same thing with impressive results. You may wish to talk with John Doe about their experience.

Phrases

  • a wiser course would be to
  • am convinced that your best approach would be to
  • before making such major changes
  • best solution to the problem
  • gather further information
  • give careful consideration to
  • it's important for you to
  • it's my impression that
  • may wish to talk with
  • may solve the problem
  • might want to consider
  • pay careful attention to
  • perhaps you should try
  • respectfully recommend that
  • seems an ideal time to
  • should probably wait and see
  • strongly advise against
  • suggest that you consult with
  • the long-term costs of
  • the time has come to
  • urge you to authorize me to
  • would be a good move
  • would be a good idea to
  • would be very cautious about

3. Include any reasons, evidence, or explanations that support your stand.

Sentences

  • Doing so would eliminate much of the record keeping I know you dislike and would make tax time a little more bearable.
  • Although it would allow you more immediate cash, it would end up costing you several thousand dollars down the road.
  • Several of my colleagues have chosen that option, and they seem very satisfied with their decision.
  • Although discount houses do not offer research and other services that full-time brokers provide, they do have their advantages. For one, the commission rate is significantly lower, which can make a great difference on your potential profit. In addition, discount houses tend to have faster and more convenient service.
  • Eventually, using this new procedure should have significant effect on curbing the budget overruns your company has been dealing with for the last few years.

Phrases

  • although it would allow you
  • an asset to the business
  • considering the pros and cons
  • considering the risks involved
  • doing so would almost certainly
  • eliminate much of the
  • farther down the road
  • from your point of view
  • has had impressive results
  • have chosen that option
  • have no doubt that
  • immediate and long-term effects
  • improve service to
  • in the long term
  • most beneficial to you
  • need to guard against
  • reflecting the true quality of
  • see no reason to
  • seem very satisfied with their
  • sends the message that
  • should have a significant effect on
  • show substantial improvement
  • the advantages of this course of action
  • the biggest advantage of
  • the biggest problem with
  • there are several advantages to
  • these ideas are right in line with
  • using this new procedure would
  • which can make a great difference to
  • will pay off in the end
  • would end up costing you
  • would present a much smaller risk
  • would send the message that
  • would eliminate much of
  • would be in your best interests to
  • would be a great improvement over
  • would be to your advantage to
  • would have detrimental effects on

4. Include a disclaimer.

Sentences

  • Before you make a final decision, please look into possible disadvantages.
  • This is only my opinion.
  • You must, of course, use your own judgment in this matter. If you agree, let's meet and I'll begin the necessary paperwork.
  • This is just something for you to consider. Call me if you have any questions.
  • I may be wrong, but I thought it would at least give you something to think about.
  • Without being in your shoes, I can't know the entire situation. I really can only make a guess on what it is like and what you should do about it.

Phrases

  • are no guarantees
  • as I understand it
  • before you make a final decision
  • can never be certain
  • can't and wouldn't tell you what to do
  • cannot promise immediate
  • is not an exact science
  • may be better off
  • may wish to consult
  • may wish to consider
  • must, of course, use your own judgment
  • need to consider the risks involved
  • please look into the possible
  • should also consider the
  • the decision is up to you
  • these are only suggestions
  • to the best of my knowledge
  • to make a decision like this
  • whether or not you take my advice

5. Close with a statement that will encourage the reader.

Sentences

  • Let me hear from you. I would like to know what you decide to do and how it goes.
  • I am confident that whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. Let me know what you finally decide to do.
  • I hope this advice fits your needs.
  • Before you make a final decision, I'd like to meet with you to see if we can find a better long-term solution.
  • I hope this idea will be useful. Let me hear from you.

Phrases

  • am convinced that
  • am confident that
  • best wishes for this
  • feel free to call me if
  • hope this advice
  • if we can find a better long-term solution
  • if you would like to
  • if I can be of further assistance
  • if I can help you
  • keep me posted
  • let me hear from you
  • let me know what you decide
  • look forward to your response
  • to discuss this further
  • trust that things will go well
  • what you decide to do
  • whatever decision you make
  • will be useful to you
  • will help you solve the problem
  • will be of value
  • would like to meet with you to
  • would like to know how things go

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