It’s certainly tricky to find a polite way to ask someone for advice in a professional setting. You could say “please advise,” but is it the most polite choice?
Luckily, this article is here to help you!
Is It Professional to Say “Please Advise”?
It’s professional to say“please advise.” The phrase is formal, and it’s not rude, so it works well in most business emails. It shows you are stuck and need someone to give you some advice that might help you overcome your problem.
Also, it’s not passive-aggressive as long as you use it appropriately in your writing. You should avoid writing “please advise” with no other words in the sentence to avoid the passive-aggressive tone that some people interpret.
Check out this example to help you:
Please advise me on how we should proceed.
- It’s formal and polite.
- It allows you to reach out and ask for help.
- It’s very formal, so it doesn’t work in casual emails.
- Someone might confuse the tone and deem it passive-aggressive.
“Please advise” is already very useful in professional contexts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a synonym to start mixing up your formal writing.
You should read on to learn more about some good polite alternatives to “please advise.” We’ve also provided examples to show how they work in different situations.
What to Say Instead of “Please Advise”
- Kindly tell me
- Could you advise
- Do you mind helping me
- Can you assist
- Could you help me?
- Can i ask for some help?
- Are you able to help?
- If you’re not busy, please help
- I would appreciate some advice
- Can I ask for advice?
1. Kindly Tell Me
Sometimes, “please advise” might not be the right choice. So, something like “kindly tell me” could be a more suitable option. We highly recommend this one in very professional emails when you’d like someone to explain something.
It works best when emailing employees or people in very formal settings. It shows respect toward the recipient, which is always useful when trying to ask for help.
You can check out the following email example to help you:
Kindly tell me what you think about this situation. I’m unsure if this is correct, so I need an extra set of eyes.
2. Could You Advise
You can remove “please” from “please advise” and still have it work in polite situations. Instead of “please,” try saying “could you advise.” It’s a great alternative if you want to be more professional and respectful.
After all, “could you advise” allows you to ask a question. Generally, questions are easier to answer when they’re clearer. “Please advise” is good, but it’s more of a statement, so people might not be as happy to answer you.
You may learn more from the following sample email:
Please could you advise me on what I should do next? I don’t know what options I have right now.
3. Do You Mind Helping Me
You can never go wrong by checking that the recipient is happy to advise you before asking for it. For example, “do you mind helping me” is a great alternative to “please advise.”
It is a respectful way to check if someone is happy to help. They might be too busy to offer you advice at the minute, so it’s good to find out with them first before asking them for things that may waste their time.
Here’s a quick look at an email example to show you how it works:
Do you mind helping me complete this project? I appear to have reached a crossroads.
4. Can You Assist
While “advise” is a good verb to use in formal emails, you can replace it with “assist.” A phrase like “can you assist” shows that you’re looking for someone to help you figure out a problem you’re having.
It’s a useful professional phrase that works when you want to be respectful toward someone. It shows you value their opinion and would like to learn from them.
You can learn more from this example email:
Dear Ms. Scotts,
I thought this was right. Can you assist me with this matter if this is not the case?
Thank you very much,
5. Could You Help Me?
We recommend asking “could you help me?” when you need someone to offer advice or assistance. It’s a very polite and professional question, so it works in many business contexts.
Most of the time, you’ll use something like this when emailing colleagues. It shows you need their help in a very polite way. “Could you” is the key here, as it shows you are asking nicely before expecting someone to help.
You can also refer to this sample email to help you:
Could you help me understand more about this, please? It appears that I have the wrong idea.
6. Can I Ask for Some Help?
Asking clear and direct questions is the best way to get results. That’s why “can I ask for some help?” is such an effective choice in most business emails.
It shows that you’re looking for help and would like the recipient to offer it to you. We highly recommend using this one when emailing someone you trust. For instance, you can use it when emailing a colleague who you know has the appropriate skills to assist you.
Here is an email sample if you’re still not sure:
Can I ask for some help with this problem? I think I have a good idea, but I’m not sure if it’s appropriate.
7. Are You Able to Help?
You might not know whether someone can help you, but it’s always good to ask. “Are you able to help?” allows you to find out if someone can assist you. From there, they have two options.
On the one hand, they may tell you they can’t help. They might not have the appropriate skill set. That’s okay. It just means you have to search elsewhere for help.
On the other hand, they might know exactly how to help. So, they can reply to your email with whatever you need to complete your task.
Here is an example to show you how it works:
Are you able to help me here? I would like to know how to proceed further without causing issues.
All the best,
8. If You’re Not Busy, Please Help
If you want to know how to say “please advise” politely, you can always count on “if you’re not busy, please help.” There are two parts to this phrase that makes it a very polite alternative.
The first part is “if you’re not busy.” This allows you to check someone’s availability before asking them for advice. It’s a great way to see if someone is willing to help.
The second part is “please help.” Naturally, any phrase that includes “please” is a professional and polite way to ask for help. Therefore, “please help” shows that you’d appreciate advice from someone you respect.
You can also refer to this example to help as well:
If you’re not busy, please help me with further proceedings. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do next.
All the best,
9. I Would Appreciate Some Advice
You don’t always have to ask a question when replacing “please advise.” Instead, you could say “I would appreciate some advice” in more professional situations.
It shows that you’re looking for some help and would appreciate anything the recipient can offer. It’s a very respectful way to request some assistance without needing to ask for it directly.
Here’s a useful email example to show you how to use it:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I would appreciate some advice on the matter. You must have a few ideas that can still help me.
10. Can I Ask for Advice?
“Can I ask for advice?” is a great example of how to politely ask for advice in an email. You can use it when you’d like someone to help you with a problem you have.
Generally, a polite question like this will always get results. It shows that you’re eager to learn the answer and want to check whether someone is willing to help you.
Here’s a quick example to also show you how it works:
Can I ask for advice about payment methods? I want to ensure that I have chosen the best option.
All the best,