There are many situations in which you will need to ask someone for confirmation.
Doing so allows you to move ahead with assurance but you also want to ensure that you use courtesy to build your relationship.
Confirmations are best obtained in written form. Reach out on a suitable medium and start your request like this: “Please reply with confirmation that…” followed by the specific question, statement, or information that you need, e.g., “…you received this letter”.
Why ask for confirmation?
Confirmation verifies that something has taken place.
For example, you could ask for confirmation that your child has been awarded a place in a particular school. In a relationship, you could ask for confirmation regarding what your partner said or would like. People request confirmation every day to ensure that things are going smoothly or lay a foundation for further interactions in families and other relationships.
If you want confirmation, it’s usually for something important to you. Confirmation also gives approval or corroboration. For example, someone could confirm the facts that they heard in a meeting or a request from a customer, in cases where there is some sort of disagreement over what was said.
In most cases, it is best to obtain confirmation in writing.
This helps to prevent any new disagreements or ambiguity in the future. You could ask for confirmation for an appointment, a job interview, a college admissions interview, receipt of a resume, or even the date on which a house sale is to take place.
If you ask for confirmation in a face-to-face meeting, it may not be as easy to request written confirmation. However, if you ask for confirmation through email, you will have a document that confirms whatever was agreed to by all the parties involved.
Asking for Confirmation of Receipt of An Item
Many companies nowadays do business online and if your shop sends items to customers by post, you’ll want to be sure that they’ve gotten what you sent. You could ask them to confirm that they have received an item. You could also ask them to confirm that the product was in good condition when they received it.
When you’re doing business in this digital age, you’ll often need confirmation that a client has received a receipt that was sent to them via email.
This should be done for bookkeeping purposes and to make certain that your customers have all the documents related to their transactions.
You could say:
“Please confirm upon receipt.”
“Kindly acknowledge receipt of this product.”
“Please confirm receipt of this invoice.”
Confirming That Resumes and College Applications Have Been Received
Asking someone to confirm that they’ve received your resume is important when you are looking for a new position.
You never want to assume that your resume has reached the intended party when it hasn’t.
Asking for confirmation sets your mind at ease.
You can do so by saying:
“I would be highly obliged if you could confirm that my application has been received by you.”
“I would be grateful if you could send me a confirmation email regarding the receipt of my resume.”
“Kindly confirm receipt of my college application via email.”
Confirming that Emails have Been Received
Nowadays, you can use software to track everything that happens to your emails. This includes knowing when a recipient opened your email.
However, if you don’t want to track everything that happens with all of your emails, you could simply ask each recipient to confirm that they’ve gotten the information that was sent.
You could say:
“Please reply with confirmation that you have received this email.”
“Please reply with confirmation that you’ve read the attached.”
“Please confirm by email that you’ve received the details on the meeting.”
Confirming Required Actions by Email
You’ll want confirmation that the person has read the email and understood what is required of them.
For example, if they are expected to be at a meeting, you’ll want to confirm that they read the email containing information on the date and location of that meeting.
Similarly, if you will not be able to send a client a particular line of products, you may communicate this information in an email and ask for confirmation that they have read it.
In all of these situations, it is legally beneficial to you to have written confirmation that the other party has received the information and understands what is expected of them.
You could say:
“I would like you to confirm that you’ll be available for the meeting.”
“Kindly confirm that you’ve read this email and understand that the date of the meeting has been changed.”
“Please confirm that you’ll be able to help with this task next Friday.”
“Please confirm that you will be available to receive the goods on such and such a date instead of at the original time.”
“Please email me back and let me know what works for you.”
“Let me know if that date works for you.”
Confirming your Relationship Status
As people progress in a relationship, they want to make sure they are on the same page. No one wants to think they are headed towards a secure business partnership when the other person is just thinking of making a quick sale and moving on.
Similarly, if a relationship is headed towards marriage, both parties will want to confirm that is so.
Some people are aware that they need to communicate their intentions and they will easily give confirmation through the way they introduce their significant other to people in their lives or even their social media profile.
Studies have shown that it is better to include your significant other in your social media posts. It improves intimacy and satisfaction.
If you are unsure of your status in a relationship, you can ask for confirmation by saying:
“Where do we stand?”
“Would you like to purchase goods from us in the future?”
“Would you like us to supply goods to you on a long-term basis?”
“I love you and don’t want to see anyone else. Do you feel the same?”
“I enjoy spending time with you and I would like to know where this is going?”
“Where do you see our relationship a year from now?”
Confirmation of Your Authority
There are several situations in which you may have authority given to you by someone else. For example, if you are planning a wedding, a person may temporarily give you authority to use a venue as you see fit or give instructions to everyone who works at that property.
Similarly, if you are representing your company at a meeting, you may have full authority to make all decisions on behalf of the organization.
If you’ve been given specific authority in a situation, you may want the person who is granting you that authority to confirm it in a letter.
This way, you can show the letter to people who might give you problems along the way.
You can ask them to confirm what you can do, by saying:
“Please confirm that I am authorized to close the business when necessary.”
“Kindly confirm that I am authorized to take control of that department.”
“Kindly confirm that I have full authority to make all decisions about this event.”
Perhaps the most common requests for confirmation come when someone wants to confirm information. A child may ask for this type of confirmation from their parents, a teacher, or a sibling.
For example, they may ask whether they should put something down, stop sitting in front of the television now or go and wash their hands now.
Children may sometimes ask for confirmation when they want to delay the inevitable.
For example, they may say:
“So, I can’t have another cookie?”
“So, I have to do my homework right now?”
“Do I have to clean up my room?”
Adults may also need to ask for confirmation from children, to ensure that they have not missed any important facts. Young children especially, may not always know what details are important.
By asking for confirmation of information, an adult can get a clearer picture of an event that they are describing or ensure that the child understands what they are being asked.
You could say:
“So, your tummy started to hurt after you had the peanuts?”
“So, you were raising your hand to answer the question?”
“So, you want the chocolate cookie instead of the peanut butter?”
In business situations, you should always confirm information before you expand into a new market or begin a partnership. Never take the chance that you misheard something on the phone or in person if it could end up costing you money or a relationship if you got it wrong.
Confirm whatever you hear in meetings, over the phone, or elsewhere.
Always check the details and clarify information.
You could say:
“Please repeat that.”
“Everything isn’t clear. Could you go over that section?”
“I don’t think we’re all on the same page. I am confused about such and such.”
“Please confirm how we can help you to implement this.”
“Could you say that again? I’m afraid that my phone line is not clear.
For more tips on effective communication in professional settings, check out our blog post on How to Professionally Say ‘It’s Up to You’.
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.