How to be the Worst Communicator Ever in 7 Easy Steps
As a business owner, your voice, your communication is the most powerful tool you have. You can close a deal, negotiate a sale and motivate your team—all with the power of communication. As an agency that's sole purpose is to help folks communicate, we fully understand how powerful it is. If good communication can do all these great things for you, poor communication can also lead you astray. So, if you're on the path to self destruction, take these helpful tips!
Here's how to sink your ship and make sure nobody wants to talk to you ever again!
Never use the telephone. If someone calls you, don't pick up. If they leave a message, don't return it. If they really want to do business with you, they'll keep calling. You're far too busy and important to be bothered by silly customers and their demands!
Email? What email? Don’t bother responding to emails from people, and if you do, make sure you avoid answering their questions and make your reply as short as possible, giving no details. After all, if they really wanted to talk to you, they'd call, right? (see Step 1 above)
Complain as much as possible. For example, wonder why things haven't gotten done when someone has called you, sent numerous emails and follow ups that you have ignored. Be sure to send a strongly worded letter to them reminding them of their failure to successfully communicate with you. What is WRONG with some people? Sheesh! Things should just happen and they should know what you want and need without your having to tell them. If they were truly good at their jobs, they'd know instinctively.
Always have a negative attitude. If someone tells you to have a good day, be sure to say something like "too late, I'm already out of bed." That will guarantee an immediate shutdown of any and all further communication with that person. What does one say to that other than, "sorry to hear you're having a rough life." They will then beat a hasty retreat and go talk to someone who has something good or interesting to say. You may lose a sale here, but hey, you're just being honest. Life sucks then you die.
Throw people under the bus as often as possible. A couple of weeks ago we wrote a post about how to handle a customer service crisis with grace. Ignore all that. Instead, make excuses and blame anyone within striking distance. You should probably blame your client or vendor. After all, everything you do is perfect, how could anyone ever have a complaint? They're just a bunch of crybabies!
When speaking, use words that overly exaggerate your point. Call something "amazing" or "the absolute best." This extreme confidence and over enthusiasm can totally backfire on you. What if the thing you're talking about is only just "ok" instead of "amazing?" Your words will have lost their power and your customer won't believe you anymore. Cool, right? To heck with them anyway. You ARE amazing and if they don't believe it, that's their problem.
Never let anyone get a word in edgewise. You have so many genius opinions and fascinating facts and figures to share with people that you don't really need to listen to what your customer has to say. YOU are the expert and they need to zip it up and take in the brilliance. This leaves the customer feeling voiceless, but hey, their thoughts are useless to you, so whatever. In fact, you know that 70/30 rule where you let the customer talk 70% of the time and you talk 30% of the time? Toss that right out. Make it the 95/5 rule. You talk 95% of the time and just leave them enough space to say "hello" and "goodbye."
If you've ever dealt with someone with poor communication skills, you know how frustrating it can be. Bad communication can cause all kinds of woe such as confusion, lost productivity, lost revenue and it can undermine and alienate your team and your customers. It can also make you look like a giant boob.
For tips on how to be a GREAT communicator, check out our post over here.
And by all means, feel free to share your stories about bad communication in the comments below!