Don’t be a bad date…

Communications is like dating
Don’t communicate like a bad date

It was probably the worst date I ever went on. He spent all evening talking ‘at’ me about his accomplishments and his impressive career. Then he spotted someone across the bar, and dashed off to say hello (read: flirt!) leaving me alone with a warm glass of wine…

Interestingly, I can think of a few brands that are guilty of this bad dating behaviour. All their communication tries too hard to impress and there’s no real exchange or dialogue with their customers or prospects. Then they trot off to try and snag the next lead, leaving their customers high and dry.

What a great communicator understands, is that the best dates involve chemistry. And chemistry is what happens when you talk to someone cute, and you discover – through your conversational exchanges – that you have something in common (or they have something you find super desirable). A great date makes you laugh and takes you out dancing. A great date will introduce you to their friends, rather then treating you like a conquest.

Make sure you communicate like a great date

When you’re communicating with your audience – be it the media, prospective customers, or long-time clients – approach the interaction as you would if you were trying to be a great date.

In other words:

  • Be warm and approachable: Goodbye, jargon! Goodbye, formal and boring language! Hello, friendly, clear, easy-to-understand brochures/websites/social media posts/media releases.
  • No weird surprises: Don’t suddenly announce that you’ve b
  • Listen attentively and converse with the aim of engaging your date – you want to figure out what they do for work, whether they have kids, what their dream holiday looks like, and how you could fit into their life, to make it happier than before. After all, you’re trying to sell them your product or service, and to do that, you need to be clear as to whether they might need these (and then be able to convince them that they do!).
  • Call them the next day – This is especially true if the first date (or first few dates) were good. Call them. Show up. Introduce them to your friends. What I mean is, make sure you follow-through with great customer service and great communications, beyond the date.  

How do you know if you’re doing it wrong?

We all know what happens after a bad date: Your date complains about you to their friends. At best, they avoid your calls and messages, seemingly busy with new hobbies that suddenly occupy their time. At worst, they block your number, and then shame you on social media.

So if you do one thing this year, learn how to be a better date, how to communicate better and offer your prospects and partners a more engaging interaction with your business.