Here We Go Again… Why Effective Communication Trumps All

                I hope that everyone is well and enjoying some activity that excites them.  I, on the other hand, just finished an eight-hour re-certification class for my pest control licenses.  While the vast majority of us must undergo some type of continuing education or re-certification classes on a regular basis to keep our licenses/certifications in effect, the benefit and knowledge that we get from these classes is often suspect.

pic of an ant

Regarding my re-certification class: while there is a tremendous amount of knowledge required to be an effective pest control licensee, and I could attend classes from now until the end of my life and never learn everything there is to know about the pest control industry, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the classes will be enjoyable.  The instructor for this particular class, while he is passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about his industry, leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to relaying that knowledge to his students.  He has been reading the same PowerPoint presentation slides for the past 12 years, and has been putting students to sleep for an equal amount of time.  While he is outstanding at his job, he lacks the ability to engage his students and excite them about furthering their knowledge of their industry.

Learning (and teaching) are an integral part of what we do as business professionals.  The eventual success of our business relies on our ability to absorb new and important knowledge, and to effectively and successfully relay that knowledge to other people (our eventual clients).  We all know business people that are more knowledgeable than us, but they often fail to develop successful businesses because they cannot effectively communicate with their clients.  They either bore them to death or turn them off with their “holier-than-thou” portrayal of their vast knowledge.

Clients don’t want you to talk down to them like they are children in need of direction and reprimand, they want you to share whatever knowledge you have that can provide a benefit to them in their current situation.  That is the whole reason that they have procured your services.  They don’t want a lecture; they simply want relevant information delivered in an effective manner.

When training new home inspectors, I always liken the job to being an actor/entertainer.  I tell them that you are “on stage” when doing your job, and the people that put on a good show are the ones that will be successful in their businesses.  The ones that are boring or demeaning to their clients are the ones that will have their shows cancelled before their first season is over.

Yes, knowledge of your profession is eminently important, but effective delivery of that information is even more important.  I like to think of it in terms of the ratio 75:25; 75% performance to 25% knowledge.  You can be the most educated person in your industry that has ever graced the face of the earth, but if you are not effective at communicating information to your clients, you will be a very lonely educated person and an unsuccessful business person.

pic of talking into a tin can

Author and lecturer Werner Erhard said it best: “The essence of communication is intention.”  Is your intention to provide a benefit to your client or to (as my father used to say) “talk just to hear yourself talking.”  Your intention comes through in your conversation; be sure it’s your best.

I welcome all feedback (positive and negative) about my take on this subject.  Please leave your comments below.  Thank you!

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Thanks, Joe