Did business with a company almost exactly a year ago. I searched them out via Internet, ordered via same, and had a rush on the item ordered and thus provided my cell phone as the contact number. They’ve provided the ubiquitous monthly email spam to keep in touch (which I’ve ignored/directed to the bit bucket), but today…Message on my cell. Distant area code. Answer message. Basic paraphrase of transcript follows:Hi Alan. This is Nitwit from Bogus Corporation. I’m calling to just check in with you and make sure our records are up-to-date. We like to make sure we’ve got the most current information. If you would please call me back to confirm this information, I’d appreciate it. Number is 123-456-7890, that’s 123-456-7890. Also, if there’s anything else we can do for you, please let us know. Bogus Corporation strives to be on the cutting edge of consumer technology and want to be #1. Again, we’d really like to hear from you so that we can keep your information current in our system. That number again is 123-456-7890. We look forward to hearing from you.The message lasted 1:24. If I hadn’t recognized it as blog material, I’d have hung up in 0:20. But instead of hanging up, I hung in. And I’ll ignore the um’s, ah’s, bad grammar, hesitations that indicated there wasn’t a clear cut message (at least write it down, for Nitwit’s sake), and the repetition.Let me get this straight. You are calling the last known information for me to make sure you have the correct information and got my voice mail where I clearly identify myself. Doesn’t that solve your need? But no, you want me to call you back, with time I don’t have, to give you information I don’t want you to have, for your edification, and you offer me absolutely nothing in return except the promise that you’ll appreciate me. Past experience indicates I’ll also get a boatload of unwanted communication. I don’t think so.If you or your company is relying on such methods for sales leads, let me encourage you to stop, change, and do something different. Maybe someone will give you the information and maybe they’ll even buy something on your subsequent pitch. But for the rest of us, you will have alienated your “customer”, and perhaps there response will be as mine: I will never, ever do business with this company again, and will advise anyone who asks to avoid them as well.The communication faux pas is another violation of Rule #1. It’s not about you.

Give value to your listener. Communicate on their terms.

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