Here’s one for really stupid corporate communication.

I actually received an email yesterday that addressed me as…

Dear Stakeholder,

Ugh.

Talk about a way to NOT build rapport with someone.

Stakeholder is one of the cheesier words invented in recent years by bureaucratic corporate types.

I got this in a letter from the president of an organization that is trying to persuade me about something.

I live in the old Gold Rush Country of California. And what was one of the biggest mines in the west is going through the permitting process to reopen right now.

I got on their email list to be notified about what’s happening with their reopening process. It’s by no means a sure thing as there are lots of regulatory issues about potential water contamination, noise, traffic, etc.

They need community support to get through all these environmental reviews.

So I am someone who he obviously wants to persuade to support the reopening of the mine, which is by no means a sure thing.

And he starts out the first email to me that I got from them in months by calling me a "stakeholder"?

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

How you write or speak becomes persuasive when you start speaking as a normal person would.

If you talk to me just as I talk, then I think that you just might be a normal, reasonable person that I could listen to.

Normal people don’t think of themselves as stakeholders.

Only corporate weenies do.

So don’t be a weenie. Relax and talk to your prospects like a regular guy (unless of course you ARE selling to the corporate weenies – then you have my sympathy).

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. Rapport and trust naturally occur when the person you are talking to thinks you are like them. Discover how you can instantly and reliably build trust with nearly everyone using the skills in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program.