Welcome back to another edition of Wednesdays with Wayne. In this edition, I chose to take a closer look at one of Wayne Nash’s past articles that immediately caught my eye, “Customer Relations Tips for Drilling Contractors.” As an editor, marketer, public speaker, and interviewer, I know more than anyone just how invaluable developing customer relationships can be. I also know that the way you communicate and connect with others is the key to long-standing success, whether you’re a drilling contractor, engineer, or, yes, even an editor-in-chief. 

In this article, Nash makes some wonderful points about how tone, verbiage, and personality all vary despite the fact that we all do, in fact, speak the same language at its core. It’s the equivalent of the old ‘soda’ versus ‘pop’ dispute nationwide. While someone in the South might call it a buggy, a person in my state of Idaho would call it a shopping cart—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

At the core of this article by the late great Nash, you will find that the way you speak with varying members of the drilling industry is dependent on their nature. As he states, “If you use a large vocabulary and the person you talk with doesn’t, he may think you are talking down to him. Not good. Speak at his level. If you cuss a lot and use common roughneck language, some company men are going to think you don’t know the job. Friction like that often makes the job go downhill fast.” 

Winning Friends and Influencing People

Think for a moment about Dale Carnegie. In his critically acclaimed book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ Carnegie talks at full length about this subject. His advice is something that inspired me even as a young teenager heading into debate and drama. I found that I could influence others simply by listening, mirroring, and recognizing that everyone is unique and should be considered in conversation. To explain, Carnegie states a few salient pieces of wisdom throughout his book, which I once jotted down in my college-ruled notebook as gospel:

  • “There is a reason why the other person thinks and acts as they do. Ferret out that reason – and you have the key to their actions, perhaps to their personality. Try honestly to put yourself in his place.”

  • “There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: What we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.”

  • "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

  • “The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” 

This is exactly the point that Nash tries to make in this past article. As he puts it, “As you can see, we all speak the same English, but at the same time, we all speak different languages. It’s a paradox, and coping with it is a good skill to cultivate.” The key here is that you must change the way you behave, speak, and connect with others in this industry to find greater success as a drilling contractor and beyond. 

Finding Common Ground and Drilling Down

Without the ability to see and understand the position of those you aim to connect with, all you will ever truly find is a common need to work together and nothing more—no camaraderie, no pleasure in working together, and no future projects on the horizon. 

So, next time you communicate with another drilling professional, perhaps take the time to hear them, truly listen to their needs, find common ground, and ensure that the ways in which you connect with them lead to positive results for all involved. After all, what’s the point in customer relations development if the goal isn’t retention and satisfaction across the board? 

I’ll leave you with this parting quote from Nash, “Communicate on the level that your customer uses. We have a particular skill set, and use a different vocabulary than people outside our professions do. To effectively connect, and have a harmonious outcome, we need to communicate.” 

Read the full article Customer Relations Tips for Drilling Contractors.”