I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the day I decided to try my hand at becoming an online entrepreneur.
Like most, I wanted to believe that if you followed someone’s process — someone who had been there — you would find success. So I found a smooth talking business coach who promised to show me the promised land for $1500.
I signed up for his “GUARANTEED” online coaching program.
In that moment, I embodied the phrase, “a sucker is born every minute.” I fell prey to the “GUARANTEED” promises of wealth and time freedom.
What I got, was an expensive lesson in how to be an absolute a**hole.
I am going to share some key points with you here, so YOU can use them against your customers and audience.
If you were looking to develop an expertise in a specific discipline, look no further.
Being an asshole is easy. In fact, you can become an expert overnight.
The first step is to stop looking at the people as living, breathing, sentient beings, and start looking at them as dollar signs. Use them for your benefit!
There is no need for trial and error — follow these steps and you can screw your audience over in no time.
1. Don't stand behind your product or service.
Have you ever seen the movie Tommy Boy?
In the movie, Tommy (Chris Farley) is selling brake pads. His prospect, Ted, is demanding a product guarantee on the packaging. Tommy is trying to explain to Ted that a guarantee is only as good as the person making the guarantee.
So Ted asks Tommy a key question; “why do they put a guarantee on the box?” Tommy’s response is both timeless and priceless. He responded, “because they know that they sold you a guaranteed piece of shit.”
The point is that a guarantee is worthless if it (a) won’t be honored or (b) if the product is a piece of shit.
The coaching program I purchased met both of these criteria:
- It was not honored;
- It was a piece of shit (it didn’t work).
As a side note, Tommy then offers to “shit in a box” and sell it to Ted. This scene alone is worth the price of admission to the movie.
To be an asshole, don’t stand behind your product or service. When people complain, respond with the ever famous phrase, “buyer beware.” If you want to double the asshole quotient, use the Latin version “caveat emptor.”
2. Overpromise and Underdeliver
I am sure you heard the phrase; “under promise and over deliver.” Well, if you want to be an asshole, you can’t do this. You must promise more than you can deliver. In fact, promise the world. Then, when your customer asks about the product or service, turn around and run away.
If you overpromise, you can get more people in the door. You can actually sell more of your product or service because you are promising the world. Don’t think about the future. All that matters is maximizing your benefit — right here and right now.
So go ahead…
Guarantee vast riches. Guarantee 40 virgins.
Guarantee anything you want.
Make people believe they are getting the deal of the century (even if they are not).
Did you know there is a psychological trigger associated with the perception of getting a deal? Capitalize on this.
Whatever you promise, you don’t have to deliver. So the sky is the limit.
When I hired the “coach” to start my online business, he promised me some “done for you” services; including a website, sales funnels, etc. When he didn’t deliver, I emailed him several times, including the screenshot of the offer he had used to sell me his services.
His desire to be an asshole was realized when he ignored my repeated emails.
To be an asshole, promise whatever it takes to get people to take action. When it comes time to deliver, simply don’t. What are they going to do about it? Complain? You can ignore the complaints (see below).
3. Steal from your customers
This is key. Stealing from your customer will guarantee admission into the A**hole Hall of Fame. This is like the Major Leagues of being an a**hole.
You will likely have to lose your conscience to do this. But, it will be worth it in the end when you are sleeping in a big pile of money that you didn’t have to earn.
What is stealing? It is depriving another person of their property (or time) with no intention to return it. When you take money from someone without providing a promised product or service, you are stealing from them.
Will you go to jail? Probably not.
Ethically, are you an asshole? Yes.
When I hired my business “coach,” he made some specific promises. Based upon these promises, I paid him $1500. He never delivered on them, despite repeated attempts to contact him. As my repeated attempts fell on deaf ears, I requested a refund.
He made the conscious decision to keep my money without keeping his side of the bargain. He took money from me without providing the promised services. This is stealing. Period.
I am sure he doesn’t have a problem with his behavior as he is spending my hard earned money. A true win for him.
Does this earn him a spot in the Asshole Hall of Fame? Absolutely!
To be an asshole, steal from your customers whenever possible.
4. Make promises that you have no intention of keeping
As an aspiring asshole, you can and should make empty promises. In fact, you can plan not to uphold your end of the bargain.
This is a little different than simply lying. This is planning to lie. It is a force multiplier in the making of an asshole.
To be an asshole, make bold promises with no intention of keeping them.
5. Remember, the purpose of business is to make as much money as possible at the expense of everyone else
Money is king. Everything else comes a distant second.
Live by the mantra, “people are a means to an end.” That end is YOUR financial profit.
Burn bridges. Destroy relationships. Take advantage of people and situations.
Do whatever it takes to make money. Period.
Most importantly; don’t do anything for anybody unless they pay you.
Relationships with your customers are only important if they can make you a buck.
To be an a**hole, be focused on profits in the short term, even at the expense of long-term relationships.
6. Don’t waste your valuable time communicating with your customers
This is important. Remember, your time is more valuable than anyone else’s.
Why waste your time on lowly customers or clients? Remember, they are only there to pay you. Once you have their attention, time, or money, their usefulness has been exhausted.
I have seen a few excellent examples of this recently.
One of my favorites is the question I see in emails where marketers ask, “what is your single biggest problem with [insert nonsense here]?
Then, when you respond to the email.
The marketer's rationale? They “read” all the responses, even though [they] can’t reply to them all.”
This is an excellent sign that we can all learn from. It is a sign that they aren’t actually reading your responses AND are lying to you.
Good news for them! People embrace being ignored (I am no exception). When I waste my time answering questions and surveys nobody reads or responds to, I practically throw money at the business.
The cold, hard, truth is this…
As a business owner, you are too busy doing “more important” things than communicating with the people who buy your products or services.
As customers, we must respect that. You are really busy.
Here is another example…
The other day, I was considering registering for a class that taught people how to facilitate webinars. The class had been marketed to me through email, and had a registration deadline to take advantage of a special deal. I had some questions, so I reached out to the business owner via email (at her suggestion).
After a prolonged delay (the timer expired), I get an email from her assistant that pointed me back to the sales page. It didn’t even answer my question.The good news is that they had the courtesy to apologize that the deal had expired, but that I could pay full price.
I wept with tears of joy over how benevolent they were.
This marketer gets bonus points. Not only did she not waste her time communicating with me; she showed me how much she valued my business by outsourcing this important communication (see below).
The key takeaway here is, definitely don’t waste your time talking to customers. They are a hassle. They get in the way of doing what is important.
To be an asshole, don’t communicate with your audience directly, if at all. Instead, either delegate or outsource communication to ensure the customer understands exactly where they stand.
7. Hide behind the small print
Instead of doing the right thing, you should hide behind the small print. Make sure you write a bunch of policies that get in the way of common sense.
In fact, if logic is involved, go the other way and make it “your policy.”
This will ensure customers and clients are confused.
You should also have a whole bunch of legal jargon that you can point to when something goes sideways. When you follow these rules; things will go sideways. So it is really important to have something to point to and say, “yes but… that’s our policy.”
As a force multiplier, use the phrase “that’s our policy” every time a customer complains or is otherwise dissatisfied.
To be an asshole, adhere to a rigid, illogical, written policy, that goes against common sense and human decency.
8. Sell a shitty product or service
This is a biggie. Make sure your product or service absolutely sucks. No exceptions here. In fact, if you want bonus points, make it worthless.
When you sell a shitty product or service, you should have a return policy that makes returns impossible.
If you don’t do this, you run the risk of making less money. Remember, the goal of business is to make as much money as possible — regardless of the methods.
To be an a**hole, sell a subpar product or service that sucks. No exceptions.
9. Give people the run-around
Make sure you waste as much of other people’s time as possible. Remember this. Your time is valuable; their’s is not.
Think about your favorite experiences with this. Do you remember a time when you called into a business and were transferred 4 or 5 times and left on hold for 30 minutes?
It is an epic experience. This type of run around is really effective in impacting client satisfaction.
People love it when they can’t communicate with someone that can solve their problem. So make sure that when someone contacts your business, that they must be transferred a minimum of 3–5 times before the problem is resolved.
To be an asshole, waste other people’s time.
10. Outsource or use an assistant for key functions so you can save money
Trust key functions of your business to people who don’t give a damn about you, your business, or your customers.
The goal here is to locate people who have a bad attitude and are excellent at conveying that to your customers.
By outsourcing, you are saving your valuable time. And we all know, time is money.
To be an asshole, distance yourself from all key functions in your business and leave it to the amateurs to handle.
11. It’s all about you
This might be the single most important point.
Your business is all about you. Your customers and clients are there to benefit you.
In 1961, John F. Kennedy got it dead wrong when he said, “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do you your country.”
It should be the other way around. Ask not what you can do for your clients or customers; ask what they can do for you.
You should be laser-focused on “what’s in it for me.” If you don’t get immediate benefit, cut it loose.
The phrases to remember are self-centered, self-focused, self-important.
To be an asshole, be focused on the all-important, “what’s in it for me.”
You can elevate your business to new heights with the lessons above. However, acting like an a**hole isn’t enough. You must write it down in the all-important corporate mission statement.
Make sure you use a bunch of ridiculous words that don’t have any meaning but sound important, like “customer service ecosystem.”
Then, write about all the ways that you are dedicated to “peaceful coexistence” within the ecosystem.
Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to have customer service [snicker].
Instead, you can outsource it to people who don’t give a shit about you, or your business. Or, even better, you can make your customer service so difficult to contact, that nobody will do it.
As you can see, you can easily alienate your clients and customers in a world-class way with minimal effort.
You can be an asshole.