Thursday, 20 March 2014

Bingo Stingo How to Patronise in less than 140 Characters – A Twiiter Selling Lesson from Politics

No one would advocate a salesperson should be



Patronising towards a customer.

Such tones would be most obviously picked up in face-to-face and phone spoken communication

Although  Twitter is text ,it is really speech.

The ‘Tory Bingo tweet’ furore yesterday highlights this

 The accusations of a unpleasant patronising tone has been levelled at the Conservative Party Campaign Chairman who tweeted this unofficial advertisement appealing for action to be taken by twitter readers ( hearers?) to re-tweet.

The fact that twitter has no sense of tone, pitch or stress does not help.

The challenge is to imagine how your intended audience will hear or interpret your tweets especially when you request your message to be re tweeted.

I guess it all must have looked OK when Mr Shapps pressed the send button.

 The content read/ spoke:-

Cutting Bingo Tax and Beer Duty To help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.

The furore seems to be that many people read the stress and tone in a particular way.

Cutting Bingo Tax and Beer DutyTo help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.

How some interpreted the message
This  implied to those upset in the twitter land (which can be a very quick tempered environment)  a  tone of a disconnected political party a class apart , a perceived subconscious superiority from the political message .

Of course discrediting political policies and political personalities is all part of the brutal world of party politics. 

But this tweet was a sales message whether official or unofficial .

Who are the Patronisers ?

Ironically those seemingly coming to the defence of others they deem to be being patronised can themselves be accused of being patronising to the 'victim' also.

We can all choose to take offence if we think we are in some way subordinate to the other person’s view which we deem to be patronising us.

 In such behaviour of course we are in effect being passively accepting that we inwardly feel somehow not as good , intelligent, educated, informed,  of a different class (lower)... etc. to the patroniser.

“You can only be patronised if you let yourself be."
 Maybe that is true psychologically but for sure you don’t want to risk to patronise, or be seen to patronise your customer. Likewise patronising probably isn't the best approach of a client towards a supplier if you want the best deal.

Lesson for Selling

Before sending in a tweet particularly if you are excited as Mr Shapsp was with his Bingo tweet, is first to PAUSE and REFLECT. Could your written tweet sound different to others ears?

As political pundit Frank Luntz subtitled one of his books  “Words that work”  Publisher: Hyperion (3 Feb 2007) ISBN-10: 1401302599 ISBN-13: 978-1401302597

“It’s not what you say but what they hear.” 

A point that is relevant to  politicians and salespeople  alike when communicating on Twitter.

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