Sunday 23 January 2011

More Twitter rules for business

I would do well, one day, to write one of these posts when not a bit irritated. I am a bit irritated.

Last week, someone who had never spoken to me before, out of the blue asked me about my relationship with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Now. If it weren't in my bio on Twitter, I would forgive that oversight, but it's stated quite clearly in my bio on Twitter where I work. Ordinarily, someone not bothering to read my bio wouldn't matter either. However this person was trying to establish a business relationship with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

So here's some free advice. Do your research before pitching at people.

Next. Same person. Asked me for traffic figures for our website. Completely out of the blue, with no preamble and only having spoken to me previously about the aforementioned cock up regarding my relationship with my own Head of Service. Whilst Twitter is informal, I freely acknowledge this, this is akin to striding up to me in the pub when I am sitting at a table in conversation with someone else, interupting, asking a completely irrelevant question to the existing conversation - and then leaving again.

The final nail in the coffin, however, was being berated in public the 3rd time this person spoke to me because not taking up his products meant a lollipop woman was out of a job.

Can anyone guess why I am not inclined to do business with this person, if I can at all help it?

I appreciate that Twitter is a new business tool for a lot of people. But taking the time to find out what the etiquette is, find out who the people are who you're trying to sell something to, can go a long way towards those people actually wanting to do business with you.

This applies to all kinds of business transactions. Being aggressive and pushy simply means I wont acknowledge you. Trying to speak for me, on my behalf in situations, means I will get slowly more and more narked. Going behind my back and agreeing things without any discussion when the outcome directly affects me is simply not the done thing and trying to tag onto the back of something because it is successful when you've never ever spoken to the organiser before simply makes you look like a dick.

Because Twitter is new, and because I am perhaps being a little uptight, everyone gets two chances. Two people blew theirs with me this weekend and it didn't need to happen - they just needed to scope out the person they were dealing with just a little bit better and everything would have gone just fine. If you're not prepared to spend the time to do that on potential customers/collaborators from whom you're going to be getting a lot of money or exposure - I suggest you don't enter into the arena at all.


  1. Being aggressive and pushy is a sales tactic. It obviously works for some people, else it would have gone out of fashion, but meh.

    I try my best to stomp out of shops muttering loudly when sales-people try it on me.

  2. Hi hon - I think this is my digital equivalent. Hope you are well.