Was it lunch or a lesson in selling with technology?

By November 26, 2009Learn!

by Todd Youngblood

I never heard of Dreamland.  24 hours ago I couldn’t have told you it’s in Birmingham, AL.   20 minutes before I parked in front the place I didn’t know it’s a legendary barbecue joint.  So how on earth did they convince me to buy three lunches from them?

Here’s the story…  Two colleagues and I had a 1:00 meeting scheduled with one of my AL-based customers.  We left Atlanta a little early (and I guess I was speeding some) and as we were getting close realized we had more than an hour to spare.  Stone Payton said he was hungry and asked if Todd Schnick or I knew of a decent place to grab some lunch.  This is when it got interesting…

Schnick pulls out his Blackberry and checks Twitter.  Turns out he had tweeted  the day before he would be in Birmingham and asked for restaurant recommendations.  3 of the 5 tips he got were for Dreamland.  (All 5 of the tips, by the way, came from business contacts he has never spoken to face-to-face!)  A few seconds later we’ve got the GPS guiding us to the place.

DreamlandAs we’re crossing the street, Todd takes a picture & tweets it; and when the “gourmet appetizer” arrived, it’s image got the same treatment.  Before we finished eating, two of the recommenders had responded to the photos and insisted we try the Brunswick Stew.

Now put your business/selling hat back on.  Want to try to convince me Twitter is useless for selling?  (I Whitebought three lunches from them remember.)  How about trying to convince Schnick Twitter is useless for reinforcing business relationships.  (He’s now “has to” get back to three prospects to thank them for the tip.)

OK, not what you’d call a major money transaction, but I’ll bet you’ll think about eating at Dreamland next time you’re in Birmingham.  (Think hard about this point!  It’s not the owners of the restaurant trying to sell this lunch to you, it’s me.  I got sold by a majority vote of five people I don’t know.  Without Twitter, this whole scenario would NOT have happened.)  Also, not a huge leap in reinforcing business connections, but aren’t ALL business relationships built with tiny steps over a long period of time?

And there’s more…  The objective of the meeting with my customer was to explore ways to use social media and web 2.0 for B2B sales and marketing!  We walked in with a real, live, personal example of exactly that in action.  Right out of the chute, our credibility got jacked up a few notches.

And oh yeah …both the Brunswick Stew and the barbecue were awesome!

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