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Turn Your Meals Into Deals

Discussion in 'Mobile Marketing' started by socialmediaking, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. socialmediaking

    socialmediaking Regular Member

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    I am writing an SMS marketing guide and I thought I'd draft one of my chapters here on BHW here. The basic idea is how to turn your meals into deals. And I just did this literally 5 minutes ago, so I am going to write it while the memory is still hot.

    I just got back from dinner at a restaurant down the street. I had walked past it 3 or 4 times and checked it out and knew it was locally owned. On that note, I never eat at chain restaurants because there is pretty much 0% chance of a sale. So eat local and sell local :)

    If you are going to make a sale to a restaurant you will need to do this type of reconnaissance, which for me means checking if they have a mobile website, looking for stickers on their doors for things likes online ordering, delivery, LevelUp, etc, to know if they participate in marketing stuff already. There is a law of business that goes something like this: businesses that spend money on marketing, spend money on marketing. Sounds obvious, but keep in mind that it's a lot easier to go to someone who is already marketing and get them to spend some of their budget on you vs going to someone who you have to explain the benefits of marketing to, and then getting them to try a newfangled marketing technique like SMS.

    So, when I went inside, I picked up the To-Go menu and the business card there (many businesses actually have the business owner or manager's card in a holder at the register). I sat right at the counter and ordered a sandwich. I was one of 3 or 4 people in the place and it was really slow. There happened to be a lady in there next to me talking to the cashier about gift cards and if there is a law about expiration dates. I joined in the conversation with them and told them that yeah, I know some places like California have laws against gift certificates expiring. The conversation went on and the lady mentioned the owner's name to the cashier and so this confirmed to me that she was with the guy and probably waiting on him to leave.

    He eventually walked up and began talking to the cashier about closing up. If the context of what he was saying didn't identify him as the owner, I was able to match his face to the numerous pictures of him and celebrities on the walls. So I kept talking to the lady and I looked up on my phone about whether or not the law existed in NYC and said it didn't look like it. I then mentioned that Groupon's expire, but you can still get your money back (this is true). This lead me into talking about Groupons with her and explaining how they can be bad for businesses. I intentionally said this loud enough to be overheard by the owner, and it piqued his interest.

    I started talking negatively about Groupons, how they only bring in new customers who just want deals and pillage a businesses etc and she was actually interested in knowing the numbers behind it. I explained how Groupon takes 50% of the discounted figure, so that when you buy a $20 for $40, the restaurant only actually gets $10. And once she understood what a ripoff it was, I then said that actually yeah I know this because I work with local businesses and actually get my customers from previous Groupon customers. This is actually a real technique I use, because their service simply brings new people in the door, and explained how where Groupon service stops, my service works to bring customers back in.

    At this point I commented to the owner, who was now obviously paying attention that he looked familiar and asked if this was his restaurant, and pointed to the pictures of him all over the wall. He laughed and said that yes it was his restaurant. I then went more into depth on how we use text messages to bring in businesses at times when it is slow and send out deals once a week. I made sure not to go into any sort of sales talk with him as my goal is to set up a meeting where I am prepared and can give him a demo.

    I asked if he would like to find out more about it and he said yes. At this point you need to be confident and actually set up a meeting. If you don't ask for a meeting, you won't get a meeting. Since it's a Thursday, I asked if early next week was good, to which he replied, "yes, i'm here monday and tuesday." I then asked what is better for him, morning or afternoon. He said afternoon. That is pretty much all you need to know to schedule a meeting. Restaurants are usually slow in the mornings and owners come in around 10am. They are also slow in the afternoon and many business owners leave around 4pm (or arrive if it's a dinner place). So always try to find the time that is best for them and then just make sure you show up.

    I will follow up this post on Monday evening after my meeting, but you should now have a basic understanding of a way to turn a meal into a deal.
     
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  2. socialmediaking

    socialmediaking Regular Member

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    Potential sales are all around you everywhere, and every time you patronize a business you have another opportunity to make a sale. On my way home from work last night, I stopped with my brother at an ice cream place. While we were waiting for our food, a well dressed lady came in and just walked right behind the counter and served herself some ice cream like she owned the place. Turns out, she did own the place. I spoke with her and complimented the ice cream concept (it's a unique and awesome concept).

    I then asked what kind of marketing she did, and she told me pr firm, and blah blah blah and then asked me "why, what do you do?" (only people who are into marketing would ask something like that). I told her, loyalty marketing to existing customers with text messages. She said she was interested but had someone waiting on her in the cab outside and gave me her card and said to email her to set a meeting up. I'm writing her an email now.

    When you start looking at every meal or transaction with a small business as an opportunity to make a sale, you will make more sales.
     
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  3. jarrod

    jarrod Newbie

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    You are inspiring!! Thanks
     
  4. trsbdm

    trsbdm Newbie

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    Just in case his killer advice is too subtle for noobs, here is a deconstruction of the goodies baked into his series so far:

    1. Target market segment identified = owner-operated restaurants and specialty food establishments currently doing marketing and spending money to grow client base.

    2. Giving value before asking for trust or a meeting. He describes Groupon gotchas to unsophisticated owners. Also important, he bought food from them before striking up he conversation = he invested in them

    3. Stays away from "insider jargon" which many think makes you sound smart. It doesn't . He does not describe what he does as SMS text message marketing. He describes it as loyalty marketing to existing customers with text messages. Every owner knows what a text message is and what existing cients are. They may recognize loyalty marketing or their interest may be piqued by it. Either way they'll probably want to hear more.

    4. He leveraged what he could find out about how they were marketing and put himself into an excellent position to make the case for "asset re-allocation" . Fancy marketing swill for switching their existing marketing spend to SMS vs. persuading someone to spend on top of what they're already spending. It's hard to sell someone on the idea of adding new dollars to their marketing budget. It's easier to present an alternative to an underperforming investment.

    5. He slowed things down to speed things up. After he got their interest and attention he did not go into a sales discussion. His goal was never a sale. His goal was a meeting. Stop trying to walk away with a contract on the first contact. Even if they buy, they will likely regret it and unsubscribe or (worse) turn into a cranky client. Confirm there's a fit with what they need and want and what you do. Talk with then as one owner to another, not as a suck up who wants in their wallet.

    6. His focus is on identifying the opportunity and this is an excellent "how to" if you take the time to break down the steps he lays out and make them into a repeatable sales process. This is teachable to anyone you want to send on "sales" calls. They can tee up meetings for you and may do it for getting a free meal out of it. Then you can scale the number of scouts you have. Your time is worth more than a $15.00 lunch or a $10.00 dessert or a $5 coffee break.

    If you can't get new clients with this method you need to market something else.
     
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  5. MasterGodfather

    MasterGodfather Newbie

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    Any updates on either of these two potential clients? Would love to know how they turned out.
     
  6. david wright

    david wright Regular Member

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    good stuff brother, thanks.
     
  7. ansonjones

    ansonjones Newbie

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    Thanks.
     
  8. socialmediaking

    socialmediaking Regular Member

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    So I closed the first one (where i was talking about groupon) at a follow-up meeting. It took a little persuading and throwing in free table tents, but they just completed their first month's trial and will begin being billed on Jan 1.

    The ice-cream place I have not closed yet, but have not given up on either. After doing a little research on the company's website and stuff, I found out that there are 3 owners of the restaurant and the lady I met is just one of the partners. There is a dude who seems to be the business guy and in charge of shit like this. I am going to pursue him, using the fact that I spoke with the other chick as a way to open the conversation. I kind of let this one get away because there are so many others out there I am chasing.

    I just signed up my first client in another city over the phone so I am pretty excited to know that it is not necessary to even walk into a place to make a sale. Just keep at it...
     
  9. eazy76

    eazy76 Newbie

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    What software are you using for sms?

    Where are you getting the table tents from and what size do you think works the best!
     
  10. poweronics

    poweronics Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The post is really informative and interesting also.