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Accidental Marketing
This really happened…today. You can’t make this stuff up.

Today I attended a competitive event in which I used my cell phone to record some of the other competitors for our Facebook page. Between videos, I stuck the phone in my back pocket. Yes, this can, and did, result in bad things…..or not.

When the event was finished, I checked my phone and realized that I had made several international phone calls to a single, very random number. I didn’t recognize the country code, but Google quickly filled me in….it was in the UK. The lucky recipient had attempted to call me back, as sometimes happens when people believe they are being called for some good reason.

When I realized what I had done, I sent a text, knowing at least they spoke English, on the chance that it might be to a cell phone. I apologized for my inadvertent call (yes, butt dial), and two minutes later my phone rang. “Is this Tim?”, the caller asked in a clearly British accent. That set me back a bit. “Yes”, I replied. He followed up with, “Do you have a flight school?” Ok, now my ‘bizarre coincidences’ sense was starting to spin. “Yes. Do you know me or did you look me up online?” I replied. “Yes, I looked up your number and found your flight school. My name is Daniel and a coworker and I will be in Cedar Rapids next week and we wondered if it would be possible to take an Introductory Flight Lesson with you while we’re there.” That did it. I had just completed what could be the first successful international sale of aviation by accidental phone call. (BTW, it’s ok with TSA as long as it’s just an Intro lesson, but they would need TSA approval before going further.)

Still not completely believing it, I continued the call, “Daniel, how is it that you would be in Cedar Rapids from the UK?” Daniel told me that he and his friend worked in the aerospace industry doing software development and make periodic trips to Cedar Rapids. I confirmed that the only plausible scenario was that they would be visiting Rockwell Collins (soon to be Collins Aerospace division of United Technologies), where I had retired two years earlier.

We exchanged additional information via text message to confirm contact information and timing of the flights. This was not a dream….it was real.

Clearly all the marketing people have it wrong. I just need to stick the phone in my back pocket and wait for the clients to roll in!

More information and photos will be posted next week.
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1 week ago  ·