Referral marketingThere are companies in aviation and related industries that get more than half of their business from referrals.

If your company has been in business for more than a year or two, you should be one of them.

It may come as a surprise to hear this advice from a marketing consulting company – shouldn’t we be advising you on better ways go out there and hunt for NEW clients all the time?

Actually, ABCI usually recommends a marketing mix of 50% prospecting and 50% nurturing current leads and customers, as well as recapturing past customers. Why?  Because it is far easier, faster, and less expensive to acquire a customer who already knows, likes and trusts you (or knows someone who does) than to go “break the ice” with new prospects.

Referred clients make larger purchases, make better customers, and are more likely to make referrals in turn.

So, why is it that some companies get so many referrals?

Are they just lucky? Or is their product or service that much better than yours?

In most cases, it’s simply because they make it easy and enjoyable to refer people to them.

If you want referrals, you should have the answers to these four questions ready, and the answers should be clear in your marketing materials, on your website, and ready to speak to in networking events:

  • How would I spot the ideal customer for your company?
  • How would I best describe your unique benefits, approach, products, services and value proposition?
  • What might prospects say to trigger me to know they need to be referred to your company?
  • How should I refer a client?

Here are the answers from the perspective of a few of our Master Class members.  We covered Referral Marketing in class this month, and I’m sharing some of the best examples of homework.

Oh, and one more thing – the more referrals you give, the more you are likely to get!  (A quirk of human nature, I suppose!) Feel free to start your referral network with any of these folks. I highly recommend them!


Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage – Chris Gamble


How would I spot your ideal customer for Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

Someone that is frustrated with commercial aviation or is paying too much for their current transportation needs is an ideal client for us.

How would I best describe Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

Since we don’t own or operate our own aircraft, our interest is solely with providing the aircraft that best suits our clients’ needs from an abundant and varied fleet. We also have experience working with the unique needs and urgencies of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles/Hollywood area; as well as anywhere our clients go “on location.”

What might prospects say to trigger me to know they need to be referred to Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

Someone with unique travel needs, especially someone that is based out of or travels to the West Coast, who is frustrated with their current options should talk with us. We can find a creative, cost-effective solution that will get them (and their stuff!) where they need to go and save time and money.

How should I refer a client to Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

If they would like to talk with someone right away, have them call Chris Gamble at  1-800-408-0455. If they’re just exploring options at this point, they can go to my blog. and get a sense for what we do and how we do business.


Dallas Jet International – Brad Harris

How would I spot an ideal customer for Dallas Jet International?

Anyone buying or selling a business aircraft would benefit from talking with us.

How would I best describe Dallas Jet International’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

Our unrelenting focus is on the buying and selling of business aircraft in an international marketplace. The purchase or sale of an aircraft requires the utmost in deliberation and risk management. While we are often labeled brokers, our clients call us trusted consultants, as we only accept compensation from clients who hire us exclusively, thus eliminating any potential for conflict of interest.

Our clients include affluent individuals, entrepreneurs, large corporations, first-time aircraft buyers, fractional aircraft share owners, aircraft charter clients, aviation department executives, chief pilots, aircraft management companies, charter companies

Our knowledge of the aviation system, aircraft systems and equipment, and day-to-day market conditions is unparalleled. Our combined experience of 100 years in corporate aviation speaks for itself. Join Dallas Jet International as we move into the aviation future and raise the bar in aircraft transaction consultation and aircraft brokerage. We invite you to look through our website and see what we have to offer you.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Dallas Jet International?

Someone who is considering a purchase or sale, or someone who is frustrated with their current business air transportation situation would benefit from talking with us. Besides acquisitions and sales, we also provide aircraft maintenance and management and crewing solutions as well.

How should I refer a client to Dallas Jet International?

If they would like to talk with someone right away, have them call Brad at 817-328-2900 or Shawn at (214) 766-3915.   We have three offices in the Dallas Ft. Worth area that they’re welcome to visit. (See for details.    If someone is just exploring opportunities at this stage, have them download our ebook – Anatomy of an Aircraft Sale at and have a look at our blog, Aircraft Sales Insights.


Hernando County Airport – Kimberly Poppke

How would I spot your ideal customer for Hernando County Airport? Exiles from colder regions do enjoy saying goodbye to the cost and hassle of de-icing…!

Strategically located in North Tampa Bay, Hernando County Airport is a sound choice for aviation business people seeking to economically expand and/or establish a presence in the aviation-strong state of Florida. Near freeways, an international airport, a deep sea port and major attractions, logistics are smooth. Manufacturers or links in OEM supply chains can thrive with low costs, choice of multi-acre airside sites, a pool of Right-To-Work talent and a pleasant suburban lifestyle.

Anyone doing business or flying in the Tampa Bay area should know about us, because we are a convenient option for business aviation in the area; and we NEVER charge a landing fee. Our airport designation is (BKV). Exclusively General Aviation, operators and passengers avoid the air and ground congestion common to metro airports.  With two long concrete runways, 7000 and 5000 feet, we can accommodate nearly any size aircraft.

Target Businesses/Categories:

Aviation OEM, MRO, Commercial Flight School, Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Tech. (AMT)/A&P Prep School, Air Cargo, Part 91 and 135 Operators, Aircraft Completions, Commercial to Cargo or Private conversions


How would I best describe Hernando County Airport’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

A sprawling 2400 acres, Hernando County Airport boasts a number of amenities preferred in a home airport such as a new air traffic control tower, on-site fire station, full-service FBO, Certified Cessna Service Center and more. Need to hold a meeting? Seat up to 20 at the beautiful Airport Administration center. A supportive and business-friendly administration enjoys sourcing incentives and helping facilitate growth.

We’re located on the central Gulf coast of Florida, between Tampa, Orlando and Ocala.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Hernando County Airport?

An expressed desire to reduce overhead. Indications that they are outgrowing their present facility and have no options at their home airport. (Many airports, particularly in metro areas, have very limited land available – no expansion possible) Dissatisfaction at the lack of interest/support of present airport administration/landlord.

Dissatisfaction with union issues and costs. Difficulty finding employees/high wages. Tired of cold weather. Increased number of Florida or Southeastern US customers to access.


*I’m also particularly interested in whether recent large Airbus and Boeing buys will result in downstream supply chain business growth which we can help with.


How should I refer a client to Hernando County Airport?


You can send them to our website at; or have them call me, Kimberly Poppke, at (352) 754-4061 and I’ll make sure they’re taken care of.  For FBO services, call (Jennifer Torraco) at American Aviation,  (352) 796-5173 and tell them Kimberly sent you.



Taylor Greenwood Photography – Taylor Greenwood

How would I spot an ideal customer for Taylor Greenwood Jet Photography?

An aircraft broker, dealer, or individual owner who wants to sell an aircraft in this crowded “buyer’s market” needs to make a prospective buyer fall in love with the airplane.  The fastest and surest way to do that is with excellent professional photography that evokes a response.

How would I best describe Taylor Greenwood Jet Photography’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

While many photographers “shoot” airplanes, there are unique challenges that our crew has experience with overcoming:

  • Dramatic and beautiful lighting is key to great photography.  We travel with 12 AlienBees B1600 studio strobes and reflective umbrellas and are expert at adapting to your particular aircraft and the conditions of the shoot.
  • We know you need your photos wherever and whenever you need them- with a minimum of inconvenience.   So we carry two Vagabond II external power supplies, which allow us to take the aircraft anywhere on the ramp or airport with  no need for power supplies for our photography strobes.   We also carry 2 -3 cameras and take backups of everything.  Murphy may have been a pilot, but his law applies to photographers as well, so we come prepared. ( “Murphy’s Law” – anything that can go wrong will go wrong!)
  • We are experienced at working with aircraft, FBOs, and airport staff. We know how to work with the folks involved to get things done effectively with a minimum of hassle.
  • We are centrally located in Wisconsin – near OshKosh and several major aircraft facilities.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Taylor Greenwood Jet Photography?

  • “There are a ton of aircraft on the market. How am I going to make this plane stand out?”
  • “This is a very special airplane – I need people to just see the value of it.”

How should I refer a client to Taylor Greenwood Jet Photography?

Contact me, Taylor, at  413-522-4578. Always happy to talk about your projects.


Summit Aviation – Paula Woellhaf

How would I spot an ideal customer for Summit Aviation?

Our product is the Aviation Digital Reference Library, a digital version of all of the FAA, TSA, EPA and other regulations that impact the lives and businesses of aviation professionals.  Our job is to make it easier for people to find what they need, be quickly informed of updates to the sections that affect them.

How would I best describe Summit Aviation unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

Unlike the paper and other online versions of the regulations, Summit Aviation’s Digital Reference library has the following advantages:

1)      It includes ALL of the regulations that impact aviation, not just the FAR/AIM

2)      You can create customized bookmarks and collections so that you can immediately see updates to regulations that impact your business.

3)      We provide several cost-effective subscription options, depending on your needs and budget.


Aviation companies such as corporate flight departments, numerous federal agencies, manufacturers, flight schools, private pilots, safety specialists, and national, regional and charter airlines have trusted us for over twenty years to keep them up to date and in compliance.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Summit Aviation?

Any aviation professional who is frustrated with keeping up with the changes in regulations, or who is losing sleep over the prospect of inspections, violations or fines would be a good referral for us.    (Doesn’t that include just about anybody who is involved with aviation?)

How should I refer a client to Summit Aviation?

They can order the Aviation Digital Reference Library online  at  Or call me at 801-446-5858.



Simple Supply Chain Management – Muhammad Farooq

How would I the your ideal customer for Simple Supply Chain Management?

We create ecommerce solutions that make it easy for companies to display and sell their products online.

Spotting a Simple Supply Chain Management customer.

Companies (of all sizes) in the business of acquiring, shipping, warehousing, retailing, distributing products or related service worldwide would be a potential customer. E-commerce is an integral part of our solution and not an after thought – we provide result oriented optimized solutions.

How would I best describe Simple Supply Chain Management’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

We create a custom inventory “showroom” on your web site so that your products are displayed to their best advantage, with features like photo galleries and custom text areas that let you really “tell the story” and outline the unique benefits of your product.   We also provide the software behind your showroom so that visitors can make purchases directly from your website. This simple-to-use software also helps you intelligently manage your inventory, order more products, apply markdowns or discounts, and manage situations like running out of a particular product or suggesting another.

We do not sell software. We inspire business performance by building trusted partnerships with our clients to harness the trans-formative power of technology. Our core competencies and unique virtual business model make our solutions amazingly affordable.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Simple Supply Chain Management?

  • “Now I am realizing that there is much more to a successful e-commerce business than just the images of the products and the shopping cart. My business has a lot of potential but I need somebody to help me take my business to the next level’. 


  • “My website is driving me crazy. It isn’t selling products because I can’t display them to their best advantage.”
  • “We are losing customers because our shopping cart is too difficult for people to use.”
  • “I wish our website would let us show more photos/display more text/emphasize the benefits of our product.”
  • “We need to manage our inventory better.  It’s takes me too long to enter and manage products in the back-end. I would rather concentrate on expanding my business. – but I can’t afford a big, industrial-sized solution like SAS or Oracle.”

How should I refer a client to Simple Supply Chain Management?

Contact Muhammad Farooq at 801-809-5021 or visit




HeliValue$  – Carol Busch


How would I spot an ideal customer for HeliValue$?

Anyone who buys or sells, owns or operates, lends or leases helicopters should use HeliValue$ to make smart decisions about the value of their helicopter.

How would I best describe HeliValue$’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

We’re The Official Helicopter Blue Book®.  We provide monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions to our online publication.  We also provide desktop or on-site appraisals, residual value projections, end of loan/lease studies, and appraisal reviews.

If you manage helicopters for your organization, knowledge is power. We help you make smart decisions.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to HeliValue$?

  • “I’d like to buy a MD NOTAR®, but I wonder if we can afford it?”


  • “I saw a Robinson for sale, I’m interested but I wonder if that is a fair price?”


  • “Would we be better off turning in our leased helicopter or exercising a purchase option?


How should I refer a client to HeliValue$?

Please call (847) 487-8258 or visit our website at for more information. (If you prefer to contact us by email, use [email protected].)




AeroStar Training Services LLC – David Santo

How would I spot your ideal customer for AeroStar?

Our ideal customer is an aspiring flight attendant, first officer, or captain working for an airline anywhere in the world he or she chooses.

How would I best describe AeroStar’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

AeroStar is an FAA Certified 142 Training Center serving the needs of individuals seeking pilot certification training and aircraft type ratings on the Airbus A320, Boeing 737, and BBJ. We offer FAA approved initial type ratings, recurrent, upgrade and differences training. We also offer initial and recurrent flight attendant training.

We offer the best schedule flexibility, the highest quality training and the most competitive pricing. Before you choose your next training provider you owe it to yourself to shop around and compare. Here are some of the key benefits of training with AeroStar:

  • Clear, fun, courseware gives you the flexibility to learn at home and arrive oriented, comfortable, and prepared to make the most of your time with us.
  • World-class, computer-based or classroom Ground School Training that gives you the solid background knowledge you need to feel confident in the cockpit.
  • The most advanced simulators that provide realistic flight experiences before you ever leave the ground.
  • Experienced airline faculty with a passion for teaching – they care about your success and spend the time needed to be sure you understand and have a great time.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to AeroStar?

  • “I would love to be an airline pilot, but I have to spend years building time as a low-paid flight instructor or freight pilot.”
  • “I would love to be an airline pilot, but I don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in training.”
  • “I have had a bad experience with advanced flight instruction. My instructors were software engineers, not pilots.”
  • “I have had a bad experience with advanced flight instruction. I ended up paying a lot of extra money for simulator time.”
  • “I would love to work as a flight attendant. I just need training and interview assistance so that I present myself well to the people that hire flight attendants for the great airlines.”
  • “My Part 61 or Part 141 flight school would like to have a mutually beneficial relationship with a 142 program so that we can offer a more complete training opportunity to our students that takes them from their first flight to launching their aviation career.”


How should I refer a client to AeroStar?

Have them call Deidra at 407-888-9011, or download our free ebook – Five Tough Questions You Should Ask About Advanced Flight Training



American Business Airways – Les Brown

How would I spot an ideal customer for American Business Airways?

A company with executives, salespeople or employees who need to travel and still be back in the office quickly.  Most of our customers have over one million in sales business or multiple locations.

How would I best describe American Business Airways’ unique benefits, approach, products, services and value proposition?

Our aircraft (light twin) can use smaller runways than jets but we still operate using the same procedures & rules as the larger airplanes.  We get you closer to your destination while maintaining maximum safety. In addition, we take care of all aspects of your trip, including cars, hotel, and conference rooms. We also keep your staff informed as to the trip progress and follow up after the trip to see how things went.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to American Business Airways?

  1. “I have to travel on business, but also need time in the office.”
  2. “I’m fed up with the TSA screening procedures but have to travel.
  3. “I have a vacation home a distance from home that is too far to get to on a short weekend.”
  4. “We need to look larger than we are!” (We need to cover more ground!)

What is American Business Airways’ marketing process once you receive a referral?

We call the prospect, use the referrer’s name with permission, and ask to have a short meeting to introduce myself & my company.  We know that this meeting may not result in an immediate sale.  We keep in contact at least twice per hear, and we give 5% of the flight fee as a referral fee or discount.


ABCI – Paula Williams

How would you spot an ideal customer for ABCI?

The ideal customer for ABCI is a small to medium-sized aviation-related company that has an excellent product or service, an excellent customer service record, and a genuine interest in their customers.  They might have a webmaster, technical person, or marketing person on board, or it could be this duty falls on the principal members.

In any case, they want to attract intelligent, knowledgeable, qualified leads with content-based, accountable marketing; rather than spending resources chasing suspicious and unqualified leads that have no interest in their product or services.

How would I best describe ABCI unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

“ABCI specializes in content, education-based marketing for aviation and technical companies.  They also provide do-it yourself resources and the Marketing MasterClass that takes the mystery out of building a system that attracts intelligent, qualified leads.”

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to ABCI?

  • “We need more leads.”
  •  “I am tired of spending time on sales calls and visits with tire-kickers.”
  • “We are spending too much on advertising that doesn’t work.”

What is ABCI’s marketing process once you receive a referral?

ABCI will receive your referral with special care and appreciation. When they contact us and let us know that you referred them, we will ask them to complete our “New Client Questionnaire” to evaluate their current marketing efforts. We will provide without cost or obligation a Recommendations Packet that includes steps for accomplishing their objectives.  After we discuss the Recommendations, if it appears to be a good fit for both companies, we will enter into an agreement for the MasterClass,  consulting services or both.} else {.

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