[phonetic 00:09:44] in a 737, or insurance for a specific type of part 135 certificate. There’s a lot of different things that we sell that have a very limited potential audience.
John Williams 00:10:01 Absolutely.
Paula Williams 00:10:03 Getting your name out there is not legitimate goal for advertising or prospecting, and we refer the term prospecting because it implies a result. Advertising just kind of says we’re just going to smash some stuff out there and broadcast our name to anybody who cares to listen and hope for the best.
John Williams 00:10:27 That’s what the Madison Avenue firms do, they just put the name out there.
Paula Williams 00:10:31 Exactly, which is crazy. It’s too expensive and time consuming to build a brand recognition campaign that will actually amount to sales.
John Williams 00:10:46 That would be real long cycle marketing.
Paula Williams 00:10:49 Exactly. Prospecting is expecting a response from the people that you’re advertising to, so you’re not just getting your name out there and saying, here’s what we do, call us if you’re interested. You’re saying here’s what we do, here’s what we like for you to do today to take advantage of this offer or this situation, so we’re going to talk about that.
All right, so, I’m going to tell you a story that actually is related to prospecting. Perry Marshall, who is a very smart guy, involved in marketing and things like that, and he is very much involved in math and statistics and so on. He tells this story in his book, and it’s actually a really good one. There’s a young gambler, and an old gambler, right, and this guy’s kind of taken this young guy under his wing and said, let’s go to this gambling hall in Las Vegas and get your feet wet, let’s see what you can do, we’ll go play poker.
They go off to this gambling hall to play poker, and they’re standing in the doorway and they guy says, well the first the first thing we need to do is find out who you’re going to play poker with. There are people in this gambling hall that you want to play poker with, and there are people in this gambling hall that you do not want to play poker with. Our job first off is to figure out which is which. There are two types of people in the world that you care about right now, there are professional gamblers, other professional gamblers like us, and there are people who are here just to play cards. You want to play with the people who are here just to play cards. To separate group A from group B, we have to do something that is going to make these people identify themselves.
What this guy does is he pulls a sawed-off shotgun out from under his coat and he pulls back the slide and lets it go. This is a busy, noisy gambling hall with lot of noise and music and chips and dancing girls and kinds of other stuff, so not everybody heard this sound, or it didn’t really register with everybody, it was just one of many sounds that was going on at the time. There was a certain group of people spread out through the room that turned around and looked at this guy. Everybody else just kept playing cards. He said, okay, so what I just did is I made a very specific sound that professional gamblers know and are very interested in making sure who has this shotgun and what their purpose is. Those are the ones who turned around and looked at me. Those are not the people that you want to play cards, so we have just separated group A from group B.
How is this relevant to you? When you are prospecting you have to sort out group A from group B. Group A is people that you want to do business with, and group B is people that will never do business with you. What’s similar about this story is that you want to make a noise, you want to rack the shotgun, and the people whose attention you attract are actually the people you want to do business with. That’s the difference. You want to make sure that you are separating group A from group B and then proceeding with the people that will actually do business with you, and not with the people who will never have any interest in doing business with you. It is just as important to you as it is to professional gamblers. They’re betting their life, somebody gets upset with a professional gambler I’m sure it’s not the world’s safest profession. You can spend a whole heck of a lot of time and money chasing the wrong people, and that can be just as dangerous to your future prosperity and happiness by chasing the wrong people.
John Williams 00:15:01 You may not be betting your life, but you’re betting your company.
Paula Williams 00:15:03 You are betting your company, right. What separates the people in group A from the people in group B. They’re are five things that you’re looking for in this situation. You are looking for people who actually have the money to spend on your product, that’s thing number one. Number two, you’re looking for people that have a need for your product, and I mean a need, not just an interest. Perry Marshall calls this, they have a bleeding neck. They have a reason that they really need to have this problem solved right now and they are very passionate about this and it’s not just a passing interest. Number three is people who are in the right situation where the timing is good for them, so it’s the beginning of the year, they have a new budget, they have, it’s a good time for them to be making a change to the way they do business, whatever the timing issues are to make your product a good solution for them right now. They have to have the authority, so if you’re talking to somebody who’s way down the totem pole who thinks your product is really super spiffy, but they don’t have the authority to make a purchase decision or to put it into practice in their company then that is somebody who’s in group B.
The fifth thing is fit. If your solution is a good fit, culturally and otherwise for their company, and they’re able to implement it in a way that’s profitable for them and for you, then that would be the fifth thing. Ideally, when you rack the shotgun and you make that noise that’s going to separate group A from group B, you’re going to want to use as many of these, and you’re not going to be able to do all five of them, but separating people, because of one or more of these factors. You’re looking for people with money, need, the right timing, the right authority, and the right fit. What you need to do is come up with some kind of an activity to make these people sort themselves out along those lines.
John Williams 00:17:11 By authority we mean purchase authority.
Paula Williams 00:17:14 Exactly. Right. Okay, so prospecting activities, once again, those are the things that people come into contact with your company for the very first time, and ideally this is going to be something that gives them the opportunity to sort themselves out. The way we do this, well search engine optimization is an example, is that the words, the key words that people type in to Google are going to be of interest to, only to, the people that have the money, the need, the timing, the authority and the fit, or at least one or more of those qualities, so if you use very specific keywords. For example, if you use the word aircraft, that’s not very specific, and that may be somebody who has an interest or maybe who doesn’t have an interest. If they type in “buy Gulfstream 450 this week,” you know. I’m making this up, but the more specific those keywords are the more likely people are to separate themselves into that group A that are most likely to be buyers of your product or service.
In this case, jargon can be your friend. There are some things that people in aircraft maintenance would say that other people may not say. There are some terms that they use where you know this is a person that is in the right situation and would have a need for your product or service.
John Williams 00:18:54 Or sales, or whatever.
Paula Williams 00:18:57 Exactly. Same thing with trade shows. You don’t necessarily want to do the more general trade shows. If your product is only good for a certain, in a certain region, then those regional trade shows might be a better fit for you than the more general trade shows because the people who are there are more likely to be in group A than in group B, right?
John Williams 00:19:21 Right.
Paula Williams 00:19:21 Some people go to trade shows that may have a very high entry fee simply because they want to be doing business with high net worth or ultra high net worth individuals, so they’ve already sorted themselves into group A by happening to be in the room where you’re holding the trade show, right?
John Williams 00:19:42 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paula Williams 00:19:43 Videos, if you put together a product demo and it’s pretty specific about a product or a service and it goes into some detail, you’re going to lose the people who are just kind of interested and keep the people to the very end who are more interested in the technical aspects of what you’re doing, so you can kind of use the newspaper inverted pyramid format, where you start with things that are fairly general, and then by the time you get to the end of the video, they’re more likely to be prospects for you, and that’s where you can put your ad saying, if you’re interested, give us a call at this number, or take the next step in our sales process, whatever that might be.
Prospect, or, I’m sorry, postcards. You can get some really specific lists of people who are in a particular role in an organization. You can sort by organization size, you can sort by gross sales, you can sort by the types of aircraft that they have. All of these are different selection criteria for a list that you might use for a postcard campaign, all of which are different ways to separate those people, group A from group B.
John Williams 00:21:03 Not to get into quote “big data,” but the lists you can get, they have methods so you can ascertain which groups and the selection criteria and so forth. You can also download the entire list once purchased and then you can apply your own criteria to it with your own selection utilities if you have them.
Paula Williams 00:21:26 Exactly, and John’s a wizard at making this work by using some of the sort functions in Excel and using some more advanced…
John Williams 00:21:38 [crosstalk 00:21:37] that’s not what I did.
Paula Williams 00:21:40 I know, but you take it a step further with some programming languages, but even if you don’t have access to those programming language, there are ways to narrow down that list into very specific groups of people.
One thing, and this is actually a book that we’re discussing in the marketing master class this month, is the No BS Guide to social media marketing by Kim Walsh-Phillips, and that book goes into scary detail about the different selections that you can make in Facebook advertising about peoples’ buying habits, peoples’ locations that they’ve lived, whether or not they are pilots, whether or not they hold specific ratings, whether they shop at specific stores, just some scary, scary selection criteria using social media. As a customer that’s kind of scary, but as a marketer that’s really exciting to be able to spend money advertising only to the people that you want to be advertising to.
John Williams 00:22:52 Then you can take that and merge it with a list that you can buy somewhere. You can get down to middle initial if you wanted to of a group of people, I mean really nit picking details if you want a specific group of people.
Paula Williams 00:23:09 Right. What that does is it really preserves your money for advertising to a smaller group of people that are more likely to buy your product or service. Perry Marshall’s, the name of his book is The 80/20 Marketing Guidebook. That 80/20 rule, the Pareto principle, really applies in marketing because people say 50% of your advertising dollars are wasted, it’s actually more like 80% of your advertising dollars are wasted if you’re using really general lists. You want to make sure that you’re going down to the smallest possible list and then you can spend more by sending them a package, as an example, instead of a postcard, or being able to buy a larger ad in a very small magazine. You want to be a very large fish in a very small pond, in using the direct response model, right?
John Williams 00:24:13 Absolutely.
Paula Williams 00:24:13 All right. And then, of course and we’re just covering in general today and we’ll get more deeply into this in a future episode where we talk about cause to action. For every advertisement you do, whether you’re using social media or a postcard or a video or your website, you want to have some kind of a call to action that, once again, racks the shotgun. Something that not everybody’s going to be interested in. I’m going to illustrate this by talking about its opposite for just a second. We were just at MBAA last month, and there were a lot of fish bowls where people could enter their business card or, you know, fill out a little form and drop it in the bowl for a sweepstakes, or lottery, to get an iPad, or an iPad mini, or a travel bag, or different things like this. Whenever you’re giving something away, that is an opportunity to rack the shotgun, right?
John Williams 00:25:24 Yeah, you don’t want to give it to whoever walks by, because I was one of those guys who walked by and I wasn’t interested and I put my name in there.
Paula Williams 00:25:31 Yeah, you weren’t interested in what the company sold.
John Williams 00:25:33 No, but I had a chance to get an iPad, what the heck?
Paula Williams 00:25:36 You could win an iPad, exactly. If you have no interest in landing gear, but you have an iPad, you’re going to fill out that form and drop your business card or whatever.
John Williams 00:25:46 They didn’t have a form, I just dropped a business card.
Paula Williams 00:25:48 Just dropped a business card, yeah. Super easy to do, and if you have any interest in the item that you’re getting, you’re going to do that. Now I would bet that those sales people that work for that company were just kicking themselves after MBAA, going through that fish bowl, calling people after person, and the only thing they were interested in was, did I win?
John Williams 00:26:09 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paula Williams 00:26:10 And oh, what company were you? I don’t even remember what the name of company is where I dropped my business card. I just want to know if I win the iPad, right? You really want to make those giveaways something that only your prospects will want, and once again those five things: you want to make sure that they have the money, the need, the timing, the authority, or the fit.
John Williams 00:26:38 Conversely, I gave my business card to a couple of folks that I have sent emailed to, that I’m interested in their product, and they have not responded. That’s bad, bad, bad as well.
Paula Williams 00:26:51 Right. They spent all this money getting your contact information and they didn’t even do anything with it. They didn’t even you an email?
John Williams 00:27:01 No.
Paula Williams 00:27:01 Ach. Ah! Random acts of marketing. Bad, bad, bad. So, okay, of those five things, money, need, timing, authority and fit. The most, or the easiest one to rack the shotgun for here, is the need. If you are offering a free product or an accessory to your product, or an information guide or free training on your product, or a best practices, or ten things you can do with this product. Somebody who would be interested in a book, or a video, or a CD, or something like that, or a consultation about that subject matter is somebody who has demonstrated a need, or at least an interest, in your product. That’s somebody that’s sorted into, sorted themselves into group A, right?
John Williams 00:28:00 Yeah.
Paula Williams 00:28:01 Another thing that you could do is use money. Let’s say that they could enter a contest that they have to qualify in some way. These time share folks in Las Vegas and Orlando and other places where they do the vacation things do a pretty good job of doing this because they only advertise them to people who are already staying in very nice places. If you’ve ever stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club facilities, you ill get barraged with advertisements for the Marriott Vacation Club upgrades. These are people who are already qualifying themselves for that product. If you have a product where you’re in a Mooney user group or something like that, or a Mooney owner’s group, you’re getting people who are already qualified by people in the room.
John Williams 00:29:00 I was frustrated twice by these people failing to respond when I went out of my way. The one is because they think they’re the cat’s meow on everything with respect to marketing, yet they would not follow up. And two, frustrated because I know what they ought to be doing, and I can’t tell them.
Paula Williams 00:29:19 It’s like taking a chef to a restaurant, they’re always going to be complaining about the way things are done because we take our work home with us, right?
John Williams 00:29:34 Yeah.
Paula Williams 00:29:35 Exactly. The whole point of long cycle marketing is that every step leads to the next step, it’s kind of like flying. From the time that you do your pre-flight to the time that you take off, to the time that you make your first radio call, to the time, you know, all of these things. One thing is connected to the next, and by the time you finish one action, you should know what the next action is. The same thing with your marketing system. From the time you do an advertisement, you need to know what the next step is. What do you want your customer to do? Do you want them to download an ebook? Do you want to all your office and request a free consultation? Do you want them to make an appointment? Do you want them to watch a video? Whatever the next step is in your sales process, you need to make that the easiest thing in the world for them to do. Sometimes the next step is their’s, and usually we like to make that happen because we want them to do the work on the first step to sort themselves into group A or group B, right?
John Williams 00:30:41 Absolutely.
Paula Williams 00:30:42 From that point, then the responsibility becomes yours, and you have to follow up. Just as John said, if you don’t follow your part of the sales process, how can you expect them to follow their part of the sales process?
John Williams 00:30:55 And how many times, and I’m sure you all know that you’ve been trying to find a product or service for your company and it gets to the point where you’ll do business with whoever answers the phone.
Paula Williams 00:31:10 Exactly. Especially if you’re in a lot of business to business situations, these are people who aren’t very good at marketing, and actually it is much more pleasant to do business with people who understand marketing, don’t you think?
John Williams 00:31:24 Absolutely.
Paula Williams 00:31:25 Right. I don’t think you would have said that three years ago, is that correct?
John Williams 00:31:29 Nevermind.
Paula Williams 00:31:31 Okay. All right, so the next step after they download your ebook or they make an appointment or whatever, from that point then it’s back in your court, so you have to take an action, you get to decide, is this person qualified or not. What can you find out about them online? Do they have a LinkedIn profile, do they have a company website where you can find some more information, and you can do some more qualifying of that prospect, and once again those five things are: money, need, timing, authority, and fit. From whatever you can find out about them, are they likely to have one or more of those things. If they are then you may want to spend more time, and more money on that prospect by sending them an information package or something like that. If they are less qualified, you might want to take a less expensive rout and send them an email or send them a postcard or something like that.
Then of course we have the next step in the scenario, which is a personal phone call, or an initial sales call. Almost nothing gets sold in the aviation industry without sales people, without person to person contact of some kind. At least not above a certain price point.
John Williams 00:33:08 I have to tell a story about my daughter. I went out with her to buy a car. A new car, and she was ready, willing, able, and had the money.
Paula Williams 00:33:18 So she had all five things.
John Williams 00:33:20 She was ready to go. Picked out the car. We went to the Audi dealer, and the sales guy walked over, sat at his desk, and so she started asking a few questions she had to clarify about the vehicle, and he said, “Oh, these cars sell themselves.” Now I refrained, but I should have asked him, really, where’s the vending machine to put the credit card in and get the key? Because if that were true we wouldn’t need sales people. No, no product sells itself.
Paula Williams 00:33:54 Exactly. Unless it’s a ninety nine cent music download or something like that. Above a certain price point, there needs to be some human involvement because there’s always going to be question that fall fall outside.
John Williams 00:34:07 Well aviation is above that price point.
Paula Williams 00:34:09 Absolutely. Right, so that that initial sales call, what exactly is involved in that? Let’s say you sent them an information package, let’s just say this is going to be a friendly first call. Sometimes people are in a hurry and they need a solution yesterday, and they’re going to book a flight with you or whatever the situation is, so that first call may be closing the sale, but more often than not, it’s not. So basically you’re just setting yourself up as, this is more of a positioning call, is what we like to call it. You’ve sent them your information package, you want to make sure that they got it, you’re introducing yourself, letting them know that you’re there to answer any questions that they have, and positioning yourself as an information provider and a solution provider for this product or service. That’s kind of an overview of the prospecting phase in our process. We start with advertising, we have a call to action, we do some qualifying of that customer. We take it next step, which is an information package or a personalized postcard or something along those lines. Then we do an initial sales call.
Five steps and it’s a lot more involved than just throwing an ad out there and hoping for the best. There has to be a next step for everything that we do.
John Williams 00:35:42 By the way, she walked out of there without buying a car.
Paula Williams 00:35:47 Because?
John Williams 00:35:49 Because the guy wouldn’t talk to her.
Paula Williams 00:35:51 So he didn’t follow the next step.
John Williams 00:35:54 He didn’t follow any steps.
Paula Williams 00:35:55 He didn’t follow any steps, exactly. When you do this right, it is not seen by the customer as being pushy sales people, or obnoxious or anything else, it’s seen as positioning. Here is an option for you that will solve your problem, let’s see if it’s a good fit for you, and let’s ask a few questions and get this down to the right fit. Start by racking the shotgun, getting people to identify themselves as people that you want to spend time and money advertising to. Once again we’re not Coke or Pepsi, we want to do direct response rather than branding type of the branding school of advertising, right?
Okay, so next week we’re going to talk about online prospecting which includes SEO, or search engine optimization, online articles and blog materials, things like that, podcasts, webinars, and social media. There’s been a lot of buzz about all these things, they are not the end all be all, which is why the following week we’re going to talk about non-traditional media, but we really recommend a mix of the two, right?
John Williams 00:37:11 A mix of everything because you never know what’s going to get somebody interest, or where they’re looking yet, but you don’t put a billboard on a dirt road, you put it on a well-traveled street.
Paula Williams 00:37:23 Exactly and that’s one more quick point. A lot of people say, why don’t you just find one advertising venue that performs best for you, and just do that? The answer is that the market changes, technology changes, people change, the demographics of the people that you’re selling to changes.
John Williams 00:37:48 It’s all fluid.
Paula Williams 00:37:49 Exactly, so you find the perfect, let’s say you find the perfect social media that gives you a three to one conversion rate over every other advertising method that you’ve tried. Should you discontinue everything else, and the answer is no, because they change their terms of service, they could go out of business, and whether this is a social media venue, or whether this is a radio station that you advertise on, or whether this is magazine that you advertise in, all of those things, you’re depending on a third party for your business’s health and well-being, and that just isn’t healthy to rely on just one, so you want to have multiples that are working fairly well and then you monitor those on a month to month basis and see, where is most of my traffic coming from or where are most of my customers coming from.
All right, so go ahead and get the tip sheet, and that is again at aviationbusinessconsultants.com/episode11 and we’ll get that off to you and you’ll see the diagram that we’ve been talking about and it’ll be much easier to visualize, right? That is fantastic and subscribe to the podcast, we’re on iTunes, so you’re going to want to get a new episode every Monday, they download automatically and it’s pretty simple to use, a lot of people now have this in their new cars, right?
John Williams 00:39:14 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Paula Williams 00:39:14 So if she bought this new Audi, she’d have a podcast button.
John Williams 00:39:18 She bought a different car and still has a podcast button.
Paula Williams 00:39:21 It still has a podcast button, exactly. Put us on your podcast button. Go on the web, go to iTunes and do leave us a review. We are a new podcast, we really would like to see what you think of us, what you’d like to see more of and less or and so on. Thank you for joining us and have a great week.
John Williams 00:39:44 Have a great holiday.
Narrator 00:39:50 Thanks for joining us for aviation marketing Hangar Flying, the best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating.
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