In aviation, you have to achieve a certain velocity to take off. In sales and marketing, the same principles apply – unless you are performing sales and marketing tasks quickly enough, you won’t make enough sales to support your business or meet your goals for expansion.

We talk about factors involved in marketing velocity and how to achieve “rotation speed” in this episode.

Transcript – How to Get Your Marketing Process Up to Rotation Speed

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Getting your marketing process to rotation speedPaula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing Hangar Flying episode number 80, Random Acts of Marketing and the Rotation Speed for Marketing. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI and ABCI’s mission is-

John Williams: To help all you guys out there sell more products and services in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you’d like to comment on this or any other of our podcasts use the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing and we will reply to every tweet or post or anything else that we find. We are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all the usual suspects and so on. So, you can also leave comments on our blog or on our YouTube channel, right?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Of course, okay. So today, we are going to talk first about rotation speed. [LAUGH] And why it’s important for airplanes, and why it is important for marketing as well.

John Williams: Well anybody in aviation knows why it’s important for airplanes.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: You are going to talk about marketing.

Paula Williams: Right, so assuming that you have had any flight training at all, and I know there’s a lot of people in aviation who haven’t, because there’s a lot of people who work on the ground in one capacity or another. But basically, when you’re flying off the end of an aircraft carrier, you need to be going fast enough to not fall in the water, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, the rotation speed really is a, an idea that we had, because we had a conversation with someone in our consultations. And there’s a lot of people that do this. This is not the only person, [LAUGH] that we’ve run into. In fact, there’s probably been three.

John Williams: To do what, go off the flight deck?

Paula Williams: In the last month that have falling in the water, [LAUGH] for one reason or another. They’re just not doing enough marketing, they don’t have the velocity, they don’t have the planning, they don’t have the system really to sustain sales.

And so, they’re doing all of this activities that really doesn’t amount to enough to get them off the ground, right?

John Williams: So then as they say is they taxi at the end of the flight deck and they think they’re going to fly and they go broke?

Paula Williams: Yeah or else they just taxi to the end and then they turn around and taxi and taxi and taxi.

And we’ve seen companies go years, literally years, without making sales, especially startups, because they just never quite get to the velocity that they need to get to, to get off the ground and to actually make a sale, right?

John Williams: That’s crazy.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and they do a lot, but they just don’t do quite enough.

And doing 80% of VR is not going to get you off the ground. It’s just going to burn up a lot of gas, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Among other things, yes.

Paula Williams: And be dangerous, right? Okay, so the big ideas from this episode, there is rotation speed required for successful marketing and sales.

If you don’t reach that rotation speed, you’re just wasting time and resources and you’re also taking risks, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, so let’s talk about how this works. We’ve talked a lot in the past about what we call random acts of marketing, or things that are not connected with other things.

And just about anything that isn’t part of a system would fall into this category. Things that aren’t part of a marketing process. So, these activities that are one offs are kinda like starting and stopping, and starting and stopping, and starting and stopping. It just doesn’t give you what you need to get you where you want to go.

Okay, so rotation speed when we talk about that it’s kinda like in an airplane, it’s the beginning of lift. It’s where you start to feel the wheels come off the ground. And in sales and marketing, it is when you start to actually get the interest of people who are qualified to purchase from you or actually you start making your first sales.

And you start feeling that little rush of joy that comes from having made sales. And also you get that little rush of revenue that comes from making sales. And revenue from sales is a 1,000 times better than revenue from investors for a lot of reasons, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: First of all it’s your money, [LAUGH] you can do what you want with it. You don’t have to pay it back. And you can use it to reinvest in the company, or you can take salaries and pay your people and all those wonderful things. And there’s no conditions on sales money as opposed to investor money where they’re telling you every little thing, right?

What you can do and can’t do with it. So getting that lift quickly is really, really important. And the way that you do that is with frequency and velocity of sales and marketing activities, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, so every time you stop on a runway or taxiway or anything else, you lose momentum.

So, if you’re in one of those big airplanes where there’s a passenger or a pilot, it takes a lot of engine power to move that big hunk of metal down the runway the first time. And then every time you stop, it takes quite a bit of thrust just to get moving forward again.

So, what this looks like when we talk about sales and marketing, in aviation, you wanna make sure that every step in your sales cycle leads to the next step with no stop signs, right? So, you do a social media post a lot of the time that should lead to the next step which might be a free report, or a lead magnet of some kind.

Some next step in the sales cycle, and that should lead to your next step, which might be a consultation. And that should lead to your next step, which might be a sales presentation, which would lead to your next step, which might be a proposal. And proposal is never the end of the story because there’s always amendments and other crazy things that you go through as you learn about that particular client.

And this may have, your particular process may have four steps or ten steps or 20 steps, but it’s something along these lines, right?

John Williams: And sometimes, this is a bare skeletal form of what goes on. I’ve been involved in processes that take years and take lots of steps to get there.

But then, that’s there is more money in those than there is in the smaller stuff.

Paula Williams: Right, yeah, the larger the transaction and the larger the company you’re selling to probably the more steps there are going to be in this process.

John Williams: And the longer it takes.

Paula Williams: Right, but the key thing is you just never leave a step without connecting it, having some kind of a connection to the next step.

So in some cases with social media posts what we see is people say, here’s an insightful article. Well that’s fantastic, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. And as a list building activity or just as something to do, to keep people amused and entertained and everything else. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but it doesn’t contribute to the sales process.

There’s no connection there between your social media post and your next step in your sales process.

John Williams: Sorta like a, we see on Twitter a lot people just send out random quotes-

Paula Williams: Yep.

John Williams: With no connection at all-

Paula Williams: Yep.

John Williams: To anything.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and there is nothing wrong with that unless that’s the only thing you do, right?

So, you put out an interesting quot, an insightful article, another insightful article, another insightful quote, whatever you do. It doesn’t matter how fantastic it is, [COUGH] unless that leads inspires some kind of action. Is putting a stop sign in your sales process.

John Williams: And no matter how highly educated you are or what your position is, if you don’t ask them for a sale, don’t connect them to a sales process, it isn’t going to happen.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, that is absolutely correct. So one thing that you can do is put in something like download our free report. And this doesn’t have to be every post, but maybe every third post or every other post. Put in something that contributes to the sales process and actually makes that connection and says okay.

So, you’ve seen our social media posts, now get more information, download our free report, download a checklist. Request a free consultation and that will kind of bypass that first step in your sales process but take you to the second step. That’s okay too.

John Williams: It’s frustrating for us reading this stuff.

It’s actually frustrating as hell for all these people out there.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: That aren’t making any sales and don’t get it.

Paula Williams: Exactly, yeah they’re putting an awful lot of work into an aviation social media channel without effectively getting anything done. It’s gotta drive you crazy right? Okay, we’re going to go into more detail about this in a future podcast and talk about what you should put on your social media, in a good ratio of list building versus sales process activities and things like that.

But for now, just understand, [LAUGH] but if it’s not connected to the next step on your sales cycle and if you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your social media, you really are wasting a lot of time. Another place where people have blockages is between their, if they have a lead magnet of some kind, if they don’t follow up on those quickly enough or have a really strong call to action in there for your report, that leads to the next step in their process.

So let’s say you have a free report about ten things you should know before you get your art graph interior refurbished. But there’s nothing on that article that leads to the next step and says, request of free consultation about your project today. And here’s a phone number and here’s how you schedule that and here’s the exact steps of what you do next.

Then you’re leaving that person to stop of their own inertia, and not build up that thrust again so you’ve wasted a lot of energy. Another place where there’s a roadblock is between your consultation and your sales presentation. So, you might have a consultation that’s really not a sales, salely couple, which is great.

But you do need to have something at the end of that, that goes to the next steps. Are you interested in talking further about our products and services? That’s not sales, that’s just finding out if they’re interested in becoming part of your sales process, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Yes, no or there’s three possible answers to any activity, right?

Yes, no or not now, right? And the not nows you have to have a pretty good reason for the not now and a date for a followup. Okay, so sometimes the sales presentation people are afraid to ask for the sale or are afraid to say should we write this up as a proposal?

Afraid to take that next step, they just stumble, or they pull their punches, or they just don’t do it, or they forget to set up the next sales column. And I said, wow that was great. They loved it. They agreed with all of our points. Everything is cool but nobody knows what to do next.

That happens a lot in sales presentation, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, don’t leave that to chance and don’t.

John Williams: And once in a while in a sales representation you’ll pause for a breath and the perspective client will say, so great, what do we have to do to make this work?

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: And your answer is, write me a check, give me a credit card number, or transfer some money.

Paula Williams: Exactly, you don’t wanna talk yourself past the point where you made the sale.

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool that’s another road block there. Another one is after you do the proposal, there’s always some customizations or amendments or follow-up, or something that needs to be done.

And once again, the bigger the company, and the more money involved, the more rounds this is going to have to go through to get all the way to end, right?

John Williams: Yes it is.

Paula Williams: You’ve been involved in some of these that had many rounds of amendments right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Cool, and then last is of course pulling the trigger, making the sale collecting the money and moving forward from that point. And we could go on and talk about post-sale activities, following up, making sure they’re happy, getting referrals, and so on. But for today’s purpose we just wanna make sure we’ve got no road blocks, and we’ve got a complete system, and we’ve got all of our steps connected, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay cool, so why do people create road blocks?

John Williams: So they can buy stuff and roadblock people, I don’t know.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It is pretty counter productive. But people do it because either they don’t have a complete process. Some people don’t have a process at all, they just think sales are going to magically happen.

Which is not true.

John Williams: I think a lot of the time maybe that people don’t realize that everybody is a salesperson.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And then every time you’re trying to convince somebody of something, you’re selling.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: So then all you have to be is straight-forward, and if you’re trying to help somebody, rather than doing anything else, then you’re selling them on your ability to help.

And then once that’s done, then here’s the price tag.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and I think people think will this product sells itself. [LAUGH] That is never quite true, and once again, you may accidentally makes some sales, which is great. Take a [COUGH], by all means, but a lot of people think that that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Unfortunately, the way that society has evolved, and the way that people have developed a really strong resistance to sales. It’s really necessary these days to have a pretty good organized process for making those sales.

John Williams: There’s actually three different kinds of people in the sales game.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Let’s see, one of them is, they’re afraid to make a sale, afraid to actually step out there and make a sale. And the other one that are trying to make a sale and then there is the order takers.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true, but if you have a good process then you even order takers can fulfill part of that process and they could work.

John Williams: Yeah, they’re all the way at the tail end after the sale has been made.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, right. So reason number one that people make roadblocks is because they either don’t have a process or their process is broken. So they don’t have a next step. Reason number two, is there is too much space between one step and the next.

So, a lot of people will like a free report and then expect to make a sale right away. And depending on how complex your product might be, that might be asking too much of people. You might wanna have a consultation in there. You definitely want to have a sales presentation and some other steps in that process to bridge that gap so that you’re not saying, okay, you gotten our one page free report, now make a $10,000 investment in our product.

John Williams: All right.

Paula Williams: That’s just asking too much. So if you’re not making sales, you wanna maybe look at some of those gaps between the steps and think, do we need an interim step here? Where are we losing people and what can we do to add some stepping stones in there, so that it becomes easier to take that next step?

And the last thing is sales phobia, which John kinda talked about already. [LAUGH] I think this is a natural thing for a lot of people. Nobody is really born feeling super confident about making sales. Our culture kind of sets up a bunch of boogie men in the way of making sales.

And a lot of people will tell me, on the phone, I’m not trying to sell you anything but and you know what happens when people say that?

John Williams: What?

Paula Williams: Your BS reader goes off. Bells and whistles and clanging noises and everything else. They are not trying to sell you something, they are so full of hooey.

John Williams: That’s why they say when people says not about the money. Right, exactly.

Paula Williams: No, I mean there is nothing wrong with saying darn skippy I’m trying to sell you something [LAUGH] right?

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I absolutely would love to have your business, there is nothing wrong with saying that on a phone call and that takes that fear away and just gets it right out of the out of the conversation.

And then it just becomes a, it would be good for me to sell you something, would it be good for you to buy this something? Let’s talk about that, and then you’re being honest and it just really disarms the whole conversation right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, one thing that we’ve done that reduces fear a whole lot is rehearsing sales calls.

So, we’ll work with clients that maybe feel a little weird about making sales calls, especially maybe product developers or founders or other people who didn’t really get into this to do sales, it’s not really their forte. But if we work with them and play customer and they play sale guy and we go through this a few times, then it really takes the sting out of the whole scenario and it makes them feel a whole lot better about it.

So action cures fear, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Whether that action is rehearsing.

John Williams: Not just in sales.

Paula Williams: Yeah rehearsing the next step, taking baby steps, maybe reducing the amount of space in your sales process so that you’re only closing for an appointment. That’s easier than closing for the sale right?

Especially if you feel weird about it. Closing for a smaller product to start with if your not at all used to sales. There’s ways to work up to making big sales for big dollars and closing every sale every time, and developing that skill is just like developing muscles.

You don’t expect four year old to do 20 push ups perfectly. It takes some times to build up. You can expect a four year old to do one push up perfectly. I’ve seen it.

John Williams: When I went to business school, I’ve been out of school for 25 plus years, and there was all these things in the back of my mind.

I went, well, I’m not sure if I can, well, and it all runs down to the point of either do or say you’re not going to do it, but don’t be afraid of it.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: So I did it and things just seem to work out when you do action.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. And if you really feel like you’re not ready or something like that then take a smaller step. Whether that’s rehearsing or working with somebody who can help you whatever that next step is, a really good next step is our insider circle, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Improve your marketing process with the Insider Circle!Paula Williams: We do office hours every month with every one of our insiders.

And some of the things that we do, everything that we do is confidential. Unless they allow us to share that with people outside the group. But one of our really popular requests is, I have a sales presentation coming up. And I’m really nervous about it, because I understand this guy’s really tough.

Can you help me work out what his objections are going to be? Can you rehearse a sales call with me? And, or rehearse the sales presentation with me? And that works out really, really well for everyone because if you’ve gone through this with John being Mr. Grouchy customer. Then, by the time you get in front of the real customer, you’ve already done it once, you know exactly what to say when some of these things come up.

John Williams: Yeah, they’re not as bad as I am.

Paula Williams: [Laugh] They’re not as hard John. So, it really helps you prepare and get confident and be ready to take the next step, right? Okay, so that’s pretty much it for random acts of marketing and getting to rotation speed.

What’s up with the Insiders? Paxton Calvanese and Ken VeArd just got back from SUN’nFUN, which I understand was a lot of fun and a lot of really good things happened. We’ve talked last couple weeks ago about all the publicity that Ken was getting, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Paxton also got some pretty good publicity.

He was mentioned in a podcast on AVweb and had a mention in Flying Magazine. So good stuff happening there, they are meeting people and going places and the Wx24Pilot app is something that I really recommend that anybody having anything to do with aviation. Download and spend 15 minutes playing with it.

You really kinda have to go through some of the tutorials and things like that because it is complex. There’s a lot to it, you can add your personal minimums, you can add a lot of different things so that you can see just what you wanna see. And it really is a very cool way of looking at weather.

And the Pilot Partner App is a really cool way of keeping track of your log books. I had my log books in two different places and I actually lost a log book from back home we were flying in Georgetown, Texas. That was when I first started taking lessons a million years ago.

John Williams: Still haven’t found it?

Paula Williams: Still haven’t found it. I found the other one, but if I had it in electronic form, then there it would be, right? But of course, you can always carry over the numbers but it’s still nice to have all of those details. Pat Lemieux did a really cool video [LAUGH] to the theme of Annie.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] I don’t know how he gets the folks at CLA Arrow to do everything he says [LAUGH]. It’s really neat. They’re fearless, fearless people and they produce really fantastic videos. There’s also another really good one about how to know if you have a really high quality air craft interior or if they’re cutting corners on you, doing the upholstery and other kinds of things.

So look out for those videos and other kinds of things on YouTube and social media. Those are really good. Joni Schultz just finished up an event with Whirly Girls. They have an event in conjunction with HAI where I understand it was a really, cool, really big success and so on.

And Kathryn Creedy, who’s been curating and creating news most recently, has been providing some really insightful comments on the whole United dragging the passenger off the plane deal. So that’s kind of cool. And she’s really fun to listen to because she knows a lot about airlines. So do tune in to her Twitter feed especially and she’s also on LinkedIn and Facebook.

So that is what’s going on, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Yup.

John Williams: Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and now you know how, so also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play. And please do leave us a review and let us know what you’d like to hear more of.

We had a request actually for MRO marketing, maintenance services and things like that, so that will be coming in a future episode. We love hearing from you guys and we love those reviews. So we’ll talk to you next time.

John Williams: Have a great rest of the day, ciao…