John and I discuss how storyboarding isn’t just for the entertainment industry – you can use them to solve just about any sales or marketing problem as well.

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Narrator: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best aviation sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry. You can’t learn to fly just from a book, you learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

They take the risks for you, and share strategies, relevant examples, hacks, and how to’s. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing Hanger Flying, Storyboarding and Aviation Sales. 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 ladies and gentlemen out there sell more products and services in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you have any thoughts while you’re listening to this podcast. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Seriously, you should change that. That makes it looks like we’re falling on our face when that thing changes.

Paula Williams: I know, I need to do that. But it’s kind of a neat effect. I’m using Keynote and I’m using the fall transition for slides. So, if you’re watching the slides, it looked like we just fell on our noses.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Anyway, so yeah, if you have any thoughts about this or anything else, you can submit comments using the #AvGeekMarketing, or you can just comment on our aviation blog or on our YouTube Channel.

John Williams: I got a correction again, I mean they can’t just comment on anything, [LAUGH] I would say, anything having to do with marketing.

Paula Williams: They can comment on anything. [LAUGH]

John Williams: But it doesn’t mean we’re gonna respond to it.

Paula Williams: But we will respond to it if it has to do with sales or marketing right?

John Williams: Okay, fine.

Paula Williams: Okay, fine. Okay, so today we’re talking about storyboarding. And usually people talk about storyboarding in response to things like cartoons, or skits, or plays, or drama, other kinds of things. But it’s really important for sales and marketing as well, and we’ll talk about why that is and how you can use it.

We’ll also talk about how much and how far you want to break down into steps and visualize the process.

And then the second thing is we also want to see it from your prospect’s point of view. So storyboarding is actually a really cool tool for solving any problem in your sales or marketing situation, I think.
It’s a really good tool to have in your toolbox, all right?

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: Okay, so what do I mean by storyboarding? The less cool way of referring to this is process mapping, right? But, that’s not fun. [LAUGH]


Storyboarding is much more fun. Process mapping is just basically taking the process and drawing it on paper and visualizing it.

But what that does is it forces you to put it into smaller pieces. And, most of the marketing companies or most of the aviation companies that we talk to about their sales or marketing process haven’t really thought about it in enough detail. Most of them have never really drawn it out.
And most of them have never really outlined it. They just say, I ask, well how do most people find you? And they say, well, they find us on our website, or they found us at a trade show, or something like that. But they haven’t really thought through, okay, so what are the steps?
How did they get to your website?

John Williams: Typically they don’t put tracking information, and they don’t really know anyway.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and once they got to your website, which pages did they visit? And did they dial your number? Or did they click a button to submit a form?
What happened?

John Williams: As much as, when I was taught about marketing in business school, it sounded to me like a bunch of fuzzy people didn’t know really what they were doing. But-

Paula Williams: Fuzzy people?

John Williams: Well, fuzzy processes.

Paula Williams: Fuzzy thinking people. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Yeah, whatever. But you have shown me that you can track every single click down to what happens.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So if you do this right, and I know this sounds like an awful lot of work, but the nice thing is the more you measure, the more control you have of the whole process. And if you don’t control it, the prospect will. And the prospect is not interested in doing business with you.
The prospect is just interested in getting what he wants from wherever he can get it from. So you’ll have to be the who cares about this, right?

John Williams: Yeah, and the more you control it, the more you can maintain financial control over it.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So you know, if you figure out that you’re spending an awful lot of money on a particular social media tool, for as an example.

And then you figure out you are getting zero or five visits to your website and none of them are resulting in aircraft sales in Seattle, for example, that’s an obvious place to save some money, right?

John Williams: Yeah, then you gotta figure out where they are coming from and do more of that.

Paula Williams: Right, and that’s the other side of the coin.
You want to figure out if everybody is finding you using search engine optimization, that’s a good place to spend some money, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm, yep.

Paula Williams: And that’s just an example, your results may vary, of course.

John Williams: It may be content marketing and it may be-

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Digital, it could be-

Paula Williams: A particular trade show that you do really well every year that has your exact demographic. It could be that you’re getting 90% of your business from referrals and you just need to up that process. Maybe look at that in a little bit more detail.

But if you outline it, and my favorite tool to do this is Omnigraffle. If you have a Mac, that’s kinda cool. If you have a-

John Williams: PC?

Paula Williams: PC, heaven forbid. [LAUGH]. There is a really nice tool called, Visio that I used to love when I was a PC person.

And I’m really sad that they don’t have a Visio for Mac. But it is a really nice process mapping tool or storyboarding tool so you can be proud of that.

John Williams: It is actually.

Paula Williams: And you have to think about what happens at each of these steps. So, as an example, people look you up on a search engine, what words are they using?

As you come up in that search, they click on that, they go to a landing page, what are they seeing? Once they fill that out, what happens? Once they get whatever you send them, do you follow up with a phone call? Does that phone call take into account the fact that they downloaded this tip sheet or is it just a miscellaneous sales call where they’re trying to sell them just some generic thing?

The more personalized you can get with this, the better. So you can storyboard your marketing process. You can also storyboard your sales process. So you might think about this from the perspective if you’re a salesperson of, how did people find you for the first time and what happened from that point?

Did you offer them something? And if you are having trouble at a particular point in your sales process, the easiest way to solve that problem is to put in more baby steps, right? So, if you meet them at a trade show and you say, buy my product, and they don’t, and you write them off, that’s not [LAUGH] terribly good salesmanship.

But if you can break that down into smaller pieces and say, would you like to know more about? And would you like to come to a product demo? And would you like to bring a coworker to a webinar? And all of those things that are lower cost and lower risk on both sides, you are a lot more likely to get a yes at each step.

So wherever people are dropping off, it’s a good place to invest some time and money.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so taking that example of people find us at a trade show. Okay, well let’s break that down. And let’s say this is how it happened for a particular person.

The prospect sees a Twitter trivia contest, right? And you use the hashtag NBAA2017. So people who are at the trade show, NBAA-

John Williams: Will see it.

Paula Williams: Will see it, whether or not they use Twitter. If they’re using the NBAA app, at least last year, it was set up so that certain hashtags would be picked up by the app.

John Williams: And even if you don’t use the app, you walk around and they’ve got screens all over the place showing you the words. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah, so it’s a great way to get some free advertising. And a lot of people think, well, I’ll just show up at the trade show and then as luck of the draw whoever drops by my booth, that’s great.
But you have to do something to get them, give them a reason to come to your booth because there’s a million people competing for their attention in that room, right?

John Williams: And you start 60 to 90 days ahead of the convention to make that happen.

Paula Williams: And plan this out, exactly.

So, yeah, one way to do this, and this is actually a really cool way to do this, is to have a trivia contest or a product demo, or some other reason for people to visit your booth. And we’ve done a bunch of shows, and if you go to our website and search trade show prospecting, or ways to get people to your booth on ABCI’s website, there’s probably three or four different articles with a lot of ideas on how to do that.

But let’s say you chose a trivia quiz or a trivia contest. So you advertise your trivia contest using your Twitter hashtag. Okay, so a prospect sees that on a screen or sees it on the app or sees it on Twitter and says, that sounds like fun. I know a lot about,-

John Williams: Whatever that was.

Paula Williams: Whatever it is or aviation insurance or whatever. So they come to your booth, and what do they see when they come to your booth? Is there something that’s reassuring them that they’re in the right place for the trivia quiz?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: You know, because there’s so much going on at these things, and they don’t want to look like an idiot because they went to the wrong booth, right?

John Williams: No, you have to make it easy for them as they approach the booth, because all they’re looking for is a booth number. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly, so they come to the booth and they see something that consistent with what they saw on Twitter, right? They come to your booth.

When they approach the booth, is somebody available to shake their hand and help them take the next step? Or has everybody got their nose in their iPads, you know? So you want to make sure that you got somebody available and on high receive to make sure that they feel welcome, and that they take the next step.

So, Tim, we’ll say Tim is our salesperson. He approaches this person and shakes their hand, and then Tim asks some friendly qualifying questions. And you’ve thought these out ahead of time because you’ve story boarded it, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: What are those questions that you could ask? Where are you from?
Do you currently have insurance? What brings you in today? Those kinds of things. How is the show going for you? Lots of things you could ask to find out more about that person without scaring them away. Tim hands the person a clipboard with a trivia quiz entry form, that hopefully, since we’ve storyboarded it, we know we need an entry form.

So we’ve taken the time to have one formatted nicely with our logo and that answers all of their questions. And we have pens, because we’ve storyboarded that part, so we know we’re gonna need pens because not everybody is gonna have one. So, Tim explains the contest and the prizes, the prospect completes the trivia quiz and provides his contact information.

Tim receives the entry form and suggests a consultation. Does the prospect accept? If he does, he goes ahead and schedules a consultation right then and there. If he says no, that’s fine. Tim adds the prospect to his follow-up list and they send him an information package after the show.

So, if you’ve thought that through, and storyboarded that all out, then the prospect feels really well taken care of, right? It feels like a really professional process, very comfortable for everyone. Nobody’s left searching for a pen because nobody thought that through.

John Williams: And the worst case is you have somebody to market to.

Paula Williams: Exactly, or you have somebody that decides they don’t wanna do the trivia quiz for whatever reason, but at least you’ve made a nice slippery funnel for them coming in. Every step has been smoothed. There is no speed bumps here, right?

John Williams: Yeah, any sales question is yes, no, or not yet.

Paula Williams: Exactly. All right, so that’s an example of a storyboard And the reason that we’re doing this podcast, actually what made us think of this, is we read something recently that the movie, The Matrix-

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Had-

John Williams: 500.

Paula Williams: 500 story boards-

John Williams: Plus.

Paula Williams: For a single scene.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And you think about some of these things that look really neat. [LAUGH] It’s not an accident, they didn’t just do that and make it happen. And you think about Disneyland, which we kind of used as an example to start with. Disneyland didn’t just fall together accidentally.

It is the work of many, many people working very, very hard storyboarding the entire experience from the time that you book your tickets. In fact, they now do these little armbands or these wristbands. They send them to you in this nice little gift packet. So it starts building anticipation from the time you buy your tickets to when you show up in the parking lot, and you got these friendly people waving you into the nearest space.

You come in the gate, you are standing in line for your favorite ride. And the line is long, but they’ve thought that through and they give you lots of things to do so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. They make it a really good experience for everyone because they’ve thought it through, and they’ve story boarded it, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh

Paula Williams: Okay and that’s entertainment and you’re thinking well I’m in sales, I’m not in entertainment. But you know what? We’re all in show biz.

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It’s also best for example when you buy a car or buy an airplane, they have a process that they deliver that and they have storyboarded that process like nobody’s business.

So they bring you into the hangar. You see your plane for the first time. You fall in love. There’s fireworks and little hearts and flowers. [LAUGH] And you know, they hand you pictures, they hand you the keys, they take a picture. All of the stuff is storyboarded. And some of it can be tacky and over the top and you think this is cheese, but most people and most businesses don’t do enough of it.

Thinking through this from the customer’s perspective. How can I make this easier, more fun, more satisfying, more worth their money, more valuable, more convenient, better in whatever way it is that your brand is famous for, right?

John Williams: Yep and the final thing, well not the final, but one of the final things in an aircraft sale is an acceptance flight.
Which sounds like, what a waste of time, but it’s a very necessary thing.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and whether you’re selling airplanes or whether you’re selling insurance, after somebody has made the purchase, you can storyboard that process as well. It may not be an acceptance flight, and it may not be the dramatic delivery of the aircraft, it’s a delivery of their policy.

It should come in a really nice binder with a really nice pen. And it should be an experience where you’re handing them something, and you’re giving them a nice warm handshake. And you’re starting the experience, with them feeling good about the whole experience and willing and able to tell their friends.

All their questions are answered and they feel good about having made the purchase, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So big ideas about this episode.

John Williams: Storyboarding is a tool you can use for sales and/or marketing.

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: And you need to break down and visualize all the processes so that you make sure you got it all lined up and you’re not missing the point.

Paula Williams: Right. And then the third big idea is that you really want to see it from your prospect’s point of view. Go through it and go sit in the parking lot [LAUGH] and see what they see, and do this from your customer’s point of view and put yourself literally in their mindset.

John Williams: The most successful people do these things.

Paula Williams: Yeah, they absolutely do.

Sales & Marketing ConciergeThis episode has been brought to you by our aviation sales and marketing concierge service. This is how we help our customers who are doing a lot more [LAUGH] with a lot fewer people in the last few years, it seems.

And a lot of the things like reports, budgets, plans, sales support, evaluations, copywriting, email, direct mail, trade show prep and follow up. Those kinds of things sometimes don’t get done just because you don’t have enough time or have enough people to make them happen. And without those little details, executing even the most creative and the most effective campaigns isn’t gonna work as well as you’d like it to because those details are really important.

So this is our way of helping you out by providing an extra pair of hands on some of those really critical tasks. Ask us about our aviation sales and marketing concierge service or go to to find out more.

Paula Williams: [SOUND] Please do subscribe to our podcast, aviation marketing Hangar Flying on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play.

And please do subscribe. Please do tell your friends. And please do leave us a review, that’s how other people find us and stop doing terrible marketing in the aviation industry. It’s wasteful and it’s unfortunate because we really can’t afford it as an industry. And the better we do, the better we all do, right?

John Williams: And not only that, but if they’re doing wasteful marketing, it’s expensive.

Paula Williams: Random acts of marketing, we call it, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Yeah, okay, thank you for joining us and we will see you next week.

John Williams: Ciao. [SOUND]

Narrator: 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.[MUSIC]..