Most of our aviation industry clients make 50% or more of the revenue from repeat sales.
Aviation is interesting that way – the high trust, highly regulated, b2b nature of most sales in the industry, once you get PAST that trust barrier and become a trusted partner or vendor, customers tend to be very, very loyal.
Of course, every sword has two edges- once you gain a happy customer, inertia is on your side.
But that doesn’t mean it happens by accident, or can be taken for granted. In this episode, we talk about three ways to maximize the return on investment from your CURRENT client list.
Listen to the Podcast Episode here:
Three Ways to Earn More Repeat Sales in the Aviation Industry
So, here’s what you do:
- Understand your customer lifecycle
- Use your (and their) favorite marketing tools to tie into your customers’ needs when they need you!
- Automate and/or delegate the process
How to Understand Your Customer Lifecycle
Some of our clients sell consumables or software, which their customers buy each month.
We also have clients who are aircraft brokers or airport construction-related companies, that may not have an obvious resale pattern.
People don’t buy a new business jet or a new hangar every year!
But if you watch the market long enough or see enough data about your specialty, you’ll probably find that many flight departments upgrade some of their aircraft every three or four years.
And every airport tends to have new building projects going on once every five or six years.
Most of our clients have a customer lifecycle (or the length of time that goes by between purchases) somewhere between every month and every four years.
Just like a great waiter knows exactly when to come by and ask for your order, you can magically pop up in your customer’s attention just as he is coming to the conclusion that he needs to contact you again.
If you know, from your experience with them or from industry data, when they’re most likely to buy again, you can make an effort to reconnect with them, just at the time they need you.
Where we live, a company called Jiffy Lube sells oil changes and other automobile services, and they manage this better than anyone we know. They write down the odometer reading each time you bring you car in, and they know the manufacturer’s recommendations for your make and model of automobile. So they send a convenient postcard (with a coupon, of course!) reminding you that the manufacturer for YOUR car recommends service for this specific number of miles and this specific date range, so here’s $20 off your next service! And here’s a number you can call for priority scheduling.
It’s brilliant. And yet I have seen VERY few aviation companies do something similar.
Their Favorite Marketing Tool? Pick Any Two:
So, how do you reach out them? Ideally, you’ll know how you connected with this particular customer in the first place, and have a feel for his or her favorite mode of communication.
In any case, things change, and people are busy. So it’s best to use at least two different media, and usually at least two separate attempts.
- Personalized emails (at least 2)
- Personalized postcards (at least 1, but 2 is better)
- Handwritten notes (1)
- Phone calls (at least one “live” call or 2 voice mails)
- Text messages (at least 2)
- Dynamic (personalized) web pages (1)
So, if it’s time for Mr. Smith at Company X to buy more widgets, your campaign might look like this:
The List: Mr. Smith (or everyone who purchased in 2016)
The Offer: A free service (or an extended warrantee, or a pie, or a set of golf clubs) when they make a purchase before a deadline.
The Presentation: Plan five or six customer “touches” using at least two different media, over a four to eight week period. For example, for a campaign ending April 15, you might send
- March 1 – Postcard
- March 6 – Email
- March 15 – Email
- March 30 – Postcard
- April 4 – Text
- April 11 – Email & Phone Call (3/4 of call attempts will probably be voice mails, so plan a good one!)
- April 15 – Text & Phone Call
Make sure you remove people from this campaign if they respond, so you’re not driving your best customers crazy!
Remember that “yes,” “no,” or “not at this time” are all valid responses!
Automate or Delegate the Process
A great Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) like Hubspot, SharpSpring, SalesForce or Infusionsoft makes all of this MUCH easier. Your CRM can run reports to help determine who to include in this campaign. It can help you determine which media that have been getting the best response from a particular customer or set of customers. It can also send emails, print postcard labels, send texts, and remind your sales staff to make calls and documenting the results of those calls.
Your CRM will also make it easier to remove people from the campaign as they respond.
If you don’t have a CRM, or don’t know how to use it to accomplish these particular tasks, some companies or professionals do it using a spreadsheet, index cards or a white board to track the tasks and responses.
Whatever you do, don’t let the fact that your staff is “too busy” to do a resale campaign be the reason you don’t get it done. The process can be automated with software or delegated to temporary or outsourced staff.
ABCI manages many of these campaigns for clients – generally speaking we collaborate on the materials, and once approved, we send electronic and postal materials on whatever schedule we’ve agreed upon.
Of course, you’ll have to manage incoming calls and let us know (usually via the CRM) who’s responded.
This lets you concentrate on discussing specific needs with your customers, closing those sales, delivering the best products and services to your customers, knowing that the details and heavy lifting of marketing is being managed.
Whether you do the work yourself, or would like to have us handle part of it for you, we LOVE talking with aviation companies about how to get more sales.
Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us and let’s talk about how we can get a higher percentage of your customers to repeat purchases.