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  • Book Club Discussion - ReWork

AMHF 0067 – Book Club Discussion – ReWork

Book Club Discussion - ReWorkBig ideas from this week’s episode:

  1. The way we’ve traditionally gotten work done has changed.
  2. Companies like ABCI and nonprofits like the Whirly Girls rely on teams of people all over the country and/or world.
  3. The way we stay organized, be accountable, and get things done has also changed.

The book has a lot of great tips for doing business in this new environment!


Transcript – Episode 67 – Aviation Marketing Book Club – ReWork” Coming Soon


Troubleshooting Your Marketing Funnel Webinar Replay

Most aviation sales and marketing professionals rely on wasteful, haphazard “random acts of marketing,” and don’t achieve the sales results they otherwise could.

Download the worksheet used in this free webinar

Then watch the video, complete the worksheet, and make improvements to your funnel!

  • Troubleshooting sales funnel

AMHF 0066 – Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

AMHF 0066 – AMHF 0066 – Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

Troubleshooting sales funnelBig ideas from this week’s episode:

  1. All of your marketing activities should fit into one of these three phases in a “marketing funnel.”
  2. Count the number of prospects that are in each phase, and determine where you’re losing the most people.
  3. Invest the time and money to improve the “leaky section” of your funnel.

This may sound REALLY basic, but we’ve found that many marketers don’t actually do Step #2, and just “wing it” by doing more of the marketing activities that they enjoy, are comfortable with, or feel they can afford.

The problem with this is that you end up wasting money or spinning your wheels.

Transcript – Episode 66- Troubleshooting Your Sales Funnel or “Why am I working so hard for so few sales?”

John Williams: You didn’t hit record yet did you?

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 66, Troubleshooting Your Marketing Funnel or why am I working so hard for so few leads.

John Williams: I give up, why?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You know.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: There’s something wrong with your sales funnel.

So we’re gonna talk about that today. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

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

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

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So if you have questions, comments, anything else that you would like us to respond to, use the #AvGeekMarketing.

That will help us find your questions, comments, whatever. And we’ll make sure that we respond to them on social media. We try to reply to every tweet. You can also leave comments on our blog and we welcome those as well. Conversations with people like you that are listening to us really make this a whole lot more fun for us, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, so big ideas today. One, this is like my New Year’s resolution, measure everything, right? Number two, find the holes in your sales funnel. And three, spend time and money to fix those holes in your funnel, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Cool, okay so, first of all measure everything.

John Williams: It said fix it, you mean fix them. Cuz you gonna have more than one.

Paula Williams: You gonna have more than one problem with your sales funnel, right? That’s absolutely true. Most people have not done this perfectly and even if you had it perfect it’s not gonna stay perfect, because that’s the way it works.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So most people are familiar with the concept of a marketing funnel. Basically you start with a big end at the top and a little end at the bottom.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Our version of this is to kind of divide that funnel into three chunks.

So phase one, which is your advertising and prospecting activities, phase two, which is your building credibility and closing sales process, and phase three, which is your referrals, resales and recaptures. Now, most marketing companies concentrate 90% of their effort on phase one which is advertising and prospecting. And why is that?

John Williams: Cuz they don’t know any better?

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: They know better. But that’s how they make their money, right?

John Williams: Well, not if you don’t close sales.

Paula Williams: Building beautiful advertising, they don’t care if you close sales. They just wanna win advertising awards for beautiful advertising.

John Williams: You mean marketing companies.

Paula Williams: Yes, aviation-

John Williams: Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paula Williams: And other types of advertising and marketing companies will want you to spend 99% of your marketing budget on phase one.

John Williams: Sure, I must misunderstood you. You’re right, okay, got it. Okay, yeah.

Paula Williams: Doing advertising and prospecting and this has kind of permeated the culture to the point where everybody is in this frenzy for more leads, more leads, more leads.

We just need more leads. Everything would be fine.

John Williams: And sometimes, you do.

Paula Williams: Yeah, if we had more leads. And that may be the case. But in aviation, it takes longer and a lot of people coming from other fields get really frustrated. I actually just talked with someone this morning who came from a different field other than aviation in our office hours this morning, and was just like, why does this take so long.

[LAUGH] And, you know, the answer is it’s not you. It’s just that there are a lot of decisions that have to be made, a lot of people that need to be consulted. There’s a lot of regulatory things, a lot of procedure things, teams that need to be brought on board before they can change a procedure.

There’s a lot of things that have to happen before they can make a purchase. And if you’re used to selling retail, it can drive you crazy, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: So phase two is really, really important. We actually advise that people spend at least 50% of their marketing budget outside of phase one on their phase two and phase three and they’re building credibility and closing sales.

Because we do have a really long sales cycle in the aviation industry. And then phase three, referrals, resales and recaptures, this is where the money is made in the aviation industry, as people who know, like, and trust you already will bring you their friends who are already predisposed and you know they’re in the right demographic and everything else to like your product.

Because they know about it. Your friend’s been telling about them for weeks probably. This worked with John, I think recently, with the Tesla car, right?

John Williams: Well, I didn’t know anybody that had one. I just happened to talk to somebody while I was waiting on you in the store.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] While I was shopping, and John was waiting.

John Williams: Well, they would go by and I’d roll the window down and said, how do you like the car.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: He said he wouldn’t have anything else. I said, really?

Paula Williams: That was the referral, right?

John Williams: And so we talked about it a little bit, and I said, okay.

And then she came out, and we had time, so we went to the Tesla dealer.

Paula Williams: And took a test drive.

John Williams: Took a test drive.

Paula Williams: Yep, and since then?

John Williams: Well, I’m just waiting on a contract or two to come in and we’re gonna have one.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, they’re really really cool cars and there’s a lot to talk about, but the reason that I’m bringing this up is because what brought John into the Tesla store was a referral from a happy customer.

John Williams: Right, it didn’t have anything to do with phase one and two.

Paula Williams: Right and you’re not even a customer yet because you haven’t actually bought one of these cars, but you had told two people that I know of.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Three people that I know of, at least ten minutes of story about our experience.

John Williams: And not only that, but once we purchase said vehicle from Tesla, I will not ever have another gasoline powered car, unless I want one for a toy just to play with.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: It won’t be anything to use actually trips or anything.

Paula Williams: So now you’ve told all of these people.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well, whatever.

Paula Williams: So, let’s see if it works.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: In phase three, for high end products and for innovative products and other kinds of things, is absolutely where the money is made.

Okay, so I’m gonna actually simplify this a little bit further.

John Williams: Just skip.

Paula Williams: Okay, so we’re simplifying our funnel and this is going to be kind of magical math, everything ends in a zero. This isn’t what it’s gonna look like in real life, but to give you an idea, a real simple example of how this can work with the marketing funnel, we have our phase one, phase two and phase three.

The first thing that happens when somebody comes into contact with this fictitious company we’ve got a bunch of different marketing activities going on. We have a website with some search engine optimization and maybe some paid ads and other kinds of things bringing people to the website, to a landing page, where they download a buyer’s guide, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Okay, we also have a trade show booth, where we are handing out the buyer’s guide. Maybe we have a physical form of that that we’re giving people in return for a business card, okay? So that’s another way that we’re collecting leads for that buyer’s guide.

And then the third way is people come to our website or are referred by somebody or whatever and they just call us. Maybe we have some advertising in some local magazines or in some aviation trade journals or whatever it is.

John Williams: You can cut this part out later but I don’t think I recorded the first part of this.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: All right, continue.

Paula Williams: So other advertising and things like that we had maybe an advertisement offering, the buyer’s guide call our office and we’ll send you a free copy, right? So three ways to get the same thing. Just to keep it simple.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, so we have our advertising and prospecting activities.

And let’s say maybe a thousands people came to our website. A hundred people gave us their business cards at a trade show. And ten people called the office and referred to a particular ad that was in a magazine.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Sounds completely unrealistic because everything ends in zero.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s good enough to talk about.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so of all of those people, a lot of people came to the website for other reasons, just to read an article or check a phone number or look at a stat or something like that, but of all of those people in the top-end of our funnel, 100 of those people requested our buyers guide, okay.

So that’s a reasonable ratio, right?

John Williams: 1,110 you got 100, that’s 10%, give or take.

Paula Williams: That’s 10%, right, exactly. But of those 10% we only sold one product.

John Williams: Again 10%.

Paula Williams: No, that’s 1%.

John Williams: That’s 1%, sorry.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s okay.

John Williams: Yeah, but that’s still good.

Paula Williams: It can be good. It depends on the product or service and it depends on what we need.

John Williams: If you’re selling gulfstream jets, that’s outstanding.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: If it is selling software for 19.99, it’s not so hot.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Right, so your ratios are gonna differ and your results are gonna differ and I can guarantee they are not all gonna end in zeros.

John Williams: No, no, but that’s okay.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so basically, we have a big number going into a smaller number going into a smaller number. And then of course, our phase three. How many of those people that we sold to referred other people? And here we have half of one.

So for every two that we sell, one of those people makes a referral, which is pretty good, okay? Cool, so this is a really good way to document your funnel and figure out how many leads do we actually have coming in. Of those, how many are taking the next step in the process?

And of those, how many are taking the next step in the process? And then of those how many are making referrals? Okay, so traditional marketing sales or marketing logic is, okay, now you know what the ratio is you just shovel more things into the top.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, that may or may not work.

John Williams: It always works but it may not work as efficiently and effectively as you want.

Paula Williams: As something else and actually it may make it less effective. So this was a really good case with the Groupon. I don’t know if you remember that was really popular couple of years ago.

I guess they’re still a lot of companies that are doing it. But when it first came out people were doing it badly, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: And it’s not Groupon’s fault, just that the campaigns weren’t really well thought out. And there were a lot of flight schools, in particular, that thought, this is fantastic.

We will do super low cost discovery flights for anybody who wants one. And so they would put a super low, ridiculously low price or outlay for a discovery flight and they would barely cover their fuel costs, maybe cover the instructor time, maybe lose money on these discovery flights and to get a lot of leads in the top of their funnel.

But then they didn’t really have a process to capture those leads or qualify those people and to turn them into students.

John Williams: They didn’t even pre-qualify them. A lot of people came out just to go for a ride.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so shoveling more water or pouring more water into the top of your funnel might actually spring more leaks, right?

Because it just can’t take the pressure. [LAUGH] So you don’t want to indiscriminately decide that phase one is your problem and just start advertising for more prospects and not serving them as well as you could. So in a lot of cases those Groupon events were crazy. They had too many people there.

They didn’t have a chance to talk with them. Their customer service was really lousy. They ran out of food. The hamburgers got cold. People got food poisoning. All kinds of stupid things happened because they were just managing the top end of the funnel.

John Williams: And they didn’t think it through?

Paula Williams: And they didn’t think it through, exactly. So what we wanna do is find the holes in your funnel and it might be, especially if you’re a brand new business, you may need more leads. So it maybe that’s where your problem is. But let’s say in our last example that we decided a hundred going down to one was just too many, that 1% of people that requested the buyer’s guide was we sold products to was just too much, too much of a jump.

We could do some asking around of people that left our process and say you know what, you requested our buyer’s guide but then you bought our competitor’s product. Can you tell us why that happened? And it’s just like I understood your competitor’s product better. Or you didn’t talk to me for six months after I requested the buyer’s guide and I completely forgot that you existed.

[LAUGH] You may find out that there is something that you could do that would really convert more of those people to be customers. So maybe you need another step in your funnel. So you have people coming in that you’re doing your advertising, same website traffic, same trade show booth visits, same incoming phone calls, same number of people requesting that buyer’s guide.

But now we put in another step where people can request a demo, a personal demo where you’ll actually look at their system and apply some things and do some logic that makes them really understand the product a lot better and then your sales will go up. So in this case we took one sale and turned it into five.

So 50% of the people that went through the demo, if you had a really fantastic killer demo and a good follow up process after that. I’d probably wanna add something else in there, but just for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that that would do the trick. In some cases in your funnel, if you’re losing a lot of people between one step and the next, you just need to add a step rather than spending twice as much money on advertising.

John Williams: And the steps here, just FYI, are completely overly simplified.

Paula Williams: Exactly, in most cases, most marketing funnels have 20 to 30 steps.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: From beginning to the end. In aviation, it’s a long sale cycle and there’s a lot of information that’s usually needed to make a purchase.

And usually a lot of time that’s required to go through the whole process, right? And probably our referred numbers would go up as well, but even if that’s all we did, even if all we did was change the next step, we’ve still exponentially improved our sales without adding any more money to the top of the funnel.

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, so you do have to add either time or money. These things aren’t magical. They aren’t gonna do themselves.

John Williams: And customers always cost money.

Paula Williams: Customers always cost money. So when you put together that demo, you probably had to put some money into it.

You may have had to create some materials, create an outline, train your people, do a lot of different things that cost time and money. You can’t just wing it with a lot of these things. [LAUGH] The more scheduled, the more polished, the more together you can be with these steps the better, and of course, you wanna capture that information at every step, so that you can keep continuing to improve.

John Williams: Yes, the funnel itself needs to be polished immaculately.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, and-

John Williams: You as a person do not, but the process has to be.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly, some of the best salespeople are not terribly polished. But they have really good processes and really good outlines and they have systems that work for them.

And that’s another thing is that you can’t just do this once and leave it forever, because customers become more sophisticated. Your competitors are gonna step up their game. A lot of things are gonna happen and your numbers are gonna shift. So now’s the beginning of the year. It’s a really good time to collect your numbers and to put together something like this and say, here’s where our problems are, let’s fix them.

But you’re gonna wanna do that more than once. Maybe do a six-month checkup, certainly a year checkup, and say, here’s all of our systems and here’s all of the numbers going through each of them. Here’s where our customers are slipping between our fingers. [LAUGH] And running off to a competitor, you can’t have that.

You have to make sure you fix that. So big ideas, once again, measure everything, right?

John Williams: Yeah, absolutely.

Paula Williams: Find the holes in your funnel and spend time and money to fix it. So next step, if you want us to help you with this, we have a marketing flight plan where we look at what you have going on.

We help you compile some of this information and put it together and come up with a plan. What is going to be the best place to invest that time and money to help you make more sales? And that marketing flight plan is really the best way that we’ve learned to get to the bottom of that quickly and reasonably easily.

It’s not easy. I won’t lie. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, we didn’t start this company to do an analysis of customers, marketing and sales, procedures and processes, but that’s what we end up doing before we can help.

Paula Williams: Right, we don’t wanna spend your money on something that isn’t gonna work.

And that’s why we developed the flight plan is to help us pinpoint where is the best place for you to make those investments to improve your results. Right, okay, so check out the marketing flight plan ABCIone.com/flightplan, and go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: America needs the business.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Right, so and also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and do leave us a rating. We look forward to those and do take those into account. So have a great afternoon.

John Williams: And we’ll see you next time.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: Ciao.

AMHF 0065 – Marketing Teamwork – Nobody Succeeds Alone

AMHF 0065 – Marketing Teamwork – Nobody Succeeds Alone

Big ideas from this week’s episode:

  • Great marketing requires teamwork – nobody succeeds alone!
  • It takes all kinds
  • Great teams need great chemistry!


Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 65, Marketing is Teamwork.

John Williams: Now, you think?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It takes more than one that’s for sure. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are ABCI, your team [LAUGH] of aviation marketing consultants.

John Williams: Together with a whole group of guys working in the background behind us.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, for individual projects we may have tons of people working on it. So team work is really key to us as well. So use the #AvGeekMarketing, if you would like to ask questions or comment or do anything else that you would like a reply to that will help us find your thoughts and comments.

Wondering where to make the best marketing investments? We can help you identify the “holes in your funnel” and fix them!

Of course, you can always comment on the blog or on the individual podcast episode. And we will do our best to get back to you and reply to every tweet or comment or everything else that we can find. Okay, so three big ideas for today. One, of course, marketing is teamwork, two, it takes all kinds, and three, great teams take great chemistry.

So first of all, marketing is teamwork. In the olden days, it didn’t, right?

John Williams: No, you look at Mad Men on TV.

Paula Williams: Right, and we will in just a second, but first of all, let’s talk about this guy. This is the guy that wrote Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, and he kind of, I don’t know if he invented the concept of nobody gets rich alone or nobody gets successful alone, but he certainly popularized the idea of the theater of the mind, right? He had this group of counselors in this head, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and probably a bunch of other people who he would ask, what do you think about this problem.

What would you do about this situation? And even if he was in the privacy of his own mind, he was involving teamwork in trying to involve other styles of thinking and other points of view and things like that into what he was doing, right?

John Williams: Well, that presupposes somebody has read quite a bit of those guys, so that they know what they would do in those situations.

Paula Williams: Right and you can do this with anybody. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s real or imaginary. You definitely want a lot of different points of view and it might be your Aunt Ethel and your Uncle Fred. I mean, whoever has the most expertise in the style of thinking that you’re looking for, you can think about that thought.

So teamwork is not necessarily overt, but it is definitely necessary. So let’s talk about how marketing used to be in the days of Don Draper. Speaking of the devil, there he is now. [LAUGH] And-

John Williams: I didn’t say he was the devil.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right. No, in the AMC popular series Mad Men, Don Draper was a really good example and the process that their marketing firm used was a really good example of the way that marketing used to work, right?

Basically, the client would come in and talk to some folks for a little bit and say this is what we want done and this is what our product is, here’s a sample, and then they would go away, right? And a month later or three weeks later or some amount of time would pass and the marketing firm in a vacuum would sit around the room with the other people in the marketing firm and brainstorm ideas and come up with something really fabulous.

They would select the best of those ideas by themselves, with no input from the customer. They would select the best of those ideas and make a big presentation with an unveiling of a fabulous idea, okay? And sometimes it worked. Sometimes it worked really well. But in those days, consumers in the United States were a pretty homogenous group, right?

John Williams: And quite uneducated in the areas of marketing and products and so forth.

Paula Williams: Right, so it used to be that you could put a shiny image in front of people and a catchy slogan or a beautiful logo and that would be all you would need to do some pretty decent marketing.

That is not true anymore [LAUGH], right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] It gets a little complex along the way, these days.

Paula Williams: Right, nowadays, in order to do good marketing you need all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. You need technology. You need product desk experts. You need some pretty detailed technical information.

You need a lot of stuff that you didn’t used to, in order to sell a product. It’s a lot harder to sell a product. There’s a lot more competition in the market and there are a lot more moving parts to the whole marketing process.

John Williams: The technology is changing rapidly in the areas that are being used by marketing.

Paula Williams: Right and also, you can’t just throw your idea over the wall to a marketing firm and have them come up with something brilliant and unveil it to you. It’s a lot more complicated than that, because the final product has to be a lot more detailed, in order to work, especially in the aviation industry, because aviation customers are really smart.

John Williams: Yes and detail oriented in general.

Paula Williams: Right, so you have to have the product experts and everybody else involved in a process all the way through. I mean you can say that marketing is a department, but it isn’t. In the book that we were reading last month, one of the chapters in that book was Marketing is Not a Department.

It involves everybody nowadays.

John Williams: Right, marketing some will argue is, sales is a department, a subheading of marketing. It’s the next step.

Paula Williams: That’s true, but I would also argue that everybody’s in marketing. If you’re in product development, if you are in customer service, if you are in delivery, any of that stuff, you’re in marketing.

John Williams: If you think that this line between sales and marketing isn’t very, very blurred then everybody’s in marketing, everybody’s in sales. And if you doubt that, think about the last time you try to convince anybody of any point of view.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. So why is this so important nowadays?

John Williams: You’re on a roll.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]
Okay, I think it has to do with trust. People don’t trust the slick Don Draper beautiful corporate marketing as much as they used to, even in the aviation industry. They know that people are human. They know that not everything is going to be as it’s presented in a slick shiny ad.

Wow, I have to be careful how I say that, slick shiny ad, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And so authenticity is really what people are looking for. They want to make a connection with a human being and they want things that sound realistic. They want to see how it works.

They want it to make sense. It has to be plausible. All of those things have to happen in aviation advertising in order to be effective, right?

John Williams: And sometimes when you’re talking to somebody about a product they’re considering the acquisition of you may talk him out of it.

Paula Williams: That is true and that’s authentic and that’s real and that’s respected. We have a lot of clients that are a little nervous when we ask them to go on video or present their voice in a printed piece or something like that, because they feel like they are not polished enough.

And I wouldn’t worry about that as much as people do. I think being trustworthy is a thousand times more important than being polished.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: I mean look at us [LAUGH].

John Williams: [LAUGH] Be nice now.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, so we’re after authenticity, not perfection. So it does take all kinds because it takes a lot more information and knowledge nowadays than it used to, in order to get anything done.

And in order to get good marketing, it takes, like I said, product experts who may not even be consider themselves in marketing. They might engineers or other kinds of folks. It takes marketing nerds, people who crunch numbers, that kind of thing. It takes creative weirdos and it takes nit-picking perfectionists, in order to do great marketing.

And if you look at just the sampling of books that we had in last year’s book club, the different disciplines involved with marketing and sales. If you talk to any of our book club members, some of them will say, well, I loved this book but I hated that one.

Other ones of our members who have a different skill set will give you exactly the opposite answer. But having a really broad base of knowledge is really important and the more people you can bring into that equation, the broader your base of knowledge, right?

John Williams: And the more likely you are to get on the right track.

The only given is that somebody can lead the team.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so how do you get all of these product experts, marketing nerds, creative weirdos, and nitpicking perfectionists to get along?

John Williams: Carefully.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Carefully, right.

John Williams: [LAUGH]
Well, I guess I should relate a story from business school days.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I was hoping you would.

John Williams: Really?

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, it’s a good story.

John Williams: Very first day of class, this is an exec program at a highly-valued university where everybody walks in the first day and sits there and has little muffled discussions side to side. And the prof walks in and he looks around the room a little bit and everybody’s quiet and waiting and he says okay, there are four corners to the room and the podium.

You have five minutes to form up in six teams. And he left the room. And none of us knew each other, for crying out loud.

Paula Williams: So you all looked at each other in fear and shock [LAUGH].

John Williams: And so I’m just trying to figure out how am I supposed to ascertain which one of these teams I was going to be on.

And by the time I figured out I didn’t know how to figure that out, one of the folks that I’d been talking to in the hallway said hey, John, come on over here and so I did. Well, in business school, you either died with the team or you graduate with honors by the team and there’s no other way and our team was quite helpless.

This is a bunch of type A personalities that had experiences growing up where if you didn’t do it again, it didn’t get done, because the other guy isn’t going to do his bit. So therefore we’re all and I mean they really pile on the work. So you can’t possibly get it all done individually.

You have to work as a team. So after about the first week we’re.

Paula Williams: Besides the fact that you needed the different skill sets on the team, because you had.

John Williams: Well, that’s what I mean, you couldn’t possibly do all the work by yourself.

Paula Williams: Yeah, right.

John Williams: So I finally, and I was a consultant during this time of my life and I knew some folks and I suggested that we hire somebody to come in and actually make us into a team.

Because this lady had done this for a company that I’d been consulting with and quite successfully helped them all in their various departments and so forth become teams, successful teams, I might add. And they said, well, can we afford her? And I said, I don’t know, but I don’t know how we could not afford her.

And so I talked to her and she decided to come over. I don’t think she don’t really came to any of our meetings. I don’t recall. But she talked to everybody on the phone and then interviewed them and got all of us together, I guess, and formed a team.

And we all decided we had to trust each other and that was part of what she did. And she can tell you all about that because that’s my wife, now. It wasn’t then, but she worked with me from a different consulting agency actually and they put us together in working on various and sundry projects.

But the point of thing is after she made us into a team, we became what is known as a high performing team. In fact, we became such a high performing team that we ended up taking final exams as a team verbally and the prof said now wait a minute.

Do you understand the risk? And I said of course we do and he said well, I have to talk to each one of you individually. And he did and he came back and said well, you all seem to think you can do this and we looked at each other and said it’s not insane to think.

This is the way we work.

John Williams: And we took this final verbally as a team. At the end of it, he sat there and he scratched his head and looked at it. He said I would never have believed it. And he gave us the highest grade he’d ever given anybody in his particular class, which was the A with the plus sign [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: I didn’t know they did those anymore.

John Williams: I didn’t either. [LAUGH] Anyway, so it works. And the reason it worked is because we trusted each other to do the bits and do those things each of us knew and to help integrate it into the team response.

Paula Williams: Right and I know that there’s probably some people listening to this podcast that just saw the title and said I’m not even going to listen to that.

So they may not be listening to this podcast, because they don’t like working in groups and that comes from an experience that I totally understand. Because I was the kid also, I think all of us, a lot of the really high achievers in the world and that’s who this podcast is really for.

If you’re listening to this you probably are one of us. That was the one kid in those group assignments that would end up pulling the whole thing together at 10:30 at night the day before, or later, the day before it was due because they couldn’t get anybody on the phone.

John Williams: That’s right. Nobody else was doing their part.

Paula Williams: And nobody else was doing their part and people have let us down in the past. So it’s really hard to build that trust back up again and to make things work.

John Williams: And you need to understand that on my particular team, well, actually, all the folks in the class, they were CEOs, CFOs, CPAs, all the C level people and they had grown up and been promoted because they did the work, because they couldn’t rely on anybody else.

And they were telling people what to do after that. So it works for them to a point. And then, once you get that point, then, you have to be able to work with teams and one of the greatest examples of that was Burlington Northern was going out of business actually.

And four or five guys got together and said we have to make this work. Our company is going down. They became the first high performing team and there’s a book that discusses that.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I think that’s Teams at the Top and I don’t remember who wrote that.

I’ll have to look that up.

John Williams: Katzenbach.

Paula Williams: Katzenbach, yeah, exactly. And yeah, that was a great book and that was a great example. If you see the trains that have those trucks where they just basically take the truck off the train, stick it on behind the tractor and drive off, that was the Burlington Northern idea.

John Williams: Yeah, that was their first idea on how to get more customers.

Paula Williams: More efficient.

John Williams: And more efficient.

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: And then it went from there to what they do in the ports now, where they’ll even put wheels. They have these boxes they load onto cars and take them off and so forth, freight containers.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so instead of loading and unloading, it’s a brilliant idea. Nobody thought of it until this particular group.

John Williams: Yeah, the guys at Burlington Northern put that together and that was the whole book by Katzenbach, that was The Wisdom of Teams or Teams at the Top, I don’t know.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I don’t remember which one it was, but it was Katzenbach.

John Williams: Katzenbach was the guy that wrote it.

Paula Williams: Right, good example and great book to read. So we may have to put that on our book list at some point in the future. And the reason for that is because in aviation and sales, obviously the only way you’re going to do sales is to make a connection with another person.

That’s obvious, but to get to the point where you are in front of another person, you’ve gotta have a really good team behind you supporting you with a great product, with great materials, with good messaging, with some automation, in order to attract that person in the first place and find that person in the first place and get them interested in your product.

So that is probably seven or eight different skill sets. Sometimes you can get that narrowed down to three or four people, but not fewer than that. People who are really, really good at one or more of those areas are hard to find and you absolutely have to find ways to work together.

John Williams: The other thing to consider when you put a team together is you may have to ask somebody to be off the team.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that is true and that happened in your group, too.

John Williams: That happened in our group. We ended up with five, because number six just was not going to pull their weight.

And the prof said well, you can’t really. I said wait a minute, we can and we will, because they’re dragging us down.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And so he took care of that. We got him off the team and he and she work together cuz there were nobody else that wanted her.

Paula Williams: So hire slow and fire fast.

John Williams: Yeah.

marketing teamwork

Speaking of marketing teamwork, click here to learn more about our 2017 Scholarship Winners!

Paula Williams: But do work together, absolutely. Okay, so to that end, basically this is how we selected and how we decided that we needed some skill sets and some points of view that were not really represented in our Insider Circle.

And we found, because of a scholarship application that we put together, and these two ladies wrote really fantastic essays and we knew them a little bit from work that they had done and other projects that they had worked on, that these were exactly the kind of folks that we needed for our team, right?

And the Insider Circle really is beyond our expectations, as far as people working together on marketing projects and sales projects and other kinds of things and being able to bounce ideas off of each other and contribute different skill sets and different points of view and expertise. So sometimes you need an ideal customer to bounce something off of and chances are, if your ideal customer is a broker, there’s one in the group.

If your ideal customer is somebody that sells software in the aviation industry, we got one of those. If you’ve got somebody that is a charter expert or a charter pilot, we got some of those in the group. There are lots of points of view that we really needed and so Joni Schultz works with a non-profit, Whirly-Girls International, fantastic group and also one of the few representatives in the group has to do with helicopters.

And so we are really happy to to have her involved. She also has a sales background. So a lot of the people that are coming from marketing or coming from aviation with no sales or marketing can really leverage Joni’s sales skills. I think that’s really fantastic. And Kasey Dixon with Synapse MX she is their happiness advocate, a younger person very innovative and into technology and other kinds of things.

John Williams: But has quite an in depth background in maintenance, given at her age.

Paula Williams: Right and also has a military background. So she and John, I think, are only, actually, there’s probably a few others that have.

John Williams: They’re everywhere.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That have a military background as well.

So if that’s your ideal customer, we’ve got some of everything, I think, in the aviation industry in that group. So yeah, to summarize really quickly, marketing is teamwork. There is no getting around it. Even those of us who hate teamwork, I think, by nature, have gotten into the point where we have a, I now have a, love/hate relationship with teamwork, right?

I would much rather some days, I would really like to just close all my doors and huddle down and do fantastic work, but working with people has its rewards as well. And there’s this synergy there that’s really a lot of fun.

John Williams: And how did that work for you, shutting all the doors and working?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Not very well. Anyway, sometimes the doors stay shut. Sometimes they don’t. I’m getting better at shutting doors. So that’s cool. Big idea number two, it takes all kinds. So if your company is all former military pilots or people of any one particular type, you really need to think about who can you bring in from a different point of view or different perspective, different skill set.

Older people, younger people, people who are into technology, people who have nothing to do with technology, it takes all of those kinds of folks to make a really good team. And third point, great teams require great chemistry. And the best way to do that is to have a common goal that everybody has an incentive to reach that goal and you celebrate together and you work hard and you play hard together and have a great time.

So next steps, our marketing flight plan actually is a really good tool for figuring out how your team is going to work. It’s actually a variation of what we did with John’s team [LAUGH] back in his EMBA days trying to figure out what are your goals and objectives. What are your fears?

What are your strength and weaknesses? And putting together a plan that the whole team buys off on and making sure that you’re pulling together, instead of pulling apart is really the key to that and making sure that everybody understands their roles and responsibilities and their place in that team is really a pretty key.

So that marketing flight plan, if you’re looking for a way to get your sales and marketing department together and figure out where do the best investments and sales and marketing, that flight plan is really the best place to start, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Mister Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: America needs the business, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Cool, so subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play and please do leave a review. We like doing these podcasts. This is our second year doing the podcast. We’re just starting our second year.

But we’d love to hear more about what you want to hear more of or less of and we like to keep a lot of free information flowing, because we think what helps the industry helps the rest of us. So you can help us by subscribing and leaving a review, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Great, have a lovely afternoon and we’ll talk to you soon.

John Williams: See you next time, ciao.

  • ABCI Congratulates 2017 Aviation Marketing Scholarship Winners

ABCI Congratulates 2017 Aviation Marketing Scholarship Winners

ABCI Congratulates 2017 Aviation Marketing Scholarship Winners Aviation Business Consultants International (ABCI) is pleased to award two unique Aviation Marketing Scholarships, which involve Silver Level memberships to two remarkable individuals with extensive knowledge of sales and marketing, and a deep affinity and long dedication to the aviation industry.


These memberships to our Aviation Marketing Insider Circle program include office hours, books, and access to our members-only materials in exchange for their participation in the program.


The annual value of each aviation marketing scholarship is $3,348.


The intention of the aviation marketing scholarship program is to incorporate new ideas and synergy into the group for the benefit of ALL of our members. Winners were selected based on written application and responses to essay questions.


This year’s winners are Joni Schultz and Kasey Dixon.


Joni Schultz is the President of the Whirly-Girls International. Kasey Dixon is the Industry Happiness Advocate at Synapse MX.


Schultz’s innovative approach comes from an extensive sales background


Sometimes the innovation is the market you use to deliver the product. For example, with the proper research and delivery, perhaps the product is brought to market that it doesn’t even necessarily fit in. For example, at EAA AirVenture, the largest aviation trade show in the world there are vendors that are there selling non aviation products such as chairs and cookware. The product fits in the show because you have 40,000+ people walking around and at some point they want to sit. They sit in the outdoor furniture and they sit while watching a food demonstration. Those products sell because the consumer sees a value, perhaps it’s just at that time but sales are made. Innovative and creative because thought has been given to the consumer experience. Innovation can be defined as a new thought but it always means “thinking outside the box”, in my mind. Creative minds find innovative thinking easy.


In my direct sales business, because our products worked together so well I used the standard cross selling technique for nearly every sale. However, my favorite incentive had to be the monthly customer special. How the incentive worked is for every order totaling more than $50, the customer was eligible for the customer special purchase. My unusual/innovative sales pitch would be, asking those that didn’t take advantage of the special if it was ok to offer the sale of that special to someone else that didn’t quite spend the $50 in sales. Sometimes reverse psychology drove the consumer to buy the special themselves.


I also asked if the customer wanted more than one special, perhaps to use for gifting giving etc. The end result was that I always sold a customer special to every eligible order and the sales of that party order increased. Increasing the total sales up helped the hostess receive more free product. Hostesses booked repeatedly with me and they referred me to their friends and family. WIN-WIN.


Dixon’s approach to selling involves a creative use of story.


I once sold a car by creating a lengthy and humorous fictional story about the car, complete with digitally illustrating the car into completely ridiculous scenes. It got quite a bit of attention on a message board and I sold the car for my full asking price within 48 hours.


Both winners also have an extensive connection with and affinity for the aviation industry.


Schulz explains a long dedication to the industry that took several forms.


My career began at a small commuter airline in reservation sales department. After several years of working in the industry, I applied and was offered a reservations sales position with a major airline. After being overlooked for job advancements within the company because of my lack of a higher education, I decided to pursue a college degree and decided that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) was my first and only choice. ERAU was my dream school, being a non-traditional student and very serious about my studies, I excelled. During my time there, I was the recipient of several scholarships. I graduated with a 3.40 GPA and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a National Leadership Honor Society. After graduation, I was recruited by an leading aviation insurance company as one of their first female underwriters. My experience includes: sales positions in the airline industry, travel industry and trade show industry. By far, the most personal growth happened to me while owning and building my own direct sales business. I have, since that time, retired from the gainfully employed positions to donating my time and talents to a non-profit organization I am passionate about.

Dixon’s history with aviation is also long and emotional.

My aviation love story is a long one that can be traced back to seeing a “Flying Tigers” P-40 at an airshow as a young girl… I was simply transfixed by the sight. My family struggled financially when I was growing up so aviation was a fascination I only enjoyed from afar. I joined the military with the intention to fly helicopters but endured a disabling injury that precluded military flying, so I stayed on the ground maintaining AH-64D attack helicopters, doing one tour in Iraq before being medically separated. I traded my military career for an academic one and at 28 years old I finally became a private pilot… one of my most cherished achievements. I hold my Airframe & Powerplant, Private Pilot, and Remote Pilot certifications; two associate degrees in Aviation Maintenance from TSTC Waco, graduating with a 4.0 and honors; and a BS in Aeronautics, Minor in Management from Embry-Riddle, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Today I am wearing several hats as the Industry Happiness Advocate at SynapseMX, a modern aviation maintenance software company.

I’m extremely passionate about aviation, with my short list of “things to do” including my Instrument and Commercial ratings. My ultimate dream is to own a warbird and start a historical WASP re-enactment flying team of aviatrices. Today, I am just elated to be able to work with other “Avgeeks” and participate in the industry.

“We are VERY pleased and humbled by the quality of applications this year for our aviation marketing scholarship, and we want to thank everyone who applied.” Said ABCI Chairman John Williams.

“We wholeheartedly welcome these two into an already amazing group.” Added ABCI President Paula Williams. “Magical things happen when you put good people together, and the background these two women bring to the table is beyond what we could have hoped for to add to the mix. We really look forward to see how they grow and change the dynamics of the group and the level of interaction we have with our members this year.”

About ABCI –

Aviation Business Consultants International (ABCI) is a marketing company that assists aviation- related companies to market more effectively and sell more of their products and services. ABCI brings technologies and “inbound” marketing techniques from the finance and technology fields to the aviation industry, and focuses on measurable, content-rich, “long cycle” marketing of complex or high-value products and services.

About the Insider Circle –

After informally introducing clients to one another on several occasions, ABCI founders Paula and John Williams noticed that these introductions often led to creative referrals, co-marketing arrangements, and other mutually profitable endeavors.

ABCI created an private social media group, a book club, interactive webinars, in-person events and other resources to foster these relationships among aviation companies. Silver and Gold level members also receive one-on-one sales and marketing consulting services, in the form of “office hours,” at profoundly discounted rates.

Aviation Sales and Marketing Insider Circle - Join Us!

Not sure if the BEST networking group for sales and marketing professionals in the aviation industry can help  you reach your goals this year?


Click here to schedule 30 minutes on my calendar and let’s talk about whether it would be a good fit for your current goals!




  • Top Ten Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016

The Ten Most Popular Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016

We wrote 51 aviation marketing articles, (one per week),  these are the Top Ten picked by our readers and listeners. We used a couple of criteria for this:

  • Google Analytics – which articles got the most page views and which articles did people spend the most time reading?
  • Libsyn (our podcast media hosting company) – which episodes were listened to most?
  • Leads/Prospects – Which pages sent us the most leads? All of our pages have ads on them – which pages encouraged people to click on or respond to the most ads?

Top Ten Aviation Marketing Articles of 2016Couple of observations:

  • Three are about social media
  • Five are about sales skills
  • All are “how to” or usable information

We advise our clients to look at what THEIR audiences react to – it doesn’t matter how much we may personally like doing a particular type of content, what matters most is what our audience thinks, and what they react to and what brings you sales.

These things may not be immediately measurable.  As an example – people may see an article but may contact us weeks later.  We never really know unless we talk to them and keep notes,  which of our materials was most influential in helping them decide that working with ABCI was a good idea.

Weirdly, these are not the articles we spend the most time and energy creating.  Many hypothesis were blown to smithereens in the compilation of this list.

Without further ado, here are the most successful articles of 2016.

1 – Using LinkedIn for Prospecting

How to use LinkedIn for Prospecting in AviationHow to use LinkedIn for prospecting in aviation – LinkedIn is the most used and most respected social media for aviation professionals. In this week’s episode, we show you how to mine LinkedIn for ideal prospects for your product or service!



2 – LinkedIn Company Pages to Follow

FollowFriday - LinkedIn Pages to FollowLinkedin has been listed by aviation professionals as the most respected and one of the most used social media.

Most of us have a LinkedIn profile, and most of us use it for more than just job-hunting or candidate-seeking.

Most of us are very familiar with the personal profiles on LinkedIn. But there’s another very powerful feature on LinkedIn that can provide even better in-depth information about the industry – company pages.

We recommend that organizations create  or customize a page that represents their business on LinkedIn, and follow those of companies you do business with or admire.


3 – Your Dress Code as Marketing

Are dress codes effective or relevant anymore?  Do you really have the right to tell people how to dress?  We talk about all this and more in this podcast.


4 – Prospecting, Calls to Action, & Lead Magnets

prospecting, calls to action & lead magnetsA great Call to Action (or CTA, as we marketing nerds call it) helps qualified prospects find YOU. It also reduces sales resistance by positioning you and your company as a resource, rather than as someone trying to sell them something!

We talk about different types of CTAs that work for different types of products, including consultations, demos, trials, buyer’s guides and more.


5 – What NOT to do on a Sales Call

Five things not to do on a sales callIn the aviation industry, our clients often have a limited number of prospective clients. They could be limited by geography, resources, or the type of plane they fly. So our clients can’t afford to make a bad first impression – and neither can we.  And yet, we have to make sales calls!  On the phone!  Where things can go so badly, so quickly.

So, here’s the lowdown on what NOT to do in that critical first sales call with a prospective customer.


6 – Trade Show Secrets for the Aviation Industry

trade show secretsThe biggest trade show secrets are not really secrets. In fact, it’s those very things that you think should be SO OBVIOUS but NOBODY SEEMS TO DO THEM. In decades of attending aviation trade shows as a buyer, seller, and consultant, we see that maybe ten percent of companies actually do what they say they know they should do.

We named this episode “Trade Show ‘Secrets’,”  kind of in jest, because everybody really should know this stuff, but nobody seems to actually DO it.

It drives me crazy walking around a trade show floor, looking at the amount of money spent – wasted, actually, by companies who think they already know all this stuff but  THEY ARE DOING IT WRONG! 🙂



7 – Skills Successful People Have in Common

We couldn’t help noticing that this is true of all of the successful people we could think of – from the Forbes 400,  to doctors, lawyers, teachers, religious leaders, and others!


8 – Direct Response Social Media with Kim Walsh Phillips

We were thrilled to get Kim Walsh-Phillips to spend some time using her social media expertise. Kim  gives us some specific tips that are perfect for the complex, high-trust, large-ticket and long-cycle sales that the aviation industry is famous (or infamous) for.



9 – SEO for Aviation with TJ Mitchell of Boostability

SEO for aviation- TJ InterviewTJ Mitchell, a fellow Utahn and SEO expert, talks with us about how to help customers find your website, how SEO is different for very niche companies (like aviation companies) and vintage Mustangs. (Cars, in this case, not horses or airplanes.)


10 – Interviewing Airline CEOs with Shashank Nigam

shashank nigamI was excited to compare notes with another marketing professional, but one with a very different wheelhouse – Shashank works with airlines, not with business aviation.  And much of his work is international, while ours is mostly in the United States.

Shashank Nigam, the CEO of SimpliFlying, is one of the world’s leading experts in aviation marketing. His company, SimpliFlying, has worked with over 75 airlines and airports on marketing strategy since 2009. Shashank recently published his first book, ‘SOAR’,  which showcases eight of the most innovative airlines in the world. SOAR sold out its first print run within ten days.


Aviation sales and marketing insider circle

Join us for 2017!

My resolutions for this year –

  1. Measure everything!
  2. Have more fun!
  3. Don’t pull punches!

Are you with us?

Join us here:




AMHF 0063 – Book Club – Marketing to the Affluent

Marketing to the Affluent can be intimidating to those of us who didn’t come from an affluent background.  Kathryn Creedy, Lillian Tamm, Pat Lemieux, John Williams and I go over some of the misconceptions about marketing to the affluent, and some our experiences of reaching to to and working with this misunderstood demographic.


Transcript  –  How to Plan a Year of Successful Marketing


Announcer: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. The community for the best 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, HECs, and how to’s. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.
Paula Williams: Staying up later and getting up later. [LAUGH] Because we’re getting into the holidays and having people in from out of town and things like that. So yeah, today we’re talking about Dan Kennedy’s Marketing to the Affluent. And we have some really fantastic people on the line with us which is wonderful.

And if we could just kind of go around the table and have everybody introduce themselves. I’m Paula Williams, and John Williams. Which our mission is to, what is our mission John [LAUGH]?

John Williams: Help everybody sell more stuff in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, exactly. And Kathryn, if you could go next?

Kathryn Creedy: I’m Kathryn Creedy with Communications Strategies. I am an aviation journalist as well as a public relations specialist, and trying to help companies get in the media spotlight.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. And Lillian’s here also.

Lillian Tamm: I’m an aviation business evaluator. I evaluate aviation businesses and provide consulting services related to evaluations.

Also other general aviation industry consulting, like business plans and visibility studies, and things along those lines.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. And Pat, good to have you join us.

Pat Lemieux: Hi, how are you?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Great.

Pat Lemieux: Good, sorry I’m just kind of coming on late here. Pat Lemieux with C&L Aviation Group.

I’m our director of marketing so I’m in charge of handling the growth of our name recognition in the marketplace. And from that obviously, the amount of work that we do for CL Aviation Group and our sister company, Seven Jet Private Travel.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Yeah, I was just commenting on your Instagram this morning with the last, lonely office doughnut.

Pat Lemieux: It went so fast

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Pat Lemieux: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Did you rescue it?

Pat Lemieux: No, no.

Paula Williams: No?

Pat Lemieux: Nope.

Paula Williams: Well I know it was a conflict for you because we were [INAUDIBLE].

Pat Lemieux: I left it right there for somebody else.

Paula Williams: Okay [LAUGH] cool, well that’s good to know.

Well we’re really glad that you’re here, and we’ve got a lot to talk about today. And I know you three, actually, if I were to pick three people who know a lot about this particular topic, this is actually really cool because I know you guys all have affluent customers and are looking for affluent customers as well.

So really looking forward to your insights. So first thing, who are these people anyway? We can kind of go around the room and, once again we’re going to edit this. So [LAUGH] if there’s anything that you’d want us to edit, just let us know and we’ll take it out.

But yeah, let’s start with Kathryn and go down the list, in order of appearance.

Kathryn Creedy: Well, marketing to affluent people is extremely important since you have to be affluent to get into this business. Or rather to be a customer for aviation. I would like, I’m trying to get into the luxury travel press to see, to get a better hook on marketing to the affluent.

I did a trip this year that was geared toward the affluent with really, really over the top luxury accommodations in China. And I was absolutely blown away and got some good copy out of it. But I’d like to get more of an idea about how to market to the affluent and how to write about affluent consumers, and that’s why I’m here.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. Yeah, I know. I really enjoyed watching your Facebook feed and all your pictures and things like that as you were going through that. That was exciting.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Cool. And Lilian, I know you have, well your clientele is mainly people who are buying and selling aviation companies, or getting valuations of them, so by definition this is your wheelhouse, right?

Lillian Tamm: Well it is to some extent. A lot of my businesses sell to affluent clientele. So for me understanding how they approach it is something that is probably a bigger benefit. I have a lot of CFOs and senior managers and then owners of businesses that are my clients.

And some of them would fall into that affluent market. But selling the service that I do is not necessarily directly related to it. But it helps me understand the whole, how my market approaches the market, if you will.

Paula Williams: Yeah, your customers’ customers. Exactly.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense.

Lillian Tamm: In analyzing businesses, it’s a good thing to understand.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, right. And Pat, this is your bread and butter, at least for Seven Jet.

Pat Lemieux: Right, yeah, naturally. Marketing to this group doesn’t really come natively to me, so it’s been a little tricky. I found that what’s worked the best for us here is really trying to work with our sales guys to better understand who our existing customers are.

And really try to figure out, and that goes from everything to what they’re looking at online, what they’re reading, and if they’re watching anything what it would be, where they’re vacationing, where they live, those zip codes. And really using all of that to try to target as surgically as possible with this group, and actually get in front of them.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. I thought we would start with some misconceptions about affluent people. I think it has almost become a bad word. People have kind of politicized the whole affluence, or the 1% or the whatever. So there’s some misconceptions about affluent people. I thought we might start with these, and talk about that a little bit.

John Williams: Yeah. One of my things I find irritating, let me just put it that way, is when people call me or anybody else lucky.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: I believe it was either Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln found that they actually believed in luck. And they figured out that the harder they worked, the more of it they had.

Paula Williams: Right, I think, this kind of comes from, there’s kind of been a movement. When people are interviewed in the press and things like that and they are wealthy, they tend to say that they are fortunate. And I think that’s okay for them to say, but I think for us to say that about them it becomes kind of offensive.

Because a lot of these people made their money in this lifetime, they weren’t handed it, right?

John Williams: Exactly, and in fact if you read Kennedy’s book which is what we’re talking about I think out of 400 and change of them, 320 of the billionaires started from scratch.

Paula Williams: Right, so it’s not like they married into it or inherited it or anything like that.

John Williams: I can tell you, although I’m not a billionaire yet.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: I aspire to that one day, and there’s no reason not to actually. But my Dad started off as a parts manager for Ford Motor Company making $25 a month.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right.

John Williams: Now, that does not put me in the entitled wealthy class, by any stretch.

Paula Williams: You’re right, and I’ve been reading a lot of stories in the book. These people came from, a lot of them are immigrants. A lot of them came from very humble background and things. So anyway, that sort of segues into the entitled piece and although there are some old money people who pass it along, more and more of those who do pass it along are requiring their kids to learn how to work first and how to manage money.

So they’re giving their money to charity rather than leaving it to the kids.

John Williams: Exactly right.

Paula Williams: Feel free to jump in anywhere if you [LAUGH] would like too.

Kathryn Creedy: I have a comment. I do think that the politicization of the quote unquote elite. I find it counterproductive because it’s an us versus them type of thing.

And when you look at polls, us, we, are not begrudging them their wealth. We are not saying that they did not work for their wealth. And we want to be able to do that, so this us versus them is very counterproductive for me. But for business aviation there’s a more important point.

And this is one reason why I’m so disappointed in the industry that it has not come to the floor in, quote unquote, defending our affluent customers because business aviation is the perfect nexus between Wall Street and Main Street. They’re the ones who buy our aircraft or whatever services.

Main Street is where it’s made, and all you have to do is ask Wichita what happened in 2008, 2009, and 2010. And you see that when those people stop buying, we are the ones that really hurt. I mean, the worker bees are the ones that really end up hurting.

You know, this harkens back to the 1990s when we had a similar situation, it was us versus them. And Congress put together a luxury tax.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I remember.

Kathryn Creedy: And the only people that really got hurt in that luxury tax was people who built the yachts. So all those middle class jobs for building aircraft and building yachts went away, because nobody was buying them because they were mad at the government.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

Kathryn Creedy: So, I think that we have to remember, and whenever we’re talking to people about this, and that we see the conversation going into us versus them, we need to remember that if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have jobs. And they are a perfect nexus between Wall Street and Main Street because the middle class are the ones who build the machines or whatever it is or provide the services, and the rich are the consumer.

And so without them, we wouldn’t have jobs.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and if I can jump on the soapbox for just a second, I think the problem that happened in 2008 with the people going to meet with Congress to ask for money, the big three automakers in their private jets.

The story was told from the perspective of the media which really didn’t understand aviation. And aviation didn’t have a story to tell. We really didn’t do a very good job of telling our side of the story. And I think that’s really what drives us in this industry to start telling better stories, because if your-

Kathryn Creedy: If your having [CROSSTALK] the business aviation industry for decades. I knew the story was there. There was a narrative there that could have completely turned that situation around.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: Bad people had the guts to do it and I think, one, the industry didn’t have the guts, for a corporate aviation users didn’t have the guts And MBAA did not have the narrative in a story form that could say to the meaning of, well, yeah, maybe they shouldn’t have come all three in their corporate jets.

But you have to remember, this is what a corporate jet will do for this guy or this business. And this is how that business makes money. And, all the material was there. Nobody used it. It wasn’t till five or six months later that MBAA got their act together, and I was absolutely shocked.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Kathryn Creedy: Knowing-

Paula Williams: No gain, right?

Kathryn Creedy: It was there.

Paula Williams: Right, took a long time.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And they did. They came out with the no plane no game initiative and got some celebrities and other people to go on the record for this is how we use our aircraft.

But it was like pulling teeth because the emphasis, I think for high net worth people is to keep a low profile. A low profile, you’re not telling your story, and what dominates the media is what everybody else is saying, right?

Kathryn Creedy: Right, absolutely.

John Williams: And the story of Mrs. Nancy Pelosi flying a private corporate jet back and forth to California.

It was actually an airliner. That didn’t come out for almost a year and a half.

Paula Williams: Right well when you do a [LAUGH] right? And I know we sometimes get political but we have to because that’s-

John Williams: Well the government is no better and no worse. They do the same thing only use bigger stuff.

Paula Williams: Right, waste is waste, but private jets are not by nature waste. You know, and that’s really the story we need to tell.

Kathryn Creedy: No.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: So I think that, what I’m saying is that as we talk to our colleagues or, you know my biggest problem with no plane no gain is it’s preaching to the choir.

It’s not really preaching beyond the choir.

Paula Williams: Right, true.

Kathryn Creedy: And I get very angry when I see an MBAA. This big sign that says I can’t do my job in New Mexico were it not for my plane. So I don’t want to hear from him. I want to hear how his business is kept there because of his plane but I don’t want to hear from him.

I want to hear from the city fathers.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: That’s why this airport is. So I think we’re talking past each other, but also as we’re talking to our affluent customers. We need to help them understand that we get it. That we understand that what they’re doing is not excess, that it’s a business tool to create productivity, to create the bottom line to feed the bottom line.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: So that’s so much my soapbox.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Well, we need to talk about, everybody assumes that affluent means millions or billions, and actually the bottom of the affluent pyramid starts around 75,000. [COUGH] So that covers an awful lot of people.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: But I think that it’s a mistake to look at government figures where affluence starts.

Because a lot of people make $75,000 with both people working. So they’re making $35,000 each, and that’s no way affluent nor would it be affluent-

John Williams: This book is talking about an individual that makes $75,000.

Kathryn Creedy: Well, even at $75,000, I think that when we’re talking about affluent we need to work beyond the government statistics because-

John Williams: This is not a government statistic, by the way.

Kathryn Creedy: Okay, you’re teaching me something.

Paula Williams: The real thing is that for aviation, affluence is a slightly different number than it might be for buying a weekend at the spa.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s right.

Paula Williams: So that’s probably we have to, for the purposes of our discussion, cuz we’re talking aviation, I think the number just needs to be at the higher, the high net worth, as opposed to just mass affluent.

Cuz mass affluent’s not the market for most corporate aviation.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and most of the marketing materials, or at least most of the marketing stuff that I have seen in marketing organizations and other kinds of things are focused on the mass market, or the blue area, and possibly into the mass affluent.

But nobody really talks other than, I think this is why this book is unique and very helpful is because it’s talking about the top half of the pyramid where there really isn’t a lot of marketing data. And there’s not a lot of marketing technique and a lot of really solid information.

And so that’s one of the reasons I really like this book and may [LAUGH]. We’re not really doing it in 2017, but we probably will bring it back again in a revised form in the following years because there’s nothing else that I’ve seen that’s this good.

John Williams: Well, he talks not only about demographics, but psychographics as well.

And when you put all that together and you realize to market to these people what you have to understand about their attitudes, and not just toward airplanes, but their attitudes towards money, their attitudes toward people.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: And their confidence, lack thereof, and so on.

Paula Williams: Another misconception, while we’re talking about that is that a lot of people kind of shy away from the high end.

And Pat, you might find this helpful information, because I felt this way when I got into this market. Feeling a little bit weird about marketing to high net worth and ultra high net worth people. But the more we work with them, the more comfortable we get because there’s the misconception that they are super picky and super snooty and super particular, and want all of the brown M&M’s picked out of the bowl.

I mean, just goofy, stupid things and there are some like that. But for the most part, our clients who are in the top two categories are, if I had to make a generalization, I would say they’re actually easier to work with.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: And I think that’s because they’ve been in business for a while.

They are willing to tolerate a little more risk. They’re a little more creative, and have the resources to do things right. And we’re not trying to, we don’t have to make their first campaign knock it out of the park. They’re okay with a little bit of risk.

John Williams: Well, they have their needs met.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: It’s all about wants for them.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And then well, we can get into that later, but-

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Keep the going here.

Paula Williams: Exactly, true. No, I think we’re doing all right. But yeah, anybody wanna add anything else to this before we move on?

Pat Lemieux: I was just gonna say that one of things that I don’t know if it comes to mind that often is that a lot of these people, and you brought up a good point, that they don’t necessarily start rich or anything. And you don’t get rich or stay rich by making bad choices with your money.

Paula Williams: Right.

Pat Lemieux: So I think this gets often overlooked, that even the super rich are still looking for a good deal, just like somebody who makes 30 grand, or 40 grand a year’s looking for a good deal on a car. These guys, they’re looking for a deal as well.

And I think that gets overlooked a lot.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Pat Lemieux: And it gets overlooked by trying to focus in on only the blue M&Ms and really kind of the frills. And sometimes that’s just not necessary.

John Williams: I would disagree with that approach, actually. And as an example, let’s use his example in the book.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Lamborghinis sell from $250,000 to $1.4 million.

John Williams: And guess which ones sell out first, and guess which ones there is a backlog of orders for. It’s the $1.4 million Lamborghinis. They’re not after the cheap Lamborghini, though the people want cheap Lamborghini, because they can’t really afford them.

Pat Lemieux: Is that more of a scarcity issue?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: Well, it’s a status issue.

Kathryn Creedy: Is it a posh issue? In other words, is it an I wanna impress my friends issue?

John Williams: That’s right.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and we actually do have a couple of slides about status.

And I think that is an excellent point. But I think as long as it’s being used for that purpose that’s one thing, but picking out the blue M&Ms or whatever, we had talked last week about the fact that a lot of people, when they market to this market they wanna make things fancier.

And you’re not marketing to Louis the XVIII, [LAUGH] you’re marketing to regular people. This is not Versailles, things get simpler as you go up the scale as opposed to fancier.

Lillian Tamm: I have to agree that the numbers make a difference for some of the ultra wealthy, because with our company, we’ve had a couple of clients who have acquired aircraft.

And they definitely look at the numbers. It’s like, okay, my budget is 40 million, but I can buy this used aircraft for X amount, and I can refurb it for X amount, and if it’s not going to fit into that box, then I’m not interested, I still have a budget.

Yeah, it may be a ridiculous budget as far as the mass market is concerned, or even the mass affluent, or even the high net worth. But when you start getting into the upper echelons, they still care.

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely, they do.

Lillian Tamm: Not [INAUDIBLE], that’s not how they got where they are [LAUGH] .

John Williams: It’s fun to play devil’s advocate.

Paula Williams: That’s true. All right, since we’ve already kinda broached the topic of status, what does that mean and why is that important?

John Williams: What do you mean, what does that mean?

Paula Williams: Well, I think, everybody who [CROSSTALK]

John Williams: It’s important because that’s what, and I will sayit from the male perspective.

Paula Williams: Okay [LAUGH]

John Williams: Because that’s what guys do. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [INAUDIBLE] I’m sure you can do that better than I can.

John Williams: Guys, and the more money you get, the more status that the majority of guys want to. There are those that wanna do it Trump style. But mostly, they wanna do it under the covers and only be status with respect to their peers.

Paula Williams: I think it’s limited. So everybody has a thing that they want to be the best at or known for. So they’re not gonna spend a ton of money on everything.

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: But they will buy a Lamborghini, if their friends are into cars, and are gonna be impressed by that.

Is that fair?

John Williams: It appears, yes.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Absolutely. I think this is really what’s going on is nobody ever really grows up and nobody ever really gets past the whole of one upmanship of things. In fact, people get wealthy because they love the game, I think. Yeah, so these are more competitive than regular people.

John Williams: Actually, according to the book, it’s because people lack confidence. They show confidence, but they lack it in respect to their money, so they keep working hard, and making more of it, because they’re afraid it’s going to go away.

Paula Williams: I think there’s some of that, and i think some of them just love the game.

John Williams: Well this-

Paula Williams: They love being better, one upping somebody else.

Lillian Tamm: That’s very true.

John Williams: Just rolling up the score.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. In fact, we’ve had some clients who, and this can be used for good or evil just like everything else, we had one client who was absolutely determined that he had to beat this other guy who was a competitor, on a particular keyword.

I don’t know if they’d bet each other something, or what the situation was, but it was a keyword that had very, very little impact on their marketing. But the absolutely, positively had to one up each other and it ended up being a negative situation, at least from a marketing perspective, because it didn’t really matter.

And we could spend unlimited resources on this one thing and the other person would do something the next week and we’d end up in this competitive situation that did more harm than good. But I think you can use it in a good way too. When you’re selling, you can say, here’s how you can do things better than the next guy, and I think that people respond to that really well.

John Williams: Yeah, I remember that situation.

Paula Williams: Yeah?

John Williams: That was nuts.

Paula Williams: That was nuts, but it did happen.

John Williams: Yes, of course, it did.

Paula Williams: With otherwise incredibly intelligent and otherwise, rational human beings.

John Williams: Yeah, right.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Cool. Anybody have anything to add to that or move on?

Paula Williams: What do they want? What will they buy? AThe easy answer from the book is [LAUGH], besides status, of course, which we already talked about. They want things made easy for them. They want time saved. They want not to be ripped off. I think this is a bigger deal with affluent people than it is with other folks.

They’re a little more sensitive about this cuz I think they’re big targets for a lot of shady marketing.

John Williams: That’s interesting, I don’t know if they are or not anymore than the rest of us. I don’t know that. That may not be true, especially the what do they call it, the drive by virus is out there now.

Where you just go visit the website and it encrypts your database, and your hard drive and they make you buy it out.

Paula Williams: It’s kind of a kidnapping. [LAUGH] Kidnapping your data.

John Williams: Exactly what’s it’s doing.

Paula Williams: I think there is a certain amount of skepticism. Most of them have gatekeepers of some kind and have ways of protecting themselves that the rest of us don’t.

They live in gated communities, literally and figuratively, if we wanna call it that.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: I think they spend more money on security. They spend more money on basically checking things out before they get involved.

John Williams: They have a lot more discretionary income, or revenues that’s for sure.

Paula Williams: So this lengthens the sales cycle. This is why it takes us, and actually our sales cycle has been getting a little bit shorter. A year ago it was at eight and a half months, I think now it’s closer to six months.

John Williams: Really?

Paula Williams: We’ve had a few people, again, our statistical pool is not huge because we aren’t mass market.

But people do check us out for a really long time before they spend a lot of money with us, which is good.

John Williams: Sure, I would.

Paula Williams: Cool, so what does this mean from a marketing perspective?

John Williams: You need to know your demographics and psychographics of your individuals.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, and another thing that we found is that we used to have a lot of do it yourself kind of packages. Where we would give people a lot of information and send them home with homework and meet with them the next week and give them another set of homework and those kinds of things, thinking that we could save people a lot of money.

As it turns out, this market really doesn’t care about that.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s right.

Paula Williams: They don’t want to. In fact, it’s really hard even doing a book club, I really, really respect you guys for being willing to spend time and energy on this. Because you are the few that recognize that getting better at sales and marketing is probably the most important skill you can develop.

But for a lot of marketing tasks, they would just as soon throw it over the wall, and have us do it and that’s why a lot of our clients you would never see in a book club discussion.

John Williams: Yep, pretty much.

Paula Williams: But most of them are in sales and marketing, so some of them you would

John Williams: All of them are in sales.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s true. That is absolutely true. I thought this ad from Schubach Aviation is pretty much the epitome of what we just talked about.

Kathryn Creedy: That’s nice.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: Simple.

Paula Williams: Yep. Simple, lots of light white space. One idea and it’s obviously, the one thing that they all want.

John Williams: Which is why you make more money so you can have more of that.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, priceless. One hour with your kids or your grandkids or your family.

Kathryn Creedy: It resonates with everybody, no matter who they are.

Paula Williams: Yep, absolutely and I think this applies to all of us.

I mean, Pat, you’re in the time machine business.

Pat Lemieux: Right, and this is I saw a YouTube video at one point too, the company that did it is escaping me at the moment, but it was a charter company, one of the big guys. They just showed two days, side by side, one of a guy who was heading to a meeting taking charter, one of a guy who was going to that same meeting kind of messing with the airlines and doing the whole regional thing.

And that guy’s getting up earlier, he’s running late. He’s tired. He’s uncomfortable at the airports. He’s waiting in line at the airport, while the other guy whose on the private side is gonna getting out of bed and having breakfast with his family. They both actually are going to the same meeting, and the guy on the private jet is actually home in time for dinner, whereas the other guy is delayed somewhere.

It just hit that point really well in like a minute long video that, so this is exactly why you use this sort of service.

Paula Williams: Exactly. That’s great. So, he’s staying in a cold hotel while the other guy is home with his family having dinner, that’s wonderful.

Kathryn Creedy: Do you have a link to that?

Pat Lemieux: Actually, I just pulled up. I’m going to have to find it, because I can’t remember what it is. But I’ll find it and I’ll share it with the group.

Kathryn Creedy: That would be goof for all of our, this is business aviation ,15 minute elevator speeches.

Paula Williams: Yes, absolutely.

That’s fantastic.

Pat Lemieux: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, yeah, the business trifecta, I think, is one of the things, and I actually have the page number wrong in the bookmark, so hopefully you were able to find that. But there are three things that you can do that make people aware of who you are, aware of what you do, and aware that you’re very good at what you do, and those things are media, PR, and marketing.

John Williams: What I found interesting was his comment in the book is that when you sell, when he’s talking to these guys, and actually in a sales sort of environment They are more likely to buy if you tell them your background. And a thumbnail sketch of how you got into business, how you morphed to business, how you’ve managed it.

Then you start making money, and you’re doing these other things, and your goals. Cuz they appreciate that because they’ve all done that. Right.

Paula Williams: They can connect easier with that.

John Williams: Right, we actually-

Kathryn Creedy: What’s your [INAUDIBLE] of direct media, is that advertising?

Paula Williams: Direct media is any media that you own, for example a podcast, or a book, or a website, or a newsletter, or any of that stuff And everybody should have direct media channels of some sort and the more and better they are, the better.

But getting back to John’s point, I think that is, that’s why we’re doing the storytelling summit at Sundance is because we want to focus on origin stories. And if you can tell your story really, really well, that is the most compelling thing, other than customer testimonials and things like that.

The most compelling sales material that you can generate. So if you can tell your story in a minute or less, or two minutes or less, on video, that really resonates with this audience, would you agree?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right, so that would be an example of a media, it would be a YouTube channel, or a website with a video on it.

Or even just a video that you send in the mail as a CD. All of that is direct media.

John Williams: And we figured that out by accident and this here confirms in this guy’s book that makes millions of dollars was kind of nice. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah, so that’s true, I mean, you think about the really great companies, Elon Musk, and the SpaceX, and the Tesla car, and they all have a great origin story.

Steve Jobs building a computer in his garage, his parents’ basement, with a couple of buddies. And those origin stories are really what suck us in to a lot of these products.

John Williams: Yes, because typically those products that come like that are usually top-of-the-line quality-wise.

Paula Williams: Right, and then the PR of course is other people’s media.

You’ve heard of other people’s money [LAUGH] OPM. Other people’s media would be things like, Catherine, when you write a great press release and it gets picked up by one of the major magazines and things, and that gives you that additional credibility. So then you can put the Forbes logo on your website.

That really is something that you can’t buy,

Paula Williams: Literally. And then marketing activities are how you use both of those things, the direct media and the PR. Making sure you get them in front of the right person, at the right time, in the right format, and so on.

Paula Williams: Cool, all right, so anything else anybody wants to add? Or questions?

Paula Williams: Let’s just go around the table, and if you have a 15 second commercial, for whatever it is that you’re doing right now, or whatever you’re working on right now,

John Williams: Well, you can’t start with us, this is that.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, so, yeah, Katherine, you wanna start with that?

Kathryn Creedy: Well, I wanted to take a moment to say that there’s no better thing that you can do for your company than develop your narrative. And this goes back, right back to what you were saying.

I did it for Embraer and it brought them from a small manufacturer in Brazil, mainly targeting the regional airline industry, to a world-class aviation aircraft manufacturer, rivaling Boeing and Airbus much more so than Lombardia. So yeah, right now I’m just cruising into the end of the year, because I’m about to go out again, so I’m not focusing on anything really cuz this is my downtime where I focus on, gee what am I gonna do in the new year?

So I’m developing all of that.

Paula Williams: Good for you, that’s very cool. And Lillian stepped out for just a second, so let’s go with Pat.

Pat Lemieux: I’m sure, I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m trying to get a few things accomplished here in the next couple of weeks, and then it’s, but it’s really looking forward to everything that we’ve got plans for next year, and kind of starting up with those marketing plans together.

What those campaigns are gonna look like, and kind of working with all of our sales guys to figure out what their goals are and how I can help them achieve them.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, great, and Lillian I don’t know if you’re back or not. If not, we’ll get with you to get a little audio clip to put on the end of this and carry on from there.

All right, so next month we will be talking about Rework which is a book that was written by the two people that invented, speaking of origin stories, who invented base camp and it’s kind of a series of essays. And so it’s a little bit different kind of book.

It’s a lot easier, I think you could open this book to anywhere in it, and get something really cool out of it. So good stuff, we’re looking forward to that, and I hope.

Pat Lemieux: I started reading it last night.

Paula Williams: You did? You’ve already got yours.

Pat Lemieux: Yeah, it’s good.

Yeah, I got mine yesterday and started reading it. It was actually on my short list anyway, that I wanted to read that one, and so it worked out by showing up at my door.

Paula Williams: I think you suggested this one, is that right?

Pat Lemieux: No, I don’t think so.

Paula Williams: No, okay, that must’ve been somebody else.

Pat Lemieux: Maybe I did [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: You probably voted for it even if you didn’t suggest it, which is great. I think it’s actually kind of neat to have different kinds of books and things that we haven’t focused on before. And it’s amazing how a lot of success in marketing is just getting stuff done, right?

John Williams: Yep, absolutely, follow through.

Paula Williams: Yeah, all right, so go sell more stuff. America needs the business.

John Williams: Yep, Mr. Ziglar.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Thank you for joining us. And yeah, we really look forward to seeing you next time. And have a great month, and have a great holiday if we don’t see you before then.

You, too.

Kathryn Creedy: Enjoy.

Pat Lemieux: Great, thank you.

Paula Williams: Thanks, bye-bye.


Evergreen Content and Reusable Campaigns – Why You Should Invest in Quality Aviation Marketing Materials

Quality aviation marketing materials, and evergreen content and campaigns – are not THAT much harder or more expensive than just getting by – but it does require a change of mindset.

There is a mindset in sales and marketing about “just getting through this,” – this trade show, this holiday campaign, this current situation.

What do cowboy hats, fountain pens, and expensive laptops have to do with marketing materials?

It doesn’t pay to go cheap with something you use a lot.  Quality is a good investment!

Couple of notes to supplement the video:

What is Evergreen Content? 

We have some very OLD articles on our website (and on the websites of our clients) that get lots of traffic YEARS after they were published. These articles are called “evergreen” because they keep working.   Some of this content is very timely or based on current technology, but some of these topics are timeless.  We work to create at least one timeless or “evergreen” piece per month.

How can you use aviation marketing materials over and over again? 

If you build a great sales letter, there is no reason you can’t send it to new prospects – they haven’t seen it yet, and as sales and marketing professionals, we get tired of materials LONG before they cease to be effective.

While it’s important to have consistently fresh angles and insights, you CAN invest in a great structure, and simply refresh a few details on a sales piece that has a reliable track record.

What is a resuable campaign?

You create a great multimedia ad campaign for Valentine’s Day.  It has a great print ad, three emails, a printed postcard to follow up on responses, and a series of social media posts.

Why not take that WHOLE structure of a proven campaign, lock stock and barrel, and refresh the graphics and text for Halloween?

Why invest in quality?

Because it works!  Quality products are a pleasure to use. Quality marketing materials give you confidence in using and reusing them.


AMHF 0062 – Your Aviation Marketing Calendar – How to Plan a Year of Great Sales Results

Now is the very best time to take a step back from the day-to-day craziness of an aviation sales and marketing department and look forward. Having a great aviation marketing calendar helps keep your costs low, keep surprises to a minimum, and ensure you meet your sales goals next year without Herculean effort or massive stress and pressure


Transcript  –  How to Plan a Year of Successful Marketing


Your Aviation Marketing Calendar - How to Plan a Year of Great Sales ResultsAnnouncer: You’re listening to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. The community for the best 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, HECs, and how to’s. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Plane, episode number 62, planning a year of successful marketing, or an aviation marketing calendar.  So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: And we are a ABCI and ABCI’s Mission Is:

John Williams: Is to help all you ladies and gentlemen out there sell more products and services in the aviation world

Paula Williams: Absolutely.

John Williams: 62 is more, we do these one a week, right?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] We started last year.

John Williams: Wow.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s a lot of episodes. So-

John Williams: Maybe we can make a movie? [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Maybe we could make a movie! [LAUGH] Exactly, no kidding. If you have questions, comments, or anything else about this episode or any other, use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing, that’s A-V-G-E-E-K marketing in Instagram, Twitter, whatever you use.

Or you can just post your comments on our website and we will make sure we get back to you with a hopefully good response, right?

John Williams: Of course.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, okay. So when you’re planning a year of successful marketing, that is a big daunting task, right?

John Williams: Well, unless you did it the previous year, in which case it’s a lot easier the second time around.

Paula Williams: That’s true. I mean, you can start with your aviation marketing calendar or outline from last year and improve upon it. But assuming you’re starting from scratch, or even if you were starting with something else, we’ve got three big ideas that really help with your aviation marketing calendar. The first one is you wanna do your big rocks first.

The second is that you want to think in terms of timelines. And three, you want to batch, automate and outsource, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so first of all, let’s talk about the big rocks first. This is a thing that Stephen Covey did in a presentation. I have heard that other people have done variations of this, and I don’t know who did it first.

I don’t know who has that claim to patent the idea, if there is one. But if you take two mason jars, and you have an equal amount of rocks, pebbles, and sand. And either water or beer, depending on which version you’re [LAUGH] using of this metaphor. There are two ways of going about filling the same volume of rocks, pebbles and sand into this mason jar.

And you can see if you’re seeing the picture here, the one on the left-hand side, what they did is they poured all the sand in first. And then they poured in all the pebbles and then they tried to cram in the big rocks last. Didn’t work very well, right?

John Williams: Well, it seems common sense to some people, but if you’ve never experienced this before or anything like it, you probably might not get it. But you should listen to this or watch this sometime so you get this picture somehow. It’s quite interesting.

Aviation Marketing Calendar

This printed calendar is what our Insiders use to keep track of shows, events, and other important aviation industry marketing dates.

Paula Williams: Right, and you can actually try this at home.

[LAUGH] If you get the right amount of materials and things like that. The other way to do it, of course, and the way this metaphor works basically is the way that most people live their lives. 99% of the people on the planet are just responding to little tiny things every single day.

They get up and they check their email, and they chase their rabbit, and the phone rings, and they chase another rabbit, and they do all of these little things that really don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. They’re what they call urgent, but not important things, and those are represented by the sand here.

And then the medium things would be things like specific tasks and other things that they have. And they get those done before they leave for the day because they have to. But the big things like working on large projects, working on books, working on marketing campaigns, working on things that are, I’d say more than a couple of hours in duration, those things never seem to get done.

So that’s why this metaphor is important, because when we’re planning a calendar we wanna make sure we put the big rocks in first. We all have the same empty container, which is a year. We got 2017 with nothing in it, but we know we have some big rocks that are gonna have to go in there.

And if we put those in first, and then put in the rocks, the smaller rocks and pebbles and things, and then pour the sand in on top and shake it around, there’s room for everything. If you plan it right, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So for example, our big rocks.

sales and storytelling summit at SundanceWe’re planning a big event in August at Sundance. And we’re planning, of course, the MBA Annual Convention which is in October. So those two big rocks, we’ve already started on. All right, we’ve actually booked a block of hotel rooms for NBAA, for next year because they always run out of hotel rooms.

John Williams: And we always find out about people who may or may not be our clients that are looking for a hotel room.

Paula Williams: Right, nobody wants to end up homeless and in Las Vegas in 2017. So if you can take care of some of those things early, and even taking the best booths, you have the best selection if you start early.

If you know this is something you’re gonna do, you can’t start early enough. Planning your presentation, are you gonna have a trivia quiz? Are you going to organize your booth differently? Do you need more signage? Do you need less signage? Are you having people trip over things? Do you wanna get rid of the table?

All of those things. If you can start looking early, you can really make a big difference in the amount of planning that you can do and the number of problems you’re going to prevent with some of these big projects. The August Sundance Event that’s gonna be a sales summit for ABCI clients, and with we’re planning three days of guest speakers.

And we need food and lodging, and all of those things at Sundance, which is where, if you don’t know the story of Sundance, it’s a,

Paula Williams: Robert Redford basically wanted to get away from Hollywood, and get some of the writers and directors and actors and other folks away so they could focus on their work, rather than being swept up in the swirl [LAUGH] and the politics of Hollywood.

And that’s really what we wanna do for our clients is get them away from this world of their everyday activity, and really focus in on sales skills which are so important to everything that you do. So if you look at this, and we figure in our big rocks.

These are things that are gonna take a long time to plan. And that we really want to do right, and manage the details of. We had one in August, and one in October. And if we’re looking at the rest of the year, we wanna put something kind of equidistant that we might want to plan a campaign around.

Valentines Day comes to mind. We haven’t solidified that yet, we’re still doing our planning. But we wanna do something in spring or early summer to kind of balance out the year, so that all of our effort is not on the back end, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so if you put in your big rocks first, then you can figure out how many other big rocks can you do, do you have capacity for?

And where can you put them where it will be the least impact on everybody and isn’t gonna make everybody insane and crazy in the late summer, early fall.

John Williams: And still get everything done.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, okay. So another thing to think about when you’re thinking about your big rocks is your fixed assets.

Fixed assets in your marketing system would be things like your website. If you wanna do a website refresh, or if you want to do a book, or start a podcast, or begin a newsletter. Some of those things are fairly big rocks. And they are marketing assets that can be used year round for different things.

Once we have a podcast, we can use it to advertise some of our smaller campaigns and other things. If we had a newsletter, we could use that to advertise some of our campaigns and things. So your slow times are the best times to fit in those big rocks.

And anything that you want to do in 2017 that is a system or a fairly big project to get started, let’s say you wanna put together a new customer welcome package and you wanna do a prototype. And you wanna find a printer, and you wanna find packaging and all of that stuff.

That’s a big project. So you wanna plan that for a time when you can get that done, put those in as big rocks, right?

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Nobody’s gonna get all this done at the same time.

John Williams: No, it doesn’t matter how many times you tried, it is not gonna happen at once.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. So you just need to pick a few things, if you’re phase one, if you need more prospecting because you’re not getting enough leads coming in the front door. Then you want to pick one thing in your phase one of your marketing system and say, you know what?

We need a better website. Or you know what? We need a better advertisement in a particular publication, or we need a better call to action. We need an e-book or a tip sheet that people can download. Those are big rocks, and those are things that you can plan around your slow time, so that you can get those done.

If your problem is, okay, we’re getting plenty of leads but none of them are closing, then you wanna pick something out of these two that’s a big rock or big project. And figure out, do we need a better email system that lets us know when people are opening emails?

And do we need a better-

John Williams: CRM.

Paula Williams: CRM, right. Do we need better social media profiles or a more diverse audience on social media? All of those things are big rocks that you can plan around and plan projects for, right? Okay, and then you also want to think in terms of timelines.

So once you have those big rocks, you space them out so that you have your big rocks and then you plan all of your little rocks around your big rocks, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Of course, just like the picture.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so let’s say we had our Sundance project up there.

That would be a big long line, and then we’d have all of our little tasks for that, we break that down into we need to make reservations with the hotel. We need to arrange for food, we need to arrange the guest speakers, and we need to figure out what the program is going to be for this or that.

We need to arrange the videographer, and so on. And all of those things are smaller tasks that fit into the timeline of those larger tasks. And we used to call this at Brinklin Cubby we used to call this front loading, where we would do as much work as early as we can ahead of a large project.

And the reason is because there’s always stuff that comes up at the end [LAUGH] that you wouldn’t have thought about. So the more you have done the more time you have at the end to be flexible when something comes up or an opportunity or a crisis or one of those moments happens along, right?

John Williams: You bet, cuz it will.

Paula Williams: It will, absolutely. John’s our event wrangler, and tends to solve all the problems that come up. And so we try to make things as easy as we can. But they’re never quite all that easy, are they?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: No. [LAUGH] Yeah, there’s always a few little wrinkles for John to solve at the end.

Okay, you also wanna think in terms of batching, automating, and outsourcing your stuff. So what is there that you can do to lighten your workload so that you’re spending your energy on tasks that are as high on the food chain as you possibly can? So anything that you’re going to do more than once, you wanna automate or batch or outsource, right?

John Williams: And outsource here does not mean over the pond outsourcing.

Paula Williams: Not necessarily, no.

John Williams: We outsource our receptionist and that’s not outside the US.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and Boostability does our search engine optimization. They’re just located in the same town where we can go have lunch with them.

So you wanna have trusted companies, maybe a print shop, other people that you do business with on a regular basis that you can hand things to. So when we’re talking about batching, one of the things we’d like to talk about is the insider circle. On the calendar that our members are getting this month, we have a goal each month that is a group goal.

So we want to help all of our insiders in January build a great marketing funnel, or improve on their existing marketing funnel. And that’s what we’re helping everyone do. And since everyone is working on it together, they can help each other. They can bounce ideas off of each other.

The books that we’re reading and other kinds of things that we’re doing are all about that topic. So that’s one of the ways to batch things and make it make more sense. In February, we’re talking about retargeting strategy, which is another really cool thing that has gotten a lot easier in recent months with technology being what it is.

There’s a lot of folks that have not really done retargetting in the past, so that’s something that we’re doing together to learn about all of the tools out there, all of the pros and cons of the different tools. Different ways to make that work and different ways that it has not worked, and we can learn about that together.

In March, we’re talking about snail mail techniques. So once again, these are big rocks that might be in your plan that you can leverage everybody else’s brains as they’re working on the same thing, right?

John Williams: You bet.

Paula Williams: Okay, so automating. You wanna automate or systematize anything that you’re going to do more than once.

There’s a hilarious project that’s popular on GitHub, the website that hosts all kinds of software for programmers. This project was shared by programmer Nihad Adasab, known as Narkas, right? It consists of a bunch of software scripts with some not safe for work names. Narcas says the scripts came from another programmer.

He tells the story like this. There was a programmer who left for another company, the type of guy that if something, anything requires more than 90 seconds of his time, he writes a script to automate that. The guy left for a new job, his former co-workers were looking through his work and discovered that he had automated all sorts of crazy things including parts of his job, his relationships, and making coffee.

The guy wrote one script that sends a text message, leave at work to his wife, and automatically picks reasons from an array.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: It describes Narkas. It sends this text anytime there was activity with his login on the company’s computer servers after 9 PM. He wrote another script relating to a customer he didn’t like given the not nice name he chose for the script.

It scans the inbox for an email from the customer that uses words like help, trouble, and sorry and automatically rolls the guy’s database to the last backup and sends the reply, no worries, mate. Be more careful next time.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: With another script, he automatically fired off an email excuse, like not feeling well, working from home, if he wasn’t at work, and logged into the servers by 8:45 AM.

The best one, he wrote a script that waits 17 seconds and hacks into the coffee machine and orders it to start brewing a latte. The script tells the machine to wait for another 24 seconds before dispensing the latte into a cup, the exact amount of time that it takes to walk from the guy’s desk to the coffee machine.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And his co-workers didn’t even know the coffee machine was on the network and hackable.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s good stuff. We don’t recommend any these things, but the point is there is a lot of stuff that you could automate and most people don’t do enough of it, right?

John Williams: Yeah, I mean, you can automate, as she just said, almost anything, and if you wonder if you can automate it, just look into it a little bit. You’ll be amazed.

Paula Williams: You will be amazed. And yeah, consider some of those sites like If This, Then That. Or consult with your friendly neighborhood IT professional who can probably help you with some of these things.

So and that might mean just putting a project plan together that you can just pull out of a file. And say, you know what? We just did a great trade show last year. Let’s pull out the plan and recheck all the boxes, make sure we got everything done, change the dates.

Half the work’s already done for you, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, you might do a referral program or a referral campaign. You can keep all of the letters and all of the cards and all of the files that you used, all the graphics and everything else.

John Williams: Just make sure you change the dates.

Paula Williams: Yeah, you just wanna change the dates and make sure that it’s relevant to the current year or the current month, or whatever. If you did a Halloween campaign last year and you wanna switch it to Valentine’s Day, it’s still pretty simple to do. You’ve got all the cards and the emails and everything set up.

You just need to change the theme a little bit. So it’s a swipe and deploy rather than a start from scratch.

Paula Williams: If you have a great CRM, like Infusionsoft, it will let you set up campaigns or routines for anything that you do frequently having to do with email.

So whenever someone buys a particular product, there’s a set of six emails that goes out with, here’s the tip of the week for this particular product, so that people get the best results from it. So you might have a new customer welcome email sequence, or a campaign when someone has expressed interest in a particular thing, too.

And that’s something you set up once, then it runs automatically, right? So automating. A new toy that I discovered in the last month or so is a thing called ifttt.com, which is basically if this, then that, and it’s kind of a programming nerdy thing. But there is a collection of bots on that page that can help you string together some of your social media tasks.

For example, if you post a picture on Instagram and you use a specific hashtag, you can set up with that. That will take that photo and copy it to your Twitter account and post it there as a native image. Now if you were going to do that by hand, it would take a couple of minutes.

And you can’t really do it on your phone if you’re on the road or whatever. But if you have this bot set up, you do that and it just saves you a ton of time. A lot of the different bots that are set up for marketing. There’s a bot for, I think, 21 different marketing bots that are already set up that are fairly common tools that marketers use.

So that’s a cool thing to look at. So automate all the things, right?

John Williams: Everything possible.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, delegate and outsource more. Now this can be a disaster [LAUGH] if doesn’t go well.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: It has been for us, on numerous occasions, where we’ve delegated or outsourced a thing and had something come back that was not what we expected, right?

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Right, so a couple of-

John Williams: You just have to keep going till you find somebody that can do it right because otherwise you get so much you can’t do it all.

Paula Williams: Right, and a couple of other things that we can borrow from some of the larger companies that do a lot of delegating and outsourcing are things called key performance indicators, or KPIs.

That sounds really nerdy, but basically it just means how will we know when this project is successful? And you share those KPIs with your vendors. And you say, you know what? Here is what we’re trying to achieve with this. If you can help us achieve this, and when they’re negotiating for the job, you wanna share those KPIs with them, and say, here’s what will make this successful.

And if it means, we want to have x number of people at our event, or we want to be sure that this happens in this particular way. And the more specific and measurable you can be when you set up your KPIs the better, because then everybody knows exactly what’s expected and everybody knows if that’s going to be successful or not.

Another thing that you can do, especially if you’re working with printers or people that are doing your booth graphics or other kinds of things like that, is to have a branding brief. And you have your colors, your fonts, your mission statements, your photo standards, any graphic elements that you typically use in an electronic file and in a document that you can just hand them and say here’s our branding standards,.

Make sure you comply with these. So that they don’t come up with something that’s completely not right, [LAUGH] right?

John Williams: It happens.

Paula Williams: It does, but this gives you a lot more confidence in working with other people. And then the other thing is that you wanna make sure you keep a list and keep them in your CRM, but keep them somewhere, Rolodex, whatever you do, of people that you worked with in the past that you really liked and that did good work for you.

And of course, maybe I should be on that list, right?

John Williams: Right, of course.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if we’ve done good work for you and something comes up, we’d love to have a phone call from you when you have a project, and see if there is something that we can do for you.

Go somewhere.

John Williams: America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Right, Zig Zigler, thank you for joining us. Please do subscribe to our podcast, on iTunes, or Google Play, and please do leave us a ring. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next time. Please do also download our calendar template which is available from this page.

Have a great week.

John Williams: See you guys next time, ciao.

Announcer: 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.


How to Create your 2017 Marketing Planning Calendar

Planning marketing activities to support your sales objectives for a whole calendar year at a time can be daunting.

marketing planning calendarEspecially this time of year, when you’re wrapping up 2016 campaigns, doing your end of year reporting, and getting OUT OF THE OFFICE for some holiday time with family and friends.

You’ll leave the office with confidence after you’ve mapped out the “big rocks” for 2017 with a high-level marketing planning calendar, and have a jump on getting great results for 2017.

In this webinar, we provide complete instructions, and answer questions from our live audience about how to plan a year of successful marketing activities, how to break down those big goals and objectives into more manageable monthly chunks, and  including campaigns for major events and holdays.

For the PDF with instructions and worksheet template in MS Word, request it here:

For more information about the ABCI Insider Circle, click here;

Aviation Sales and Marketing Insider Circle - Join Us!



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