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AMHF 0071 – Aviation Adwords – Pay Per Click for Lead Gen & Data Collection

“Guaranteed first page placement on the search engines” is what the salespeople say about Google Adwords and Pay Per Click advertising.  And they’re right, you do get that.

John and I talk about the “gambling addict” attraction, the “sugar high” traps, and the pros and cons of Adwords, including two ways to use it correctly.

Transcript –  Aviation Adwords – Pay Per Click for Lead Gen & Data Collection

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing hangar flying episode number 71, AdWords and pay per click for aviation marketing. So, I’m Paula Williams

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

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

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

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you want to reply to this or discuss any of these topics you can use our blog for comments and things like that. Or you can use the hashtag #AvGreekMarketing, A-V Greek Marketing. And we will replay to every tweet and make sure you get you answers to your questions.

And hopefully, we love to hear what you have in mind because everybody has different ideas and especially about new technology. There’s always stuff that we don’t know so make sure you let us know right?

John Williams: No stuff we don’t know you’ve got to be kidding.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] It could happen.

It’s moving so fast right? In fact this is where I hesitate to do topics like this because we know it’s going to be out of date like. A week after we recorded but we think there’s enough going on that it’s worth talking about, right?

John Williams: Yeah. This kind of stuff.

Google changes stuff daily and the big stuff, they change monthly or quarterly, so.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so but the big ideas are actually pretty similar. And the big ideas I think are useful no matter when you’re listening to this. If this is this week or a week from now or three weeks from now or three months from now.

AdWords, and other pay per click, without a plan is gambling and gambling badly right?

John Williams: Yeah and you don’t even get house odds. They do.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm absolutely. But AdWords with a plan can be worth it depending on the circumstance.

John Williams: Yes it can.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: With a good plan.

Paula Williams: Yeah [LAUGH] and we’ll talk about some of the differences between a good plan and a bad plan.

John Williams: A good meaning one that’s well thought through.

Paula Williams: And no plan, which is what most people do.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Right, okay, and then the other thing is your plan might actually be lead generation, or the objective of your plan might be lead generation or it might be data collection.

But in either case you need to know what you’re doing, right?

John Williams: And we can help you figure that out.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so let’s start out with what can possibly go wrong. [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well what can possibly go wrong in a poker game?

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And those are the house’s cards there, not yours.


Paula Williams: Exactly, so AdWords is gambling. Even if you’re doing it right, you’re still gambling. You’re just improving your odds. So of the people that see your ads, are they the right people. And of the people that see your ads-

John Williams: That are the right people-

Paula Williams: That are the right people, how many of them are clicking on your ads?

And of the people that see your ads are the right people, click on your ads and go to your website. How many of them take the next step with you? Which would be to fill out some kind of a form or give you their contact information. So that you can proceed with the sales process.

John Williams: Versus how many of them just bounce out.

Paula Williams: Right. So if you’re doing lead collection [LAUGH]
it’s gambling, each of those steps. There’s going to be some people that are not the right folks. There’s going to be some people that dont’ click on your ads. There’s going to be some people that click on your ads and don’t fill out the form.

There’s going to be some 14 year olds who are completely unqualified for your product or service that fill out the form. That’s the naturel

John Williams: Of the beast.

Paula Williams: Of the beast. Right. And you’re paying for all those things, so [LAUGH]

John Williams: Yes, you are.

Paula Williams: Right, whether they work or not, some percentage is going to be useful to you, and some percentage is not.

And that’s why we call it gambling.

Paula Williams: But basically what we’re doing is we’re improving our odds. And we actually used the book, Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing book last year when we talked about AdWords. Perry Marshall being somebody that’s been in AdWords for a really long time, for business to business companies.

And in the book, they actually have a pretty good Plan for testing with AdWords and for getting started with AdWords and I think that’s still a really a good place to start. A lot of people that it is dated, and it is,but I think it’s a much better place to start than simply winging it with AdWords.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Right. So it’s one of those things that if you’re going to be playing this game, you really need to spend the time to get good at it.

John Williams: Know the rules and play it well.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. And the other thing that you really want to do is you want to watch the data.

So, I have on my iPad the AdWords app. So I’m watching the ads for us and for our clients, pretty much every day pretty obsessively. It’s almost like day trading right? [LAUGH] Or online gambling.

John Williams: Actually that’s probably a pretty close approximation.

Paula Williams: Right it is kind of an addiction and if you have an addictive personality this might work for you but you really want to watch your numbers and if you find.

That things are changing or if you find that things are not going your way, some of the things that we look at when we look at our data are which of our ads are performing the best? Which of our ads are performing the worst? And if you’re seeing this in video, I’ve got some data on the screen from one of our client contracts.

With their permission of course and you can see that we’re paying anywhere for a $1.04 to $0.91 per click for these particular ads and these particular ad groups. And then I can go into more detail and see which keywords are getting us the best and the worst conversion.

Which headlines are getting us the best and the worst conversion, and so on. And you want to be always eliminating the ones that are costing you the most. So that dollar four, we used to have some that were in the $3 range in this In this campaign, we got rid of them because they weren’t performing as well as our others.

So we get rid of them, we replace them with ones that do work better. And we’re always testing to see if we can make that better.

John Williams: And actually I thought that those were astronomical prices for pay per click. However, we have a client a previous client or two that we know about who are spending $3500 to $4000, $4500 a month in ads rather than doing marketing and they are not doing so well.

Paula Williams: Right. It is not hard, especially with some of the really competitive keywords to pay $12, $13 a click. And if you’re ratios are good enough, again, this is a lot like going to Las Vegas [LAUGH].

John Williams: Well and you have to look because I’ve seen in our research for what the clicks cost on some keywords, I don’t remember what it was, but $468 a click?

Paula Williams: Yeah, those are for some of the really competitive keywords. And I’d recommend staying away from those. This is just like when you go to Las Vegas for the first time, you want to play the nickel tables to start with, right? So you want to find some key words that aren’t quite so competitive until you learn to play the game.

And watch your numbers. See if you can improve your headlines, improve your ads, and improve your quality scores until you can improve those ratios. And make sure that you can sell enough to cover your bills right?

John Williams: Seemed like a long time gamble. They don’t have nickel tables.

That’d be the $5 tables [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Okay fine [LAUGH] but still you want to start with the low risk bets.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: You don’t want to go sit down your first time in Vegas at the high stakes tables where they bring you cocktails and have the rarified air and the billionaires.

You don’t want to be plunking down millions of dollars your first shot at AdWords. You want to play the nickel tables for a while or the $5 tables, whatever you want to call them. In this case, we’re playing the dollar tables, right? And we get better at it, and we get to the point where we know how many sales we can make for each click.

So if it takes us, well we’ll get into the details of that in just a minute in the math. But if math isn’t your thing, this is not where you want to play, right? And if being detail oriented and being on top of the data is not where you want to be, then if that’s not your thing, this is not the game for you.

John Williams: No, not at all.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So things that you can test when you’re doing AdWords. You want to have three or four of each of these things that you’re testing pretty much all the time. So you want to eliminate the worst one and replace it with a better one every single time.

So there’s three or four that you’re testing at any given time, so you may have three or four different versions of the same ad with different keywords. Three or four versions of the same ad with different headlines. Three or four versions of the same ad with different ad copy and three or four versions of the same ad with a different offer.

And you can use the plan in the AD 20 book to kind of do the math so that you’re doing this sequentially. So test your key words first, headlines second, ad copy third, offer fourth right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay and then as things improve you’re spending less money for better odds.

John Williams: And if they don’t improve you know to go the other direction.

Paula Williams: Exactly, well, if you’re testing three or four and you’re eliminating the worst all the time and keeping the best they’re going to improve.

John Williams: That’s right unless something clicks that you don’t realize.

Paula Williams: Yeah sometimes you’re going to test something.

John Williams: You can get all the way to the end and change something and all of a sudden it goes to the bottom.

Paula Williams: Right and even if it’s something sometimes it’s not something that you changed but it’s something that changed in the market.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And then all of a sudden your AdWords tank.

You need to be on top of that and see it the day that it happens instead of a month later after you’ve paid a lot of money and.

John Williams: Been there, done all that.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Okay, so this is kind of the math that we’re looking at when we’re doing AdWords.

So let’s say that our leads cost $1.04 which is kind of a high end of that campaign that I was showing you before. And let say that we can, we know we can convert 1 out of 30 of each of those leads into at least an appointment. And then of those leads, of course we may have another line here of, we know one in ten of the people that make appointments.

We can convert to a $65,000 sale. So we’re still money ahead, right? Okay, so you can say, you know a $14 click is outrageous, but if what you’re selling is a high ticket item and your close ratio is good enough, you can do that all day long right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right. So what this means is you have to know the numbers. So you know if you’re winning or losing at any given time. Right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so and John you’re the math guy [LAUGH] What do you think of these odds?

John Williams: Well, once you’ve got it down to where you know what’s going on, the odds aren’t odds anymore.

Then we’re going to assign probabilities and if you want to play really interesting math games and let’s see if you can follow through on it.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. But you still want to be on top of it, because even once you know these numbers, it is still a moving target, because all of a sudden you might have a bunch of competitors jump in and raise the price of your bids.

You might have-

John Williams: Even if they don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that Google’s going to change something.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Google’s going to change an algorithm and maybe change your quality score because of a new rule they come up with. There’s lots of things that can change that will change one or more of these numbers.

So it’s really important to know, what is your lead cost? What is your conversion rate and what is your profit from each conversion?

John Williams: And then after all that you need to have somebody or yourself to keep up the speed of what Google is putting out.

Paula Williams: Exactly that’s absolutely right.

Okay so that’s lead generation and the math on that is simple. I’m not going to say easy. Because math for me is not easy. [LAUGH] But it’s fairly simple once you get your numbers down then you have a feel for how you’re doing whether you’re winning or losing right?

John Williams: Yeah don’t believe her about not being easy for her. She got a better score on the SA or what was it? The GMAT than I did.

Paula Williams: Only after a lot of studying. You took it cold so. But still, we get where we need to get, doing what we need to do, right?

Okay, so another way that you can use AdWords, and it actually is really good for this, is if you’re going to spend some money on printing or on placing an advertisement, right? It is a great way to test keywords, headlines, ad copy, and all of those other things, cheaply.

So, let’s say you’re going to place an ad in a magazine in the ad contractors, thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. It’s worth spending 50 bucks or 100 bucks or something like that to run some tests in AdWords and see which headline performs better.

John Williams: Of course, that’s part of it, you really can’t do without it.

Paula Williams: So you follow the same process that we outlined before. You want to test your keywords first, your headlines second, your ad copy third, and your offer fourth. And once you get those all Improved as much as you think you can then you’re in a much better place to spend thousands of dollars or tens of thousands of dollars on your magazine ad right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay and that would be true of let’s say you’re going to get a bunch of brochures or post cards printed or you’re going to place an advertisement in a magazine or you’re going to publish a book. I don’t know if you remember Tim Ferriss, he wrote The 4-Hour Work Week.

The way he figured out the title for that is by testing a bunch of titles in Google AdWords. And he figured out what was going to be the best selling title. Because book titles are incredibly important, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: So, he tested a number of different titles and came up with the best one using Google AdWords before he decided on a title for his book and gave that to his publisher.

Paula Williams: And then the last thing is before you pay for search engine optimization. Because you can pay hundreds of dollars a month for search engine optimization.

Paula Williams: Our search engine optimization program is a couple hundred bucks, actually several hundred bucks a month. I think it starts at $979 a month.

So and it’s very much worth doing Search Engine Optimization before you do pay per click if you can. But if you just starting out, you may want to reverse that and spend $50, a $100 on some ad words and figure out what keywords you want to be optimizing for, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: So we actually include that in our Search Engine Optimization program, just to make sure that we’re getting the right keyword for you. We do our best guesses and then we run some ads to test those hypothesis before we devote a lot of energy to search engine optimization.

But it’s kind of like a cycle of you get your keywords right with pay per click and then you get your search engine optimization. And then your pay per click ads become much less expensive because you get a better quality score from Google. So, maybe I should take a minute and explain how that works.

Even the paid ads on Google, they don’t want to just serve any old ads because Google makes their money with people using their search engine. People are more likely to use their search engine if it’s serving high quality relevant ads. So they want to make sure that no matter how much you want to pay for an ad, you can’t buy an ad on a page that it’s not relevent for.

So they give you a quality score and say your site is of this quality and then they’ll charge you less for ads. They’ll give you a discounted rate based on the quality of your site. So the better your search engine optimization is, the less you’re going to pay for pay per click ads.

So a lot of people think I don’t need to do search engine optimization. I’m doing pay per click, right? Wrongo [LAUGH] search engine optimization will actually reduce the rates that you pay for pay per click by a whole lot, because they want to be serving really high quality sites, and the way that you have a high quality site is by doing search engine optimization and having great content on your site, right?

John Williams: Chicken and egg.

Paula Williams: Chicken and egg, absolutely. Okay, so let’s talk about how to fail at AdWords. Some of the things that can go wrong, right? Okay, so, one is the set and forget method. You know, the Ron Popeil and whatever that was called, the chicken and the kitchen appliance that you could just set it and forget it right?

John Williams: Yeah well you don’t do that here because it will cost you a bundle of money and you won’t get anything out of it.

Paula Williams: Exactly so setting and forgetting. Anybody that recommends that you just set up your AdWords and then you look at it once a month or something like that.

They’re out of their mind. You definitely want to make sure that you’re installing the AdWords app and watching that every day or make sure that the people who are doing this for you are watching this every day and letting you know if there’s anything happening that needs to be changed or different or anything like that.

Okay, the second way to fail at AdWords is by guessing without testing. So you think these are the keywords that you should be using, and you just set them up and Think that you’re in good shape.

John Williams: What does this mean you think they are?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Well you’re in the business of selling widgets. So you say-

John Williams: Yes, beside the point, if you just think what these people are going to use for keywords, this is with my whole, when we first started way back when, this was my whole, how do you know what they’re using for keywords?

How do you know what they’re going to use for keywords? How do you know what they’re going to search for? Because that’s, whatever they search for is what you want as a keyword.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. In fact, when we started our company, when we started ABCI we thought we were in the business of aviation copywriting.

As it turns out, nobody knew what aviation copywriting was, even John. He was not really understanding what that word meant. And a lot of people in aviation don’t really use that word as much as they do in the finance industry or the education industry. Or other places where sales copywriting is a thing, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: So, if we had advertised for aviation copywriting, even though that was the most specific way of calling what we did at that time, it wouldn’t have gotten-

John Williams: Off the ground.

Paula Williams: Off the ground. So we ended up doing aviation marketing. And then as it turns out we also have to do very specific words like aviation AdWords, aviation hashtags, aviation tradeshows.

Other kinds of things that are a lot more specific. Because we know from testing that that’s what people are actually looking for, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: So what can happen if you do either of those things, is you can set up your AdWords with a $5 or $10 a day budget, or whatever budget you set up It seems like, this is no big deal, we can do $5 or $10 a day.

No problem, right?

John Williams: $10 a day is $300 a month, and you don’t get anything out of it. That’s throwing money away.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, or $25 a day, or whatever budget you set. It may not seem like much, but then when you get the bill at the end of the month, It can be kind of shocking [LAUGH] .

John gets the bill and says Paula what are we doing with AdWords with this company? So and if it’s working and if you are covering that with good odds.

John Williams: A sale every month then okay.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely, or the amount of sales that you need in order to make that worth it.

Then that’s fantastic. And if you know that that takes x number of months from the time they see the ad to get through your sales process but you’ve followed the numbers all the way through, you’re still good.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: But if you’re not following the numbers, you can really be surprised and really do yourself some damage, right?

Okay. So, next steps. We’ve got two programs that We do, where we do AdWords for people. And one of them I already told you about, that’s our search engine optimization program where we actually do a little bit of testing, where we talked about AdWords for data collection. We do that a little bit at the beginning of our search engine optimization program And your search engine optimization program is basically we have a basic moderate and competitive rate.

So depending on what kind of a business you are, and what your competitors are doing, if you’re a flight school or something like that, then it’s a lot more competitive because all of those folks are in Google AdWords competing for the same keywords. But if you’re in a field where not very many people are using AdWords, then it’s going to be a lot less expensive for you to do search engine optimization.

And we can give you a quote on that if you’re interested. The other thing that we offer is what we call digital marketing. And what that includes is we set up company profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and then we also do what we call retargeting. And we will also set up your Google AdWords for you.

And monitor that for you.

John Williams: Note that she said company profiles, not personal.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So it’s basically, our digital marketing program is visibility for you online. Using all of those things including retargeting, social media and AdWords. So what’s that about for you? We don’t pay the fees for the ads themselves, but we do our down list to get you the best rates that we can and we give you reports As often as you like.

And we also help you set up your Google AdWords account so you can see how that’s going for you. And which words, which headlines, and which copy is doing the best for you. And we walk you through that whole process. Make sense?

John Williams: Precisely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that’s actually a really good way to make this less risky.

If you’re getting into it for the first time is to go in with a guide and see how that works. So, big ideas for this month, once again, AdWords and other Pay Per Click programs without a plan is the same as gambling badly, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay.

AdWords with the plan can be very much worth it. Once again it’s quick, it’s effective. You can get people to an event or do something that requires you to advertise quickly. Things like that, you can start today, basically and have your ads out there by the end of the day.

It’s a probably the fastest form of advertising that I’ve ever seen. But your plan might be lead generation or data collection, but you need to know what you’re doing if you want to be successful in either case, right?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Okay, so worth it, but have a plan.

Or have a guide, or both.

John Williams: Yeah, and follow. Plan and/or guide.

Paula Williams: Right, this does take some self discipline. It’s like gambling, like we said. If you have one of those addictive personalities or something like that, in fact one of our clients, I used to say that they really got into the sugar rush of AdWords.

And we had this conversation every month. They really liked seeing Those numbers go up on their Google Analytics and other kinds of things. But we had to talk them down from that every single month and say, okay now how many sales are we actually getting from this? Maybe we should redirect some of the money from Google AdWords into something else until we get this under control.

Because this is not sales, this is just numbers at this point. So until we follow the numbers all the way through it takes some discipline to do this right, right?

John Williams: Yes it does.

Paula Williams: Okay, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams: America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s Zig Ziglar, I bet he said that best.

So subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. And please do leave us a review. And also please do leave us your comments. What experiences have you had, adventures or misadventures, on Google AdWords. We’d love to hear about it. Talk to you soon.

John Williams: Ciao.


AMHF 0070 – Book Club Discussion – SOAR Airline Marketing with Author Shashank Nigam

We were thrilled that author Shashank Nigam joined us live for the panel discussion, which made this MUCH more interesting!

We talk about  airline marketing with aviation professionals Lillian Tamm, Joni Lampert Schultz, Shane Ballman, and Paula and John Williams about some of the topics covered in his airline marketing book SOAR.


Transcript –  Book Club Discussion – SOAR with Author Shashank Nigam

Narrator: 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, hacks and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: So, this is actually real exciting. I am so glad to have an author actually in one of our discussions. I know we’ve had Kim Walsh-Phillips do a separate interview and then do a book club discussion.

But actually having Shashank in the room with us is intimidating and also very, very cool. But Shashank, if you want-

Shashank Nigam: I promise to do my best not to be intimidating today.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]. Before we started recording he was telling us how he was going to quiz us out on what’s, what’s at the bottom of page 23, and that kind of thing, for those of us who don’t have  photographic memories.

Lillian Tamm: I have my book here, I can look things up.

Paula Williams: Yay. You can bail us out, that’ll be wonderful.

Lillian Tamm: I’ll try, I’ll try.

Paula Williams: That’s fantastic, so yeah, we’ve done one interview with Shashank, and I love the book. And actually, the more I talk to you, the more fascinated I am by all the stories that you have of Airline people and aviation and all kinds of things, aspects of aviation that we don’t necessarily get into all the time.

You’re welcome.

Airline Branding with SOARShashank Nigam: Hi everyone, I’m Shashank Nigam author of Soar if you already haven’t read it and thanks Paula for inviting me onto discussion. And most people who are trying to break into aviation or an unknown industry usually start with a book. I didn’t, I started with a blog seven years ago, called SimpliFlying.

And the blog became pretty popular in airline marketing and aviation marketing. And seven years later, I did write the book. So I’m coming at it the other way around. But really, using my experience working with a lot of these airlines in the books to really showcase what makes them different, what makes them stand out.

And when I was selecting the airlines here, I wanted to have a have LCC then have legacy carriers, and have one in each continent of the world. So, I managed to check that box. I wanted to make sure that there are some airlines everyone thinks they know about, like Singapore Airlines and Southwest, and yet there are airlines which would be pleased that you would be introduced to, like Kulula or Boeing or Finnair.

So, I think that was the objective when I started out, because these are really endearing brands. Singapore Airlines and Southwest are the two most profitable airlines in the world over 20, 30, 40 years. You’ve got the likes of Finnair and Kulula, which are champions in the market that they’re in.

Kulula is the largest and the first LCC in Africa. Finnair is the largest European carrier in China, of all places, who would have thought?

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And I just felt that these are very unique stories that we can share.

Paula Williams: That’s wonderful, and I know you’ve had some great success with the book.

I know you’ve sold out at least once and had to-.

Shashank Nigam: We did sell out once and believe it or not, Amazon us, you very badly, if you do sell out and I was, that supposed to be a good thing.

Paula Williams: It is. We actually were trying to use your book in our book club a month earlier than we actually we’re able to because of the delay. Because it was sold out so, I think that’s a good problem to have.

Shashank Nigam: We’ve got a very good initial reception, not just from the industry, but even the airlines individually, we’ve had bulk orders from the likes of Bombardier to Royal Brunei Airlines, wondering if we’re all so I think that’s really encouraging.

Paula Williams: That is, that is fantastic. And-

Shane Ballman: Hey, that was Shane. I’m sitting in the airport right now. So, I apologize for not being online.

Paula Williams: Excellent, Shane, good to see you. Shane is from Synapse MX.  All right, and Joni Lampert Schultz. WhirlyGirls.

Joni Schultz: Yes.

Paula Williams: Good to see you.

Joni Schultz: Yes, that’s me.  I’m on the line.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, that’s wonderful. All right, and Lillian Tamm, I know you’re here.

Lillian Tamm: Yes, I am.

Paula Williams: Wonderful, good to hear you as well, Lillian is with Avicor Aviation, of course. And of course, we’re John and Paula Williams of ABCI. So, let’s start just with initial impressions.

Let’s start with Lillian, then.

Lillian Tamm: My impression was it was a very good read, first of all but also very interesting to see how the different airlines have approached the market and the different angles that they have come with. With the commonality that I see with everybody is the customer still, is the main focus for most of them, because without the customers you’re not going to have a business.

Shane Ballman: Say the upper end of the customer is the focus.

Lillian Tamm: The upper end?

Shane Ballman: Particularly for US Airlines, because he was very perceptive and realized in American, United, Delta, you can’t tell them apart when you get in the airplane. All the same colors, all the same everything, no discernible difference.

Lillian Tamm: No, that’s true, but with all the airlines that are discussed in the book, nearly all of them, there’s a focus still on you’ve gotta satisfy the customer, whatever that customer is, and it’s going to be different in different markets.

Paula Williams: That’s absolutely right, and Shashank what did you, I mean obviously you had some impressions from having written the book.

Did we lose him? He’s-

Shashank Nigam: I’m right here, I did drop off for a minute, I’m back.

Paula Williams: That’s all right, okay let’s-

Shane Ballman: You asked him a question he wasn’t ready for, so he’s failing the test.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, that’s hysterical. Anyway, we were just doing impressions about the book, and I’m sure you will hear those when you hear the recording and things.

But there’s a little bit of a difference of opinion about one of the things that John observed was that, a lot of airlines, look alike and you picked the ones that were very different from one another. And Lillian’s comment to that, was just that, you have to serve the market and the markets are so different for each of these airlines that of course the airlines are going to be different.

Shashank Nigam: That’s quite interesting that you noticed it. Although, if you’ll see, airlines deploy similar strategies based on markets. So, Lillian you’re right like Finnair and Air New Zealand couldn’t have been more different. But yeah, when they go off of the Chinese market, they use the same strategies.

Lillian Tamm: Because they’re different.


Lillian Tamm: Because different cultures have different, if you want to call it touchpoints, or things that really speak to them. A big portion of this from my perspective is that you have to understand the culture that you’re dealing with.

Shashank Nigam: Right, exactly, [INAUDIBLE]

Shashank Nigam: Yep.

Paula Williams: Good point, all right, let’s move along.

What are the differences between airline marketing and what most of us are involved in, which is some form of private or business aviation marketing?

Joni Schultz: I’m going to kinda put the impressions and with the question all in one.

Paula Williams: Perfect.

Joni Schultz: My aviation career began in the airlines.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah that’s right.

Joni Schultz: So yeah, I worked for a small commuter airline, and then I worked for a major airline after that. So, all the airline, all that airline marketing Putting all that kinda speaks to me. So this is a great book where it all is comparing all the different airlines and what you were talking about with customer service and the needs of the end user.

So it’s really, I haven’t read completely through but I kind of picked through a couple of things and of course Southwest being one of them because that was kind of. The airline I worked for was Piedmont Airlines before that and they were kind of a result of deregulation, and very much a success in their day.

Because of one, customer service. And then, number two, I think they were in between that legacy and Southwest. So I got to do that, and be part of that company firsthand. And sell that company, because I was a reservation sales agent. So I’m loving what I read, and personally I’ve never flown Southwest Airlines.

So it’s very interesting, even though I know a lot about them, I’ve never really flown on them. So loving this, the second question [LAUGH] was refresh my memory, because I’m just trying to [CROSSTALK].

Paula Williams: That’s okay, I was just going to say, what have you seen that are the big differences between the two types of aviation marketing, which is really airlines and then everything else?

And Joni, I know you’re now working with the Whirly Girls, which is a non-profit organization for women that are helicopter pilots, which is pretty far from airlines, but you’ve covered the whole spectrum really.

Joni Schultz: Well yes, and as I was reading a couple of my takeaways, especially with the Southwest, was the comment Mike Hafner when he understood that every employee had a story.

And the job of the leadership is to learn that story and to connect. And that’s what I’m doing as the president of an organization. Women are giving us their money on an annual basis. So, that to me, it always goes back to the story, the experience, the value that you put in the organization.

Or with the airlines it’s different because you’ve got a commodity that starts at one time and ends at another time, and you’re hoping to fill every seat.

Paula Williams: Right. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz: That to me is the biggest difference because, [LAUGH] once that airline flight goes bye-bye, there goes your revenue?

Paula Williams: Right.

Joni Schultz: It’s not recoverable.

Paula Williams: Right, right, right.

Joni Schultz: So that’s kinda where I’m seeing the biggest difference. Where I have a chance to, with what I do, develop a long-term relationship with the individual. And the airlines have to do it as well, but they would need to have that repeat customer.

Paula Williams: Right, right, right.

Joni Schultz: And so that’s kinda, I don’t want to talk too much. But that’s kinda my gist of the two differences.

Paula Williams: Perfect. Lillian, what did you have to add on that one?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, I do think in private or business aviation you have to be a bit more personal.

Because many of the clients are, let’s say you’ve got an air charter company and they have they’re using corporate jets, and so they’ve got high-end clients. And things need to be customized, not just in a general sense, but specifically customer by customer. You need to know details. One of the airlines, some of these airlines are actually doing that, like for their business class, or even for some of the economy.

But there’s a very fine level that needs to be done, I think, in private and business aviation.

Paula Williams: That’s true. Shane, are you still with us?

Shane Ballman: I’m here.

Paula Williams: There he is. Yeah, did you have anything to add to that?

Shane Ballman: Well, I am a little biased because I did work for Southwest for several years.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You got the home team [INAUDIBLE] here.

Shane Ballman: Right, [LAUGH] I think it’s very accurate that there is a difference between commercial aviation and then the private business aviation side of things. And I would definitely agree that when you’re dealing with a business aviation side of things, it’s far more about the person-to-person contact.

How do you treat a human being, like another human being? And the airlines are certainly getting there. I think that they have a ways to go still.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shane Ballman: But yeah, the contrast there I think is impressive. And, yeah, I would agree that the book does a really good job of sort of drilling into those examples.

Paula Williams: Fantastic.

Shashank Nigam: I think it’s interesting that you mention the points that have been mentioned, because a lot of the airlines don’t care about the individual customers. Customers are just numbers. And, they refer to them as PAX, P-A-X, and that’s about it, it’s all figures, right? But the airlines that win are able to treat customers at an individual level really like guests who are entering their homes.

And I know that sounds very fluffy, but that’s the reality. The airlines that win ultimately over time are able to deliver that consistently personal service. And I think that’s a lesson that commercial aviation can take from private or business aviation. Because not many commercial airlines do that very well.

Paula Williams: Right, I think there’s a lot commercial can take from private as well, but I just realized that I, [LAUGH] jumped over John. He was running around doing some technical stuff around here so. Are you back, John?

John Williams: Well, I think back in the day, because I’ve been in this since back in the day.

The marketing from commercial side is a lot more personalized than it is now. So I think it’s degraded over time. So with any kind of luck you’ll see it go back the other way.

Paula Williams: Good to hear. Okay, so moving on to our favorite, [LAUGH] or at least the favorite of a lot of folks on the line, because they think it’s one that we have a lot of experience with.

I thought this transFAREncy campaign was brilliant. And I liked hearing about that. [INAUDIBLE] All right. Perfectly fine. Not a problem. We promised we wouldn’t embarrass anybody today by asking them, what happened on the end of page 23?

Lillian Tamm: Well transFAREncy, that’s page 27.

Paula Williams: Good I can reference it now. There you go.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah no it was a great strategy to have the fares be so that people could see what is what they’re getting for it, no frills. It’s no extra charges and all that. Very good concept.

Paula Williams: Right. Excellent, and Shane?

Shane Ballman: So, yeah I would agree that if you’re looking for ways to do a core differentiation between what is essentially a commodity service, You have to do something that gets people’s attention, right and that campaign I think was one of those that really moved the needle for them along with the other one without a heart it’s just a machine.

So I think that there were a lot of really clever things that they have done from a strategic marketing perspective. And it’s hard for another operator that’s out there, to be able to compete with that, right? So they took something that was part of their culture, and they weren’t charging for those anyway, and they turn that into a marketing gimmick that got even more attention from something they were all ready doing.

Paula Williams: That’s true, that’s brilliant. And like you said, it’s not just cleaver, it’s a lot deeper than that.

Shane Ballman: I think it was great.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You have a very low tolerance for BS, so.

Shane Ballman: And I think that’s what a lot of this charging fees is, is BS and I know why they do it is because the typical user or whatever is going for the lowest ticket, they don’t understand it when you start adding fees in and you get a cheaper ticket somewhere else.

But whatever.

Lillian Tamm: The real brilliance of this strategy was exactly taking something that they were already doing.

Shane Ballman: Right.

Lillian Tamm: And making a big deal out of it.

Shane Ballman: Absolutely.

Lillian Tamm: That’s something that’s easy to overlook in any business, because it’s something you’re all ready doing, and you don’t even realize it.

Paula Williams: That is absolutely true. And did you want to comment on that? I know this was a, I’m picking little pieces out of a big book, but that’s because we only have a little bit of time here, so.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, I think that is a very important point.

It’s those two things, Elaine you pointed out that Southwest was all ready doing it. What it shows is that they remain consistent to who they are, while the world around change them as the United changed, the American changed, Delta changed. Now they’re doing basic economy fares. Every airline is down for a race to the bottom.

But Southwest says, hey, you know what? We’re not going to charge bag fees. And you know what? We’re not going to do basic economy. We’re going to treat you like humans. And just by consistently doing what they’ve been doing since the 1970s, they are now standing out. In fact, they’re more full service than many of the technically full service carriers out there which I think is remarkable.

And I think that truly shows the power of knowing why you do what you do, and then sticking to your brand, not just changing every two days based on what’s the latest, shiniest gimmick out there.

Paula Williams: Right. And I think the lesson for our group, we’re all looking for ways to apply these things to our own businesses.

And that really is, what are you doing all ready, and what are your competitors not, that you can really make a big deal of. And point that out and make a hashtag and make a poster and all those cool things like that.

Shashank Nigam: Exactly, exactly. My question, though, I have a quick question.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: So when I was in Dallas touring around and visiting Southwest I was there, I spent three days there and I do have friends at American airlines as well then I ended up having one of my last muse with the guys over at AA. Was sitting at a ribs place right under the fees don’t fly banner.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] From Southwest and I look up and I asked this guy from American, two of them, so what do you think guys? And he’s like to be honest, customers sort by price. We don’t care, we just sort by price, and if we are not the cheapest, then they won’t choose us.

Now what do you guys think of a statement like that? How true is that?

Paula Williams: Good question.

Shashank Nigam: American is basically saying, because the customers want it, we’re going to give it to them. What’s your thinking about that?

Shane Ballman: I think it’s short-sighted, personally.

Paula Williams: I think so, too.

Shane Ballman: That’s almost like the Zig Ziglar style of selling, right, where you’re selling a used car, and you don’t really care if they come back because you’ve got your money.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shane Ballman: And if you’re trying to build a long-term relationship, and you want that lifetime value of the customer to just go up and up and up, then that’s a terrible way to do business.

Paula Williams: Right, that is true. But I would love to see the data, how did this do for Southwest? Did it actually improve their business? And I don’t that anybody knows because I don’t know if they’re showing their cards. [LAUGH] But I’d love to see-

Shashank Nigam: Well, it did.

If you look at their financial results.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: They had a $2.something million dollar profit.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: That they just announced. And that is the highest amongst all carriers in the US. So if anything, it shows their services, at least over the last couple of years, are still paying off.

Paula Williams: Right, so it certainly didn’t hurt them. We don’t know specifically if this campaign is what caused that.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and their, yeah. Anyway.

John Williams: What’s interesting is American and Delta had their opportunity, but they started treating even their multimillionaire, multi-million mile fliers as nobody.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you’re right. You’re right.

John Williams: Because I’m one of them, right?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: And I mean seriously, I’ve flown millions of miles with Delta, and now it’s almost as if I had just now discovered Delta and I walked on board.

Paula Williams: Right. Okay, so I think we agree that was a brilliant strategy on their part.

Moving on, Finnair. Managing cultural differences. This is something that I think America’s are scared to death of. Even acknowledging cultural differences, you can get into so much trouble, so fast, by doing something that’s perceived as insensitive, or anything like that. So I thought this was really brilliant, the story of Helena?

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you got that right, Helena [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: Yeah, Helena exactly. And how she would kind of make fun of some of the passengers of different backgrounds and things, but she did it so warmly and with such I’m going to say affection that it worked and works for her.

And I think that’s really the difference, everybody can tell the difference between condescension and affection. Even children can see the difference, right?

John Williams: Yes, but the law can’t.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] True, right. All right.

John Williams: That’s why, and I know exactly what you’re saying, because over here you do the same sort of thing, and somebody’s going to say they’re offended.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s the trouble.

John Williams: Here, they’re doing it in her warm affectionate way.

Paula Williams: Right. Joni, what do you think? I know you’ve run into a lot of this probably in your travels.

Joni Schultz: Well, yes, I mean we have an international clientele, and I think that again, it’s all about the delivery right?

[LAUGH] For most things is people know that you’re, well, not picking on them, but alienating, focusing on them and not just. What do I want to say? I’m sorry. Meaning that if it’s Met with ill will, as opposed to not really knowing, I think, that they can sense that.

That you had no idea what you were, that you were offending. So, I don’t think that people do that intentionally. If you throw a little humor in there, lightheartedness is a good thing. Also educate yourself a little bit. I think that perhaps that’s what needs to be done if you’re flying outside of the culture in which you live in.

Then you definitely need to be educating yourself on what is the culture, and how do I best approach business there.

Paula Williams: Right, Lillian?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, that is definitely true. In the US, there is a minimal tolerance for the differences in culture. But if you go outside, if you do anything that’s international at all, especially being sensitive to cultures is a huge thing.

And, certainly in business aviation, for companies that are, we tend to have a global reach no matter what for most companies. And that’s something that we definitely need to be aware of and to manage those cultural differences. Because you don’t sell the same way in different cultures. I found it myself In Dubai, and we had a meeting with somebody from Sharjah, and definitely being a blonde woman, not really a good move.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s interesting, yeah that’s great. In fact, I know John and I have done a lot of business in India, and we get made fun of all the time because of some of the American quirks and I don’t mind it at all. I think it’s actually kind of fun.

It really breaks the ice.

John Williams: Yeah, we kinda laugh at it. But airline wise I have done minimal traveling internationally and we have flown on Kofta airlines in to Honduras and India airlines in India and, another one or two in India. But, Emirates airlines to me has been my favorite thus far.

They way they treat you, I mean even in coach, right, coach you’re treated as first class over here, is why they would be in first class over here. You just [INAUDIBLE].

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, you’re right, a lot of these airlines that just treat you well, that just treat you nicely.

Say Jet Blue, right?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Shane?

Shane Ballman: Well that’s kind of the crazy thing, right? I mean the service standards have slipped so much, that if someone actually treats you like a normal person would treat another person, everyone raves about the service, right? It’s kinda crazy. I mean for the example of Helena.

There was a comment in there that I thought was interesting where she said that she doesn’t have one service strategy. So she doesn’t have some template that she’s follows every single time. She uses some emotional intelligence to figure out how can I interact with this person? How do I make a meaningful impact on their day?

And I thought that was pretty powerful.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. Did I hear another beep, did someone else join?

John Williams: We got somebody signed in as guest.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s what I’m asking about, so that’s fine. All right, I just don’t want to overlook anyone if anyone has something to say besides that.

And Shashank I just want to give you an opportunity to respond to that as well.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah, I mean, as Shane said, it’s actually a little sad that if an airline treats you normally it’s, wow! Result though is an opportunity for many airlines where hey, guess what? If we just go above normal, you’re fantastic.

So if you do decide to be nice, the world is your oyster and there are lots of low hanging fruits there.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely, all right.

John Williams: Airlines and cable companies.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Right?

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] And.

Paula Williams: Yes, those utilities, they know they got you.

All right, now Tony Fernandes is kind of a big personality, speaking of big personalities in the world right now. In the tradition Herb Kelleher and the other big personalities in aviation. I thought that was kind of a neat story.

Paula Williams: Joni do you want to start? We’ll put you on the spot again.

Joni Schultz: Again, I didn’t get that far, I have to apologize.

Paula Williams: No problem.

Joni Schultz: My life has gone full crazy. It’s just stuff. [LAUGH] A move will throw a bunch of little wrenches into your day and life.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, I actually really admire you for just even being here today so that’s fantastic.

Joni Schultz: Well I didn’t want to miss, I mean I wanted to listen even that I can. Maybe I should go last, because then I do have at least some world of experience that I might be able to interject.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Good, okay, we’ll do that. So Lillian.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it’s kind of a different thing having a personality being leading it.

And I can definitely see for that particular airline, is it certainly helps, because people, especially people who don’t fly much, or are new to the market, and such. Having that personality to connect with was really good, has been really good for them.

Paula Williams: I think every company that we work with, we look for a rock star, somebody that we can make into a knowable personality because people like to do business with people instead of with companies or corporations.

I think that’s a thing nowadays.

Shashank Nigam: And I think that’s becoming harder and harder by the day, because large corporates are exactly that, faceless entities. So when you attach a face like a Richard Branson or a Herb Kelleher or Tony Fernandes, people see a bit of themselves in these people or aspire to what some of these people have achieved.

I mean not everyone sees a bit of them in Richard Branson but everyone wants to be that cool, well loved, billionaire [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And how about toys and the island and all that? That’s true.

Shashank Nigam: Yeah What I found, I mean I’ve followed Air Asia quite closely having grown up in Singapore.

What I found quite surprising when I did interview Tony and his team, was how when they started out, all they had done was launch music albums. All they had done was launch artists, and Henter said Let’s just launch this airline and let’s launch Tony as our single artist and let’s promote the single.

Once we’re done we’ll do the album and then we’ll the cover and then we’ll do the next single. I thought that was interesting approach.

Paula Williams: Right. Absolutely. Shane what do you-.

Lillian Tamm: That’s probably a new, sorry definitely new for aviation.

Paula Williams: That’s for sure. [LAUGH] Although there’s some parallels with Virgin.

Also in music and also in aviation and also new to both. Sorry, I interrupted Shane before I even let him talk. [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: It’s okay, I see how I rank.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: So I think that it’s kind of a double-edged sword to have someone that That visible.

So where their personality ends and where their company’s brand begins, is often blurred. So sometimes it’s a really good thing, and sometimes it could be a really bad thing. I know there was a lot of criticism that was going around about Tony when Flight 8501 happened. And it started out where everyone was saying, well, no, no, no, no, you should not be out there talking like this, you need to have a press person out there taking care of things and you need to be in the back.

And over time, I think people did a 180 and realized this guy’s not up there giving beatitudes, he actually cares. He’s trying to reach out as much as possible. So, assuming that a likeness in civil norms and whatever the expectations are of the culture, will allow you to shine through to your true self.

I think that that works out pretty good. But if you happen to be in a situation where there is knee jerk responses and then people wont come back and consider what happens afterwards and that could potentially be a bit of a wildcard to deal with.

Paula Williams: Right, John?

John Williams: And he was also reasonable with his flight crews and how he treated those guys, as well. So he was through and through like that.

Shane Ballman: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Great but you gotta have a thick skin.

Shane Ballman: I remember-

Paula Williams: Go ahead.

Shashank Nigam: I remember in my chat with him, he mentioned that crash that happened on Christmas Eve was the hardest time in his life.

And I asked him, so, have you done some media training? Do you know how to deal with this? And Tony told me, I didn’t even think how I should be acting, I just acted, my first instinct was, I should be there. Because my question to him was, did you plan to do a PR plan that you should get there even before the ministers did, even before the officials did?

And I said no, I just said I want to be on the next flight out there. And it turned out that by the time media arrived, Tony Fernandes was already there. And the only thing he had was his cellphone, and the only way he could communicate with his staff.

He said, yes there were lots of souls lost, but guess what, there were six crew on board as well. So my own team lost six people they knew, most people lost one person they know, maximum two. So I need to be with my team first, and hence he started tweeting out that you know what, I as your CEO will stand by you.

And I thought that was a very interesting insight, I think he was pretty much rewriting the crisis communications manual right there from the middle of the ocean when he was there, just by tweeting it out.

Paula Williams: Yeah, good instincts and obviously very authentic and heartfelt, and not the usual glossy lawyered up PR stuff.

Shashank Nigam: Right. Yeah.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, on a lighter note. [LAUGH] The Turkish Airlines, I think they were the first really to do a, if you gotta do a safety video anyway why not use it as something that is fun, and light hearted, and really shows some personality? And of course we’ll put the video into the notes for this episode, but hopefully everybody had a chance to see that.

I’m sorry, I didn’t get back to Joni, you’re going to go last, on the last [LAUGH].

Joni Schultz: Okay, well I did want to make a point about and this isn’t a person, but it was a marketing campaign, okay?

Paula Williams: Okay.

Joni Schultz: When I worked for Piedmont airlines they launched city to city service within Florida and with a smaller aircraft and it was called the Piedmont shuttle Well, everybody knows, because only a few days ago, did we have the anniversary of the shuttle exploding, right?

And so that marketing campaign was gone. That was such a bad association, they just shut it down and that was a whole marketing plan for a company. And I know we were talking about a person, so that person could make or break an airline as well. Meaning that if they, if he didn’t go to that crash, and he didn’t take a personal interest in it, it could have gone a very bad way.

Paula Williams: True.

Joni Schultz: Because I know it’s a marketing campaign versus a person that’s a spokesperson, but it’s the same thing. You’re really, I don’t think it’s a gamble, but it’s definitely, well I guess it is a gamble in some ways, our human nature, sometimes, doesn’t always make the right decisions.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Joni Schultz: So, that’s the only point I wanted to make of that. That’s all and

Joni Schultz: that was my comment.

Paula Williams: Excellent, yeah, I thought that Shashank had a thought or maybe a

Paula Williams: Okay we’ll move on from that. I totally agree I think the more you invest in a symbol, whether that’s a person, or a word, like shuttle, or even a brand name or anything else, the more you invest that with the more you’re gambling, the more eggs you’re putting in that one basket which is a double edged sword.

So yeah, totally agree. All right moving on to Turkish Airlines and their video. Lillian you want to go first?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, that was just a brilliant way to get attention to the airline for sure. Great idea and viral videos are definitely a good way to get attention. What I really like though about Turkish is the way that they have choreographed things like his illustration about the inflight meals.

And just how everything kind of flows and the quality and all that, that really spoke to me more. I really liked that.

Paula Williams: Choreography, yeah that’s cool. Just coordinating everything together that way. Great, Shane?

Shashank Nigam: The interesting thing was, Vivian, let me just jump in here, I was speaking with the CEO while I was interviewing him about food, and he said that food is so important to us that we don’t want your attention on anything else.

And hence, we have actually removed the shopping carts and duty-free shopping from the flight.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: You can buy all the duty-free at the airport, if you want, which is, by the way, operated by Turkish Airlines as well. But they have completely removed any catalog, any shopping on board, just so that people can focus on the food.

We thought that was flying in the face of conventional wisdom, but pretty unique.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it definitely is.

Paula Williams: Right. Sorry, [INAUDIBLE] .
One more time?

Lillian Tamm: Sorry, I was just going to say, it really speaks to trying to have a quality product.

Paula Williams: Definitely, definitely.

Shashank Nigam: Yes, exactly.

Paula Williams: Shane, did you have anything to add to that?

Shane Ballman: I haven’t only because I’m in the middle of reading that chapter right now on the flight that I’m taking to San Antonio.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah good luck in San Antonio by the way, that should be a really fun. Fun speaking engagement for you.

Shane Ballman: Yep, thank you.

Paula Williams: Yeah, break a leg on that.

Shashank Nigam: You should send us a picture from the stage with a book in your hand seen.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shane Ballman: So I might be open to doing something like that for some sort of commission basis.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Always the business man.

Shashank Nigam: How about dinner the next time you’re in Toronto?

Shane Ballman: You know what? That sounds like a deal, I’ll do that.

Paula Williams: Cool. [LAUGH] That’s great.

Shashank Nigam: I’ll wait for the picture then.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s fantastic. Are you going to take a picture with the GE logo at the event that you guys are at? I think that’s wonderful.

Paula Williams: Joni. Or actually no, we’re going to do John first, and then Joni.

John Williams: Well, the way the things are in the world these days, they’ve got to do something that is a little light-hearted, so that’s well done.

Paula Williams: Great. Joni?

Joni Schultz: Well, yeah, I mean, if you’re trying to sell at every given moment instead of letting somebody experience the service.

I’m totally on board with that. I mean, I don’t fly international very often. But I did have an opportunity to fly back from a very long flight from Athens Greece back to New York. And yeah, you get that shopping cart in the aisle and it does take away from the experience because what else are you going to do for 11 hours.

We happen to be a business class situation which was way more comfortable than coach. But I can only imagine, it’s hard to get comfortable back there regardless. And you got people selling stuff from the beginning. And so yeah, that’s all you really have up there is service.

Paula Williams: That’s true.

Joni Schultz: For people to remember.

Paula Williams: Well, and I think one of the differences between airlines and business aviation especially is that, in business aviation, maximizing customer revenue is not as big of a deal. In fact, it’s kind of seen as a down side. You want to make your money, I’m going to say, in smaller, or in, you want to make the transaction as smooth and seamless as possible, and not be running up and down the aisles with carts.

[LAUGH] We talk about simplifying the experience and making it more luxurious, and I think they do a nice job of that.

Joni Schultz: Right.

Paula Williams: Like taking away maybe from their, you don’t feel like they’re trying to squeeze the maximum revenue out of every minute that you’re with them.

Joni Schultz: Right, right. Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: The interesting this is, let me just chip in here since we’re talking about shopping, going back to the earlier discussion we had around cultures and how different cultures behaved differently. There are airlines which focus heavily only on shopping. For example, Korean Air, on their A380s ,have actually got a boutique at the back of the plane.

Paula Williams: Wow.

Shashank Nigam: This is where the Emirates has a lounge and things like that, Korean Air has a boutique. So you can go, you can do your shopping, and you can come back and take a seat. And it is the reason people choose to fly Korean Air over competitors like Oceania across the Pacific, because they can shop on board.

And Koreans, by the way, love to shop. So, it’s resonating with their target market there.

Paula Williams: Right. Putting the customer first.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Yep.

Paula Williams: That’s great. All right, moving right along. Kulula, the flying diagram. I loved it. You’ve got the biggest billboard in the world, why not use it, right?

Paula Williams: I’ll start with again.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, it’s a great graphic. I mean, it definitely, and for its market too. It’s a great way to introduce people to flying, that maybe hadn’t experienced before. They had a kind of unique market too. Because there’s a lot of people who had never flown.

Paula Williams: True.

Lillian Tamm: So yeah, very creative and fun. Definitely something that works in their area for sure.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Shane?

Paula Williams: I don’t know if you can see [CROSSTALK] with the flying 101 green Kulula airplane. Plane on the screen here with the arrows pointing everywhere. This is the nose cone.

That kind of thing.

Shane Ballman: Yeah, I do remember that plane, and I think they did a pretty great job of a huge marketing splash because everyone always looks a machine and thinks what the [INAUDIBLE] So I thought from a branding perspective that was very, very powerful. I’m curious to see what’s written about that.

Hopefully I’ll get to that section on this flight.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly, I hear them calling your flight. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Great.

John Williams: The nice thing is, when you approach it as a customer, it gives you a smile and sort of sets the tone for the flight.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s absolutely true.

Shashank, did you have anything to add to that?

Shashank Nigam: Well I think what I found the most fascinating about this was who did it. It was this girl called Charisse who was a design intern at the airline at that time and it wasn’t the CEO, it wasn’t the marketing director, it was a new girl who was just helping out with some graphic, some minimum Photoshop stuff, who says, hey, you know what?

What about this? And everyone loves it, and the next day it’s sent out to the factory to get it painted in these colors and It was a fantastic story of empowerment. And I thought that totally stood out for me. And now Charisse, by the way, runs the design division at Kulula.

They don’t have an external agency doing design. She is the chief designer of the airline. Even though they have stopped doing special deliveries like this every single aircraft. They still do some rally wacky advertisements. And if you look through the picture pages in store, you will see a few examples of those guerrilla marketing.

But, I think it’s a remarkable story of anyone being able to make the biggest impact and splash and I still get sent this image of a plane by someone or the other every four weeks. Have you seen this?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah. My goodness, no I hadn’t, sorry. [LAUGH]
You know, I think anybody can have an idea, but I think the execution of this was absolutely flawless.

You know, ideas are wonderful and it’s great to have somebody like Charisse that can come up with those fantastic ideas, but the way they execute them, I think really makes the difference, and they don’t do anything halfway, they really, if they’re going to do it, they really do it, which I think is wonderful.

Any other company might’ve made a kid’s coloring page or something out of this instead of doing the whole dang delivery.

Lillian Tamm: True.

Paula Williams: Yeah, all right. I know we’re getting close on time. We got a couple more things to talk about. So, The Singapore Girl. This is kind of the opposite, I guess, of the individuality that we’ve been talking about from a lot of other airlines.

But their culture, I guess, one of their key values is. Consistency, harmony, all of that stuff, and this is something that is very foreign to Americans. But once again, the execution of this is absolutely flawless. Their uniforms are beautiful, very different kinda thing. But, yeah. Lillian, let’s start with you.

What do you think?

Lillian Tamm: Definitely again the cultural aspect is key. You have to know your client base and they’re definitely addressing who the client base is. That it attracts others, is a bonus.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

Lillian Tamm: That there are people from North America who maybe haven’t grown up with that same sort of cultural thing like the respect for the elders thing.

And just that whole attitude about service and all. That’s a bonus, a thing that they attract from it, but definitely speaking first to the culture of Southeast Asia.

Paula Williams: Right, right.

Shane Ballman: I think that it’s, I would agree with that that it’s important to know the culture that you’re dealing with.

And I think that’s not only knowing the culture but also knowing the demographic of the market that they want to serve.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Shane Ballman: So they’re not trying to do the shotgun approach, right? They’re taking a very narrow [INAUDIBLE] focus. And if other people are included in that, that’s great.

But that’s not their core demographic.

Paula Williams: Right. Absolutely. John?

John Williams: It’s very similar to Emirates Airlines, their girls all look the same.

Shane Ballman: Yeah, they do the same sort of thing.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Well, and I know you used to really enjoy kind of the old style airline experience where it was a different culture.

And the flight attendants were all, the uniforms was the thing to look forward to. That was kind of a cool thing [INAUDIBLE].

John Williams: Yes. When Southwest originally put their service together, when we were flying for the military, we all wanted Southwest Airlines.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH] You’re talking about the hot pants?

John Williams: Yeah.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH] I remember those.

John Williams: Yes, [INAUDIBLE].

Shane Ballman: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Joanie, what do you think?

Joni Schultz: Well, when I think about this, they probably want, you know like Walt Disney does? They don’t want the people to remember the individual. They want them to remember the experience.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Joni Schultz: And so if you make everybody look the same, they’re going to remember the experience, as opposed to the individual. And so that’s what I take away from that. Again, I’m not traveled a lot of these airlines, I’m just trying to look at this and go okay, what else do I know in my life that I could kind of relate to, or make an association with?

And so, that’s very much what I see when I see everybody in the same outfit, you know what I mean? That they’re going to want people to go away with wow, that was some service and I’m going back.

Paula Williams: Right?

John Williams: Very good observation, because that’s what I remember of Emirates, and that’s what I remember of the old-school Southwest.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: That’s a very interesting observation, my friend. I like the comparison with Disney.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And again, you’d remember the Disney experience. You remember your first time at Disneyland just like you remember your first time with the Singapore Girl or first time on Singapore Airlines.

And like John was saying early, even if you sit in economy club or coach, you feel treated like a royalty. And it’s really nice. What was interesting for me was how its attention of training and over Asia. Most airlines, even though they try hard, you do not get a consistent delivery and experience.

But Singapore Airlines does. And it’s not based on initiative, it’s not necessarily based on impromptu service, but really standard operating procedures. And it’s really [INAUDIBLE] culturally possible in every situation, but there it works. And that lady was doing this training for 32 years. She is a chief trainer there.

Paula Williams: Wow.

Shashank Nigam: [INAUDIBLE] over the last 32 years and she said, well in the last 32 years Singapore Girl has stood for something, it has come to resemble something and everyone accepts that only. But guess what? The girls have changed. So a [INAUDIBLE] of the girls, these girls came from large families, they used to probably take care of their little brothers and sibling while they were growing up, they had this homely, motherly to them.

Today these girls are on Snapchat and Instagram and they join they have left out of home since they were 18. They have not taken care of anyone and yet you need to imbibe that kind of caring attitude in them, and that’s a huge challenge. And I said, tell me, what’s a conversation like in this training?

He said well, quite simply, 32 years ago when we told them do this, they’ll ask how. Today, they ask why.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: And I was like, that’s a very interesting insight, your from the outside we just see consistent delivery of the service. But internally, there is so much hard work required to get that to the customer, especially because you’re dealing with individuals, they’re different.

Paula Williams: Right. That’s absolutely true. Well actually this is the Air New Zealand In-Flight Chat System. This is something I have never seen before. But until I read the book, I never conceived of such an idea. But Lily, let’s have you go first. What do you think of this?

Lillian Tamm: Well, I think it’s a nice concept. It’s a great idea to be able to connect with everyone. Especially when you’re sitting some of these you know, you’re not sitting beside somebody where you’re going to be able to talk.

Paula Williams: True, true. Absolutely.

John Williams: It’s a new take on a very, very old thing that went around back in the 60’s where you’d go to a restaurant.

And there was one of them from the city that was called the telephone booth. And they had telephones in all of the booths and you could call up any booth you wanted to, and talk to who ever was there.

Lillian Tamm: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: That’s fantastic. That’s interesting, right. Joni?

Joni Schultz: Well I think that’s taking a chance. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to be bothered. But I guess you buy into it if you want to buy into it. So that’s okay. I just went on a cruise, okay?

Paula Williams: Right.

Joni Schultz: And Carnival Cruise Line in the Mediterranean, there was a way to connect as friends on that ship.

So I think it’s kinda the same concept really. You meet people, you can add yourself, they’ve got to add you, and it’s kind of yeah we’re going to both agree. To connect, and to do things, do activities together on the ship, or whatever you’re going to do. So, I guess it’s just to make a bigger place feel smaller, because you’re now connecting with other people?

Paula Williams: Yeah, building a community within.

Joni Schultz: Building the community, yeah, yeah. It’s a, you’re either going to get all bought in by it or you’re not going to want it at all. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right that’s true. That’s something that we struggle with, at AVCI we want our customers to meet each other and talk to each other and the book club is an example of that.

So, obviously I believe in the concept of this, I’m not sure about the execution. I think it’s a little creepy if somebody You know, if I’m on a flight, and then somebody texted me and I don’t know them, I don’t know how I would feel about that.

Shashank Nigam: Actually, I want to share my own experience.

I didn’t know that Air New Zealand had this, until I was on board.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And I didn’t know this was a system until it’s [INAUDIBLE] beat.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: And it’s [INAUDIBLE]. So I was on 1K. If you look at the seat map, 1K is right there.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh.

Shashank Nigam: And it said you have a message from seat 1A. And I’m like, okay, that’s really creepy. And I look over, and there’s a really old man with his wife sitting there. I was like, okay, what message could he have for me? I wonder. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Shashank Nigam: Then to give you context, I’m usually one of the last people to board, I don’t like lining up. So I board, and I’m the last one, and behind me I see they’re all empty. And I’m like, this is a light flight, half of the business class is empty.

But just before they close the door, a stream of well-suited men walk up, nice suits, ties, and everything and just take a seat, and it’s completely full. And I’m in 1k and the guy behind me in 2k seems to be personality or something because everyone in the other seats is coming in seating on the auto man talking to him for awhile and going back to their seats.

And I’m like, okay whatever. So I’m in the middle of a meal and this message pops up from 1A that they would like to send you a message, and I look at it and it says, hi, sir do you know who you are seated next to? I’m like, no not really, and he says, it’s honorable prime minister, Mr. John Key I’m like really, so guess the prime minister of New Zealand is sited next to you.

I was like cool. Okay, what about that guy in 2J? He is like honorable finance minister. I was like okay, what about the guy behind him? The tourism minister. I’m like what the [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: Half of the guys sited next to me here, he says, yes they are returning from the common minister’s meeting and that’s why they’re there.

I’m like okay, like four hours I’m sitting next to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He’s looking at me, I’m looking at him, I didn’t want to say hi, that’s really rude of me.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: So I say hi to him, because when you are seated up in this [INAUDIBLE] configuration, you’re literally eyes to eye next to each other, there’s no barrier.

So when I say hello and he asks me, am I going to New Zealand? I said, it’s my first time, I’m actually writing a book about Air New Zealand, and he got really excited because he was previously with Tourism minister in New Zealand. He knows New Zealand very well, he knows the story and we end up having a very nice chat, and I thought he was a very humble man.

Took a selfie with him [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] and got off the plane. So the creepy message turned out to be a very fascinating experience for me personally.

Paula Williams: Right.

Shashank Nigam: Followed by the [INAUDIBLE].

Paula Williams: So you were on air force one for New Zealand?

Shashank Nigam: You got it [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Interesting. That’s fantastic. That’s wonderful, well I really appreciated the book. Let’s just really quickly, does anyone have anything to add, that we didn’t cover? And I know that I kind of cherry picked some key I don’t speak because we don’t have a whole lot of time in these discussions, but did anything stick out to anyone that they want to mention here?

Joni Schultz: This is. I just think it’s a great compilation of all these different airlines. I look forward to just sitting back and being able to meticulously go through, and I’ll probably send questions if that’s okay.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, that’s wonderful. And Shashank I did include, of course people can connect with you on linked in, Facebook, do you have a preference for how people contact you?

Shashank Nigam: Linked in is just fine or they can just drop me an email directly, it’s in the book as well. By the way just put the readers of this podcast and I just shared with you, Paula a secret URL. It’s a lot of behind the scenes photos and scripts reports from my flights here while on the airlines.

So feel free to share with this group, I think they’ll have fun relating to some of these stories that I’ve heard.

Paula Williams: Excellent, well I feel special, that is wonderful. [LAUGH]. That’s great, we’ll share that with the group and make sure that that ends up in our Facebook private discussion as well so that everybody has a chance to see that.

Shashank Nigam: I’m really humbled to hear some of the experiences everyone shared and that you are finding it useful. If you can share some of these reviews on Amazon, that will be fantastic. You can just search for the book on Amazon. It makes all the difference in the world.

Even more than what TripAdvisor does to hotels, by the way.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] Of course, that would be really, really kind of you, if you can share some reviews. And as I said, I’m very reasonable if you’re ever in Toronto, drop me a line. Happy to catch up with any of you.

And meanwhile feel free to drop any questions.

Paula Williams: Fantastic.

Lillian Tamm: Will do.

Paula Williams: All right, so Lillian if you want to tell us about you, and what you do, and how to find you?

Lillian Tamm: Okay, the short version here.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Lillian Tamm: Okay, hi, I’m Lillian Tamm, president of Avicor Aviation

We’re aviation industry consultants and aviation business valuators. We undertake aviation industry research and feasibility analysis for aviation companies, for financiers, and for investors. And we value or appraise aviation businesses. If you would like to discuss how evaluation can benefit you or need research, or analysis to support corporate activities, give me a call.
My direct number is 503-214-2268. Again, my phone number is 503-214-2268 and my name is Lillian Tamm. I look forward to hearing from you.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, that was really well done. So Joni, do you want to tell us about Whirly-Girls?

Joni Schultz: Absolutely. The Whirly-Girls organization has been around for 61 years, and it began in 1955 with 13 women from three different countries.

Our organization in order to be a full member, you must hold a ruler craft rating. And what we primarily do is provide scholarships to women who are doing advanced training in helicopter and vertical flight. And we also do networking and mentorship for our members.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. That is wonderful.

So John do you want to do the 30 second thing for ABCI?

John Williams: No, I’ll leave that to you. You’ve pretty much done it the whole hour.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true, exactly. So I just want to do a 30 second thing for our storytelling summit, at Sundance, in Sundance Utah.

And Shashank this would be wonderful for you as well. Since you already are a fantastic storyteller. We are getting together at Sundance Utah which is the spiritual home of the Sundance Film Festival. Robert Redford’s universe and helping our members become better story tellers. That’s really the focus of a three day event and we’re going to go horse back riding.

We’re going to eat fabulous food and we’re going to hang out in the mountains, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. And everybody is going to go home a much more compelling storyteller, that’s our goal for that event. 23rd through 25th, so August 23rd through 25th. And it’s going to be a fantastic event.

So Shashank, do you have a real quick promotion for the book? I know you can find it on Amazon. Is that the best way to find it and buy it or?

Shashank Nigam: You can find it on Amazon. You can find it on Simply Soar dot com with an i, and we’re running a promotion right now, which is buy one, get one free for your boss, or buy five, get 10, buy 40, get 100.

It’s only till, actually, the end of this week, so if you are thinking of buying it for your clients or organization, go ahead, and we will make sure they are shipped to you. But, as I said, what I’ll really appreciate is a review on Amazon will go a really long way.

And I truly enjoyed the discussion, and I’m so humbled, as I said, that everyone’s read it in-depth and thought it useful. Thank you so much, makes all the effort worth it, and I’ll be very happy to catch up with anyone and be in touch.

Paula Williams: Fantastic and then next month it’s going to be reviewing Evergreen which is the book that’s going out in the mail hopefully in the next day or two to everyone.

It’s basically about customer loyalty and I think that it was possibly Shane that recommended this one. I had not read it before but it was, we have an election every year to vote for the 12 books we’re going to review. And this is my first time reading it and I’m actually really impressed.

I got my copy early so I could make bookmarks and things, so, good stuff. I’m really looking forward to that one as well, so, yeah. This was fun, I’m really glad you guys are here, these get better every time, and it was a lot of fun to hear everybody’s thoughts and make America smart again, right.

Shashank Nigam: [LAUGH] And just a quick call out to you as well for pulling together the group and inviting me to join the discussion. It was truly interesting, and since you mentioned bookmarks, thank you for that leather bookmark you sent me. It’s very nice of you.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You’re very welcome, we like to treat our guests well so that they will come back.

Paula Williams: Bribery’s a wonderful thing, so, all right. Thank you very much, and you guys have a great afternoon and I appreciate you sticking with us a little over time, and we’ll talk to you next month, if not before, and look forward to hearing from all of you in your office hours.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. The best place to learn what really works in sales and marketing in the aviation industry. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating.



  • Aviation Brochures

AMHF 0069 – Appallingly Boring Aviation Brochures, And How to Avoid Them

Most aviation brochures are appallingly boring.  Don’t spend valuable advertising budget printing glossy brochures that don’t have a chance of connecting or inspiring customers!

Big ideas from this week’s episode:

  • Brochures are a very traditional method of aviation advertising
  • They are almost always appallingly boring, because these aviation brochures are about the company or the product, NOT about the customer and his problems!
  • They often end up in a drawer (or worse, in the trash!) unless they’re well-designed and used properly as part of a well-thought-out  marketing campaign or  sales process.

Download the Postcard Checklist mentioned in this episodes to make your postcards MUCH more effective.


Transcript – Episode 69 – Appallingly Boring Aviation Brochures And How to Avoid Them!


Aviation Marketing Brochures

Need some help with your brochures? We’ll professionally design them, write the contents, & print them for you!

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’ll learn from other pilots who know the tools, the skills, and the territory. Your hosts John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots.

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

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 69, the appallingly boring Aviation Brochure and how to avoid It.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Or what to do instead right?

John Williams: Yeah, whatever.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

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

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

Paula Williams: And you’re not going to do that with appalling brochures, right?


John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: So we’re here to help you fix that. If you have any questions, comments, or anything else about this episode or anything else, please do comment on our blog. It’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or on social media, you can use the #AdGeekMarketing, and we will do our best to find and respond to your comment.

So, we do our best to reply every time because we really appreciate you guys participating and letting us know what you’ve tried, what you haven’t tried, what you think will work, what you don’t think will work, what you agree with, what you disagree with, and so on, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so the big ideas today. Brochures are a very traditional method of aviation advertising, right?

John Williams: Yeah they are.

Paula Williams: And they are almost always appallingly boring. Because they are not only about. Or they’re not about the company or the product, not about the customer.

So if you go through NBAA or any of the other trade shows, and you go to ten booths and pick up ten different brochures. They’re basically going to have a company profile, a message from the president, we’ve been in business for 30 something years, and all of that stuff that cares about right?

John Williams: Yeah I mean you’re in the NBAA convention or wherever because, you want information on a product, you don’t care about the company so much.

Paula Williams: Exactly, they don’t care who you are, until they care how you can solve their problems to start with.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: And these brochures often end up in a drawer or worse, in the trash, unless they are well-designed and used properly.


John Williams: And used properly by whom? Now wait a minute. If I pick one up, how do you know how I am going to  use it?

Paula Williams: You are the customer. You can use it any way you want.

John Williams: So you don’t care about me using it properly.

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I care about the person who commissioned that said brochure using it properly in fact, let me tell you a story.

John Williams: I’m sure this one is going to be good.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] There is someone that I talked to about marketing. We do consultations for people that are having marketing problems.

And this person’s scheduled half an hour, and of course one of the questions they ask him is, how are you marketing now? And he said, well, I have a stack of brochures on a table in a nearby FBO. And I said, well, what else are you doing? And he said, nothing.

John Williams: He’s not marketing?

Paula Williams: And I said, okay, well how many of these brochures are even disappearing, if you check these on a regular basis? None, they’ve been sitting on this table in this brochure rack for years. Nobody has ever picked one up, he’s never gotten a customer from it and he calls this marketing.

So, just setting them out there is not an appropriate use of a brochure.

John Williams: By putting a billboard on a dirt road that nobody drives on. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: But a really nice picture.

Paula Williams: Now, billboards can be really effective. They can be great sales tools, they can be a lot of different things, but they need to be part of a campaign.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: In order to work properly. They can’t just be a.

Paula Williams: Random act of marketing, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Right, okay. So.

John Williams: Particularly stuck where nobody cares.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So every brochure has to fit somewhere in your marketing system. So, what is the purpose of this brochure and if we talked to this guy that I just mentioned.

I will tell you he’s in the finance/insurance kind of services business. I don’t want to tell you any more than that, because I don’t want to embarrass anybody. But-

John Williams: He hears this he’s going to be embarrassed anyway.

Paula Williams: I’m sorry, I feel bad.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I do.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: But, I really want to prevent other people from doing the same thing and relying on something, that just has no chance of working, right?

John Williams: Yeah, that’s-

Paula Williams: So he was using brochures for advertising and prospecting. But he was using them improperly. There are ways to use them well.

You can use them in phase two. Building credibility and closing sales. And this might be a good place for that company information brochure, as part of an information package. But it sure as heck shouldn’t be a stand alone, this is the first impression you get of the company, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: And then in phase three for referrals, resales, and recaptures, you have a new product or something like that. Great place to use a brochure. To send that out to your existing customers. Let them know, do you know we also do, this. Right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Especially to people who already know, like and trust your company.

They would rather buy more things from fewer people just to make their lives simpler. Right?

John Williams: Yep, absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So let’s start off with what not to include, in a first impression stand alone prospecting type brochure. Right?

Paula Williams: Things to not include, a history of the company.

John Williams: You’re wasting space.

Paula Williams: You’re wasting space and nobody cares until they know what product you have that they want, or what problem they have that you solve. They don’t care about the history of your company.

John Williams: Or the President’s profile.

Paula Williams: Exactly, president’s profile that’s another one, that’s just strikes me as kind of inappropriately narcissistic.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Can I say that?

John Williams: That’s a $64 word. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Well, I mean they do have the nice little profile picture with the president of the company. With a nice statement that usually includes company properly like, we have all these core competencies and we are service oriented.

And our core values are very important to us.

John Williams: [CROSSTALK] We empower our employees.

Paula Williams: Exactly. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: So, you don’t want to have any of that, in a first impression stand alone prospecting type brochure. Okay?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: With me so far? And now you’re saying, okay, well now my brochure’s blank [LAUGH] .

John Williams: Well if it is, then you need to follow along here a little bit.

Paula Williams: Right. So here’s what to include instead. A great reason to use a brochure is to say, here’s a problem and here’s how to solve it. So the brochure shouldn’t be about your company, and it shouldn’t even be necessarily about your product, it should be about a problem that the customer has, and they see a great headline on there saying, are cold starts causing your fleet to have delays?

Or are you suffering from problems with scheduling maintenance? Or unexpected situations in your fleet? Or what problems are you having that your product or service can solve? You know what that is, because you know what people complain about, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm

Paula Williams: Okay. Here’s the problem, and here’s how to solve it.

You also want to use benefits rather than features. Right?

John Williams: Yeah, you don’t care about the features if it doesn’t work for you.

Paula Williams: Right. And when I say benefits, things that are benefits would be, and people will often say, well we have the, ours can do this in six seconds as suppose to ten seconds which is what our competitors do.

Well, why do we care? How does this save you money, how does it save you actual time in terms of the customer’s process, in terms of dispatching an aircraft, or loading their customer’s stuff or, in the terms of the flight school, how can you improve the students experience?

Or in the case of a component or something like that, how can you improve safety in a fleet? Lots of different examples of how this could be a feature, that leads to a benefit. And you want to talk about benefits, not features. Cuz they don’t care and they may not know, why is that important?

John Williams: Yeah, the few technical nerds may care about the features or specs but in general, you’re selling to somebody that’s got money in the company, that wants benefit out of doing some thing. They don’t care about the specifics.

Paula Williams: Right, and it’s really interesting. Because a lot of our customers are engineers.

Or at least have that engineering mindset. They’re inventors, they are very scientifically minded people, which is wonderful. We love working with those kind of folks. But one of the things that have to kinda nudge them to do sometimes, is to back up a step and assume that the customer doesn’t know as much as you do.

John Williams: I do that to you.

Paula Williams: Yes you do.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: I get into marketing nerdology.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And you make me back up and say you know what? They don’t know what are the cost per lead is. [LAUGH]
And it’s perfectly reasonable because, that’s not your main business.

You want to sell more stuff, but you may not know or care about all of the marketing math and garbage that is in my head, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Same thing. All of that stuff that is in your head is fantastic stuff, but you don’t have to put it all in the brochure.

John Williams: And nor should you try.

Paula Williams: Nor should you try. This is not a place to prove how smart you are [LAUGH]. Another thing that you could include is maybe like, a buyer’s guide or a short buyer’s guide to your product or service. Here are some of the things that you want to consider when you’re shopping for a Auxiliary power unit, here’s some features that you may not know, or some benefits that you may not know you could get from an APU.

Lots of things that you can do that are kinda cool. A solution comparison table, those are really cool and customers really love those. Because here are five ways of solving your problem, and here are the pros and cons of each of those five ways of solving your problem.

And this has to be somewhat objective. Of course you want to make your product look good, that’s why we’re marketing.

John Williams: Sure, and you can slant it a little towards your product. And it would be silly not to. But you can’t go overboard.

Paula Williams: Yeah. All the data has to be accurate.

We’re talking about actual facts, not alternative facts, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, we’re having a little fun. But seriously, it does have to be somewhat, it has to be credible information that people will actually believe. And you want to make that formatted in a way that is easy to read.

I have never seen anybody pick up a brochure and read it cover to cover. In my entire experience of walking around at trade shows, I have never seen that happen.

John Williams: No, you’ll buy a stand, find what you want and you’re done.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and then it either goes in the trash or it goes in the shirt pocket.

You want to end up in the shirt pocket.

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Okay, so that being said, forms should follow function. There are lots and lots of ways of doing brochures, and whether you’re sending it in the mail, or whether you’re handing it to someone at an event. There’s lots of different ways of doing this, I’m kind of a fan of the shirt pocket test.

John Williams: So all these pictures for those of you that are looking at it, are these the only possible?

Paula Williams: No.

John Williams: Okay [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Okay, yeah. And what you’re looking at, if you’re seeing this on your screen, there are ten, count them ten different ways of folding a sheet of paper into a brochure.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: One is a tri-fold, it’s just the usual thing that people see, probably the most common. There’s a z-fold, which is tri-fold that’s just folded a little bit differently. There’s a half-fold, which is where you take a piece of paper and fold it in half. And those are great for, if you have a larger envelope or something like that where you’re going to mail it.

John Williams: But the thing is, [LAUGH] depending on how you want to fold it, is to how you need to print it [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: True, and then things like a parallel fold. That would be for something with legal paper, where you have a little bit more space. So it’s kind of like a z-fold, except with one extra panel on it.

All of these things really depend on what you want to convey. So if you’ve got big pictures, or big maps, or something like that, you don’t want to do something really complicated like a parallel fold, right? [CROSSTALK] That would be for little, teeny, tiny columns of text. And things like that.

So form really should follow the function of what are you trying to communicate, and how are you going to send this, and how is your customer going to carry it around with them. And is your customer actually going to use this. So, there’s gate folds, there’s concertina folds, there are roll folds with four-panels, there’s a half and half fold for two sheets of paper.

And there’s a half and roll for two sheets of paper. So there’s lots of variations here, and we’ve got a neat little diagram, if you can see it. It’s really kinda hard to describe, other then, you just really want to think this through. And talk to your printer too.

Printers are really good at giving you ideas. If you have this information to convey, this is really not good for folding in the middle of a picture or whatever.

John Williams: And on top of that, use what you’ve seen, folders that other folks, including your competitors, have used, and that’ll give you an idea of how you want or not want to do it.

Paula Williams: Exactly. You saw one this morning actually, that you really liked.

Paula Williams: That was from NBAA and it was a.

John Williams: Yeah. Well that wasn’t necessarily the fold, but it was the quality of materials they used.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that was actually a gate-folded postcard. Kinda cool, very glossy heavy, beautiful paper, and really beautiful printing.

And we happen to be marketing nerds, so we nerd out on that kinda thing. But yeah, the quality of the printing, I would do fewer higher quality brochures, spend all your money on quality, not quantity. Right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay. So yeah, if you’re putting it through the mail, then you’re going to have some different considerations of where you can print and where you can’t.

We’re not going to get into that today. But the USPS website has some really good guides and other things, that tell you [LAUGH] not to print in places they’re going to run it through the machine, and put a goofy little bar code right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Okay. So think about it, form should follow function and that’s all we’re going to say about that.

But we are going to talk about ways to advertise with brochures. Cool? So phase one, prospecting. At a trade show, probably the most traditional way of advertising with brochures. I’m going to put a caveat here and say I much prefer to send a customer, just give them a business card at the trade show, and then send them an information package later.

John Williams: Add those two things.

John Williams: First is, you get their business card and then, in order to send them something, you get your contact information.

Paula Williams: Right. And it gives you a reason to contact them again later, and it also makes sure that that brochure gets to their office.

Because if you’re asking them to carry it around for two days, and then put it in their luggage and ship it home. Chances are it’ll end up either in the hotel garbage can, or in the convention center garbage can.

John Williams: Yeah, even if they wanted to keep it, cuz I know I can remember reading stuff in the hotel and not making it back to the office.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and then go and where was that thing [LAUGH]. Even if you wanted it later, you wouldn’t have it. As part of an information package. This is my favorite way is you send it after the fact, after you’ve met somebody or had a phone conversation, or whatever.

Then you send them, ideally, a really complete fabulous package with not only brochures, but product sheets and a handwritten letter. And maybe some CDs, and demos, and other cool things. Because this is your opportunity, you want to make the most of it, and you really want to impress somebody with a package that they get in the mail, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: As collateral in the sales process. So you’re having a conversation with someone and you say, you know what? We’ve got a brochure that compares these five different solutions to your problem. I’d be happy to send that to you. Let’s schedule another time to go over it after you’ve reviewed it.

So that becomes a part of your sales process. You’re not just leaving it on the table. You’re actually interacting with the documents with your customer, right?

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: And most businesses where you leave them on a table, come night time, they’re going to throw them away anyway [LAUGH] .

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true. [LAUGH] Or they’ll sit there for years and not do anything, like that.

John Williams: [CROSSTALK] Yeah.

Paula Williams: Okay, number four, to build credibility. So you’ve got somebody in your sales process, you’ve talked to them once or twice. And you want to add a little bit more information.

This is part of what we call a drip campaign, where you send little bits of information over time, to make sure that you’re keeping in contact with them, throughout the length of time that it takes for them to make the decision, or to get the funding, or to do whatever.

It reminds you that you’re there, reminds them that you’re there.

John Williams: And its credibility relies on the fact, that these brochures are very high quality and very well put together.

Paula Williams: Exactly, because the quality of the printing and all that stuff, is a reflection of your attention to detail.

Yeah, and everything else. To add new information. So you have an update in your product or service, you can send out a brochure to people who are in your pipeline and let them know. Right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: After the sale, you can use brochures as part of a new customer information package.

Here’s how you use your new funky new toy. [LAUGH] Here’s some things that you may not know. Did you know that it also does this, or that you can use it in this way? And so on. So, as part of your new customer information package, you could also have a brochure that talks about your referral program, that talks about your guarantee, that talks about your customer service, lots of things after the sale.

As an update or an announcement of a new product or service to your existing customers. So, the worst thing in the world is to have a long time customer, tell you about something that they bought from one of your competitors, because they didn’t know that you also did.

Websites, as an example. [LAUGH] We’ve been doing brochures with a customer for a number of years, and he went to somebody else to do his website. That’s just made me insane.

John Williams: Yeah, exactly. But that was our fault.

Paula Williams: That was our fault. It’s our job to let them know.

What else we do, besides what we’re already doing for them. So once again, three elements of a successful campaigns. And when you are thinking about designing your brochure, you want to think about this as well. What is the list? Who do you want to send this too, or give this too?

What is the offer? What purpose do you have in giving people this brochure? What do you want them to do as a result of having read through it? And third, the presentation, which is all of the things that we talked about. Should it be a bi-fold, a tri-fold, or a gate-fold?

Or glossy, shiny, fabulous whatever, or should you be able to write on it, have a worksheet in there, whatever you want it to do. So, form following function, right?

John Williams: Precisely.

Paula Williams: Cool. So we talked about, list the offer and the presentation, and we talked about seven things to do with brochures, right?

John Williams: Yes, we did.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Don’t you dare test me on this. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And now, the big point, is to never ever, ever do an appallingly boring brochure.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: So if that’s all you learned today that’s good enough. [LAUGH] So we do have a tip sheet on prospecting with postcards, and it does talk about the list, the offer, and the presentation.

And the things that are in that tip sheet are also very helpful for brochures. So, I highly recommend that for really any piece of direct mail that you’re putting together. It’s really good information regardless of the form that it takes. But, so download that from abcione.comforce/postcardtipsheet and go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yeah, America needs the business more than ever.

Paula Williams: Absolutely and subscribe to Podcast, on iTunes, Stitch, or Google Play and please do leave a rating.

John Williams: And that was a quote by Zig Ziglar by the way.

Paula Williams: Yes it was. [LAUGH]

John Williams: See you guys next time.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Thanks for joining us.

John Williams: Bye.

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.

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  • Aviation marketing Postcards

AMHF 0068 – Seven Ways to Use Postcards in Aviation Advertising

Postcards in aviation advertising  – big ideas from this week’s episode:

Aviation marketing Postcards

  1. Postcards are an incredibly popular and traditional form of aviation advertising.
  2. They still work!
  3. They require a complete campaign to be most effective.

If you have any questions, comments, or anything else that you’d like to add to this, you can add them on our blog, that’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or in social media you can use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing, the way will find it, hopefully, and respond to it.

We very much appreciate and try to respond to every comment or question!



Transcript – Episode 68 – Seven Ways to Use Postcards in Aviation Advertising


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, hacks, and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams:   Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying episode number 68, 7 Ways To Advertise With Postcards. I’m Paula Williams,

John Williams:   I’m John Williams.

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

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

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, so if you have any questions, comments, or anything else that you’d like to add to this, you can add them on our blog, that’s AviationBusinessConsultants.com or in social media you can use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing, the way will find it, hopefully, and respond to it.

So yeah, we always report to your question comments and everything else that is really where the best ideas come from is from questions that are asked by listeners, and clients, and everybody else, right?

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so we will do our best to reply to every tweet, comment, or anything else.


John Williams:   [LAUGH] So.

Paula Williams:   Postcards are incredibly popular and traditional in aviation marketing. Now a lot of people have kind of foregone the whole snail mail idea in favor of all the shiny electronic toys these days. And we think that’s a mistake, right?

John Williams:   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   There are some things and reasons that postcards in aviation advertising work when nothing else does.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so there’s a lot of advantages to the shiny digital toys and you know far be it from us to be dissing them in any way but we do really think a combination is what works best because there are pros and cons to any advertising medium postcards being among them, right?

Okay, but they still do work and in fact, you have bought things based on postcards in aviation advertising.  Or at least in a relationship that was initiated with postcards, right?

John Williams:   You, meaning me?

Paula Williams:   Yeah, you, John Williams.

John Williams:   [LAUGH].

Paula Williams:   Mr. Aviation Consumer, if you put your consumer hat on, as opposed to your marketing hat.

John Williams:   Actually, yes, and not just small stuff.

John Williams:   I guess in 2007 late, I was considering buying an airplane. And I believe in January, I got a first postcard from somebody that was selling an airplane. [LAUGH] And one thing led to another, and postcard disappeared. And then-

Paula Williams:   You forgot about it, right?

John Williams:   Yeah, I forgot about it.

Paula Williams:   Okay.

John Williams:   Then another one arrived at the same place and then I thought yeah, I was gonna do that and I don’t know what happened but I didn’t do anything. If this happened first, I think call away up until September, no August.

September I actually bought the airplane.

Paula Williams:   Wow, so it took from.

John Williams:   Almost a year.

Paula Williams:   Almost a year.

John Williams:   When I wanted to buy it.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, between the first contact and the time that you actually transacted business with us.

John Williams:   Yeah, just life got in the way.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   That’s just the way it is.

Paula Williams:   And that’s another things weird thing about aviation is that we do have a really long sales cycle and people do have a lot of things going. People who are in aviation tend to have very complex business cycles, very complex lives, a lot of things going on.

So you really can’t expect for any one given marketing activity to transact sales on the first time. These are some statistics that we found. 1% of sales are made on the first contact. 2% of sales are made on the second contact. 5% of sales are made on the third contact.

12% of sales are made on the fourth. And 80% percent of sales are made on the fifth contact or above. This is actually not as bad as some the statistics that I have seen. And some of the statistics that I have done for myself when doing analysis of sales processes, I would say that this is incredibly optimistic.

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] In aviation we have a very different business cycle than the rest of the world does. It’s much longer and more complex.

John Williams:   As a matter of fact, I think I’ve seen somewhere in aviation where 80% of sales are made on a 12 and subsequent contact.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, and in your case it took 11 contacts that we know of.

John Williams:   Yeah, right.

Paula Williams:   If we’d been keeping track, it would probably be more than that. So I would say you know, never never never never never give up until they buy or until they die right?

John Williams:   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Okay, to quote Winston Churchill right, never never never never never give up.

John Williams:   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Okay. And the other thing about postcards is that, the open rates for email have been dropping pretty abysmally in the last year or two, because everybody’s doing email. Fewer people are doing direct mail than they were a year ago, which is great for us.

Because you wanna be doing what not everybody else is doing, right?

John Williams:   Yes, just like in the magazines and the Money Magazine and one of these other ones. By the time it makes it to the magazine you’re too late.

Paula Williams:   Right, that’s true. So what everybody is doing you should go the other way, and this really is a great reason for using direct mail and postcards because people’s mailboxes are kinda emptying out.

We probably get, I would say, a third less mail than we did a year or two ago.

John Williams:   Email or mail?

Paula Williams:   Mail, mail.

John Williams:   Snail mail.

Paula Williams:   Snail mail. Mail on the mail box.

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, and so any piece of mail, any given piece of mail is likely to at least be looked at before it gets thrown out, right?

Even if it’s obvious spam. [LAUGH]

John Williams:   Right. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Physical spam. Okay, so nothing defies gravity, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   And every marketing process has to follow the rules of gravity and that’s basically phase one. Marketing or, you know, basically prospecting and advertising. Phase two, building credibility and closing sales, and phase three, referrals, resales, and recaptures, right?

And testimonials. So you really need to know where in the process does this post card fit? It needs to be part of a campaign, right? And part of a marketing system.

John Williams:   Absolutely, Anything you do in marketing needs to be part of an integrated plan. Otherwise you are spending more than you need to.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   With fewer results.

Paula Williams:   Right. We get a lot of postcards that seem to be kind of pointless, or at least, the point is buried or unlikely. So you got an airplane saying, you know, advertising, are you gonna.

John Williams:   Saying airplane [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Yeah. Get an airplane, advertise on a postcard for sale.

John Williams:   What are you talking about?

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] Let’s try that again. You got a postcard advertising an airplane for sale but there is nothing to do with this postcard, unless you happen to be in the market for this particular airplane at this particular time. And if it doesn’t fit, and what are the chances that it would, that this particular airplane is exactly what we’re looking for.

And we happen to have the money ready to ride a check to this airplane. Chances are that postcard is not going to get very good response. But if it is something more along the lines of a postcard advertising a buyer’s guide to aircraft in 2017, that’s something that would be a lot more likely that we would download, even if we don’t happen to be in the market for that particular airplane at this particular time.

And then we’ve still become a really good contact for that airplane broker, right?

John Williams:   Of course.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so let’s talk about seven ways to advertise with postcards that actually do make sense. One would be prospecting for new leads. And we just gave a pretty good example of that.

There’s a good way and a bad way of doing that. One would be saying here’s a product I have for sale, that’s good. But better would be to offer some kind of a lead magnet. Something that’s a low cost, low risk on both sides so that you capture those people that are not ready yet.

Which is the vast majority of the people receiving your postcard, right?

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   Right, so lead magnets could include like a free consultation, or a tip sheet, or a buyers guide, or any number of things. We have a actually a downloadable tip sheet that includes 17 ideas for lead magnets.

So if you’re looking for inspiration, that’s a good one to download. If you’re looking for a way to make your post cards more effective, right?

John Williams:   Mm-hm.

Paula Williams:   Okay, You could be market testing a new product or service. So you want to know how many people would be interested in something with these characteristics.

We’ve seen postcards that do that. And these are all phase one, all of these first three. So, prospecting, offering a lead magnet, market testing a new product or service. Then in phase two, building credibility in closing, you’ve got a couple more. Conducting a survey. So let’s say you have somebody on your list for a while, you want to contact them again because once again, you have to make those 10-20 contacts before the sale is made.

What’s another reason that you could contact them without driving them crazy or making the offer again and again, and being pushy about sales. And you need to be, what’s the word, subtle, because you don’t want to be in their face.

John Williams:   You want it to be something like, I can do that.

Only takes a couple of minutes.

Paula Williams:   So you could conduct a survey of aviation businesses that have this specific issue and publish the results after the fact. That’s a good way to keep in touch with people who are in your pipeline, but not ready to buy yet. Keep them educated, position you as a thought leader, establish your credibility because you care about the answers.

And also give you some good information that you could use in marketing materials. Another way to do this, and you don’t wanna do this too often for the reason you just mentioned, is creating urgency. So providing some kind of a limited time offer. Saying, if you buy between now and the end of the month, we know the price is gonna be going up for this particular item or this regulation is going to go into affect so we can only sell these through the end of the month.

Any number of things that could create some kind of deadline or urgency, right?

John Williams:   Mm-hm.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so that’s phase two. How can you use postcards in phase three?

John Williams:   Carefully. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Carefully.

John Williams:   You request referrals of course.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so after someone has purchased from you, you can send them a postcard three months after the fact, or six months after the fact, something like that.

Asking them for referrals, saying who else could use our product or service. I think those are, especially if you give them a really easy way to respond to that. Those are always well-received, right?

John Williams:   And they need to be, again very gentle, subtle.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   Not too subtle.

But enough so that they don’t mind.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. We’ve seen some really humorous ones and really fun ones. And this is a really great place to use humor and fun. To kind of lighten this up, make it more fun, make them more likely to cooperate with you. And the last one, this is one that every Jiffy Lube on the planet does, but not very many aircraft service places we’ve seen, MRO organizations and things like that have done.

And I think this is a really big missed opportunity. As a reminder, you brought your aircraft in for an annual inspection 10 months ago, can we schedule you in? We’re holding a spot for you. And here are some incentives to book your next service early or get this on the schedule so that we’re ready for you and we have some things that we could do that maybe addition, do a detail in other things that while you’re in here let’s make it worth you time.

All right?

John Williams:   Of course.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so seven ways to advertise with post cards we’re covering the whole spectrum of phase one, phase two, phase three.

John Williams:   Gonna cover it all.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] But once again everyone of these postcards is part of a system, right?

John Williams:   Well, these opportunities for postcards, yes.

It needs to be part of an integrated marketing plan approach.

Paula Williams:   We’re assuming you’ve got the infrastructure to handle all this so that when you’re doing a prospecting postcard, people respond to that. You know exactly how many people responded to that postcard. When you’re doing your market testing, you’ve got a survey set up and tested, and it’s ready to go.

If you’re doing a program to create urgency, you really have thought it through and have the details of that campaign thought through. So when we talk about campaigns, of course, back to the basics of that there are three elements of any successful campaign. So every time you send a post card, you wanna think about who’s the list for this?

So for your phase one campaign that’s going to be a very targeted list of prospective customers, right?

John Williams:   Yes.

Paula Williams:   For your phase two campaigns that’s going to be your current pipeline of people who are not ready to buy yet for one reason or another, right?

John Williams:   And the presentation is those people that you want to sell to.

Paula Williams:   Let’s stick to the list for a minute. Sticking to the list for phase three, the list for phase three would be your current or former customers, right?

John Williams:   Okay.

Paula Williams:   Okay, and then the offer, that really depends. That’s one of those seven things that we just talked about.

And then the presentation, of course, would be a postcard, right?

John Williams:   Probably with something like a QR code on it.

Paula Williams:   Do you like QR codes, just out of curiosity?

John Williams:   Sometimes, it depends.

Paula Williams:   Okay, there’s some pretty dramatic debate in marketing circles about whether QR codes are worth it or not.

I think you should have PURLs, personal URLs, or at least a specific URL as your call to action for a particular post card. Or, there are phone systems that where you can use a different number for each postcard.

John Williams:   Yeah, but the thing is, nowadays everybody’s got a smartphone that’s got the ability to snap that QR code.

And if you’ve programmed it right, you go right to the point where you can see what you wanna see. And if you wanna see more, you know how to go push a button to go more.

Paula Williams:   Sure.

John Williams:   And if you don’t you’re done.

Paula Williams:   Okay.

John Williams:   And it seems to me like that is just a wasted opportunity if you don’t use one.

Paula Williams:   Okay. Exactly and you can have more then one way for people to get back to you. You know, phone call for people who like the phone, email, a QR code or a URL. You know how ever, how ever works for you, right?

John Williams:   You know what I mean?

If I’m the recipient of a postcard, I would much prefer to snap the QR code than talks somebody if I’m not ready. And if I snap a QR code then I’m gonna at least get the information.

Paula Williams:   Right, absolutely correct. All right, so that’s the list, the offer, and the presentation.

You need to make sure that you check those off and a nice way to do that is we have a tip sheet that includes a checklist of things you should consider for a postcard campaign. Every postcard campaign should include a great list, a great offer, and a great presentation.

John Williams:   Yes.

Aviation Postcard Tip SheetPaula Williams:   So if you go to ABCI1.com/PostcardTipSheet, you’ll get that tip sheet and you can download it there, or you could just go to ADCI1.com, click on the link for tip sheets and you’ll see that one there. So it’s really easy to download and get our quick little check list.

So before you ever send a postcard ever again, you wanna make sure that you do that. Cuz it’s got some great tips about headlines and response codes and other kinds if things that will really help you make those postcards much more effective, right?

John Williams:   Yes,they will.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so go sell more stuff.

John Williams:   Yeah, America needs the business.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, now more than ever, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH] Whatever.

Paula Williams:   And subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Stitcher or Google Play, and do leave us a rating, and we’ll see you next week.

John Williams:   Have a good day.

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.


  • Book Club Discussion - ReWork

AMHF 0067 – Book Club Discussion – ReWork

John & Paula Williams and Joni Lampert Schultz discuss the book 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”


Announcer: You’re listening to aviation marketing hanger 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, ensure strategies, relevant examples, hacks and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams:   All right, well welcome to the very first book club discussion of 2017. We never really know how these are going to go. We record them live the first Wednesday of each month.

And our insiders are welcome to join us, and we’ll see what happens. So [LAUGH] that’s always fun, right?

John Williams:   Yeah.

Paula Williams:   This month’s discussion is actually about Rework, which was our December book club selection. And Joni Lampert Schultz and I heard your smiling voice just a minute ago.

Joni and Kasey are our first two recipients of the annual Aviation Marketing scholarship award. And we’re really happy to have the on board and of course, I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams:   And I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] And we are ABCI, and we are your moderators for today’s event, and maybe doing most of the talking depending on how this goes, right?

John Williams:   [LAUGH] Could be.

Paula Williams:   What did you think of the book? This one as actually pretty interesting, because it was written by the folks that built Basecamp, which is our project management software, which is pretty cool. I thought it was pretty neat, because they have some really good ideas about working from anywhere, and most of us are in a situation where we’re not in an office anymore.

We have to work people, that in a lot of cases, we’ve never met in person. We just work with them on the phone, and by email, and by virtually. And I think Basecamp is a nice way of making that work, because you can see what’s been done, what hasn’t been done, what works, what doesn’t work, and so on.

John Williams:   Well, we work with people all over the world doing that.

Paula Williams:   Exactly.

John Williams:   From Panama, to France, to Moscow-.

Paula Williams:   Egypt. [LAUGH]

John Williams:   All over the states, Egypt at one time, who knows?

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so I think Basecamp is really what makes that possible for me, because we can have multiple projects going on.

I can see what needs to be done. I get some pretty good reports on what’s behind, what’s ahead, and so on. I know you’re not a huge fan of Basecamp.

John Williams:   No.

Paula Williams:   And this is the book that you didn’t get, because this was last month. [LAUGH] You’ll get-

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I went out and bought it. And I am so glad I did, because I love it.

Paula Williams:   Good.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, anyway.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, well, what did you like about it?

Joni Schultz:   :   I like the simplicity.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   I like that it’s not a lot of jargon, and it just goes right to the point.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s what I liked about it. I mean, I specifically, well, I started reading through the whole thing. But then I kinda ran out of time, and so I just kind of went to the points that you said we were going to go over. And I obviously read those, and made some notes, and that sort of thing, so.

Paula Williams:   Wow, you are above and beyond, because [LAUGH] we send you the books every month with the bookmarks in them, the things that we’re planning on discussing. And of course, we hope you’ll read the whole book, but yeah, I’m really glad that you went so far above and beyond, and actually went out and got this book ahead of time, and things like that.

That’s wonderful. I liked it. It was not, I’m kind of more of a I guess I like books that are more explanatory of things to do, especially business books, but I did like the fact that this was a nice break from all of the heavy crap I’ve been having on a book rest, and all of the haltoos and everything else.

I think a really nice, refreshing essay-based book. John, I know you probably thought the same. I don’t think you learned anything here that you didn’t already know, but what did you think?

John Williams:   They had a few good points, reemphasized points that we already knew.

Paula Williams:   That’s true, absolutely.

So, good stuff. So, thing number one that I highlighted for our bookmarks was drawing a line in the sand. I think that is one thing that people, especially in aviation, hesitate to do and say, this is who our product and service is for. And this is who it is maybe not for.

And saying, this is only for people who are, for example, our products and services are only for people who are serious about sales and marketing, and are not the kind of people that think that sales is a bad word, or any of that stuff. So, we don’t I think, make any bones about that.

But I think we could be more clear about that in a lot of our marketing materials.

John Williams:   Likely.

Paula Williams:   Yeah?

John Williams:   Yeah, matter of fact, since we’re going to be working with the website.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   In other materials, you can be a little more explicit.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, include that as one of our main points.

We’re not for everybody, and we don’t want to do business with everybody.

John Williams:   No.

Paula Williams:   Right, Joanie with the Whirly-Girls, I guess you have a fairly specific profile that you’re going after.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes, at the core of the organization, yes, but I guess my take on and kinda what I’ve seen from the organizations since I joined.

And since I’ve been involved in, is that they really aren’t hitting all the potential that I think that they can get.

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, that’s where this really spoke to me, because, first of all, I am kind of opinionated. So, it really spoke to me about how strong opinions aren’t free, because I’ve ruffled some feathers by asking questions, and saying why are we doing that?

Paula Williams:   Uh-huh.

Joni Schultz:   :   Is there a particular reason? And that sort of thing. So, this spoke to me because I said, my strong opinions, they’re not free, and I have upset some people about things. But I feel like I and other people that share what I believe, especially in terms of sponsors, in growing the scholarship program, and not just sticking to the small, what we’ve been doing.

So, we’ve pushed out, that’s the way it’s worked for me.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, I like the way you put that.

Joni Schultz:   :   How can I upset people because I have?

Paula Williams:   Right, I like the way you put that though, that opinions aren’t free, there’s always a consequence to expressing a strong opinion, especially disagreeing with someone.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it, so I think that’s a really great way of putting that.

Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely, it’s tough. People all have this problem, we kind of get into the rut of the way we do things. And sometimes it just takes thinking outside the box, and asking, why are we doing this?

Is it just because we’ve always done it this way? Or are we really getting to the point of it all?

Paula Williams:   Exactly, exactly. Excellent. Yeah, the next page that really stuck out for me, and of course, we could call out the whole book. But we only have [LAUGH] limited amounts of time here.

So yeah, making a call is making progress, so make a [LAUGH] dang decision. In a lot of cases I think we work with a lot of folks in the aviation industry where there is a lot of consensus building that has to happen, especially in some of the larger, more complicated companies.

And a lot of airport authorities report to a board, and a lot of these organizations are not really prone to making fast decisions.

John Williams:   And once you made the call, stand behind it. Even if it’s your brand.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   Then stand behind it unless you discover a reason to change it, and then make another call and change it.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm. Yeah I totally agree with that. I think being able to make a decision, even if it’s the wrong one, a lot of times we can make some progress, and even if we’re going in the wrong direction, we can recover from that, discover that quicker, recover from it, make a turn or an adjustment, and still end up where we wanted to be faster than if people don’t ever make a decision, right?

John Williams:   Yep.

Paula Williams:   Joni what do you think?

Joni Schultz:   :   What I loved, I went to EA, Air Venture over the summer. And in knowing that the Whirly Girls were in the midst of development on the new website. So I went to the American Bonanza Society tent and we, we have been members in the past, my husband and I.

And so they had a new web site. And so I asked them, I said, my gosh, we’re going to be going down this road, do you have any words of wisdom? And the gentleman who was at the head of it, he says, you know what? Don’t ever think that it’s going to be perfect.

Just get it done and move forward.

Paula Williams:   Right.

Joni Schultz:   :   So I took that advice, and that’s where we’re at. We can’t wait for the perfect solution.

Paula Williams:   Right.

Joni Schultz:   :   We’ve gotta decide, and then take the next step. One of the ladies that is on our website committee, she’s kind of one of the older Whirly Girls.

She’s in her 70s, I think. And she said it’s like telling you’ve done a good job of herding the cats.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] There you go.

Joni Schultz:   :   [INAUDIBLE] And having to move forward, and not going okay, well we’ll decide that. And my takeaway on this was, you can’t build on top of we’ll decide later, but you can build on top of done, and move on.

Paula Williams:   Yes, exactly.

Joni Schultz:   :   Because that was really helped me through this process.

Paula Williams:   Fantastic. Right, I think that’s something that we can all use as making, even if we make a deadline to make a decision, and say whatever our best guess is by Friday, we’re going to move forward.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes

Paula Williams:   That kind of thing. I love that. Here’s another one, throw less at the problem. [LAUGH] A problem isn’t a problem if you can throw money at it. [LAUGH] Well, that’s great if you have unlimited funds, but most of us don’t. So I think If you say, you know what, let me give this to somebody, and give them X amount of resources to see if they can solve it, people get really creative.

Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   Right, there was an engineer that we worked with awhile ago that is now doing aircraft design, but he’s also done prosthetic limb design in India. That was one of his projects as a student, is he made, and I would have to tell you, I think it’s like a $12 foot and it’s made out of PVC.

And this is basically for people who have lost, there’s a large number of people in the population, low income people that have lower extremity injuries. And he invented a $12 prosthetic limb that is much better than a lot of the more expensive things on the market. And he just used cheap materials, cheap but good materials, and a good design that can be altered by size and everything else, and can be done by people in the field, and everything else.

I think it’s still being used today. It was kind of an innovative approach to design to cost is what the program is. And now he’s using that in the aviation industry where they take a cost, and they say can this be done with this cost? And here’s a limitation, see if you can work with it.

And you get really creative people to come up with some really creative stuff.

John Williams:   Well you can force creativity in some people. I managed a numbers of people in corporate America, and found that when you’re given a task, and you don’t have people for it, you give it to your busiest person.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   Seriously.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   They will always find a way-

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   To get it accomplished within the time they have.

Paula Williams:   Right, right. Another example of that is the $100 car. In some places in the world they have a innovation, or a contest I think it was, I’d have to look that up.

To develop a $100 automobile, within certain parameters and things. And of course it’s not in the United States were we have all these safety rules and everything else. But if you put a limitation of cost on things, sometimes people come up with some really amazing things. And Joni, I know you’re in a non profit, so you have a [LAUGH] a big cost constraint.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes exactly, I’ll tell you the story the story about how I found you. And because our development people with the website had given us a marketing plan basically. And it was way out of what the rest of the board was willing to spend. So I just started looking around on the Internet, and I found you all.

[LAUGH] And then I found out that you had this scholarship, and then, and then, and then, it kinda worked out. But because of our limitation on funds to have a marketing plan, but I’ve always been interested in marketing.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

Joni Schultz:   :   I just gun ahead and make time to be able to create the plan.

But look at what happened, was through different series of limitations. I found you and now, here I am.

Paula Williams:   Right. You know, some of these things, we just couldn’t plan no matter what we did, because you showed up at just exactly the right time. I think we met you about a week before scholarship applications was closing.

And it was just insanely crazy that we happen to run into a person that met all the criteria that we were looking for a week before that application closed. And we ended up selecting you, and we’re really happy that you’re here [LAUGH], and that you’re Especially,

Paula Williams:   Given the time constraints that we had and the money constraints that you had.

So that’s pretty fabulous.

Joni Schultz:   :   It is, I’m very excited about that, so hey, sometimes limitations. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams:   Right, absolutely. Okay, let’s see, next is pick a fight. [LAUGH] I love this one. I’ve actually taken this advice at least once already. Picked a fight on LinkedIn. A gentleman told me that one of my posts was too commercial.

Paula Williams:   Said something about fake news. And I told him, well, if you’re really looking for news, you’ve shouldn’t be looking on social media. You should be getting a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and paying a real journalist to get your news from. [LAUGH] And it’s something that a few years ago, I may have backed down from.

Because I come from a background where my dad was not the most appreciative of sales and marketing as a profession. And so, it’s one of those things that just raises those childhood anxieties or whatever. Am I being too commercial? [LAUGH]

John Williams:   How does he respond to you?

Paula Williams:   He never did.


John Williams:   That’s what I told you would happen.

Paula Williams:   Exactly, so it’s just like there is a time and a place for commercial behavior. And if you are so disgusted by capitalism, then maybe you need to be doing something else. But that was a good fight and it was actually quite enjoyable for me.

And hopefully, educational for him, and it’s not terrible, so mostly.

John Williams:   Sure.

Paula Williams:   What happens. But-

John Williams:   That’s not the only fight you picked.

Paula Williams:   No, that’s not the only fight I’ve picked. I’ve picked whatever I- [LAUGH]

John Williams:   But you have to because that’s the way, if you watch the election last year, that’s the way they did it.

They became controversial and public. And got people talking.

Paula Williams:   Well, and I think there’s a right and a wrong way to say anything you have to say. I don’t think it has to be personal or nasty to get your point across. But it certainly worked for them I guess.

So, it’s hard to argue with success. And Jodi, you were talking about picking fights earlier. At least, it sounds like you don’t back down. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   [LAUGH] Sometimes I have to remember to deliver it a little better. But what happens sometimes in that, I try not to stay in that or get into that arena, is to get personal.

When you get personal, that’s when things kind of change. And yeah, and you can really step over the line quickly but I try not to do that and try to get, keep to the point. Like, one of our members got real upset, and when you call people on what they’re doing, they will back down.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, yeah.

Joni Schultz:   :   [CROSSTALK] When it becomes personal, I’m saying. It’s like a bully. You gotta go, okay, but not get in their face because you never know when you’re going to get back. But you need to go to the point where your column on what they did or said.

Paula Williams:   Exactly. Exactly. We’ve had a lot of conversations with, [LAUGH] one of our kids, [LAUGH] about how you can say anything that you want or need to say to anybody but there’s a right and a wrong way to say it. So it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re talking about.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly.

Paula Williams:   Right, cool. Build an audience, we actually have talked with a couple of people. And there’s several people that I know in the aviation industry, John Austrawer is one, Benny Wilson is another, Mary Kirby is another who’ve changed jobs, they’re journalists, in particular. That have worked for several different news outlets and publications.

And they take their audience with them and I’ pretty sure that that’s part of the reason that they get hired in different organizations, is because they have such a huge following. That’s independent of, John Austrawer who now works for the Wall Street Journal. He used to, or CNN, he used to work for the Wall Street Journal.

He used to work for Flight Aware. Mary Kirby has been in a number of places now. She has her own news outlet, Runway Girl, which is fantastic. And, Benny Wilson’s worked for AOPA and a number of other organizations. And she takes thousands of people with her wherever she goes.

[LAUGH] That follow her around from publication to publication because people trust her and they like her style of news. And they appreciate the information she digs out. And it’s just kind of a cool thing, but in marketing, it’s a different thing, because you build an audience of people that like and trust your information.

And then all of a sudden your products become a different category from other people who aren’t providing that kind of information, right?

John Williams:   Pretty much.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. Cool, and Jonie, I know you’re in the business of building an audience for Whirly-Girls. You’ve got a lot of social media as well, and things like that that you’re building on.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s right, one of the things that was really spoke of, we had an editor of our collective pitch magazine. Which is just our membership magazine.

Paula Williams:   I like that name. That’s cool. [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   [INAUDIBLE] I don’t know how long it’s been around, but I think it’s pretty catchy.

So, Kate had been doing this collective pitch, print magazine. And she was really burned out. And so anyway she has definitely been, she’s our future webmaster for the website because her vision is to create a blog within the website. And that, it feeds on exactly what this is saying because its saying, you don’t have to buy people’s attention if you, and we want them to come back often to see what we have to say.

And so that was her vision, was that she wanted to see where it was more dynamic. Instead of this print magazine, that by the time you get it to print and get it out to everybody, it’s old news.

Paula Williams:   Right, and there’s a lot of expense there as well.

Joni Schultz:   :   Yes, there is. And so that’s been her, I think there’s a place for the print but it’s not with the news, I don’t think. Anyway, this is right down Kate’s alley when it comes to this. So I’m definitely going to share this with her, a short little factor on this I think it will really speak to her.

Paula Williams:   Excellent, yeah that’s fantastic. And I like what you said about, that you dont have to buy people’s attention, you can earn it. And that’s really what you do with social media, is you put something interesting out there that people will share with other people. And then you’ve earned attention instead of having to pay for it.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly, and everything’s a story is also something I learned as well.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

Joni Schultz:   :   Especially within our group, because we have women that have amazing stories, but haven’t told their story. And so that’s one of the focuses that we want to have with the organization. Starting in Dallas, because in Dallas, Texas Women’s University actually does all of the archives for our organization.

And they’ve done them for the women service pilots, as well. And so the gal who is coming down from TWU in Denton, down to the expo event and to our education day, that’s what our focus is going to be. We all know that each of you have a story to tell, and that’s what we want.

People love to read about people’s lives.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, yeah, stories are the very best marketing. And that earned attention comes from being a great storyteller. And that’s really one our big focuses this year, so that’s amazing to hear you say that. That’s good timing. Similar point, being able to out-teach your competition.

And Joni, I don’t know if you have any competition as far as helicopter organizations for women. But, I know education is often a big part of the types of organizations that you’re in.

Joni Schultz:   :   Right, we don’t have any direct competition because there is not another women’s organization but we do have like women in aviation and 99s and they are so other ones but not.

I can be a 99 and still be a Whirly-Girl, and, I can be a Women in Aviation member and still be a Whirly-Girl. So we have a competition along that line.

Paula Williams:   Right, right, exactly. But you do have to add value so that people can see, wow, I’m a member of five different organizations.

This would be a sixth for me but it’s still worth it for these reasons.

Joni Schultz:   :   Exactly, that’s that we have to do, is create the value. Because some people just only have x number of dollars to pay to being in members of such different organizations. So yeah, we always have to be looking at the value.

Paula Williams:   And the time and money, exactly. I think this is probably one of the things that has changed the world for us, as far as aviation marketing companies, because I think we are the only one that does anywhere close to what we do. There’s lots of other marketing companies out there, and there’s a few other aviation marketing companies out there.

But they are more interested in doing things for people than helping them become better at sales and marketing themselves, but we’ve run into so many situations where the edges of what we do are where the failure point are. Like we can do a great marketing campaign for somebody but then the sales people are not following up properly or whatever.

So if we can provide some education and guidance for them to say, this is how you fit in. Then our products work a thousand times better. [LAUGH] And get a thousand times better results for our customers. And because we have provided that kind of education and if we didn’t our products wouldn’t work and it’s not because they’re not good, it’s just because they’re incomplete.

John Williams:   A step in the process.

Paula Williams:   Right, exactly. Right, so I think this is a big deal for us and that’s why our focus has always been on education and on the insider circle and other education initiatives [LAUGH], that’s where 99% of our marketing money goes into education.

I think that’s true of a lot of our customers too. They’re attracted to us because they want to educate their customers and make them better users of aviation products and services.

John Williams:   Well, those that don’t, don’t fare as well.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, that’s for sure. The ones that don’t care about their customers just say buy my product and I don’t care whether you use it or whether it sits in the box.

Those are not ideal customers for us.

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I value the fact that that’s what you’re doing to people, because to me there’s, you can give somebody a fish, but if you teach them how to fish, there you go. You have the talent for life. I don’t know.

Coming from a direct sales background, I learned more about myself in what I submitted to you all was I learned more about myself through owning that simple direct sales company. I had a team of 20 something people that I would just teach how to sell. People that didn’t have sales backgrounds.

Paula Williams:   Wow.

Joni Schultz:   :   Pretty natural for me, I just taught them how to do that, but I also valued their personality. I didn’t want them to all become me, because it’s hard to become, it’s hard to be somebody else. You gotta be yourself, through it, you know what I mean?

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s the whole idea is you’ve gotta, I tried that for the person that sponsored me or I learned from. I tried to be like her and that just didn’t work for me. I needed to find, take my personality and my strengths and my weaknesses and make, learn.

And just be myself so I try to do that for other people.

Paula Williams:   Right so you’ll be- [SOUND]

Joni Schultz:   :   Sorry. People calling me all over the place.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] There you go

Joni Schultz:   :   Sorry.

Paula Williams:   No problem.

Joni Schultz:   :   So I appreciate what you do, I truly do, and I will tell everybody I know about it as well.

Paula Williams:   Well that’s fantastic. I like the fact that you want to be Joanie Schultz squared, you don’t want to be Zig Ziegler, that’s just not the way that it works, especially in sales because it’s such a personal thing. You have to make a personal connection with people and if you’re trying to be somebody you’re not they smell it on you.


Joni Schultz:   :   Absolutely.

Paula Williams:   And that’s I think why sales gets a bad reputation, is because a lot of people just try to be Zig Ziegler and they just can’t pull it off and it’s not working for them.

Joni Schultz:   :   That’s right, and everybody has a gift and a talent.

No matter what that is, they have to find it. And again, they cannot be somebody else. You have to be yourself and then develop yourself and not try to be someone else.

Paula Williams:   Absolutely, right. Okay, so, marketing is not a department. I love this one, because to me, almost anything that happens in a business, that is a problem, is a marketing problem.

Either something wasn’t sold to the employees in a convincing way, or something isn’t being sold to the customers in a convincing way, or the proper use of the product isn’t being sold to the customers in an appropriate way. There’s always a marketing solution to just about any problem you come up with.

John Williams:   Well, everybody’s in sales.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH] Yep.

John Williams:   I say, everybody’s in sales, whether or not you’re selling a product, you’re selling yourself. And it doesn’t matter if you’re just trying to convince your mom you need to go outside or you want a Coke.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   It starts there, what you’re selling.

Paula Williams:   Yep.

John Williams:   An idea or a product.

Paula Williams:  That’s true. In fact, there’s a quote from Rabbi Francis Laftin that I love. It says unless you’re a Supreme Court Justice or a tenured university professor, [LAUGH] you’re in sales. But I’d argue that the Supreme Court Justices and the Tenured university professors are still selling their students something and they’re still-

John Williams:   I don’t know about this, the professor, but the Supreme Court justices, they have to sell their ideas to all the other justices.

Paula Williams:   That’s true. That is absolutely true. That’s why they spend so much time writing opinions. So, even the exceptions are not exceptions.

John Williams:   That’s a sales document.

Paula Williams:   That’s true, that is absolutely true.

Joni Schultz:   :   It’s like they’ve sold something to get where they are.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

John Williams:   That’s right.

Paula Williams:   That is absolutely right. And lawyers are the best sales people. That’s their job. Right,

Joni Schultz:   :   Definitely.

Paula Williams:   Ttrue, all right. And then the last one, own your bad news.

[LAUGH] This is something that we do on, I’m going to say, kind of a formal basis for some companies that want to have an earlier response PR Program. If you’re a flight school you can brainstorm all the bad things that can happen at a flight school, right? A plane gets dinged, a, heaven forbid, there’s an incident or something like that, but you can brainstorm what are all the possible bad things that can happen.

And you can prepare a process for what are we going to go through? Who are we going to communicate with? What pieces of information do we need to relay? Who is going to be the point of contact? Have all that stuff thought out ahead of time, so that they’re the ones telling the story and it’s not the kids parents aren’t finding out on the nightly news what’s going on with your flight school.

So you really want to be the one to tell the story, and like you said Joanie, being a good story teller, and John you know being a good story teller and being able to get the facts out there in the most appropriate way is on you, as the business owner.

It should not be on the news media, it should not be on anybody else, because they’re not going to tell it the way you want it told.

John Williams:   That’s right.

Paula Williams:   Yeah. You have. Go ahead.

Joni Schultz:   :   It was like this is just me listening, so any kind of news story happens and of course that news agency said we we reached out to so-and-so about, and they had no comment.

It’s like I always want to go, why would they not comment, even if it was just simple? You know, because you’re just setting yourself up for people going why didn’t they comment?

John Williams:   I can answer that, actually.

Paula Williams:   You can?

John Williams:   Absolutely, I have been in front of so many news people and even given them written copy and what comes out, it doesn’t matter what I said, that is not what comes out in the news.

Joni Schultz:   :   Okay. All right.

John Williams:   So, it’s easier and better to say, no comment and then hire a PR guy to deal with it.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm. What’s even better than that is to have all the PR done ahead of time, so.

John Williams:   Yeah, but you never can.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   I finished a project that was a multimillion dollar project. I couldn’t have figured out PR ahead of time, and I was misquoted left and right on that.

Paula Williams:   Well, in your project plan you could of said, here’s what we need to communicate to the public and to the fed and everybody else.

John Williams:   No, no, no, that would never work because they were paying for it. And I’m not going to pay for it, they weren’t going to pay for it, because since they’re paying for it, they’re going to say what the want, not what I said.

Paula Williams:   Mm-hm.

John Williams:   No, I get it.

Paula Williams:   Yeah.

John Williams:   No comment is a valid comment sometimes.

Paula Williams:   Okay, cool. Well we have point of disagreement, but I think we agree that I lived that part of it, I know. Yeah, that it is better to have people hear the bad news from you than from someone else.

[LAUGH] Okay cool. All right so what else about the book should have for you do you have anything to add? Joni?

Joni Schultz:   :   Well yeah there was one I was really, because we have to do this, I really wanted to talk about the point, it’s page 185, it says press releases are spam.

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   And so I guess I just wanted to talk about that and perhaps even ask your opinion about this. Because it seems like that’s what everybody does, but it says in here instead call someone, write a personal not. What do you all think about that? That they are saying press releases are spam?

John Williams:   Well, you can make spammy press releases but in fact, the people that we go through for press releases, which we do, they have very sharp rules that you must follow. And you can’t actually have any spam in there. And the reason you’ll call somebody is because those press releases can get out to millions of people rather than one or two.

Paula Williams:   Right, I’d say we take kind of a two path approach to press releases. I think that they are valid and I think that they are good. And they do a lot of good in terms of reaching audiences that you may not otherwise be able to. So, as an example, if we release a press release and it gets picked up by 150 200 news outlets.

That is not unusual to have happen. These are not big news outlets necessarily, they’re little local things, and.

John Williams:   Some of them are.

Paula Williams:   Yeah, some of them are big, but that’s the I’m going to say, the low level path is the automated press release systems that we use.

The higher level path is with all aviation publications, they don’t necessarily subscribe to AP or Reuters or the other news wire services, because they’re looking for very specific pieces of news and they want to write them themselves. So, for that type of reporting, we send them the press release, but we also try to give them some heads up ahead of time saying, heres a newsworthy thing that is going to be happening with one of our clients.

We know the reporters, we know the editorial calendar what’s coming out in AIN or aviation week or whatever in May, June, July. Say, here’s something that would be good for your July issue if you’re looking for quotes or photographs or something, you know, to help with that bit you’re working on, because they are over worked and under paid like the rest of us.

So in that case it takes more personal touch then the automated systems. So I don;t think the automated systems are worthless, but in the aviation industry, you do have to take things up and notch and you have to have those relationships with reporters that know you’re going to be giving them good non-spammy, fabulous information that they can count on to make their job easier.

Did that help?

Joni Schultz:   :   Yeah, we don’t have a subscription to all aviation publications. We have a member, who said that she could get us a list at her cost, and it was a $300 price tag. So I don’t know, and it was North America But I just don’t know how beneficial slash cost effective that might be for the organization.

Paula Williams:   Right.

John Williams:   Well, what we do is we use that as a part of an integrated marketing plan approach. And then we can track when that goes out, where, if any of the, anybody comes into a website or anything else we can tell where it came from.

Paula Williams:   Okay, so if we’re getting lots of traffic on our website suddenly from aviation week from a particular article, then we know that that’s a good one to pursue next time.

But, yeah, in terms of your needs for publicizing events for your organization, we do a combined editorial calendar ever year. And we’ll make that available to you since you’re an insider for the year. We’ll make that available to you as well. So, that’s not completed yet. There’s a lot of [LAUGH] publications that are still getting their rate cards and their editorial calendars finished for the year.

And, so, it’ll probably be late January or early February when we get that together, but we’ll share that with you as well.

Joni Schultz:   :   Okay, well thank you, I appreciate that. Obviously I am the marketing-

Paula Williams:   [LAUGH]

Joni Schultz:   :   Well, I already told the rest of the board, I said, we all market this organization, you know.

I said before I read this in the book that our entire board is marketing. So, but, I am like the lead on it now.

Paula Williams:   Yup, you’ve got to have somebody in charge. So, that’s true.

Joni Schultz:   :   So, but I’m, like I said, we’re going to do the best we can and while Joanie gets up to speed.

Paula Williams:   Yup. Hear you. Okay, so, next month we’re going to be discussing the book Soar. We actually interviewed Shashank Nigam a couple of weeks ago. And he’s a great guy, he’s really funny. He’s a great storyteller, speaking of such things. And this is about twelve stories from different airlines in the world about how they built their brands, or how they differentiate their brands in a very difficult space.

And it’s a little bit different, in fact, it’s a lot different from business aviation and general aviation. But airline marketing, we used to say, I mean, when we talk to people about what we do, we say we do all aviation except the airlines because they follow their own rules and do their own thing as far as marketing goes.

But Shashank’s the guy to talk to about airlines, for sure. So, yeah, that’ll be a great book to read and there’s going to be a lot of really interesting, I think parallels and great stuff that we can pull out and use, even in the business and general aviation world.

And that’s pretty much it. So go sell more stuff.

John Williams:   Yup, America needs a business.

Paula Williams:   Right?

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.


AMHF 0056 – Inside the Insider Circle

John and I give a “guided tour” of the Insider Circle!


Transcript  – Inside the Insider Circle



Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Episode 56. Today, we’re going to talk about what is inside the insider’s circle?

John Williams: [LAUGH] All right.

Paula Williams: 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 in aviation world help you sell more stuff and products and services. It’s early in the morning.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] You going to try that again?

John Williams: No, that’s okay.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. All right, so, we have a hashtag, #AvGeekMarketing, AvGeekMarketing.

And we do reply to every tweet or every comment or every whatever [LAUGH]. We do like it to, we do like to hear what you guys have to say and what questions you have and so on. So, let us know. And that can be Twitter, Facebook, tool of your choice, right?

John Williams: So, you talking to the insiders, or you talking to everybody in the whole world?

Paula Williams: Everybody in the whole world. We actually respond to that hashtag from anybody.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: Okay? All right, so what does this pin mean? You may have seen this running around NBAA and other places.

There are very few people in the world that wear this pin.

John Williams: I would say less than 1%. [LAUGH]

The Insider Circle - Breakfast at NBAA!

Paula Williams, Shane Ballman, Kasey Dixon, Bryan Pilcher, Lillian Tamm, Jonathan Wenrich, and Katherine Creedy – Insider Circle Breakfast at #NBAA16

Paula Williams: Less than 1% [LAUGH] of the people in the world. Actually, less than 1% of the population of NBAA, and very possibly, I really don’t know what percentage it would be.

But anyway, a very small number of very special people get to witness him. So, what does it mean? And what is the insider’s circle?

John Williams: I think, maybe, you’re going to tell us.

Paula Williams: Maybe, okay, well, the insider’s circle is our tribe of current clients. And we’re lucky enough to work with people who care about the aviation industry and about each other.

So, we’ve provided a set of resources to help our insiders help themselves and help each other. And also, to be able to recognize each other when they see them, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, that’s the purpose of the pin. So, the insiders circle mission is to help aviation inside industry professionals achieve success by selling more of their products and services, and to become the leader of their respective niche or specialties.

So, whether that’s charter, or flight schools, or software, or whatever that is. We want them to, we want to do everything we can to help them be the best one in that corner of the aviation industry, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Aviation Sales and Marketing Insider Circle - Join Us!Paula Williams: All right. So, the Insiders Circle is not for everybody.

In fact ,we anticipate that only 1% of the sales and marketing professionals in the industry will ever be part of this group. We’re very particular about who we get to work with. We are lucky enough to be in a situation where we get to choose our clients, and our clients choose us.

We tend to attract people who like the collaboration, and who like the camaraderie, and who like each other.

John Williams: And don’t like Madison Avenue techniques.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, exactly. So, it works really well for everyone, I think. So, part of what we do is we try to manage the fire hose of information, there’s way too much information about sales and marketing on the web.

A lot of it is good, some of it is garbage. Some of it will do you more harm than good. So, what we try to do filter that through each other, talk about the different books that are on the market. We talk about the different things that we see on the web.

Different techniques that we’ve tried and failed. Different techniques that we’ve tried and succeeded. So, it really helps so that we don’t all have to reinvent the wheel or reinvent hot water every time.

John Williams: And just because a technique fails, doesn’t mean we don’t very carefully try it again in the future.


Paula Williams: Exactly. [LAUGH] It could have failed for any number of reasons, so we usually try more than once before we give up on something. Okay, so, we do have a new here section in the insider’s circle that really goes through the basics of what this involves and what this means and really helps people get up to speed.

But one of the first things that people see is the Marketing Insiders’ Manifsesto, and I’m not going to go through all of the items on this, but basically, it’s really the difference between aviation marketing and retail marketing. Getting Madison Avenue, the Coke’s and Pepsi’s of the world. There’s a lot of things that are different about aviation marketing that we have found since we’ve worked in other places in the world, Fortune 50s and the finance industry, technology industry, education industry and so on.

There’s things are different about aviation, right, John?

John Williams: Completely different.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so, the manifesto is really the things that we have just found that make the biggest difference .So if you remember ten things. If we were to distill everything that we learn and teach into ten things, this is as close as we can come.

John Williams: Let’s hope that it’s spelled correctly on our website. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Of course it’s spelled correctly on the website.

John Williams: Not there. [LAUGH] See? It’s early in the morning, I tell you.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: [COUGH]

Paula Williams: So, we’re just going to talk about the first one today, and that is Don’t Succumb to Random Acts of Marketing.

This is something that we’ve seen a lot in the aviation industry, right John?

John Williams: Yes [COUGH] yes, excuse me.

Paula Williams: So, what we mean by that is people tend to-

Paula Williams: Default to the easiest way to market their product or service in the aviation industry.

John Williams: They’re this phantom thing out there that call the easy button, and they think they’ve got it and they push it and then that doesn’t work.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: That’s because it’s not really there.

Paula Williams: All right. So, some advertising sales person calls them and says, let’s run a full page ad in our magazine, and we’ll give you a really great rate, and they think that’s fantastic. Let’s just do that. But they don’t think through who exactly are they trying to reach?

They don’t go through the process of thinking through their campaign, the list, the offer, the presentation. They don’t go through the, what happens when people see this ad, what do they do next? And am I ready for that, and do I have an outline for the person who answers the phone so they know exactly what to make that person do next to maximize that investment?

John Williams: And some don’t even do that analysis of the demographics that the particular magazine or other product is aimed toward.

Paula Williams: Right, so, there’s so many people that will do either a postcard blast, or email blast, or a big ad, or an appearance in a trade show without really thinking it through, and then they get nothing out of the deal.

And they get really frustrated, and they say, this marketing is complete crap. This doesn’t work.

John Williams: Well, and it is if you execute it in correctly.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So, we really want to save our folks from random acts of marketing, and make sure everything that they do is thought out well and has the best possible chance of working, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, the very best value I think that comes from the insider’s circle is really the office hours. This is the cheapest way to get custom consulting on your products, or on your projects, excuse me. So, if you decide you want to run an ad or something like that, you can schedule an office hour with us and we’ll work through the list, the offer, the presentation, the demographics of who you’re trying to reach.

All of those things, the next steps from the ad. What should the call to action be? Can you set an outline for the people answering the phone so that they make the most out of that opportunity? All of those things are things that we can help you with.

Or, if you want to look at your website and say, why am I not getting enough traffic? Or whatever situation you have, those office hours are for you. So, you get to set the agenda, and we will help you with anything [LAUGH] In the marketing realm for an hour.


John Williams: Even if you want to figure out how to determine what you get out of a particular campaign or ad.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so, some ideas and examples of how you can use your office hours are to help us, ask us to help you set up smart marketing goals, use us as your accountability partners, you can let us interview you and record it for your blog or about us page.

A lot of times, those audio or video work better than text. Ask us for assistance with your marketing campaigns. Ask us to troubleshoot problems with the campaign or sales process. Have us review an ad or document or a webpage. Have us evaluate a competitor that’s doing something sneaky or nasty or otherwise [LAUGH] causing you problems and help you come up with a strategy.

We also do roleplaying for an upcoming sales call or presentation with us. John makes a really, really good skeptical customer, so if you can do a practice call with him, and you’re set for just about anybody in the industry probably.

John Williams: I’m that bad?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That good actually.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: But yeah, it’s really one of our favorite features that the, of the Insider’s Circle, because we get to know our members really well, and get to know their scenarios, their issues, their priorities and everything else. Okay, so the VIP lounge is actually a private Facebook page that is exclusive to insider members.

And insiders can get and give advice about their current projects, they can network, they can find resources, find buyers and sellers for things that they need. Things that you can do on the Facebook group are just share news and successes. We always like to celebrate those kinds of things.

Use the insiders as your accountability partners for your goals and objectives. Say I’m going to get this done by Friday, and I will post it when I get it done. Then everybody will cheer for you or give you crap if you [LAUGH] don’t do what you say you’re going to do.

Ask the insiders for simple feedback, do you prefer version a or version b? Or how would you improve this ad or this piece? You can also share interesting techniques that you’ve come across or used or ask a question. Has anybody tried this? What results did you get? And the Law of Reciprocity definitely applies here.

The more good ideas and advice you share, the more good ideas and advice you get. We’ve been really proud of the caliber people that are in this group and the help that they give each other is really, really something else. Okay, so, we also have a briefing room.

And this is online. This is for if you can’t make it to one of our live webinars or live events, we put recordings in the briefing room. So, if you need a briefing on how to figure out your Google Analytics, we just put a new webinar out there yesterday.

John Williams: [LAUGH] And then guess what? The next day, Google changed their algorithm.

Paula Williams: No kidding? Exactly, but if you want to know how to use LinkedIn for prospecting, if you want to know how to set up for a trade show, all of those things are different modules that we have in the briefing room where you can find a recording on exactly what you need right now.

Or maybe you came to the webinar six months ago, and you just want to remember what we said, right?

John Williams: Uh-huh.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, okay. Another thing we have are destinations, and this is like charter flights where you want to not fly yourself. You just want to sit in the back and have somebody else do the work for you.

[LAUGH] These are things that we do for you, maybe setting up your digital marketing, or doing your search up engine optimization, or working with you for virtual marketing and other kinds of things. So, our insiders get priority scheduling, and often get special pricing products and services. And we do that because we like working with people we already know.

We already know your business, we already know something about your customers and your products and other kinds of things. So, it saves us a lot of time, which is why we give you guys priority [LAUGH] if you’re an insider. So, that’s our destination section. It’s a special page on our products page where you get to see some special pricing and priority scheduling for you guys.

Projects, once we have something started, or if you want to see a recording of your office hours and the notes from your office hours, you could go to projects and we use a collaboration software called base camp three, which is actually kinda cool. If you click on this in the insiders page, it’ll take you right to base camp three where you can log in and see the files, see the recordings, see the schedule for what’s coming up next, see the to-dos for any projects that we’re working on together, what do we need to do next, what you need to do next, any notes that we’ve shared, why are we putting those things together and so on.

John Williams: Fairly comprehensive approach to getting your stuff done.

Paula Williams: Exactly, yeah, we really like, well, I really like base count three, I don’t know how you feel about it.

John Williams: Well, let’s just say we have an agreement.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] What’s that?

John Williams: I [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] actually, the input’s easy.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh.

John Williams: It’s, I have issues with some of the other parts of it.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly.

John Williams: That’s just me.

Paula Williams: Technology, gotta love it, right? Okay, so, the Hall of Fame. We interview each of our members and create a highlight page so that members can get to know each other better.

Give and get referrals, link to their pages for search engine optimization, it’s always good to have a page with a good Alexa rank like the ABCI page linked to your website, so that you get the Google juice [LAUGH] is what they call it.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Out of the deal.

And then we also put in your contact information to your LinkedIn page, your phone number, whatever it is that your preference is for having people contact you. So obviously, we’ve got the coolest people in sales and marketing in the aviation industry. And we like to have them associate with each other as much as possible, because that’s good for you, and that’s good for us, quite frankly.

The more we all know about marketing, the better we all do, the more money you guys have to spend on marketing. [LAUGH] And really, we do enjoy seeing the successes of our clients as well, so that’s a wonderful thing. The book club, this is kinda my favorite thing, being a nerd like I am.

Usually the first Wednesday of each month, we talk about the book that we read during the last month. And there are a lot of great books out there, that most of them assume that they are retail business to consumer environment, in a large company with a large sales and marketing department.

And frankly, aviation is not like that, we’re usually smaller companies, we have fewer sales, but we have larger ticket sales, we have more complex sales. [LAUGH] There’s a lot of things that are different. So, we can adapt the great ideas from the marketplace and learn from each other about what really works in the aviation industry.

And we invite our members to join us for these book club discussions. Some people like to just read the books and not participate in the discussions. Some people just like to scan through the books using the bookmarks that we use. We actually put bookmarks in the books so that you can quickly identify the bits and pieces that we think are the most helpful for you.

We know you’re busy, but we also think that reading one book a month doesn’t hurt. It certainly can help.

John Williams: One book a month, with respect to marketing.

Paula Williams: One book a month, yeah, with respect to marketing is important as that is. So, book club participants get to introduce themselves and their product or service at the beginning and the end of the program.

And the discussion is broadcast in our podcast and on our blog. So, it’s a nice opportunity to get an introduction, you can do a really brief 30 second pitch for your product or services in these book club discussions, and it’s a great way to let people know who you are and get them familiar with your opinions, your philosophy and your voice, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: All right, so, if you’re not currently a member, you are probably wondering how much does this cost? [LAUGH] And we’ve got a few options here. In our advanced, membership is $79 a month. That does not include the office hours. That’s probably the biggest difference between our levels, but you do get the NetworkingFacebook group, you get the Members-Only Webinars, and the Recordings & Handouts, but you get those online only.

So, this is a great option if you’re overseas, maybe. And you don’t necessarily want to hassle with having things mailed to you, and you want a really low cost option for getting involved with our group and having access to those conversations. Silver is much better, because you do get those office hours, it’s only $200 more, but there is no other way that you can get custom marketing consulting for $200 a month that I know of.

John Williams: Nope.

Paula Williams: At least not from someone that specializes in aviation, so that’s one of the best deals that we have. You also get the book of the month mailed to you with those bookmarks that we talked about, and you also get copies of our webinars, you get the slides, and the handouts and the recordings on CD mailed to you every month.

So, this is kind of our executive program that really makes things easier for you. We really do everything we can to make things easy for our silver members. And then gold members have, also, custom training. So, if you want us to deliver a specific version of our Google Analytics training that we did last week, we would use your website and your Google Analytics to create that webinar and deliver that to your team if you’re in the gold program.

So, it really customizes, it really uses the tools that you use, uses the examples that you use, let’s you ask a lot more questions and so on, and really customizes that to your organization. So, if you’re in an organization with three or five or ten people in your sales and marketing department, and you want custom training and other kinds of things, then the gold program is perfect for you, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, great. So, that’s the Insider’s Circle, we really look forward to talking with you more about that if it’s something that you’re interested in. And in the meantime-

John Williams: [LAUGH]
Go sell more stuff. Zig Ziglar once said that, and of course, America needs the business.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and do subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Stitcher or Google Play [LAUGH] Google Play, and subscribe to whatever service is your favorite. And please do leave us a rating. That really helps us know what we’re doing right, what we should be doing differently, what you’d like to hear more or less of and so on.

So, have a great week.

John Williams: See you all later. Ciao.



AMHF 0055 – Book Club – Even a Geek Can Speak

John and I discuss the latest book club selection – a book written by a lawyer specializing in complex industries who tells us how we can explain things much more simply and powerfully, even if we’re “geeks” and not born speakers.


Transcript –  Book Club Discussion

book-club-discussion-even-a-geek-can-speak-002Paula Williams: This month, our Book Club Discussion was Even a Geek can Speak which was a fairly easy book, you think John?

John Williams: Yeah, I mean it might not have too easy for a true geek.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: But for anybody that’s done any talking in groups or so forth, there was sort of pleasant reminder.

Paula Williams: Great but given a lot of the speeches that I have heard in the aviation industry I think this was not too far over the heads of the people involved, what do you think?

John Williams: No, it’s.

John Williams: I mean you hit all the sail and flights because you don’t do this stuff, it ain’t going to work.

Paula Williams: Exactly so, very elementary but I think very much needed. And part of the reason we chose this book was because in the aviation industry we run into a lot of our clients and a lot of other people who are so involved with their product or service.

That they don’t realized how specialized their knowledge or their information is, right?

John Williams: Yes, they don’t and even though this may have been to you and less so to me elementary it’s good stuff to know and it works. Because the whole idea is to simplify and be pointed.

Paula Williams: Right and a lot of people are afraid to simplify because they feel like this is their opportunity to really show their knowledge. But I think we found that the more people simplify the better they do with their sales presentations and with public speaking and everything else, right?

John Williams: You bet.

Paula Williams: All right, okay, so let’s dive in. First thing, the Message Objective. I think if people did just this one thing and there are so many speeches that I listened to at the MBAA education sessions and sales presentations. And other kinds of things where they had no idea, what their message objective was, they just start talking.

And I think that’s just crazy.

John Williams: Yep, you gotta simplify and point it to what’s in it for the guy that’s actually listening to you.

Paula Williams: Exactly and I think that’s really the key point is that if you figure out your message objective beforehand. It kind of forces you to put yourself in the other guy’s shoes and say, here’s the other guys perspective, here’s what he’s interested in.

And here’s what I need to communicate, as opposed to just here’s what I want to say which is a totally different thing.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Great, so how do you do that, I know you do a lot of talking with folks at least one on one if not in multiples and so on.

But when you have to do this do you write it out, do you think it out, do you at least spend a few minutes or what’s your process?

John Williams: I think it through.

Paula Williams: You think it through?

John Williams: I know what the topic is, I know what I want them to get out of it and so I just take that.

Paula Williams: Right, great, that makes-

John Williams: And everything else is just filler and trying to massage it in so they get that.

Paula Williams: Exactly and I think some of the outlines in the book for a message objective are pretty good exercises to think through. And I know this sounds so elementary but there are so few people that actually do it.

[LAUGH] And it’s so much more effective if you do. I think it’s definitely worth taking five minutes or ten minutes or 15 minutes ahead of any phone conversation or anything else just to do this.

John Williams: Well people, I’m going to say something that’s going to really irritate some people but

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: People don’t know how to think logically

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Hold that thought, when it comes to speaking.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: They can think logically when they’re running or designing a program or coding a program or doing almost anything. But when it comes to relating a thought to another person somehow the objectivity and the logic escapes a lot of people.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I think sometimes that has to do with either being nervous or concerned about sounding rehearsed. So they avoid thinking about the discussion until they’re in the middle of it. And then all of a sudden they’re just kind of winging it and not doing a very good job.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Yeah, one thing that’s not part of the reason we put together our sales call checklist. Which is kind of forces you to think through some of these things which is basically a message objective. Here’s what we want to talk with you about here’s why and here’s how it’s a benefit to you.

And all that logic is kinda built into that checklist so that’s one way to do it on the phone.

John Williams: Yes, it is.

Paula Williams: All right, cool so, next point in the book was there are Dozens of Reasons to Limit Your Presentation to Three Points. I think this goes back to fourth grade English composition, right?

Where we’d used to do papers with an introduction, three points, and a conclusion and-

John Williams: Well, it goes beyond that, if you ever read anything on the power of three.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: But three points is about all you’re going to get across. And this says presentation but you can get three bullets on each slide if you’re good.

You can talk to them and have that build into something if you have done it once or twice.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: But no more than three bullets on a page, that’s just crazy.

Paula Williams: And I think really three main points to an entire presentation cuz if you listen to a lot of the Ted talks and other things.

They really don’t try to convey too much information because if people can walk away knowing three things that they didn’t know before. That are useful, powerful and helpful that’s a thousand times better then, coming away with a thousand things that they’re not going to remember. And that aren’t useful, powerful or helpful, right?

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: So yeah, I like his-

John Williams: If you can have a presentation 60 slides long.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: And have only three main points.

Paula Williams: Yep.

John Williams: But each slide cannot have more than three bullets but it can have, you have sub-issues all the way down through that.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: It just support the three main points.

Paula Williams: Exactly, that is absolutely true. And I think all three points have to support your message objective or you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. Then you really or making things too complicated. And we have never gone wrong with having a client simplify a presentation whether that’s a brochure or a presentation or a one-hour sales PowerPoint or whatever form that takes, right?

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I think people tend to way overcomplicate things. The other thing, I think, is if you try for two or one, people don’t feel like they’re quite convinced of whatever your message objective is. But three is a good number. And tell me why three is a good number?

You said the power of three. Is that something you’ve read or?

John Williams: That’s a whole different discussion, but it’s something that most people should read about. And this is back from the days of Michelangelo and all those other guys. They are big believers in powers of three, and you can see it in everything they’ve done.

Paula Williams: True.

John Williams: I’m not quite sure I recall why it’s such a big deal, but it is.

Paula Williams: Okay [LAUGH] it works. I guess we don’t have to know how a cell phone works to use it. You don’t have to know how some of this stuff works in order to make it work for you.

Okay, so what’s your favorite hook technique?

John Williams: Come across with a quick joke, a product thing kind of like that approach. Cuz it wakes people up, makes them laugh, and then they start, that gives you about seven seconds to sell the next line.

Paula Williams: That’s true. That is true.

I actually like a story better. I think Paul Harvey had a fantastic hook. He would always tell the beginning of a story, and then tell you all of this other stuff, and then make you wait until the very end for the rest of the story. And I think what that does is, number one, it captures your attention because people are kind of automatically wired to listen to stories.

And the other thing is, it promises something. If you stay through this entire hour, then I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. [LAUGH] And then, you’ll understand. And then you put the pieces together. And people, in their thinking, they don’t like open loops. And so, they will stay until the end of even a very bad movie to see how it ends.

And I think if you can open a loop at the beginning of a presentation and not close it until the very end, I think that’s a great way to set the hook.

John Williams: Cool.

Paula Williams: Yeah, you liked Paul Harvey, didn’t you?

John Williams: Yes. I listened to him almost every day when I was growing up.

Paula Williams: Great, exactly. And then a lot of the TED talks are, I’m going to say, following the same structure in the sense that you start with a surprising opening to a story, and then you don’t tell them how you got to that point until the very end. And I think that’s a really-

John Williams: Well, what he did is he would tell you what you thought would be the entire story. But he made it sound like that was it.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And then, after everything else is done, in the last, I don’t know, minute, his broadcast, he would say now for the rest of the story.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. But he had the implied hook, because that was the structure of these whole shows. So you knew that was coming, so you had to stay till the end.

John Williams: After the first time, yes, you knew.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, and you can do that even in an educational presentation where you begin with, here I was in that situation, and then let me tell you how I got here.

And then, tell the rest of the story throughout the presentation. And end up by wrapping it up in a nice little package, and making people feel really satisfied at the end when they know the whole thing.

John Williams: There I was at flight level 320, total electrical failure, was flying straight and level, no control over the flaps, no control over the engines.

Paula Williams: When all of a sudden. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: Right, and then carry through with that story. And then you can tell them all the technical details and everything else and then come back to wrapping up the story. I think that’s great. But anyway, that’s [CROSSTALK]

John Williams: Had a total electrical failure, knows the implications of that.

Paula Williams: Right. Not-

John Williams: Well, anyway.

Paula Williams: A good day. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Especially if you’re in the clouds on an approach. Been there, done that.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, okay. So that’s a good hook. Let’s see, the other thing. He did say, and I think I totally agree with him. Beginning with an introduction, this is who I am.

Nobody cares who you are. [LAUGH]

John Williams: [INAUDIBLE] They already know that. That’s why they’re there to listen to you.

Paula Williams: Yeah, if they’re there for you, then, of course, they already know who you are. If they’re there for the topic, they don’t care who you are. They care about the topic.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: So, in either case, the introduction is either unnecessary or not helpful. So we can skip that whole thing, and go to something much more interesting, like a story or a joke, or whatever you think you can do.

John Williams: And if you’ve been introducing, look at everybody, say, well, that takes care of the introduction.

And go right on.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly, exactly. By the end, they will either know who you are or-

John Williams: Won’t care. [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. Okay, visuals. Avoiding death by PowerPoint. I know the military is probably the worst offender, or the Department of Defense, anyway, is the worst offender with this because they do death by PowerPoint as almost a, is that a policy, or is it just the way everybody does everything?

John Williams: It’s not a policy, but I think people are afraid of saying something. That is because you don’t want questions at a military briefing.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: Because then you’re not prepared for any possible question. You’re supposed to be, but somebody’s always going to ask something that, crap, I didn’t think about that.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Rather than they read. They’ve read the thing. They have paragraphs on those things. I never did. And I have the occasional question, and I would have back up slides just in the event of that. But I try to do it cuz I just want to stand up and scream about you idiots.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: I mean, you just, you almost can’t sit still when somebody is reading that stuff. Do you think I can’t read?

Paula Williams: Right. Well, and it’s, I guess part of the impetus to do that is because you want people to be able to print the slides and have everything in front of them.

And have everything super clear. But there’s no point in doing a PowerPoint that way. You can always print handouts that have all of the facts and data, and relevant stuff. No matter how technical a presentation gets, you don’t have to put all that data on the slides, because people can’t absorb that on a screen.

Whether it’s a computer screen or on the wall, people’s retention goes way down versus having a piece of paper in their hands. And that’s just one of those things about people’s brains.

John Williams: Well, they printed out the PowerPoints. They gave a copy to everybody. Then they read it.

Paula Williams: Man.

John Williams: Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

Paula Williams: See, yeah, and you can have printed as dense as you need to. And, of course, some things do need to get complex, and need to get technical. And that’s fine. But you don’t have to put all that data on the wall because people just can’t absorb it that way.

So you could put something simplified If you have a chart or a graph, you only want to communicate one piece of data at a time with a chart or a graph. All of those things that we’ve talked about in our other podcast. People remember pictures much better than they remember words.

So if you can use pictures as opposed to words, that’s much much better.

John Williams: Well they do that on the other side cause I remember being in, let me just say I’ve been in high level meetings where you have the five by six foot screens in the room, three of them.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: One of them is live in some country, one of them is live in another country, one of them is live right here.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: So, you see what they’re talking about as they’re dodging ordinance or whatever.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: You can see the aircraft, you can see the guys, you see all that stuff live.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: That makes the guy that has to get a PowerPoint even smaller.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: If he does it wrong.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly.

John Williams: Yeah, pictures you just can’t out do those.

Paula Williams: Right, and I think part of the reason that PowerPoints are so bad in the aviation industry, or tend to be so bad is because a lot of folks come from the military.

And so that’s where they learned how to do this. Or they come from a very technical background, and so that’s where they learned how to do this. And then they tried to do a sales presentation and they tried to do it the same and they find about losing people.

And they don’t know why because they’re giving them more data and they think, well, what I need to do is just provide more data and I will be more convincing. And that’s the opposite is actually true. You’re giving people way too much data to process and you’re really familiar with it but other people are not.

John Williams: Yeah, you need to memorize, and then if anybody has got a question, dive into that point. But aside from that summaries are great.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. Yep, think executive summary, [LAUGH] not overload.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: And to the same point, jargon.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah jargon gets pretty bad.

I mean I worked in IT for a bunch of years and I got to the point where I knew what the jargon meant, I knew what they were talking about, but I forgot what the letters stood for in words. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Right, [LAUGH] and aviation is full of jargon and acronyms and things like that, which is fine.

But some of our customers, especially for charter organizations, flight schools, things like that, they are not insiders in the industry yet, the people that we’re trying to sell to. So we really need to back off and very carefully consider all of the words that we’re using because we don’t want to be losing people.

They’re not going to tell us. They don’t understand that word. They’re not going to stop us and say, now wait just a minute. What does that mean? They’re just going to tune out.

John Williams: Yup, absolutely.

Paula Williams: I think a lot of sales people throw in a lot of jargon because they want to sound like insiders.

John Williams: They know what they’re talking about.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and they want to sound cool and they want to use all of the, like in Top Gun. There’s a lot of jargon in that movie and then everybody started talking like that for awhile and which is fine. But it’s not the most effective way to talk to people who are not in the industry.

Especially C level executives and other folks. You have to remember, these folks have a lot more going in their day and in their world than your specialized topic. So, it’s not dumbing things down, to to simplify. It’s actually showing some respect for, for people for whom this is not their daily business.

And that’s why they couldn’t-

John Williams: Expect for their intelligence and their time.

Paula Williams: Yeah, exactly. That is absolutely right. Jargon is usually a bad thing and anytime you can simplify that, that’s a good thing. Even people in the industry don’t mind hearing the whole word as opposed to the acronym, and I don’t think that decreases your effectiveness, even with insiders.

And it sure as heck helps with people who are not insiders.

John Williams: There are ADSB, you need to say that once, but after that, you don’t want to say it again because it’s just too long.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Or whatever you [INAUDIBLE] talk about.

Paula Williams: That’s true. Yeah, you want to explain what it is at the beginning of the presentation, especially if you’re talking to people who are not familiar with it.

And then refer to it as safety standards, or whatever it is you want to refer to it as. You don’t necessarily need to be using that acronym over and over again.

Paula Williams: Okay, so the pause.

Paula Williams: This is one I’m not very good at. [LAUGH]

John Williams: [LAUGH] But it’s really easy I mean you could, you could pause in a discussion.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And people, you will think that you must have paused for five minutes you look like a fool.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: In reality, if you pause for more than about three seconds it’s surprising because your mind speeds up to accommodate and you’re used to speaking like I am at about 130 to 140 words a minute.

You pause and nobody thinks a big deal out of it except you.

Paula Williams: Right, this is actually easier when you’re in front of an audience. Then you can just wait until everybody looks up. So you’ve got instant reaction and instant gratification from a live audience. And you can see-

John Williams: It was really driven home to me in business school. Because they made us do speeches in front of a TV camera and record everything and played it back to class.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm, right.

John Williams: And I had so many pauses in there and I thought, boy, am I going to look like an idiot.

Well, nobody even noticed.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And I thought, really? Wow!

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]
Time speeds up for you when you’re speaking. So the pause isn’t really that long, but I really like doing that in a live situation because then you can see the reaction and you know exactly what’s going on.

On the phone, or on a go-to meeting it’s a little harder because people don’t know if they dropped [LAUGH]
or if It’s time to jump in or you know whatever the situation is. But in person it’s really, really effective.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: Okay. You look maaahvelous. [LAUGH]
Okay, you don’t have to be a ten, you don’t have to be Cary Grant or Marilyn Monroe in order to give an effective presentation.

But it certainly can help if you are not distracting by having crazy hair or mismatched shoes or whatever. Unless that’s the impression that you want to give.

John Williams: You should dress for the audience.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh.

John Williams: Unless you’re trying to show what a fool you look like, then do that.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, well and there’s There’s reasons to dress differently and to get attention, I mean Of course.

John Williams: Sure.

Paula Williams: Steve Jobs had his turtleneck, his black turtleneck. He always did product launches and things like that in a black turtleneck. And that was his thing and everybody expected it and it was very effective for him.

But still, it was very simple, very clean. [COUGH] Excuse me. Kind of professional. The casual side of professional, but very simple, wanted to put the emphasis on the product that he was demonstrating. And I think we want to do the same thing. We want to put the emphasis on the message that we’re speaking.

So if we are dressed in a way to kind of downplay, don’t look at me but listen to what I’m saying. I think that helps a lot.

John Williams: There some people who can really pull off different modes of dress. In business school, we had a lady come in.

She was actually working as the marketing person. Harley Davidson hired her to have specific things, and it was basically to go out and figure out what everybody knew and what everybody liked about bikes. And had to be able to sell to everything from Hell’s Angels, up to the C level people.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: So she came in to give us a talk, and she came in, I mean $1,500 suit, shoes. The epitome of the perfect executive dress. And she started talking, as she talked, she started taking off clothes.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Everybody’s going wooo.

Paula Williams: That got everybody’s attention.

John Williams: I mean she had it all figured out. And she took all of her clothes off, and wow, I mean not all of her clothes off. But she undressed to a point and dressed back up with some stuff she brought in. And when she finished she looked like a biker chick that shouldn’t have been in there.

And she was still giving the presentation. And going through and explaining how she did what she did. And then she took those clothes off and put her executive suit back on to finish up the presentation. Most impressive.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: So you could pull off, to do that, I’m quite sure she did quite a bit of practice in front of a mirror.

Paula Williams: I’m sure. Yeah that is something you wouldn’t do unless the clothing was part of the point that you were making.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: And for her it was, which was great.

John Williams: Yep, but anyway-

Paula Williams: Another-

John Williams: You have to look

John Williams: And you have to pause.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]
Another person that’s really great at that is Lee Milteer. She talks about wardrobing or costuming as if she were a stage director for just about everything she does. She’s a speaker that does a number of different types of presentation. She does some for very sophisticated business groups and others for more new age kind of airy fairy kind of groups, some things like that.

And she is very good at dressing for the point that she wants to make. And she actually explains this in one of the classes that we went to. She talks about how what you wear is 80% of what you are saying. Or 80% of what people understand about the point that you’re making.

So the visual communication is very important. And there’s no such thing as dressing in a neutral way. Everything that you wear conveys a message of one kind or another. And, so I thought that was a really great example of that as well.

John Williams: Right, next? [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Okay, Schmoozing for Geeks.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: I learned this as FORM, Family Occupation and Recreation Admission. Joey Asher has kind of a different acronym, EIO. And what does EIO stand for?

John Williams: I don’t remember. Basically, just ask questions.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: You just ask questions to whoever you’re talking to and draw them out.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: If FORM works for you, EIO works for this guy. You can get it down to, what’s your opinion. Everybody’s got one of those.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. Form, you know Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Mission. None of that is politics, none of that is religion, they’re all safe topics.

And it just gives you an easy way to remember. No matter what’s going on in a networking event, I can always come up with a topic that is safe to talk about and easy to slide into. Because if somebody’s wearing a wedding ring, you can ask them about their family.

That’s fairly simple. If somebody has a pin, that’s a lapel pin, that’s a specific Rotary or Kiwanis or Lions or whatever, that’s obviously a mission that they feel strongly about. Recreation, you can usually tell by if they’re wearing a Harley Davidson watch or something along those lines. There’s lots of clues that you can use.

In one of our podcasts, we talked about being Sherlock Holmes. If you look at any individual human being, you can tell something about their family, occupation, recreation, or mission by looking at them. And then that’s usually something that you can open a conversation with. Most people are wearing a conversation piece of some kind to a networking event.

And you can do that too, you can wear a conversation piece that makes it easier for people to talk to you and it makes you more approachable.

John Williams: And this one is I think the EIO is actually experience, interest, and opinion.

Paula Williams: Experience interest and opinion, okay. Yeah, that’s good too.

So whichever is easier for you to remember. As long as you’ve got an acronym in your head. [LAUGH] We were talking about acronyms. That you take into a networking event. You never run out of things to talk about.

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: Cool, all right, so next month we’re actually talking about analytics, and I will add this slide in later.


John Williams: [LAUGH] Yes, you will, cuz that one isn’t right.

Paula Williams: Exactly because, and next month is going to be a lot harder, so it’ll be a nice balance. But, thank you for joining us today. America needs the business.

John Williams: Zig Ziglar said that, a while back.

Paula Williams: Yep, go sell more stuff.

America needs the business.

John Williams: And it’s still good to this day.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. Great. Well have a lovely afternoon and we will see you next week.

John Williams: Ciao.



AMHF 0050 – Power Prospecting – Aviation Marketing Book Club Discussion

Power Prospecting- Cold Calling Strategies for Modern Day Salespeople

Kathryn Creedy of Communication Strategies, Lillian Tamm of Avicor Aviation, John Williams and Paula Williams of ABCI discuss Patrick Henry Hansen’s book, Power Prospecting, from the point of view of aviation sales and marketing professionals.  What was useful? What was not quite so relevant?

Paula Williams: So, Welcome to our book club discussion. This week we’re talking about Power Prospecting, by Patrick Henry Hansen. Which is kind of a different book than what we usually go in for. But it was highly recommended to us. He’s a local guy, here in Salt Lake, and we thought we’d give it a shot.

I’m Paula Williams, with ABCI. I’m the facilitator and I run the company, [LAUGH] with John. And John, you are?

John Williams: Hi, I’m John Williams and I work for her.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

Aviation Sales and Marketing Insider Circle - Join Us!John Williams: Well, I do, don’t laugh. It’s her company, and I help with all the back-end stuff. She’s the out-front person.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, and Kathryn?

Kathryn Creedy: Hello, I’m Kathryn Creedy, I’m communication strategies, copyrighting, public relations strategizing, and social media.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, and Lillian?

John Williams: I’m Lillian Tamm. I’m with Avicor Aviation.

We do evaluations of aviation businesses and different kinds of consulting to the aviation industry. Industry research and things like.

Paula Williams: Fantastic. I think this is the first book club we’ve ever done. Our first podcast, or webinar, we have ever done where we had a majority of women. So we’re breaking new ground today.

John Williams: I could leave.

Paula Williams: Not at all, it’s just fine. You can be here. We like having you, John.

First of all, I just wanted to kind of get your thoughts on what you thought of the book, in general, before we jump into it. What did you think John?

John Williams: I think the thing that hit me most was his thoughts on courage.

Paula Williams: Yeah?

John Williams: Not the absence of fear.

It’s the mastery of fear. Because it’s everywhere, and cold-calling just exemplifies it. That’s why, he says and I agree, that most people don’t do that.

Paula Williams: Because they don’t have the courage, right?

John Williams: Yeah, they’re afraid.

Paula Williams: Yeah, absolutely. What did you think?

Kathryn Creedy: I thought, on the cold-calling, having a strategy around the cold-calling.

That’s something I’ve done for awhile. Name, phone number, state your business, tell him what you going to do. I.e., call me back, or I’ll follow up with an email, or follow up with a phone call at such-in-such a time. If that’s not convenient, you set the time. I thought that was a really, really, really, good strategy.

Paula Williams: Fantastic, great.

Kathryn Creedy: [CROSSTALK] you’re organized.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and that’s so impressive. I mean, everybody that we get cold-calls from is not organized. So I think that makes a big difference. Lillian, how about you?

Lillian Tamm: It was kind of interesting for me. Because, in doing the type of consulting that we’ve done, we’ve never cold-called.

We’ve done the odd thing, but it’s never been a big portion of it. Because we do evaluations, it tends to be something that people call us for. Because they don’t even think of it. It’s not something that people tend to do unless they’ve got a reason for it.

And that reason isn’t something that they think about way ahead of time, typically.

Lillian Tamm: A lot of the principle I sort of knew, but it was interesting to read a whole  book about it.

Paula Williams: Manual versus electronic CRM. I have an opinion on this, but I’ve shared way plenty so I’ll keep my mouth shut.


John Williams: [LAUGH] Well, having used both, I can tell you electronic CRM is one great, big advantage to anything you do, with having to do with sales. Particularly today. It wouldn’t have done you much good 30 years ago, but today-

Paula Williams: Right?

Kathryn Creedy: I don’t really having opinion on it, so I’ll pass.

Paula Williams: Okay, that’s fair.

Lillian Tamm: I think electronic makes most sense, no question. Not that I’ve actually implemented it, but I do think that-


Paula Williams: There is a difference. If you’re a broker or somebody like that. And you have got only ten prospects that you need to keep track of at any given time.

I suppose, you probably could do that with a spreadsheet just as easily. But most of us want to keep track of people over five, ten, 15 years. And the only way to do that, in my opinion, is electronically. Nobody has that kind of time to do that any other way.

So I did end up sharing my opinion, so there you go. The next big thing was, what goes into an ideal customer profile? I thought this was really helpful. I actually did one for us. John, what do you think? These are the ones that were in the example in the book, of course.

Why is this important?


John Williams: Then there’d have to be demographic information on your particular customer you’re looking for.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: More importantly, I think it helps you organize your thoughts about what you can do for them to help grow their business. Basically, again, this goes back to organization.

Who are these people and why do you want to do business with them? And why should they want to do business with you? All of those organizing all those thoughts I think is very important going in. And scripting it is equally important, as Patrick Hanson said.

Paula Williams: And Kathryn, when you and I start working with a client, Kathryn writes for us, for a lot of our clients.

And she really needs to know, or you really need to know the ideal customer profile, because you need to know who you are trying to attract with your writing.

Kathryn Creedy: Absolutely, target audience, I do these little exercises a lot. What is your target audience, who do you want to reach?

And I find that a lot of people don’t have that organized in their head. They kind of say, well, I want to reach flight schools or I want to reach students. But they don’t say what specifically what organizations they want to reach.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Or they may even want to say, I want this particular section of the country.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah.

John Williams: And that’s cool, but that needs to be narrowed down.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah, yeah. And if they can’t define it, then they aren’t very organized. And you need to help them, or we need to help them organize those thoughts. Ask the right questions so that they can get to their ideal customer, their target audience or whatever.

Paula Williams: And the more specific this is, the more effective it is in terms of writing or any other kind of marketing. Lillian, how about you? How has this worked for you, or have you thought about it in your business?

Lillian Tamm: We have done that to a degree. Because there are some companies that just aren’t ready or suitable for some of the things that we do.

But reading this helped to focus it a bit to the next level, if you will. And I think that, I mean it’s one of those type of things. I mean, my background was in business administration, economics, that kind of stuff, when I went to school. And I remember a lot of the marketing classes talking about you’ve always got to think about your customer.

Now, I know that was a long time ago that I took those classes, but that’s kinda stuck with me. And even in doing things like when you do your website or marketing materials, you gotta look at what the guy who’s at the other end is looking for. And even in choosing who your prospects are, are they going to have a need for you and are they the ideal one?

Are you wasting your time, spending too much time on somebody that isn’t really going to respond? So a lot of the information in the book, and this part I think really sort of helped to gel that.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: How do you say it, Paula? Random acts of marketing are useless.

Paula Williams: Yeah, definitely. And even though we preach this all the time, I don’t always do it as specifically as we should for our company even. So this book was really good for me to go through and do some of the exercises and go, wow, I thought I had this.

But I really didn’t have it as specifically as I should have. And it really makes it easier to write copy, and to develop materials, and to figure out what lists we want, where we should spend money, where we shouldn’t spend money. Which is really helpful.

Paula Williams: All right-

Kathryn Creedy: That’s, that’s sort of-

Paula Williams: Yeah, go ahead.

Kathryn Creedy: I was going to say that’s sort of what I found too. That it helped me focus on some of the more minutiae that I should be focusing on, specifically with my customer profiles and targeting.

Paula Williams: Right.

Kathryn Creedy: Real good.

Paula Williams: And minutiae, that’s John’s favorite word since we saw The Guardians of the Galaxy, right?

Kathryn Creedy: [LAUGH] There you go.

Paula Williams: We didn’t have time to work on the minutiae of the plan. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: All right, so what are the five steps in the Massaging Matrix? And again, this is one of the most things.

I actually made a table like they did in the book for my customers of category, need, pain, solution and benefit. And it was pretty enlightening, and in some ways you have to have more than one. And I figured out, you know what? We need ten different tables for ten different customer types, depending on what they need.

What do you think, John?

John Williams: Well, I don’t know how to say this. You have a high, medium, and low level. And this is probably hitting about the average for the right start, which is a good for most people.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: But I think it needs to be more specific on any given business.

Paula Williams: Fair enough.

Kathryn Creedy: Well, again, it goes back to figuring out what you can do for them and why they want to work with you. So, yeah, you’re going to have to have numerous messages depending on the client.

It’s like a resume and a cover letter. You want to make sure that it addresses everything in that job posting. It’s just tailoring your audience.

Paula Williams: Great. Lillian, how about you?

Lillian Tamm: Yeah, I haven’t had a chance to go through and work through this for our company yet.

But it’s on my list for this week actually.

Paula Williams: Okay.

Lillian Tamm: Cuz I think it’s a really good strategy for focusing. There’s a lot of different niches that we target, and I think it’s going to be like you said. There’s maybe, you’ve got ten different situations that you need to do.

I probably have that too. And I think that’s a very useful tool, to be able to focus on specific niches that you address.

John Williams: What’s interesting with your company is I think that every company has a need for what you do. But there are very few that understand enough that they need it, to have-

Lillian Tamm: That is actually true. A lot of companies could use evaluation just to determine where they are now and see where they’re going. And that’s something that I think all of us could. You have to sometimes take a look back at your own finances or whatever. So your company is the same way.

You’ve gotta take a look and step back and see, where am I? [CROSSTALK] Yeah.

John Williams: When I went to business school they spent an inordinate amount on time on evaluation, and the need, and so forth. It was quite interesting.

Paula Williams: One thing that we found with companies when we start we working with them.

A lot of times their sales presentations are just feature, feature, feature feature, feature, feature, feature, feature, feature, without considering, who is this customer? What needs do they have? What pains are these features supposed to be addressing? But you really shouldn’t even bring up a feature unless It applies very specifically to that customer.

And this discipline really forces you into that mode of thinking about the customer, more specifically than I think anybody in the aviation industry does.

Lillian Tamm: That’s probably true for the most part.

Paula Williams: Yeah, yeah, cool, all right. Okay, and then I didn’t make a copy of this in the slideshow.

But there is a pre-call email or letter, just a real simple thing, in the book that I think is an interesting idea. I had not done this before. Often, we’ll send a package prior to a sales call or most of the calls that we do, like you, Lillian, are not cold calls but they’re inbound marketing.

People have contacted us for some reason and then we contact them after the fact, but,

Paula Williams: Do you have any thoughts on this specific email or letter? Is this something you would use? Is this something you’d adopt or do something different or what are your thoughts, John?

John Williams: Well, I don’t know, this is a pre-cold call email, right?

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah.

John Williams: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I would absolutely use an email. The problem is, I mean, I have sold used cars for a while and I mean, everybody that walked in the lot, it’s like a cold call. But their intent is if you can’t sell them, you pass them off to somebody else, but it’s the same thing.

You don’t have any precursor, you don’t even know the person’s name. Whereas if you can at least do an email, and maybe get a response. Even if you don’t get a response, you can say, well, I sent you this email. And didn’t know if you had time to read it or whatever and you can go down that road, then it makes it not a completely cold call.

Paula Williams: All right,

Paula Williams: Kathryn, what’s your thinking?

John Williams: I don’t know about-

Paula Williams: Go ahead.

John Williams: I don’t know about a letter.

Kathryn Creedy: I would not do a letter because I think that’s, unless you’re going to do something the way you do it, Paula, which is send a letter with a little gift or something that will attract their attention.

But that’s further down the line, I think, that’s effective more further down the line. But I think everybody is focused on email these days. You just have to get a catchy title to the email and hope that it’s enough to bring somebody to open up the email.

Paula Williams: Right, that’s where good writing comes in.

If you don’t have a fantastic headline, and most people don’t spend enough time on headlines.

John Williams: As a matter of fact, rather than email, if you can get them on LinkedIn, that’d be even better.

Kathryn Creedy: I find LinkedIn to be a really, really valuable source.

John Williams: So I don’t know if I’d use that as a pre-call email or a pre-call message or whatever.

Kathryn Creedy:  And to find out what message boards that they’re on. They participate in the groups. So I use groups to establish my credentials. I contribute to groups. And I correspond with those people in the group who I think would be a good contact.

So if you can get into a group where a prospect is already active, and it’s in their profile, then so much the better.

Paula Williams: Right, absolutely. And Lilian, I’m sorry, did you want to add anything to this slide or?

Lillian Tamm: Well, I mean, I had never thought about using a pre-call email or letter.

And it might be something that I might look at doing after reading this.

Paula Williams: Right, I know you haven’t done cold calls in the past, so if you decided that this was something that you wanted to do, I would say a letter or an email or a LinkedIn message sounds like the most effective way to do that.

A client will most likely to respond to.

John Williams: If you’re going to do that, somebody, I think it was American Express, had a letter that was very, very good that would be a good way to pattern after.

Paula Williams:  But your 30-second commercial, they talked about this on page 100.

This might be a good place for everyone to just deliver their 30-second commercial. We’ve actually narrowed ours down to about a 10-second commercial because we like to have people ask us questions. And our 30-second commercial is, John?

John Williams: Going after.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Boss.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] We help aviation companies sell more of their products and services.

And that always leads to questions like, how do you do that? Or do you do web sites? Or what do you mean by that? And then we can talk about inbound marketing or whatever seems to be the right format for the venue. But we try to keep it really short so that it inspires those questions, so we’ve got it down to one sentence.

But his recommendation is a 30-second commercial. Kathryn, how do you feel about that? Do you have one?

Kathryn Creedy: No, I don’t, and as a writer, I think that I really don’t have anything like that or would have use for something like that. But I’d be more inclined to try and craft something for someone else, rather than do my own 30-second commercial.

I actually think 30 seconds is very long.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: But it’s very difficult to get it down to that length.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

Kathryn Creedy: So having one or two sentences is about all they’re going to have patience for.

John Williams: Well, your elevator speech is supposedly is 15 seconds long, but our marketing groups we belong to says you have 7 seconds to sell the next 7 seconds.

Paula Williams: Right, Kathryn, what do you say in a networking event when someone asks what do you do?

Kathryn Creedy: I do public relations. Well, I guess I should really craft something for myself, but I do public relations and general writing. I do narratives to physician companies within their industry and their contributions to the industry.

So, it’s very amorphous and it’s not very good. Let me put it that way.

Paula Williams: That actually was not bad. I think that’s something you could just take the transcript when you get it from this, and it will work. You know we’ve basically cracked that from there, so, you know, that is something.

Kathryn Creedy: I think many companies value what they do. They’re so interested in making the sale that they devalue their contribution to the industry. And I’ve learned this a great deal from my experience with Embraer Executive Jets. And Embraer is very, very conservative. And it does not really blow its own horn at all.

And it should because it has made massive changes to the industry, especially when it comes to executive jets. And, they didn’t count that at all, so when I wrote my narrative it put the executive jets into context with their other branches. They’re military and they’re civilian branches, they’re commercial aviation branches and said, that was our basis and then went beyond that, and not only did we leverage our expertise from these two branches.

We took it a step further to actually change the industry. And I think more companies could benefit from actually saying how they have moved the industry they’re in. In whether it’s applying technology to, new technology or changing the level of an aircraft, changing the amenities in an aircraft that had never been seen before in a entry level aircraft, but was now standard on an Embraer aircraft.

Putting your company into context with the industry, I think, is a really good way to set yourself apart.

Paula Williams: Yeah, I think so. I think that’s an outstanding way of looking at it. Lillian – do you have a 30 second commercial?

Lillian Tamm: Okay, I was thinking it more of, I was actually thinking more commercial than thinking telephone thing, but I’ll go ahead and do that in just a sec here, okay. Hi, I’m Lillian Tamm, president of Avicort Aviation. We’re aviation industry consultants and aviation business evaluators, meaning that we value or appraise aviation businesses.

If you’re growing your business, evaluation can tell you where you business is and help to define areas that need improvement. Some of our clients do yearly or bi-yearly checkups with us to see how their business is doing. You could also use our evaluation in securing a business loan or line of credit, establishing a sales price for the determined value for adding or divesting partners.

And we’re certified, so it can be used with IRS filings. If you would like to discuss how we can benefit you, give me a call. My direct number is 503-214-2268 or email me at ltamm@avicoraviation.com. That is lima, tango, alpha, mike, mike. At alpha, Victor, India, Charlie, Oscar, Romeo, aviation.com.

Again, my phone number is 503-214-2268. I look forward to hearing for you. Hear we go.

Paula Williams: Bravo. That was really good.

Lillian Tamm: Thank you.

Right, okay. Well, let’s carry on from there. Voicemail. Love it? Hate it? Use it? Don’t use it?

What do you think, John?

John Williams: There we go. You already have to have a planned voicemail because most of the time you’re not going to get through to who you want to get to.

You’re going to get their voicemail anyway. So, you need to have one that’s planned and very good to get them interested to call you back or to be prepared for when you call them back. So, strategic tool.

Paula Williams: Okay, Kathryn.

Kathryn Creedy: I absolutely agree. I really thought that passage in the book on scripting your voicemails and following up.

Or saying in the voicemail your next action, whether you want them to take action or whether you’re going to follow up with a phone call or I’ll be there at 9:20 next Tuesday morning. If that’s not convenient for you, let me know and we’ll reschedule. It’s prompting an interaction between your company and your target.

I really like that.

Paula Williams: Great, Lillian.

Lillian Tamm: Yeah I think it’s a good idea to know ahead of time what you’re going to say. I have always tended to do that with voice mails anyway if I think I might not be able to reach somebody I think ahead about what it is I want to say, so that I’m not just left cold, left trying to figure it out right at the moment.

I think it is good to have a plan as to what you might say if you don’t get them. You tend to anyway when you’re doing to get them, you can figure you’re going to get the person at the other end, you already have a strategy, typically, as to what you’re going to talk about and what you’re going to say.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

Lillian Tamm: Why not have it for the voicemail, it makes very logical sense.

Paula Williams: Totally agree.

Kathryn Creedy: This is something that I deal all the time with when I’m pitching a reporter or pitching an editor about a story I have to grab their attention to promo any action whats so ever so I have to really have my script available so that I can tell him why I’m calling and do it in short enough period of time because everybody hates long involved emails.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

Kathryn Creedy: I’m calling about x, I thought you would be interested because. I’ll follow up with a phone call, another phone call, and an email. Then of course leave your identification and your phone number and leave your phone number twice. I always do that.

Paula Williams: Right. Perfect.

Exactly. I said we’d using a checklist actually and if I go to checklist written, then it works either way. Whether I get human or whether I get their voice mail. So I’m prepared either way and I don’t get thrown by voice mail like I used to. I used to just hang up when I got a voice not set I think nobody was ever going to reach on a voice mail from the sales person or someone trying to sell them something.

But as it turns out they do and if you hang up from 75% of your sales calls, you’re really wasting your time because you’re going to people wasting your 75% of the time anyway. So that’s just insane use of time and I was guilty of that for a long time.

Paula Williams: All right moving on along, how do you quality sales opportunities? John.

John Williams: Well hopefully you pre-qualify them before they made the call so that you’re not calling Sandler Sales to sell them something that they already have.

Paula Williams: Trying to sell them sales training. [LAUGH]

John Williams: Yeah. And after that,

John Williams: You need to know if they have a need, if they’ve got the resources, and if they’ve got the authority to buy.

Kathryn Creedy: Yeah, authority to buy. That’s very important.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s the one we keep leaving out.

Paula Williams: Lillian how about you? What do you think?

Lillian Tamm: Authority to buy is a very important part of it, especially for what we do.

Because you have to be able to make decisions about the whole company and get access to things about the whole company typically. So, that was very important. Because I hadn’t really done that sort of prospecting. I have to kinda take a step back and look at the whole qualification process, for prospecting, because typically we get calls that somebody’s already interested.

So, they have prequalified themselves in saying that they’re looking at this. Although one of the big factors is that evaluation is not a $500 product. It’s a lot more than that. It’s not like appraising a house or something. It’s a lot more involved. And some people cut themselves off immediately because they just don’t have the budget.

And I’m sure you’ve run into that same sort of thing.

Paula Williams: Right, yeah, so sometimes early in the call or early in the first set of calls, you want to make sure you have an idea out there of, so they don’t go into sticker shock. And you’ve already spent a ton of time with them and have them disappear on you.

Lillian Tamm: Right, or sometimes you can turn them into a different type of client or scale them up to different things by doing a little bit for them and then moving up. Is that what you guys do?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, tailoring to their need at the moment, you know.

Lillian Tamm: Exactly.

Paula Williams: As much as you can, given the resources. And that’s true of everybody these days, especially the last five years or so. Nobody has an unlimited budget and you can’t do the ideal product for them at the ideal time. So I guess that’s not necessarily true but happens a lot.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Paula Williams: All right, so what’s included in the three step close and why is that a good thing? John?

You’re closing the call, you’re not closing the sale and that’s a very different scenario. You don’t have to sometimes you’re just closing for an appointment or you’re closing for a next step.

Kathryn Creedy: I find with me, that action, that closing the call often leads to more work on my part.

Because I’ve now understood better what the prospect needs and now I can then tailor my pitch towards what they are looking for. So I will follow up with an e-mail with a tailored pitch and then follow that up with a phone call.

Paula Williams: Right, that makes perfect-

Lillian Tamm: I would say exactly the same thing.

I find that, sorry, I find that as well. A lot of times when I’m talking to someone, that ends up being exactly what happens is that because I’ve now learned more about them I prepare something that I sent out to them that’s much more targeted to their specific needs.

Paula Williams: Right, and that just means it was a productive call, so you’ve moved the ball five yards down the field but you don’t have to do a touchdown every time.

Lillian Tamm: Right.

Paula Williams: That’s how you win games, or at least that’s what I’m told you win games.

John Williams: [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Sorry John, go ahead.

John Williams: Unless you’re selling cars.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH]

John Williams: Then it’s- [INAUDIBLE] They want a touchdown every time you’re selling cars.

Paula Williams: Right, but I think with aviation we’ve got really complex and high ticket products. And they haven’t always made up their mind about what they need or how they need it, or what’s involved, or who all is involved in the decision.

And so I think sometimes it takes 20 calls, I’m not exaggerating, to make a sale. And so each time, as long as you make some yardage with each call, you’re still doing all right.

Paula Williams: Okay, so next month, Even A Geek Can Speak, this is Joey Asher. This is another very different book but I think this is important because all of us end up, if we’re in sales or marketing, needing to communicate better than we have in the past.

And most of us tend to get geeky about our particular subject matter expertise. And everybody but Kathryn maybe, I know you’re an expert communicator but the rest of us, I get nerdy about marketing. Lillian, you probably get nerdy about evaluations if you don’t watch yourself on that, is that right?

Lillian Tamm: I can, I can.

Paula Williams: Because you have a level of knowledge that your customers don’t and you’ve got a whole vocabulary that they’ve never heard of.

Lillian Tamm: Right, yeah.

Paula Williams: So I’m looking forward to that. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and we’ll see how that goes.

So, go forth and sell more stuff. America needs the business, right?


Book of the Month Discussion – The Celebrity Marketing Factor

Book Club - Celebrity Marketing

February’s book of the month is No BS Trust Based Marketing by Matt Zagula and Dan Kennedy.

One of the items we highlighted from the book was a comparison between the accountant down the street and Suze Ormon. If you’re not familiar with Suze Ormon, she is known for making personal finance easy, accessible, popular, and even fun,  particularly to her primary audience of women.

Is she the best accountant in the world? The smartest? The one who has accomplished amazing feats of accounting wizardry?  No, but she has written several books and made many TV and radio appearances.  She’s a household name, because she has a knack for explaining complex concepts simply, has made herself available to the media, and is always ready with a short, quotable explanation or great infographic.

What is it about celebrities and marketing?

Many of the members of our Marketing Mastermind groups hire celebrity spokespeople.

They do this because it works.

We’ve seen this done in aviation as well – Breitling has featured famous pilots like John Travolta and Brad Pitt.

NBAA has featured famous pilots and aviation patrons like Arnold Palmer and Warren Buffett prminently in its “No Plane No Gain” advocacy efforts.

Tanis Aircraft Products is endorsed by airshow pilot Michael Wiskus.

All of these endorsements can be very effective – after all, you may figure, if a Tanis preheat system is good enough for Michael Wiskus, who needs superior performance and travels all over the place, it’s probably good enough for me!

In the words of our friend Shawn Buck

1. Celebrities stand out. The average consumer sees more than 3,000 ads per day. Of those 3,000 ads, our subconscious absorbs less than 200…and roughly 30 actually make it into our conscious mind. A celebrity endorsement not only enables the ad to stand out among the rest (people are more likely to pay attention to a celeb than they are a randomized spokesperson—no matter how model-esque), but it drastically increases the likelihood of the brand reaching the conscious mind of the consumer.

2. Celebrities have the power to make people believe that their product contributed to their celebrity status. According to Aveeno, Jennifer Aniston’s flawless face is all thanks to their line of natural lotions—and has nothing to do with the team of beauticians she’s been employing since her super-star debut in 1994. Even better, Mobile One’s use of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart inspires the idea that Motor One oil contributes to his car’s performance—and, of course, his success.

3. Celebrities can spur memories. And not just with their faces. Anytime you hear Dennis Haysbert’s deep, booming voice, you likely associate him with Allstate—even when he’s in the midst of trying to stop the latest terrorist attack on the hit TV show, 24. And let’s be honest, every time you see Hallie Eisenberg in Bicentennial Man, don’t you want to reach for a Pepsi? Celebrities not only increase the likelihood of prospective clients remembering the brand name, but those ads will probably come to mind the next time they see that celeb on the big screen.



But there are downsides to hitching your brand to a celebrity.

The first downside people think about is cost.   Recognizable spokespeople tend not to donate their time, unless it’s for a nonprofit or other situation that enhances their own status.   Unless we have a very swanky, high-end consumer product, this is not likely to be their motive. So the more well-known and respected your chosen celebrity, the more money they will expect.

The second, and more important downside, is that celebrities, like the rest of us, are human.  They make different decisions. They fall in and out of favor. Their careers have ups and downs. And they get themselves involved in inconvenient scandals.  And your brand will be dragged through whatever ups and downs their career may have, long term.

Better strategy – be your own celebrity!

Nobody can advocate for your brand, your product and your company as passionately and articulately as you can.  So, why not give yourself the advantages that other celebrities do?  In our last webinar, we dicussed the process by which an ordinary person can become well-known and respected in their specific niche – essentially becoming a “very big fish  in a very small pond.”

Some of the basics:

  • Use the respected podiums and platforms that exist in your niche. There are specific trade shows, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and forums where “everybody” in your niche spends their time to get industry-related information.
  • Create materials that appeal to this constituency.  Webinars, videos, infographics, photos, ads, social media conversations, articles, whatever is the most effective with your audience and most in-line with your own preferences and capabilities.
  • Lose the self-consciousness. If you’ve lived a low-profile life, you may feel weird about “putting yourself out there” with your thoughts, opinions, and imperfect face, voice or writing style. Understand that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you stop focusing on how much you can’t stand your own voice and focus on how much you love your subject matter and how much you love helping people solve their problems by using your solutions, you’ll do fine!
  • Get a publicist. Every celebrity (or celebrity salesperson) has an entourage of people whose job it is to show up prepared for every event, breifed, looking great, and armed with the perfect collateral.  Most celebrities do very little of their own writing and research on the causes they advocate.  Speaking gigs, podcast guest appearances, articles, and press releases can all elevate the perception of their authority, credibility and expertise.  Publicists and marketing consultants manage the heavy lifting of identifying opportunities, submitting proposals, and doing the research and writing involved to  leverage their time. Why not give yourself the same advantage?

How to Get Started

LinkedIn is a great place to start.   LinkedIn was noted as the “most respected” social media by a majority of the respondents to our annual Social Media Survey of Aviation Professionals.

Looking better on Linkedin costs nothing but some time, and can really help you be found by, and seen as, a thought leader in the industry.

  • Aviation Marketing Book Club - USP

Aviation Marketing Book Club – The 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

80/20 sales and marketing aviation marketing book club - four questions about your USP80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall – the January selection for the Aviation Marketing Book Club

In January in our Aviation Marketing Master Class, we enjoyed Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales & Marketing book.

Our Silver members and above get books in their packages of course materials.

This month’s book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall, is a great resource.

And of course, since we are all focused on aviation, we all evaluating the book through our own lens  and thinking –

“How useful is this to me?”

“How will this work with my specific marketing tasks?”

and of course,

“How can I use this in a way that will work best for me?”

I have to say that the one thing I DON’T like about it is that Marshall is a math nerd who assumes that every marketing experiment has enough numbers to run statistically significant A/B tests and so on. This is not always true. One of our clients has a possible universe of prospects of 63. Just 63! That’s it. Which is fine, for a very specialized service. But that makes it just about impossible to split-test!

That said, there’s still FANTASTIC stuff in the book.

Four Questions about Your USP

The first item I’d like to call your attention to is the four questions on page 66 about your USP:

1) Why should I listen to you?
2) Why should I do business with you instead of anybody and everybody else?
3) What can your product (or service) do for me that no other alternative can do?
4) What can you guarantee me that nobody else can guarantee?

I think that last question is the doozy. It really separates a strong USP from a weak one.

The box on page 66 gives some great ideas about things you CAN guarantee that no one else has probably thought of . . .

80/20 sales and marketing aviation marketing book club - the $2700 expresso machine

What’s Your $2700 Espresso Machine?

Marshall suggests that many companies could offer an upgrade that some 20% of their clients would purchase if it were available.  The example he gives is a $2700 Espresso machine available in Starbucks.  

The story and the math behind that number is fascinating – you’ll have to read about it in the book.  But the suggestion to create a top-of-the-line product to offer to your existing customers is a fascinating one.

ABCI’s is a revision of our Executive Business Jet Program.

Basically, ABCI hires, trains and supervises a marketing coordinator that works full-time on-site with your company; and then quarterly we have the CEO/founder/executive team come stay with us for two days in Park City with a film crew to record interviews and other material that we use throughout the year.

We haven’t sold one yet, we’re still working out the details and looking for the perfect candidate and client!

80/20 sales and marketing aviation marketing book club - Marketing DNA TestMarketing DNA Test

Did you take the Marketing DNA test from the Perry Marshall book? Care to share your results?

Mine were not surprising, but enlightening about some of the decisions I’ve made about our team.

I’m good with words and images, and love for things to be recorded, reused and stories retold. I’m not so great at analytics and empathy.

This is why John and I work together so well. He’s great analytics & statistics, I’m not!

And which is why it’s great to have Bert Botta, Jeff Stodola, and Bryan Pilcher on our Master Class team.

Bert in particular does a great job of facilitating the group, making new members feel comfortable and included, and doing our Member Highlight interviews.

Marketing DNA

Share your own results in the comments, if you’ve taken the test and are so inclined!

I think these types of tests are usually not a surprise, but what’s valuable is the shared vocabulary when you’re working with a team – you can understand one another better and understand and appreciate one anothers’ strengths in a more empathetic and useful way.

(As you can see, I need all the help with empathy I can get! One assistant used to call me “M.” – referring to Judi Dench’s character in the newer James Bond movies.)

I get it. And if I had any empathy I would care. 🙂

Last point from the book –

Half your battles were won before you were even born.

80/20 sales and marketing aviation marketing book club - half your battles

You’ll understand this one if you’ve done any international travel. Many of the things we take for granted are specific to the United States and the twenty-first century.

We have the ability to use several marketing methods more cheaply and effectively than at any other place and time in history!

For example:

Since Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775, billions of pieces of mail with an incredibly high reliability.

Most countries don’t have a postal system that will send a letter three thousand miles in three days for less than a dollar.

Cheap direct mail is a marketing method most of us don’t take advantage of.

Our education system, library system, cheap and reliable Internet, patent protections, and other business and marketing innovations are factors we can and should make more use of that we do currently.

With all of the negative news and focus lately, this was a timely wake-up call.

Next Month – Trust Based Marketing by Dan Kennedy and Matt Zagula

Silver members and above – expect your book (with four handy bookmarks about the things I found to talk about) this week.

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