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Referral Marketing

|Referral Marketing

Member Highlight – Bryan Pilcher, AeroStar Training Services

One of the biggest benefits for our Aviation Marketing Master Class is the opportunity to network with aviation professionals. Our Facebook Group Facilitator, Bert Botta, is interviewing one member a week to help us get to know one another better, make better referrals to each other, and generally learn more about the smartest people in the industry.

Want to be featured?

  1. Become a member of the Master Class!
  2. Contact Bert Botta and get on his interview schedule!

We’re looking forward to learning more about smart aviation professionals!

This interview is with Bryan Pilcher, Aviation Marketing Professional

1. How would I spot your ideal customer for you or your company?

Bryan Pilcher Aviation Marketing ProfessionalI’m the marketing director for AeroStar so it would be anyone in the airline industry who has a connection with a training center. Any airline without their own training centers, who would send their pilots to us for training.

In addition, we work directly with pilots who desire to get their ATP, Jet Transition, 737 or A320 Type Rating. We work with 141 schools & the Aviation Universities as well.

Our potential customer could be at trade shows, or it could be the regional airlines, or some of the overseas airlines. Our “low hanging fruit” is really overseas airlines operating 737 or A320’s without their own training centers.

2. How would I best describe you, or your company’s unique benefits, approach, products, services, and value proposition?

We’re a FAA part 142 & EASA Certified Training Center with locations in Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Las Vegas. We provide training for Type Ratings in the B737, 737 NG, 737 Classic, and Airbus A320.

We provide the ATP and CTP (course training program – syllabus) courses. We offer unique value, and our benefits are the student gets an ATP much faster than at other schools, and on their own schedule, in some cases as fast as 8 days.

We offer a unique flexibility to accommodate the students schedule, state of the art training technologies, the cost is lower than our competitors, and our instructors are Airline Captains which typically have more experience than the competition. Our foreign students can get a W1 visa for their training. We also take VA benefits and a lot of schools don’t.

We utilize brand new 20 million dollar, Level D, Full Flight Simulators. We have iPad training apps that the students can take home with them to use, prior to training so they arrive prepared. We’re part of a new exclusive FMS training program, and we have a FMS simulator also.

3. What might prospects say that would trigger me to be able to refer them to you or your company?

“Man, I could definitely advance my career or I could get that interview that I haven’t been able to get if I had a type rating but I don’t know where I can get a type rating in a short amount of time, or for less cost.” Or, I came out of the military and I want to use my VA benefits to get an airline job.

Or, if one of our prospective clients is with an airline that needs to train pilots and they don’t have their own training center. Who offers a solution to outsource our training for the 737 or A320 that is FAA & EASA certified?

Or “Where could I find a fast track program for the type rating that has a FMS trainer available via iPad or PC so I can be knowledgeable on the aircrafts systems by the time I get there?”

4. What is your marketing process once your prospect receives a referral?

If a prospect that was referred calls or emails us I will typically answer any questions they have and share our features/benefits/value proposition. Then, I’ll enroll them or ask for the deal.

If they are not ready to buy, I get their contact info and begin a drip marketing/follow up campaign. It’s usually one email a month and a call after 2 or 3 months to follow up. Also, I am certain to find outwho referred us and proceed accordingly.

5. How did you get where you are in your professional life?

I loved aviation and I started working for flight time in high school. Then I went to Embry-Riddle, got a degree in aviation management and that opened some doors. Then I started flying and made some connections.

My experience in the business world, owning my own business, got me noticed and hired at AeroStar. I recently got 3 articles published in airline training industry magazines. “Some of my writing surprises me. I’ve never been a trained writer; I just figured it out on my own.”

Bryan Pilcher
E: Pilcher817@Yahoo.Com
Ph: (512)221-9959
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bryan.pilcher
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanpilcher

Member Highlight – Bert Botta – Bert Botta Copywriting

One of the biggest benefits for our Aviation Marketing Master Class is the opportunity to network with aviation professionals. Our Facebook Group Facilitator, Bert Botta, is interviewing one member a week to help us get to know one another better, make better referrals to each other, and generally learn more about the smartest people in the industry.

Want to be featured?

  1. Become a member of the Master Class!
  2. Contact Bert Botta and get on his interview schedule!

We’re looking forward to learning more about smart aviation professionals!

This interview is with Bert Botta, Aviation Copywriter.

Member Profile - Bert Botta Aviation Copywriter

How would I spot the ideal customer for Bert Botta?

My ideal customer is someone who needs a copywriter with many years of commercial and corporate aviation experience. Not just as a pilot but someone who knows the language, the habits, the idiosyncrasies, the stresses and challenges that people in our industry encounter on an everyday basis.


They would need someone who has personal, in-depth experience dealing with the personal issues and problems that our industry encounters and has the background to write copy with that in mind and can address the aviation mindset.


They’re looking for someone who has an extensive, professional background as a writer, who also has an already established audience in the aviation community and is recognized as an expert within that industry.

How would you best describe your company’s approach, products and services, and value propositions?


My approach is to engage my aviation community audience in a way that they’re probably not used to. By that, I mean speaking to them in terms that convey a sincerity and professionalism, not just as an aviator, but as a person who has been a licensed professional counselor, involved in enhancing personal interaction, resolving conflict, and building trust in the aviation community.


I was an ALPA (Air Line Pilots) representative as a first officer. As a captain, I was also the ALPA professional safety committee chairman. So I had to address personal problems in a way that enhanced safety in the cockpit and communication as well.


I have experience not just in copywriting and attracting people to a company’s product or service, but I also bring a variety of expertise that is not normally seen in an aviation copywriter.


As a licensed professional counselor I needed to be able to get “inside my clients heads” as well as tap into the emotional part of them and their insecurities.


This makes it possible for me to write to the emotional part of my clients, the part that makes the decision to buy or not buy.


My writing conveys a feeling that “Hey, I think I can trust this guy.” By establishing that trust I’m able to convey a message to the emotional side of my clients that a person without my background would not as easily be able to convey.


What might prospects say to trigger me to refer them to you?


They might say something like,


  • “I don’t know what to do with my website, I don’t know how to speak to my clients or my audience, I need help. I’m overwhelmed, I don’t have time to do my own copywriting. “


  • “I really need someone who I can trust with my customers to come in and take charge, not just to write copy but to help me take my business to another level by engaging my existing clients as well as also attracting new clients.”


  • “Man, I’ve been in business for a long time but I feel like my business is stagnant. I’ve got a good product or service, but I don’t know how to talk to my audience in a way that will inspire them to buy more product or use me for my service.”


  • “I don’t just want to grow my business, I want my customers to be excited about having me work for them and be able to pass that excitement on to others.”


  • “The copy on my website looks like corporate-speak.”
  • “The text on my site looks like it could be on anyone else’s website.”
  • “The text in my marketing materials doesn’t seem authentic, unique or inspiring in any way.”
  • “I need someone who’s got a really great background in aviation who knows what they’re talking about and be able to do that when they write for me. That’s not easy to find in this industry, so if you know someone who has those skills, I could sure use their help.”


  • “I need someone who can take technical jargon and translate it into everyday language so that my customers can understand what I’m talking about and then be able to make a buying decision.”
  • “I need someone who knows this industry and can convey a message accurately and succinctly to my customers while at the same time engaging them and motivating them to take action.”


  • “In addition, this guy has to be unique in aviation in bringing a personal approach to an industry that traditionally focuses on technology and how-to-do information.”


  • “I need someone who can put a personal face on my business, someone who can talk to my customers like I do but I can’t express that in writing.”


  • “I need someone who can write in a friendly tone but simultaneously get to the heart of an issue in a way that makes it not only safe for my clients to hear but is in every day style language.”


  • “This guy has to come across as sincere, authentic and credible while he’s making my customers feel like he’s talking and writing to them as if he had just met them on the street. This kind of communication is hard to find in business conversations.


  • “I haven’t been able to find anybody who has the background and experience to write like this.”


What is your marketing process once you receive a referral?


I prefer following up with a phone call since that’s more personal.
I will also call the person who made the referral and find out more about why they made the referral and why they think I’m the right guy to do the job for their friend.


To me, it’s all about building the relationship, and both relationships are important to me – with people who refer business to me as well as people who are referred. That personal touch and the importance I place on relationships is appreciated by potential clients.


Anything to decrease distance between people is the method that I use. We live in such a disconnected world, one of my talents is being able to close that personal gap. The more personal the communication, the better it is.


Of course that often depends on who I’m talking to. If they’re more of an analytical type then I don’t emphasize the personal as much until I get to know them. Then I can see how far I can go with building the personal side of the relationship.


If I find someone who doesn’t like the personal touch and I feel it’s not a good match, I won’t work with them.


If I’m not able to make personal contact, then obviously I will follow up with an email.


How did you get where you are in your professional life?


I’ve been writing all my life. As I mention on my website, I started devouring what we called “funny books” (comics) as a kid while eating breakfast. I’ve written and self published a book. It’s sold on Amazon and at all the major bookstores.


For most of my flying career I’ve been writing in journals. A few years ago, I realized I had the makings of a book. When I met my wife, I told her that I was a writer and was writing a book. So she asked me, “Where is it?”


So then I had to get busy and finish it. That led me in the direction of realizing that I’m a pretty good writer. But I wasn’t serious about building a writing business until I realized, “Hey, I’ve always loved aviation, been doing it most of my life, I know it really well, and I’m a good writer, so why not combine the two!”


That’s how my Aviation Copywriting business got started.


For some time I chased some “get rich quick” scams. After working hard at trying to be someone I wasn’t, I realized what I’m good at and what I wanted to combine: my love of writing and aviation into one business, Aviation Copywriting.


A couple of years ago, I went to an AWAI (American Writers and Artists) Copywriters Bootcamp in Florida and I won a couple of informal creative writing contests. It was then that I realized, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this; why not pursue it?”


But it took me a few years to get on board with that idea and to do anything with what I learned down in Florida. It wasn’t until I retired from Netjets and had the time and passion to devote to writing that I got serious about my career.


I’ve always had a strange, innovative, and humorous way of looking at and writing about things so copywriting was a perfect match for my style.


I’ve been published in aviation industry magazines, so I have credibility there that I haven’t really built on. Now I’m beginning to realize that I have the background, the credibility and the contacts that I can build on to maximize my copywriting business going forward.


My Aviation Copywriting website: http://www.bottacopywriting.com


Some links below to a few of my articles on the website.


(1) http://botta-copywriting.com/project/mentor-in-a-poopy-suit/


(2) http://botta-copywriting.com/project/an-old-bold-air-carrier


(3) http://botta-copywriting.com/project/soul-power-for-the-aviator/


(4) My book: http://www.fastlanetofaith.com


(5) Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/bertbotta


(6) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FastLaneToFaith/



Product Packaging – “What’s In the Box?”

Whether your product is an actual, physical object, or a service, or a set of services (like our consulting services,  or our Marketing Master Class)  unpacking the boxit’s important to understand that your customer wants to know EXACTLY what they’re getting before they part with their cash.

That’s only fair, right?

We like to create a welcome package for every product or service, and an “unpacking the box” video that shows exactly what comes with the product or service they’ve purchased, and how to use it.

We put together this short (8 minute) video to show prospective and current Master Class Silver Level members what to expect in the mail in January.

If you’re interested in the Master Class, we’ll be talking in February about attractive packaging for your products and services; and if you join before January 31, 2014 you receive the free storage binder and other goodies you see in the video.

Join here:


If you’re interested in talking with us about producing a welcome package or a video for your product or service soon, click here to find an open time on our calendar and let’s talk!

Aviation Marketing TV – What to Include in a Referral Package

Referral Packages –

Many aviation companies get 50% of their business by referral.  Here’s what to put in a referral package for your current customers.

Referral Marketing

This month we’re shining the spotlight on ABCI’s clients and MasterClass members as we talk about great referral marketing techniques. It’s not too late to get in on the fun!

Join the Aviation Marketing MasterClass in 2012 and receive a free DIY Marketing Toolkit on the topic of your choice. (12 to choose from, a $129 value!)

Enroll Today Referral Marketing Example   AeroStar Training Services LLC   David Santo

Referral Sheet – SSC (Special Services Corporation) – Brad Searls

a charterHow would I spot your ideal customer for SSC?


The ideal customer for SSC fits into different categories. They are aircraft sales companies that need a good aircraft management company to refer their clients to. They are an aircraft charter broker that needs a qualified, reliable charter operator to call on to support their trips. They are small, medium, and large companies who value time savings as essential to their company’s competitive advantage. They are individuals who utilize private aviation for family vacations and shopping trips.


How would I best describe SSC’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?


Special Services is a “one-stop” shop for all aviation needs. We can better serve our customer needs through our combined operational and maintenance experience. Specializing in management, charter, maintenance, sales, and parts, our unique benefit is the ability to adapt to each client’s circumstance and need.


What might prospects say to trigger me to know what they need to be referred to SSC?


“Time is a valuable asset to our company”

“We’re not utilizing our aircraft as much as before”

“I’m interested in owning an aircraft but do not have the time for the day-to-day upkeep and responsibilities”

“I’m tired of the airline hassles”

“I want to travel on my schedule”


What is SSC’s marketing process once they receive a referral?


Special Services appreciates all referrals. When they contact us, we will provide a without cost consultation to learn their specific need. We will send them information on our company and services. We will do the evaluation and set up a meeting to give them our recommendations.

Contact Information

Contact Brad Searls or Doug Goldstrom at Special Services Corporation at 866-242-3383, or email dgoldstrom@flyssc.com

How aviation companies fail at referral marketing

On our recent California trip, we struck up a conversation in a hotel lobby with a charter pilot. We talked a little about what he did and told him about what we were doing. Naturally, the topic of referral marketing came up.

When we explained the idea, he started to laugh.

“You guys should be talking to charter companies!” He said.

“I know, right? But why are you laughing?”

“Because some charter companies actively discourage referral marketing!”

“How’s that?”

“If a pilot like me knows somebody who wants to book a charter flight, I don’t refer him to my employer. I refer him to a broker.”

“Why wouldn’t you refer him to your own company? Don’t they want the business?”

“Oh, they probably do, but they don’t pay their pilots a commission or referral fee or anything. Most brokers will pay you a percentage as a referral fee, and they’ll probably give the flight to my company and I’ll end up flying those passengers anyway. So it’s in my best interest to refer them to a broker, who then refers them back to me.”

“So, your company pays the broker fees, but they wouldn’t pay an employee that brings them business for a referral directly?”


John and I looked at each other agape for most of a second.



“So, do all pilots handle referrals this way?”

“A lot of us do, yeah. It’s the best way to do it from our perspective.”

“Does your company know about this?”

“Probably.  How could they not?”

Many companies find employee referrals extremely beneficial to their business. When handled correctly (not like the example above)

  • Employees have the opportunity and motive to interact with customers and obtain referrals.
  • Referred customers cost less to acquire (in marketing costs, salesperson time, broker fees and even phone bills)
  • Referred customers are more likely to be satisfied with the service.
  • Referred customers are more likely to provide additional referrals!

(Last three points are from Your Referral Engine by John Jansch)

Anyone have any idea why some companies fail to provide incentives for their employees to make referrals directly?   Please leave a comment!


Referral Marketing – Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage – Chris Gamble

How would I spot your ideal customer for Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

Someone that is frustrated with commercial aviation or is paying too much for their current transportation needs is an ideal client for us.

How would I best describe Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

Since we don’t own or operate our own aircraft, our interest is solely with providing the aircraft that best suits our clients’ needs from an abundant and varied fleet. We also have experience working with the unique needs and urgencies of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles/Hollywood area; as well as anywhere our clients go “on location.”

What might prospects say to trigger me to know they need to be referred to Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

Someone with unique travel needs, especially someone that is based out of or travels to the West Coast, who is frustrated with their current options should talk with us. We can find a creative, cost-effective solution that will get them (and their stuff!) where they need to go and save time and money.

How should I refer a client to Cristobal Aircraft Brokerage?

If they would like to talk with someone right away, have them call Chris Gamble at  1-800-408-0455. If they’re just exploring options at this point, they can go to my blog. www.TheCharterGuy.com and get a sense for what we do and how we do business.


Contact Information:

Chris Gamble at  1-800-408-0455.




Referral Marketing – Dallas Jet International – Brad Harris

How would I spot an ideal customer for Dallas Jet International?

Anyone buying or selling a business aircraft would benefit from talking with us.

How would I best describe Dallas Jet International’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

Our unrelenting focus is on the buying and selling of business aircraft in an international marketplace. The purchase or sale of an aircraft requires the utmost in deliberation and risk management. While we are often labeled brokers, our clients call us trusted consultants, as we only accept compensation from clients who hire us exclusively, thus eliminating any potential for conflict of interest.

Our clients include affluent individuals, entrepreneurs, large corporations, first-time aircraft buyers, fractional aircraft share owners, aircraft charter clients, aviation department executives, chief pilots, aircraft management companies, charter companies

Our knowledge of the aviation system, aircraft systems and equipment, and day-to-day market conditions is unparalleled. Our combined experience of 100 years in corporate aviation speaks for itself. Join Dallas Jet International as we move into the aviation future and raise the bar in aircraft transaction consultation and aircraft brokerage. We invite you to look through our website and see what we have to offer you.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Dallas Jet International?

Someone who is considering a purchase or sale, or someone who is frustrated with their current business air transportation situation would benefit from talking with us. Besides acquisitions and sales, we also provide aircraft maintenance and management and crewing solutions as well.

How should I refer a client to Dallas Jet International?

If they would like to talk with someone right away, have them call Brad at 817-328-2900 or Shawn at (214) 766-3915.   We have three offices in the Dallas Ft. Worth area that they’re welcome to visit. (See DallasJet.com for details.    If someone is just exploring opportunities at this stage, have them download our ebook – Anatomy of an Aircraft Sale at www.AircraftSalesInsights.com/FreeBook and have a look at our blog, Aircraft Sales Insights.


Referral Marketing Example – Hernando County Airport – Kimberly Poppke

How would I spot your ideal customer for Hernando County Airport? Exiles from colder regions do enjoy saying goodbye to the cost and hassle of de-icing…!

Strategically located in North Tampa Bay, Hernando County Airport is a sound choice for aviation business people seeking to economically expand and/or establish a presence in the aviation-strong state of Florida. Near freeways, an international airport, a deep sea port and major attractions, logistics are smooth. Manufacturers or links in OEM supply chains can thrive with low costs, choice of multi-acre airside sites, a pool of Right-To-Work talent and a pleasant suburban lifestyle.

Anyone doing business or flying in the Tampa Bay area should know about us, because we are a convenient option for business aviation in the area; and we NEVER charge a landing fee. Our airport designation is (BKV). Exclusively General Aviation, operators and passengers avoid the air and ground congestion common to metro airports.  With two long concrete runways, 7000 and 5000 feet, we can accommodate nearly any size aircraft.

Target Businesses/Categories:

Aviation OEM, MRO, Commercial Flight School, Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Tech. (AMT)/A&P Prep School, Air Cargo, Part 91 and 135 Operators, Aircraft Completions, Commercial to Cargo or Private conversions

How would I best describe Hernando County Airport’s unique benefits, approach, products services, and value proposition?

A sprawling 2400 acres, Hernando County Airport boasts a number of amenities preferred in a home airport such as a new air traffic control tower, on-site fire station, full-service FBO, Certified Cessna Service Center and more. Need to hold a meeting? Seat up to 20 at the beautiful Airport Administration center. A supportive and business-friendly administration enjoys sourcing incentives and helping facilitate growth.

We’re located on the central Gulf coast of Florida, between Tampa, Orlando and Ocala.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Hernando County Airport?

An expressed desire to reduce overhead. Indications that they are outgrowing their present facility and have no options at their home airport. (Many airports, particularly in metro areas, have very limited land available – no expansion possible) Dissatisfaction at the lack of interest/support of present airport administration/landlord.

Dissatisfaction with union issues and costs. Difficulty finding employees/high wages. Tired of cold weather. Increased number of Florida or Southeastern US customers to access.

*I’m also particularly interested in whether recent large Airbus and Boeing buys will result in downstream supply chain business growth which we can help with.

How should I refer a client to Hernando County Airport?

You can send them to our website at www.flyhernando.com; or have them call me, Kimberly Poppke, at (352) 754-4061 and I’ll make sure they’re taken care of.  For FBO services, call (Jennifer Torraco) at American Aviation,  (352) 796-5173 and tell them Kimberly sent you.

Referral Marketing

This month we’re shining the spotlight on ABCI’s clients and MasterClass members as we talk about great referral marketing techniques. It’s not too late to get in on the fun!

Join the Aviation Marketing MasterClass in 2012 and receive a free DIY Marketing Toolkit on the topic of your choice. (12 to choose from, a $129 value!)


Referral Marketing – Summit Aviation and the Digital Reference Library – Paula Woellhaf

How would I spot the ideal customer for Summit Aviation?

Our ideal customer is an individual or organization who is required by law to use not only the regulations, but the myriad of other FAA, EPA, NTSB and other publications that affect them directly – often daily- in their work. They often have multiple users and/or multiple locations and due to the nature of their business, must be kept up-to-date on these documents. Virtually all of the documents we include in our Library are available for free on the internet , but  often our ideal client – many of them employees of the FAA itself -has many responsibilities and need a more efficient way to stay on top of it all.

How would I best describe Your Company’s unique benefits, approach, products, series and value proposition?

Just the other day, I was called by a couple of gentlemen in a foreign country, “How is your Library different from what I can get on the internet?” There is a mountain of data on the internet and that’s the problem! How do your organize all of that data and make it accessible?

We have created a customized search engine that allows our clients to search the thousands of documents we have in our Library, when they aren’t sure where to find what they need – or create  collections of the documents that they use the most, when they are familiar with the documents that contain the needed information – or both!

We update the Library every working day and, included with their DVD subscription, email interested customers, not only regulation changes, but proposed changes, FAA notices, Emergency ADS, Changes to the massive Order 8900.1, recent released FAA Legal Interpretations and Emergency ADS.

Customer Service. When customers are stumped, they occasionally call us and we help them find exactly what need. We do whatever in our power to assist our clients.

What might prospects say to trigger me to know that they need to be referred to Your Company?

  • Man, how do you find anything on the FAA’s site?
  • This is so frustrating! It takes forever to find what I need.
  • I don’t have all day! I need help finding just what I need fast.
  • I’m  affected by Order 8900.1! How in the world can I know what is included in over 5000 pages of red tape?

If you have a referral for Summit Aviation, call Paula Woellhaf at (801)-446-5858 or toll free at (800) 328-6280


Referral Marketing

This month we’re shining the spotlight on ABCI’s clients and MasterClass members as we talk about great referral marketing techniques. It’s not too late to get in on the fun!

Join the Aviation Marketing MasterClass in 2012 and receive a free DIY Marketing Toolkit on the topic of your choice. (12 to choose from, a $129 value!)


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