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Qualifying Prospects like a Pro

In this free webinar, we discuss bad things that can happen when you fail to qualify customers for your product or service, when you give too much information away for free, when you pitch the wrong prospect, and when you advertise to a list that is too large or general.

You May Also Like:

Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Episode #17 – Qualifying Prospects Podcast

  • Marketing webinar

2016 Aviation Sales & Marketing Webinars

aviation marketing webinars

Note that the free sales and marketing webinars are a “lighter,” more basic version of the “Members Only” webinar offered the following week, so if a topic is new and/or important to you, you may wish to attend both!

Date Topic For
Wed, January 13
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Six Prospecting Activities
to Attract More Customers in 2016
Wed, January 20, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Phase One – Prospecting!
Members Only
Wed, February 10, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
How to Close Sales in the Aviation Industry
Wed, February 17, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Phase Two –
Building Credibility & Closing
Members Only
Wed, March 9, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
How aviation companies can earn more revenue per customer
Wed, March 16, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Phase Three –
Resells, Recaptures & Referrals
Members Only
Wed, 13, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Branding Your Company and Your Products in the Aviation Industry
Wed, April 20, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Branding Workshop
Members Only
Wed, May 11, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Getting Aviation Industry Customers to Pay Attention
Wed, May 25, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Showing Rather Than Telling
Visual Storytelling
Members Only
Wed, June 8, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Making Aviation Trade Shows Profitable
Wed, June 15, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Trade Shows Strategies, Prep & Follow Up
Members Only
Wed, July 13, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Getting Relevant Traffic to your Aviation Website
Wed, July 20, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Website Traffic – SEO
Members Only
Wed, August 10, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Tired of Tire-Kickers? Qualifying Prospects in the Aviation Industry.
Wed, August 17, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Qualifying Prospects – Determining Where to Spend Resources
Members Only
Wed, Sept 14, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
In-Person Sales Presentations
Wed, Sept 21, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
In-Person Sales Presentations + Social Media Survey
Members Only
Wed, October 12, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Information Overload – how to make good marketing decisions.
Wed, October 19, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Statistics, Measurements & ROI
Members Only
Wed, Nov 9, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Aviation Marketing Campaigns That Make Sales
Wed, Nov 16, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Planning, Designing, Storyboarding &
Troubleshooting Campaigns
Members Only
Wed, Dec 15, 2016
1:00 Mountain Time
FREE WEBINAR – Everyone welcome
Building Your Marketing Calendar for 2016
Wed, Dec 21, 2015
1:00 Mountain Time
Aviation Marketing Master Class Members Only
Building Your Marketing Calendar for 2016
Members Only


Not yet a member of our Aviation Marketing Master Class? Join today!

Do your sales calls get a chilly reception? This could be why.

When I went from the world of finance and education to the world of aviation, I had NO IDEA how hard it would be to make sales.
I remember picking up the phone and calling the Marketing Director of a large aircraft manufacturer and introducing myself as a marketing consultant.
The gentleman on the other end of the line finally responded with chilly politeness,  but the creeping frostbite extending from my phone hand (and my ear!) were enough to let me know that cold sales calls were just not going to cut it in this industry.
The first trade show we attended was not much better.
Luckily, we now get much warmer receptions and ALL of our phone calls are “by invitation.”
Much better!
If you’re new to the industry, or to marketing, or if the reception you get from potential partners, clients or customers could use a warm-up, here’s a free report we’ve put together.
More lift from linkedin - no cold sales calls

Fear Can Be Useful! – The Pre-Sales Call Checklist

Ever been disappointed by poor performance in a sales call, only to find out it was a good thing you’d lost the sale?

I had been working for weeks to close a rather large, important sale that would have been what seemed a great proejct for us, and missed it by a whisker.

Afraid to Make Sales Calls

Although I was disappointed at the time and chewing myself out for “pulling punches” and a lackluster sales call,   a couple of weeks later I was relieved that we had not been awarded the job.

A key partner we would have been dependent on for this particular project was having a health issue that required back surgery.  This might have impacted his ability to deliver on the project. It certainly would have made the project more stressful than I had realized.

Of course, there was no way I could have known that at the time . . .

Or perhaps I could have!

Intuition or “Mystical Hooey?”

Sandler attitude triangleIn last week’s Networking workshop we talked about the Sandler Sales model and the fact that the “attitude” triangle is at the top.

Of course, you could say that this is all just squishy psychology which is not important to the nuts and bolts of a sales transaction, but as Lynn Milteer mentions in her latest book,

“Your subconscious mind is picking upon millions of signals in every moment.” What we call ‘intuition’ is often simply your mind processing these microsignals and matching patterns faster than we can articulate in our usual, rational, linear thought process.

Obnoxious Horseplay

John has talked about how a group of pilots and flight team members getting ready for an exercise are likely to start “pushing each other around,” physically or verbally.  While this might just look like boyish horseplay or off-color obnoxiousness, it serves a really important purpose.


Flight crews might “test one another’s reflexes” with obnoxious goofing off before a mission. This is one way to build reassurance among the team before a mission. You should do this before an important sales call!

Since they are about to engage in something potentially dangerous, they spend some time finding out how each one is feeling and responding.  If someone had bad eggs for breakfast, just broke up with a girlfriend, or is coming down with a cold, he might not feel affected, but his performance might not be one hundred percent. And a less-than-perfect performance might impact the success of the mission or even the safety of the team!

The team can figure that out BEFORE they get in the air, where they depend on one another’s reactions.

They might not even realize they are performing an assessment and reacting on their findings.

In the same way, I may have picked up on our partner’s lack of energy in previous conversations and conveyed it subconsciously to our prospect.

I remember thinking after the sales call, “why didn’t I get a commitment on this item, or been more enthusiastic about that point?”

Sales Call ChecklistAfter finding out about our partner’s back surgery, I mentally went back over the sales presentation, and was not quite so critical of my own performance.

I should have done what pilots do!

The Fear-Busting Pre-Sales Call Checklist

I don’t have to be obnoxious and start pushing my team and suppliers around,  but I do have to be perceptive. Here’s a list I use before an important sales call or presentation.  While I created it to prevent problems, it has the added benefit helping me convey absolute confidence and enthusiasm, which has vastly improved our close rate.

Feel free to “swipe & deploy” it for your own use. Note that most of these questions are best answered in person, which is why it can be such an advantage to spend in the same room with your team, suppliers and clients. If that isn’t possible for financial or logistical reasons, then videoconferencing is the next best thing, with LOTs of phone and written communication as well.

  • Do I really want this project?
  • Do I really like this client enough to work hard for his success?
  • Am I comfortable standing behind and marketing this product or service?
  • Is my team up to speed about the particulars and 100% onboard?
  • Do the numbers make sense?
  • Who else are we dependent on to deliver results on this project? Have we talked very recently and very specifically about the particulars?
  • What are the known unknowns?  Do we have a process for finding or getting what we need?
  • Does anything about this make me uneasy? (Even if I can’t “put my finger on it?”)

Depending on our answers to these questions, we might postpone or even cancel a sales call. No point in wasting our time or a client’s time on a sale we won’t win; or even worse, on a project we DO win that causes problems!

Three Ways to Save a Sale

“Do you have any programmable Christmas trees?” We asked a very distinguished looking gentleman in a red flannel shirt.


“Why not?”

“Because they’re nothing but trouble, that’s why not. You don’t want to get it home and plugged in and have it not work right after a week, now do you?”

John and I exchanged a Look. It was the ” I think this guy’s full of hooey, but what do you think?” “Why yes, dear, I fully concur with your assessment that this guy is apparently full of hooey and this pursuit of a Christmas tree is not going to be furthered by our visit to this establishment today.” All communicated, understood and acknowledged in less than half a second Look.

“Right.” I said to the man in red flannel. “Thank you.”

And we bought a few ornaments and left.

We were in Colorado visiting family for Christmas and stopped in Littleton’s legendary year-round Christmas store, St. Nick’s, on the day after Christmas, lured by curiosity, half-price signs, and our ongoing quest for the perfect artificial Christmas tree for our porch. You may realize, if you’ve worked with us, that John does nothing by halves and is a bit of a perfectionist. When he gets an idea, he has some very specific expectations of how he wants it done.

save a sale

He has an electric toy train for a Christmas scene that should go perfectly around the base of a beautiful, multicolored tree with changing lights.

Where better to find such a tree for this Christmas scene than a huge Christmas specialty store? And who better to ask than someone who works at such a place?

We were willing to spend several hundred dollars and drive the tree back to Salt Lake City, but our plans were squashed in an instant by a moment of what sounded to us like mean-spirited competitive snark.

While this little story is not specifically about aviation, as a lifelong student of sales and marketing, I notice common themes.

Salespeople in the aviation industry frequently lose sales in a very similar way. The sad thing is that they probably never knew they lost it, or had a chance to save it.

Our friend in red flannel could have saved the sale by doing one or more of three things, which we will explain momentarily.

When my son was growing up, I used to tell him that you can say anything you need to to anybody you want, but it will only come out the way you want if you say it the right way.

So, there are lots of possible reasons that our snarky friend in red flannel lost what was presumably a decent-sized sale that day.

Maybe he really had a terrible experience with a programmable Christmas tree.

Maybe he wasn’t on commission, or had met his quota, and didn’t want the hassle of ringing up another sale.

Or maybe he was just plain sick of Christmas. I suppose it happens, especially in that business.

But there were many ways he could have saved the sale. Here are a few:

1) Ask questions.

  • What do you want it to do? Change the lights? Play music?
  • Where are you going to put it?
  • Does it need a remote control?
  • Have you considered buying a programmable timer and connecting it to a plain old pre-lit tree?

Given the vast array of items in the store, I’m sure this man could have suggested a solution that would have worked for John’s porch idea, even better than our preconceived notion of what a “programmable Christmas tree” could and should do. He was an expert on such things, we were not.

2) Be specific.

We would have been more likely to believe “we’ve had a few programmable trees returned by customers who were unhappy because the volume on the music box didn’t adjust the way they wanted it to.” Rather than simply “They’re nothing but trouble.” Few products on the market are really that bad, and exaggeration sounds unprofessional and childish.

3) A variation on the same theme – Be careful when speaking ill of a competing product!

While not as important for artificial Christmas trees as for aviation-related products, it’s a small world, people are very brand-loyal and very few things are actually an inferior product. In most cases where they don’t work perfectly it’s because it’s not well-suited to the task at hand.

By providing helpful, specific and non-negative information about a competing product, you build credibility, even with a prospect who came in with a firm but uneducated opinion about what he wants.

So, we had a wonderful time over Christmas in Colorado, enjoyed time with family, and even enjoyed seeing the iconic St. Nick’s. But we’re still in search of the perfect artificial Christmas tree for our front porch. The good news is, we still have 51 weeks to find it.

One of the most useful services we offer with our Executive Brief program is a thing we call “Mystery Shopping.” A member of our team with a carefully constructed “cover story” will act as a customer and interact with your sales staff. Then we produce a detailed report with suggestions for improvement based on checklists we’ve developed in our years of consulting in this industry. Our coaching members always find it enlightening.

Sales success – How hard do your prospects and customers have to work?

Some of you know that we have a kid serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco.  You might also know that we went to visit him last week – took him to Spain for a little bit of a vacation along the Costa Del Sol – some castles, boardwalks, Spanish food, beer, and so on. It was a fantastic (if short!) vacation, but it led me to an insight about marketing.

Customs lines - Image by WSJ

Are daunting processes messing up your sales numbers?

We traveled from Morocco to Spain and back by ferry, which looked pretty easy when you’re at home, planning the trip, looking at Google Earth on your computer screen. It’s quite a different thing in reality.

The most frustrating part of the trip was probably the customs lines at the Tanger ferry terminal.  I wish I’d taken pictures, but I thought I’d lose my camera (and/or my spot in line) if I tried it.

The frustrating part was this: Every single person had to go through the same line, whether they were traveling with just a backpack;  or with a carload of boxes, bags and bundles purchased in Spain. Some people had three or four baggage carts with clothing, appliances, furniture, and so on.

We were trudging through a maze of stanchions, as the folks in front of and behind us pushed, dragged, trundled or rolled their stuff toward the x-ray machines.  The good news is that everyone was helpful –  we all helped one another progress through the line. About an hour later, when we arrived at the x-ray machines, we had all made some new friends, and everybody was carrying somebody else’s stuff. The poor guy sitting in front of the monitor (one guy for four machines, as near as I could tell) had no way of knowing whose stuff was whose, and had no way of stopping anyone from just picking up their stuff and walking off with it after it emerged from the conveyer belt.

This could have been massively helped by having two lines, as most customs departments do – one line for travelers with merchandise, another for travelers with “nothing to declare.”

And that wasn’t the only example – we should not have been surprised since our first experience in the country of Morocco was to  wait for about two and a half hours at the airport passport control upon arriving in Casablanca from Paris.

Security theater, at its best.  As someone who has complained about the TSA in the US, I have to say, the TSA upon our return to New York were weirdly refreshing by comparison.

So, the point of all this is that word gets around. 

Coffee in Morocco

Mickey and John enjoying a well-deserved coffee. Of course we were motivated to take the ferry, regardless of inconvenience.  The things one does to spend time with ones’ kids!  Less motivated tourists might get word of a daunting experience and skip it altogether.

Although Morocco is only 2.5 hours away from Spain by ferry, it’s a world apart in terms of tourism revenue. (Spain earned almost seven and a half times the tourism revenue that Morocco earned from 2009 to 2012, according to the World Bank.)

How much of that tourism is lost because of inefficient processes? 
It’s hard to say.  But given the enchanting history, art, literature and heritage of Morocco, and it’s proximity to Spain, I was puzzled before our trip that so few of our well-traveled friends have been there.
How many of your sales are being lost to inefficient processes?
No matter how attractive your product, there are people who will hesitate to purchase, and will hesitate to recommend it to others, if the process of acquiring, installing, using it or getting customer service for it is perceived as daunting. 
People use aviation products and services for one primary reason- convenience. Private aviation is the ultimate “time machine,” allowing them to be where they want to be with a minimum of time and effort.  Customers, particularly affluent customers, are increasingly intolerant of inconvenience.
I’m sure tourism companies, hotels and resorts in Morocco will say – “But that’s outside of our control! We don’t set passport control or customs policy.” 
Many aviation companies react in the same way – there are many regulatory factors outside our control that can make things difficult for our customers. But there is always SOMETHING we can do, and smart aviation companies seek to expand their influence to make things easier for their customers:
  • NBAA actively lobbies for less cumbersome and prohibitive regulation, like user fees and excessive searches.  Every roadblock and expense they remove or prevent helps many aviation companies.
  • AeroStar Training Services provides ab-initio (from the first flight lesson through the airline type rating) options that include room and board and coordinate with colleges and universities to provide an all-inclusive flight training options for airlines and self-funded students. This makes the process less daunting for companies that can find the right candidates and trust AeroStar to take care of the details.
  • Dallas Jet International has relationships with attorneys, accountants, tax experts and other professionals to make the sale or acquisition of a business jet as seamless as possible for their clients. This helps their clients learn from the experience and expertise of a diverse team of specialists so they don’t run into a preventable snag or miss an important advantage.
  • Tanis Aircraft Products acquires STCs for many of their products, and provides Weather Safety Tips above and beyond the use of their products. This helps their customers fly confidently in cold weather.
  • The Taj Hotel in Bangalore (not an aviation example, but travel-related) sent a facilitator to pick us up at the airport, assist with the customs process, translate for us if needed.  He also took us back to the airport and facilitated our departure. This was a huge help on our first (daunting) trip to India.

What you can do:

  • Make a list of the (real or perceived) problems or issues your customers run into before, during or after making a purchase from you. Include weather, regulatory, and other factors “beyond your control.”
  • Brainstorm ideas of how your company might provide information or services to prevent those problems.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis for the best ideas – how many more sales would you have to make to cover the cost of providing solutions?
  • Implement solutions that make sense.
  • Measure and re-evaluate your efforts annually. If it works and it’s cost-effective, consider doing more!

So, we’re back.
PS – Don’t let this post discourage you from visiting Morocco if you’re so inclined. The people are warm, open and welcoming, and there are a lot of things well worth seeing.  We visited large cities and remote areas, and never once felt unwelcome or unsafe, as somewhat “obvious” Americans.  A little more French on our side would have been helpful. (I once got eggs when I thought I had ordered salad.)  Altogether,  trip is well worth the wait.

Even if you don’t have kids there!

Sales Phobia Panel Discussion – Excerpts

Last week, we hosted a panel discussion with five experienced sales professionals in different parts of the aviation industry.  We learned a lot about “sales phobia,” a common affliction in the aviation industry.   Thanks much to our “all star” panel.

The full transcript and recording will be on their way to our members and panelists this week.

Here are a few excerpts for everyone to enjoy.

Sales Phobia Panel Discussion Excerpt – How to Prepare for a Sales Call

We asked sales experts in the Aviation Industry – “How Do You Prepare for a Sales Call?” Their answers might surprise you. On the call – Dan Bigelow, Sandler Sales; Brad Harris, Founder and CEO, Dallas Jet international; Mike Livezey, Cutter Aviation; Michael J. Ryan, AirPSG, LLC; and Captain David Santo, Aerostar Training Services LLC.

Dan Bigelow, sales trainer and consultant with Sandler Sales Training of Utah talks about hiring the best salespeople.

Introduction – Brad Harris, Dallas Jet International
Brad Harris, Founder and CEO of Dallas Jet International an Chairman of NARA, was our panelist for our Sales Phobia Discussion for the Aviation Marketing Master Class. Brad brings a great perspective from the high-end aircraft resale community from his experience at DJI and as chairman of NARA.

Introduction – Mike Livezey, Cutter Aviation

Mike Livezey of Cutter Aviation was our panelist for our Sales Phobia Discussion for the Aviation Marketing Master Class. We were happy to have Michael on the program. Here’s his introduction!

Introduction – Michael J. Ryan, AirPSG

Michael J. Ryan, Managing Member of AirPSG, was our panelist for our Sales Phobia Discussion for the Aviation Marketing Master Class. Michael has the very valuable perspective from the “other end” of the airplane, as a frequent charter customer!

Introduction – David Santo, Aerostar Training Services, LLC

Captain David Santo, Aerostar Training Services LLC was our panelist for our Sales Phobia Discussion for the Aviation Marketing Master Class. Dave spends half his time as a professional airline captain, and half his time in the company he co-founded to help aviation students acquire type ratings, skills and connections for an airline career.

Critical Sales Failure Point – The Handoff

sales failure pointWe’ve all had experiences where we are are the victim of a “handoff” from marketing to sales to customer service in companies where  people don’t seem to be able to “get it together.” This is a costly sales failure point, as well as a huge frustration for customers.

Cable companies are notorious for this, but aviation companies are certainly not innocent.

Customer Frustrations Resulting from Poor Handoffs

      • Repeated “cold” calls from the same company, after telling the salesperson you have no interest.
  • The salesperson launches into a well-rehearsed spiel for a product that is clearly unsuitable.
  • Obviously poorly targeted marketing. (Receiving beautifully-printed catalogs for KingAir parts when your company flies a Hawker.)
  • Receiving the wrong product in the mail, or having the service person show up unprepared.
  • Having to make the same request repeatedly.
  • Missed appointments
  • And so on.

These are obviously symptoms that the business you’re dealing with has failed to communicate well internally.

As frustrating as this is for a customer, there are additional problems for the business owner.

Critical Sales Failure Points

  • Expensive catalogs and brochures sent to the wrong prospects.
  • Valuable, perishable leads dropped without action because “someone else was working on it.”
  • Unsatisfied, unhappy customers lost to competitors that won’t renew or refer, and might return the product and request a refund.

Not to mention, sales and marketing mysteriously not performing at what you believe should be their true potential, given the amount of money you’ve invested.

Of course, we’re all trying to accomplish more work with fewer people, and this only exacerbates the problem. Sometimes a missed handoff occurs when there’s no one to hand a task to, workload gets overwhelming, and a critical task gets dropped.

So, what do you do? How can you prevent these sales failures? (As well as customer service and marketing failures?)

We like Tim Ferris’ philosophy from The Four Hour Workweek (not that we agree with the title!)  But the concept works:

Evaluate every task you do every day, and do one of three things with it if at all possible:Sales Marketing Customers Service CRM

  1. Eliminate it
  2. Automate it
  3. Delegate it

If all else fails, of course you’ll have to do it yourself. But your success really depends on being able to exercise one of these three options with the vast majority of the tasks on your plate.

The more time you liberate from the mundane, repetitive things that can be automated or delegated, the better you can execute those complex tasks where your skills and experience are critical.

There are a few tasks we can safely eliminate – that’s the topic for a future article.  But the remaining two, automating and delegating, require the use of a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Examples of things you can automate (completely or partially)

  • infusionsoftMarketing reports, pipeline reports, lead scoring, and other research
  • Timed marketing sequences delivered mail, print, fax, text or phone. (We prefer a mix of the first two.)
  • New customer “welcome” sequences that deliver tutorial videos, a “tip of the week,” or other information helping them use your product more effectively (and be more satisfied with it!)
  • Self-service customer service platforms for accessing documentation and data.

We recommend, configure and provide training for our clients on the Infusionsoft CRM system, which we’ve found to be the most cost-effective for medium-sized businesses with a smaller sales,  marketing  and customer service staff than they would like.

Of course, any tool is only good if you use it, which is why proper implementation and training is critical. We spend four to six weeks in our ramp-up process to configure the software to accurately reflect and serve your marketing activities, your sales pipeline, and your customer service needs.

There is no “easy button” or “silver bullet’ that will make your marketing, sales and customer service team do perfect handoffs every time. But the right tools and training can help a small company “get its act together,” make the most of a small marketing budget, and to be seen by customers as a word-class, consistent performer they’re happy to do business with and comfortable referring their friends.


Sales Phobia Panel Discussion

We’re looking forward to a great panel discussion next week that you’ll definitely want to be a part of if you’re involved in sales or marketing in the aviation industry!

We’ll be asking the questions YOU want to ask, of the people who are “in the trenches” making sales in different parts of the industry.

Our panelists: (In alphabetical order, because they all get star billing)

Dan Bigelow, Sandler Sales Training of Utah

Dan Bigelow - Sales PhobiaSandler Training (mcn.sandler.com) is a world leader in innovative sales and sales management training. For more than 40 years, Sandler has taught its distinctive, non-traditional selling system and highly effective sales training methodology, which has helped salespeople and sales managers take charge of the process.

The Sandler methodology is sales training that works and management training that works.

Brad Harris, Founder and CEO, Dallas Jet International

Brad Harris - Sales PhobiaBrad Harris is Chairman of NARA (www.NARAaircraft.com) and founder and CEO of Dallas Jet International, (www.DallasJet.com) which provides a complete range of services to jet aircraft owners.

DJI has recently completed its most successful year in business since 2007.

Brad is a current pilot of several aircraft including Gulfstream, Hawker, Falcon, and Citation.

Mike Livezey, General Manager, Cutter Aviation

Mike Livezey - Sales PhobiaMike Livezey joined Cutter Aviation in 2006 as Operations Manager for the FBO at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, Texas and was promoted to General Manager later that year.In 2007, he accepted responsibility as Director of Corporate Marketing for the Cutter Aviation network of FBOs.
Mike entered the aviation industry in 2001 and held various management positions before joining Cutter Aviation. (www.CutterAviation.com)

Mike presently serves on the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee.

Michael J. Ryan, Managing Member, AirPSG, LLC

Mike Ryan - Sales PhobiaAirPSG’s hands-free, easy to implement marketing solutions enable our clients to take control of their own futures by reducing their reliance on charter brokers and online booking services. And we can make it happen for you too.

AirPSG makes it possible for you to compete with the big names and claim your share of retail air charter passengers and higher margin aircraft management business without having to invest a lot of time or energy. How? By providing high-impact, affordable BRAND and ONLINE MARKETING SOLUTIONS that are customized to fit your company’s needs. (www.AirPSG.com)

David Santo, President, Aerostar Training Services LLC
One of AeroStar’s two founders, Captain Santo has accumulated over 12,000 flight hours and is currently serving as an A320 Captain for a major U.S. airline. Dave is typed in Boeing B-727, Boeing B747-400, Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Learjet, CE-550 (Cessna Citation), HF -320 (Hansa Jet) and has served in positions as Assistant Chief Pilot, Check Airman, Delivery Pilot, Accident Investigator, Simulator Instructor, Training Center Evaluator for four part 121 airlines. Dave has previous experience developing, managing and constructing training programs and facilities from inception to completion. Dave is an alumni of Southern Illinois University, The Citadel, and Cochise College.

We’ll be asking them questions like these:

  • Do sales tasks come more easily to some people “naturally” or is it something that is learned/practiced?
  • What techniques help you prepare for a sales call?
  • How do you identify “sales phobia” in a team member, (Procrastination, excuses, etc.) and what do you do about it?
  • How do you hire great salespeople who are less likely to have “sales phobia” issues?

Seating is limited for this special event. If you have not already reserved your seat, please register now!

(Link won’t work? Paste this into your browser instead)


See you Wednesday, August 20, at 1:00 MDT

Be careful what you promise, and who you promise it to!

We attended a promotion party for a dear friend this weekend. Our friend, a recently commissioned Colonel, drew our attention to the words of the oath taken by officers. They do NOT promise to obey or defend their superior officers, the Joint Chiefs, the Commander In Chief even the Army itself.



They swear to defend the Constitution of the United States.

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

(DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

So, why is this important?

Well, when you look at armed forces around the world who are obligated to support and defend the “tyrant of the month,” personal loyalty comes at a premium but also has a great price when there is a shift in the politics.

I have to cringe when I see marketing that makes unrealistic promises to unknown entities.

It’s one thing to say “We do whatever it takes to delight our customers,” until some overprivileged jet pilot brings your receptionist to tears, or some irresponsible student puts the safety of people or property at risk, or a group of young celebrities tries to sneak their stash of controlled substances on board a charter flight.

There have always been irresponsible consumers, but we have to wonder if the “over the top” marketing messages imply that imply “we’ll do whatever it takes to get your business” may have contributed to the problem.

Our philosophy – make smaller, more specific promises to carefully targeted prospects. They’re more believable. And it’s easier to meet (or exceed) expectations and get referrals to other carefully selected prospects.

What do you think? Does overblown marketing contribute to the phenomenon of “customers behaving badly?”

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