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Three Ways Aviation Professionals Can Use a Retargeting or Recapture Campaign to Sell More Stuff!

Three Ways Aviation Professionals can Use a Retargeting or Recapture campaign to sell more stuff!

We’ll talk about:

  • Low Tech retargeting!  No tech skills needed!
  • Example Retargeted Campaign  – Swipe & Deploy
  • Our Favorite Web Retargeting Tools – Which are worth the money? (We compare Adroll and Perfect Audience with the pros and cons of each.)

We answer great questions from participants as well!

Note – I am actually using the Valentine’s Day Recapture campaign outlined in this video – results reported below.

Recapture Campaign – Results

So, I promised to report to the group on our Valentine’s Day Recapture Campaign, thought this might be helpful to those of you who also struggle with sales calls.

Score card – 2/16/2017

4/20 or 20% response! And we’re not done yet . . .
Interim Report – The Gory Details:

February 7- Sent Packages

Sent Valentine’s day packages to 20 “lost’ customers we haven’t worked with in over a year.

February 15 -Early Responses

  • Received one referral from a person who received a package (Coincidence? I don’t THINK so!)
  • Got a call from another package recipient who asked a technical question, then asked us for a recommendation on how to fix a problem with his website. Analysis and recommendations in progress. . . .

February 16 -Sales Calls, Round 1

  • Made calls to the 20 package recipients to set up consultation appointments.  Left 15 voicemail + email messages
  • Talked with 3 human beings, 2 completely unreachable/unfindable.
  • 5 bounced emails, people apparently no longer working where they were when they were clients.
  • One found via LinkedIn, sent a message.
  • Eliminated 5 companies/contacts from the list because they have merged, been acquired, or our contact is no longer there.
  • Received 2 responses with requests to set up a consultation.

How to Create your 2017 Marketing Planning Calendar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aviation Sales and Marketing Insider Circle - Join Us!



How do I follow up after a Trade Show?

We created this free webinar as an illustration of a marketing campaign, but also to answer these questions:

“What do I do with this pile of business cards I collected at NBAA?”
“Everybody tells me to follow up, but what exactly should I be doing with these?”
“How do I get the most out of these contacts without driving them crazy?”
“I spent a ton of money on the trade show, I don’t have a lot left for follow up. How can I maximize these dollars?”

We talk about how to get warm contacts during a trade show, but spend most of the time in this video sorting our warm contacts into an “A list,” “B list” and “C list” based on the likelihood of doing business with them, and using a slightly different follow up process for each.

The idea is to use your money, and even more importantly, your time, in the most effective possible way.




  • Webinar - Marketing Technology - What's New and What Works in 2016

Webinar – Marketing Technology – What’s New and What Works in 2016

Technology is a Great Servant but a Poor Master!

There are many shiny new technologies that sales and marketing professionals use to make their jobs easier. But unfortunately, many times it seems that the “tail wags the dog” and sales and marketing professionals feel like they’re working for the technology, instead of having the technology work for them.  That’s the reason for this month’s webinar.

This webinar is for you if:

  • You sell something
  • You’re in aviation or a related industry
  • You know your way around a PC, but
  • You don’t have technological superpowers!

What we’ll cover today:

  1. Using a Weekly Routine to Defend Against:
    • Overload
    • Shiny Object Syndrome
    • Random Acts of Marketing
  2. Specific Tools We Use & Why
  3. Techniques for Staying Focused

  • trade show secrets

AMHF 0036 – Aviation Trade Show Secrets

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

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

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

John and I can be pretty opinionated, and sometimes a litlte snarky when we feel like people aren’t listening to our advice. So, let’s get into it. . .


Transcript – Trade Show Basics


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

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Playing Episode number 36. The Top Secret Trade Show Strategy. We’re going to show that with you today. 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 ladies and gentleman out there sell more products and services in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So we’re using a hashtag if you want to join the conversation, if you have questions, comments, disagree with us about anything or anything else.

John Williams: Nobody would disagree with you.

Paula Williams: Heaven forbid.

Paula Williams: Use the #AvGeekMarketing. We promise we will reply to every tweet on Twitter.

We also watch Instagram and Facebook so feel free to use those Hashtag. Hashtags don’t work on LinkedIn just so you know. Some people have tried that, they just don’t work very well so don’t bother with that but you can always comment to us on our post or on our company profile or anything like that if LinkedIn is your tool of choice as it is for John, we use that as well.

So, gentlemen this is a football.

John Williams: That sounded like Vince Lombardi.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That is Vince Lombardi. Every year, and he works with very, very talented, worked sorry. With very talented athletes who were the top of the scale in their schools, in their leagues and everything else so these are people that really really know their stuff.

John Williams: You can imagine this gang every year he does this and they’re going brother.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: But, his follow-on did really well and they’re winning streak was unbelievable.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So, he would start each group every year, each team every season with the basics and he would start with, this is a football, this is a sock.

This is how you put your socks on your feet so that you don’t get wrinkles in your socks. If you get wrinkles in your socks, you get blisters, if you get blisters, you lose practice time and if you lose practice time, you lose fractions of seconds off of your time.

In particular, things that you’re doing.

John Williams: And we lose games.

Paula Williams: And we lose games. Exactly. So, there is nothing wrong with learning the basics. And I think in marketing, a lot of people have never learned the basics, or when they have-

John Williams: Forgotten them.

Paula Williams: They kind of glossed over them because they want the nifty shiny new object or the latest technology or the coolest trick but today, we are telling you this secret strategy to doing trade shows well.

And the secret strategy to doing trade shows well is by attending to the basics. And if you feel disappointed because of that, I’m sorry. But I will tell you, having gone to a lot of trade shows and worked with a lot of clients, it is a secret strategy.

Nobody seems to know it, right? Nobody seems to do-

John Williams: Or at least they know it. They don’t use it.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, nobody seems to do the basics, right? So, the most basic thing in the world is to plan your marketing, right? We don’t want to have any random acts of marketing that’s always been our motto and we repeat that a lot.

But, marketing basics, right? First of all, let’s talk about advertising versus marketing.

John Williams: Now there’s a concept.

Paula Williams: Right, a lot of people think that advertising and marketing are the same thing.

John Williams: And there’s other people that get confused on which is the part of which other one.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so we’ll talk about that today. We’ll talk about what marketing can and can’t do. We’ll talk about market research and product development. We will talk about phase one, getting attention or advertising. We will talk about phase two, building credibility and closing sales. And we will talk about phase three, after the sale.

Again today is just going to be a very brief overview of these basics. And there’s a lot more information on all of these things, on a lot of our other podcasts and other things. So feel free to dig in to any of these topics that you need more information about or again, you can tweet us and we’ll respond or email us the question.

All right, so, advertising versus marketing.

Paula Williams: Advertising is one of, in some cases, four, in some cases six, in some cases, eight components of marketing. Depending on what textbook you’re looking at. It’s usually the first thing in the cycle. Other than planning, the first thing the public sees anyway about your company.

So, the way that they see you for the first time or the way they come into contact with you for the first time is marketing or is advertising. But there’s other things in the practice of marketing and that is relationship building, sales, research. And then you come back to improve your advertising, improve your relationship building, improve your sales, improve your research.

John Williams: All subsets of marketing.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So, a lot of people say depending on how their organization is structured, they may have Sales and Marketing in two different departments. In my world, sales should report to marketing. Advertising should report to marketing.

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Relationship building and customer service should report to marketing and research of course should report to marketing.

So all of that stuff is part of the same business cycle. So, when people talk about marketing, they are not just talking about advertising unless you’re in the aviation industry. [LAUGH] In a lot of cases, a lot of people think that those two are synonymous, they’re really not.

John Williams: Well the sub-structure and who reports to whom that you allude to is only necessary if you’re interested in making sales.

Paula Williams: Right. [LAUGH] Exactly.

John Williams: Which is the object of any company.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So I mean if you’re interested in empire building or anything else, then you want to have as many departments as you possibly can.

But honestly, all of these activities really need to be coordinated. And that’s why we recommend that they all be in a single department. So all of those things are feeding information into each other. There really should not be silos. So, that is very, very important. We think you should actually start one ahead of this, one step ahead of what the public sees and that is with research.

Of course, you’re identifying your ideal target customer doing all of those things before you start building your advertising. A lot of people start with the idea, I need a brochure about my product. Your brochure is never about your product. Your brochure is about your customers, right? So that’s why you need to do the research ahead of time to make sure that you’re hitting the right target and that those are going to be effective.

Okay, so, under research, we have product development. So, a dog can’t win a horse race.

John Williams: Do you think?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s the thing, even the very best marketing is not going to help you if your product isn’t the same or better than your competitors. So, product development is really the first step and when we evaluate a new potential client for marketing consulting services We do what we call a competitive analysis and we look at their product and we look at the competitors on the market.

And unless there is some reason that their product is at least as good as the other products on the market or superior in some way for a particular audience set. Then we really don’t have a leg to stand on with our advertising and our marketing other than maybe hot air, right?

So we’re just pouring money into something that doesn’t have a chance of working. So product development is really the first step. And when you’re planning your trade show, you want to look at who are my other competitors that are going to be at that trade show and am I going to be a dog in a horse race?

If that is the case, don’t go to that trade show. Spend the time working on product development or find an audience that is going to see your product as the horse. Because it’s going to be superior for that particular audience, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Okay, all right so, we are talking about marketing basics and this really is the very basics.

And this is our long cycle marketing formula. This is the secret sauce if there is one in our marketing system. So phase one, of course, advertising and prospecting, that’s the first thing that people see. When they come into contact with your company. And that includes all of the first bits of the trade show.

So the invitations to get to your booth, the signage, all of that stuff is advertising and prospecting. Phase two, building credibility and closing sales. This is the piece that is missing from most trade show campaigns, they think about what happens up until the show closes. But that is really when you are just getting started, so phase two is building credibility and closing sales.

In the aviation industry, we have an average sales cycle of about eight months from the time people first come into contact with us until the time that they actually sign a deal or write us a check, right? So if it’s going to be eight months from the time that they meet you at a show til the time that they ink a deal.

Chances are your competitors are going to approach them, they are going to have different priorities show up in their life. They’re going to have different budget considerations and other kinds of things. You really need to do what you can to make sure that you stay top in mind during that eight months.

And so that can be emails, that can be newsletters, that can be visits, phone calls, whatever that includes. Whatever that mix includes and we usually recommend more than one type of thing, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Some people are never going to open your emails but they will take a phone call.

Some people are never take a phone call but they will open a mailed newsletter.

John Williams: Of course, snail mail version.

Paula Williams: A snail mail letter version, which is your preference, right?

John Williams: Yeah, I prefer actually paper.

Paula Williams: So if you meet somebody at a trade show, how do you want them, and don’t actually is a pretty good demographic of our target customer for most aviation products.

But how do you prefer to be followed up with after a trade show?

John Williams: Are you talking to me?

Paula Williams: Yeah, I just asked you a question.

John Williams: I thought you were asking them a question.

Paula Williams: I said you are the target demographic for most of aviation products and services.

So you attend a trade show and you meet somebody for the first time, how would you prefer that they follow up with you?

John Williams: That’s interesting, it depends.

John Williams: Sometimes phone call, sometimes an email. Preferably, probably a phone call but if I really wanted to follow up, I want to know a business card and the phone number so I can plug it into my phone if I’m really serious.

Paula Williams: Great, so the most effective way to follow up with you after a trade show would be to give you a call or send you something in the mail.

John Williams: As a matter of fact, the last trade show I’ve asked somebody to give me a call and they did.

And I’ve had to put them off a couple of times, but I keep telling them to call back. Yeah I got their number and name in my phone, it’s just that the timing hasn’t been exactly correct for what I want to do yet.

Paula Williams: So why are you being so frustratingly awful to the sales person who’s trying to make a sale?

John Williams: No, I’m not being awful. I told him, I said there’s some things that I don’t know yet about this particular product that they’ve got that I really wanted just as soon as I can get my stuff together.

Paula Williams: Right, I understand that, and what I’m meaning by that is from a sales person’s perspective, that is really, really frustrating to have a customer say I’m not ready for it, call me back.

But that’s going to happen more often than not, especially in the aviation industry because there’s a lot of things beyond our control as buyers as well as our control as sellers, right?

John Williams: No different from the water softener guy I keep talking to.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Tell me about that.

John Williams: I saw an ad somewhere and called him and they got a good product and we need to replace ours. But the timing isn’t when I want to do it right now because of our travel schedule and many other things and I just am not ready to do that.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly, so it’s not on the radar and it will be followed up with at the right time. But as we’ve said, the average time in aviation is about eight months. And that’s for a number of reasons and everybody got them. It’s either regulatory or travel or their busy season or financial or any other number of reasons that they just can’t do business with you right away.

So that phase two is incredibly important and I would say that’s where the vast majority of your competitors are going to fall off the map. So you know if there is a competitive advantage to be had and if they’re unspending you on advertising you can make it up here and based too by doing better follow up right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: All right and then phase three resales, recaptures and referrals so what this have to do with trade shows?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well guess what you’re going to do after you leave the trade show and you made a sale?

Paula Williams: Exactly. A lot of people don’t think about this as part of their trade show plan.

But one of the things that you want to put on your white board when you’re making your trade show plan is, how am I going to reconnect with each of my existing customers and maybe do a testimonial interview? Maybe see how they are doing, do a customer satisfaction survey, take them to lunch, buy them a cup of coffee.

You really want to spoil [LAUGH] your existing customers especially your largest and most important existing customers. You want to make sure that you visit their booth and maybe take a picture with them and put it on your social media and link to them. You want to do what you can to improve their visibility.

Because when they do better you do better.

John Williams: I’m going to interject something here that may not be completely relevant. But there’s a cost to the acquisition each and every customer.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And part of that is exactly what she talked about, coffee, dinner whatever.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and a lot of people don’t invest in their existing customers because they think well that’s a done deal.

But while they’re at that trade show, your competitors are wining and dining them. And inviting them to their booth and showing them shiny new things. And you really need to stay in the running and not consider it a done deal.

John Williams: If you’re selling [INAUDIBLE] of course then it’s very infrequent that somebody’s going to buy one.

However, you want them top of mind when they hid another bird or lighting strike or something and knock another one off. So that you can.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Have that business as well.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So, phase three should be a really important part of your trade show plan and I would say, most companies spend 95% of their time and energy on phase one and they think that trade shows is just an advertising and prospecting activity to get new leads.

But I think you really need to split your time and energy at least 50 50. The 50% in Phase One and then the other 50% divided somehow between Phase Two and Phase Three depending on how many existing customers you have, depending on the repeat sales cycle that you have and other kinds of things.

And we can talk about that individually with you, depending on your circumstances, but a 50 50 split is usually pretty good and will outstrip your competitors really, really well on your Phase Two and Phase Three. Would you agree?

John Williams: Sure.

Paula Williams: All right, cool.

John Williams: Sometimes I agree with you.

Paula Williams: Sometimes you do. That is absolutely true. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit more about phase one. Actually this is going really badly.

Paula Williams: That’s okay, we can cut this bit out. So that will be fine. So an example, some examples of Phase One that you can connect to a trade show, you can put a landing page on your website where people can sign up to come to your booth at a particular time, you can do search engine optimization using the trade show as a keyword.

Sometimes there is a hashtag for that particular trade show you can use that as a keyword in your search engine optimization. That’s kind of a neat trick to get people to your website who are planning to attend that trade show and who are looking for things to do at that trade show or doing their own planning.

Another thing you can do is social media. You can put posts on your Facebook page saying come see us in boot 495 at this trade show.

John Williams: Don’t use the 495. Use your own booth number.

Paula Williams: They wouldn’t do that!

Paula Williams: That’s crazy. You can do magazine advertisements to get people to your booth.

Or to follow up after, lots of ways to do that. Of course, the trade show appearance itself is an advertising or prospecting activity. You can send postcards, we do this a lot to prospects saying here’s a reason you should come to our booth at this trade show and have a really great call to action about your contest or your product demo or whatever it is that you’re using as a call to action to get people to your booth.

And referrals from current customers. You can say bring someone to our booth and you both get a box of chocolates or whatever the appropriate thing is to incentivize your current customers to come see you and also to bring their friends and neighbors from the show, right?

John Williams: Just don’t have something up there where you drop your business card in a fish bowl for a drawing for an iPad.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] We talked a lot about that. That’s like our pet peeve about trade shows is where you have something that is really common and really not relevant to your product or service.

John Williams: I mean if you want to give away an iPad, that’s great. But don’t have them just put business cards in there.

Talk to them. Have them fill out a form with contact information. Find out how relevant they are as a customer or a potential customer for your business.

Paula Williams: Right, yeah, you want to qualify customers just a little bit before you start spending money on them. And a very good friend of ours has a really good formula for qualifying customers.

He uses the acronym MAN. Money, Authority, and Need. You know if they don’t have at least one of those things you really shouldn’t be including them in your contest. So ways that you can profile somebody for need at least is if they will spend ten minutes watching a product demo or if they will do a trivia quiz about your particular area of subject matter expertise.

Then this a person that’s interested in your product or service. You could say, for authority, you could say, this applies only to maintenance technicians. Only maintenance technicians can apply for this particular prize or something like that, so that you know that that person has the authority to do what you want.

Money, you really can’t judge, at lest not without being rude, [LAUGH] in a trade show. The fact that they happen to be at the trade show does have some kind of a barrier there. Because obviously, there’s somebody that’s investing in their company, or their company is investing for them to be there.

So you have a little bit of an indication that they do have the money end of things. So that’s money, authority, and need. If you can qualify at least one of those things, that will keep you from doing the random act of marketing involved with having a really, really stupid drawing or raffle, right?

Okay, so call to action at your booth. Do you want them to enter a contest? Do you want them to have you send them an information packet or a white paper after the show. You know, what can you offer them that gives them the reason to give you their contact information.

And you know, as John said, you don’t want them to just drop their business card in fish bowl, unless you’re going to qualify them in some way. All right. So then you want to send them something like a information package after the show and often we try not to give them too much literature at the show because a lot of that ends up in the convention center garbage cans.

Or the hotel room garbage cans. As people are trying to lighten their luggage to get home to wherever they came from. So if you giving people, especially something that’s fairly expensive, like an information package or a nice catalog or something like that, you want to make sure you send it to their office after the show, don’t just hand it to them from your booth.

John Williams: Yeah cuz there’s three ways they get either into the convention center trash, the hotel trash or it gets to the kids when they get home.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, how many times do you open your bag at the end of a convention and you get home to your kids and you look through all the markers and pens and fabulous little toys and erasers and things and you know the kids go to school the next day with a pile of new school supplies.


John Williams: A treasure trove so to speak.

Paula Williams: A treasure trove exactly so that’s always fun. All right so some of your customers are going to be really, really qualified and you’re going to give them an information package. Some of them are going to be not quite so qualified and you can figure that out from their position or from the company that they work for.

Or from maybe the amount of interest that they demonstrated in the product in your booth. So maybe you have 100 information packages to give away and you give them to the most qualified people. And everybody else gets a personalized postcard That’s still not bad. They don’t know they’re being discriminated against.

[LAUGH] Right? They don’t know what everybody else is getting, so that’s perfectly fine to send something less expensive to some of your leads. And then you have your initial sales call. And we like to make those within a week of getting home from a trade show so that you remember who you are.

And you’ll want to remind them of something that happened in the conversation or something like that. So you want to make sure you take good notes at the show so that these sales calls become much easier. Don’t let people see you do this because some people think it’s kind of rude.

But I like to take notes actually on a business card. You know, I will write a word or two about the conversation and the topic that we discussed or something that will remind me of the conversation that we had.

John Williams: And you particularly don’t want to write on a business card if an agent gives it to you.

Paula Williams: Well, we don’t want to be [LAUGH]

John Williams: Because that’s a real interesting concept to have the idea of business card.

Paula Williams: Right. There are some cultural considerations here that you want to make sure that you’re aware of. So, if you are at ABACE, ignore what I just said.


Paula Williams: Take your notes in the notepad and make sure that you get to have that cross-referenced to your business cards. And that’s actually much more decorous way to make sure that those things happen. But, one way or another just make sure that you remember people really, really well, and you remember the conversations, that’s key to making those sales calls go well.

One lady that I know bends the corner of a business card. She bends the right corner if it’s somebody that is a really, really hot lead that she wants to follow up with. She bends the left corner if this is somebody that she never wants to talk to again.

And others are just left flat. So then she gets home and she has all these bent cards. But once again, you want to make sure nobody sees you do this for lots of reasons. Okay so that’s another secret. Okay phase two, building credibility and closing sales. This is putting the equation together and this is all about the customer, right, getting to know the customer what they want, what they need, what their timing is going to be, what considerations there are in the way of making that transaction.

So you know we talked about regular emails, printed mail, news letters, social media conversations connecting with them on LinkedIn. Sending them a direct mail promotion, here’s something that you expressed an interest in, we’re going to have a sale on that next month. Whatever you can do to continue that conversation.

And follow up calls as required and sometimes it takes six, eight, ten calls to make a sale. All right, so carrying on, phase three. Referrals, [LAUGH] resales and recaptures.

Paula Williams: If you have a product that people don’t like, you’re going to have a really hard time getting referrals, resales, and recaptures.

So, you want to make sure that your follow-up is good. You want to make sure that you’re doing a tip of the week or something like that so that they understand how to use it. You may want to do a walk-through especially if it’s a really technical product or a checkout.

John, when he bought one of the airplanes that had a G1000, the first one they made him do a three day. Three day?

John Williams: Yes, the three day checkout.

Paula Williams: Three day checkout to make sure that you knew what you were doing, before they turned you loose with this new, shiny new toy.

John Williams: Well, and this probably wasn’t a bad idea. I mean, I was a six pack guy, and I got an instant reading, and so forth. And all those, flew in the military. But it was always six pack, there was never any glass band. So it was a good thing.

Paula Williams: Right, so you want to make sure that people have a good chance of being happy with your product. And sometimes that doesn’t have anything to do with the product. It has to do with the training and other things. So you have potentially a new customer package. We have a lot material about that on our website.

You can Google new customer package or use the search window on ABCI site and find some great examples of aviation companies that do new customer packages really well. You can do a customer satisfaction survey, you can do trainings, you can do walk throughs, other kinds of things. You can do follow up calls, testimonial requests, thank you gifts, all kind of things after the sale.

And then, of course, those are more inclined to lead you to additional sales because you’ve taken really good care of your customers. And also when you plan out your trade show make sure you plan the time to go visit your existing customers at their booth and take a picture or at least shake their hand and make sure that they know that you cared enough to come see them.

John Williams: Or, you could take some existing customers, and potential customers to dinner.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Yeah, we’ve got a couple of articles and I think there is a podcast on customer service events that explain how you want to do a 70/30 mix or an 80/20 mix of happy customers and new prospects.

And your happy customers become your very best sales people because of how that works

John Williams: If you can arrange that at a trade show in advance that’s a really good thing.

Paula Williams: Yeah we’ve gone to a lot of those as prospects and as happy customers.

John Williams: And we’ve had our own.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: Where we’ve had happy customers and potentials.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. Okay, so to wrap up including the basics in your trade show. You want to make sure that you do your research. Know what competitors will be there and how their product compares to yours. You want to get attentions and limitations give people a reason to come to your booth, make sure your booth is usually attractive.

We talked about going vertical you know hanging something from the ceiling or having banners that stick up so that people find you from a long way of way. Another thing that we didn’t talk about that we probably should is make sure that people can see from your booth what it is that you do.

You know, if you have ACME Aviation and a picture of a plan and you’re just standing there in a suit nobody can really tell what you do. You know do you do acquisitions? Do you do service do you make sure that it’s either in your name or in your banner or in your headline or something so that people can see from across the room why they would want to come talk to you.

John Williams: If you want a TV screen make sure it is awfully large.

Paula Williams: Yes.

John Williams: Because you can’t see it across the room.

Paula Williams: Yes, so that’s our Phase I, getting attention. Phase II, Credibility & Closing. Few people will make a purchase decision on the spot. Very few sales are actually made at trade shows.

You really want to put your money in the follow up so don’t spend from than 50% of your budget on advertising in the trade show itself. You want to put 50% also in your follow up phase two and phase three, right?

John Williams: And the ones you do hear about a trade shows were pre planned for publicity.

Paula Williams: Exactly, they didn’t actually just decide to buy 20 airplanes at the trade show. That’s something that was decided, negotiated on, and timed to take advantage of the publicity. Which you can do as well, but don’t be fooled by it and think that you’re going to make all these sales just by people who wake up, come to your booth, and decide to make a huge decision then and there.

It’s almost always going to be after the fact. And then you may be announcing it at next year’s trade show. All right, and then meet with current and past customers, this is your phase three. Make sure that they feel appreciated and taken care of. So make sure that you do that and include that in your trade show plan.

All right, so download your Trade Show Checklist from ABCI1.com, Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, India. 1.com/TradeShow and go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yep, Mr. Zig Zaglar, America needs the business.

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

Announcer: Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hanger 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.






Three Ways to Make your Next Trade Show the Most Successful Ever!

If you missed our free webinar, here’s the replay:

AMHF 0035 – Book Club – Pam Hendrickson’s The Art of Impact

There are some great books on the market about sales and marketing, but not many in that are specific to the aviation industry. So, in our book club, we take one book per month, and discuss it from our own perspective as aviation sales and marketing professionals.

ABCI’s own John Williams, new Insider Circle member Brian Rauch, and I discussed Pam Hendrickson’s book,  The Art of Impact in a fantastic conversation last  week.

Key takeaways:

  • People consume a staggering amount of data online. In order to stand out, you need to do something different. One very effective way to be different is to be authentic. (We had a great conversation about the difference between transparent & authentic.)
  • The 5 Stages of a Content Marketing Relationship – Some nuances different from ABCI’s  three phases outlined in Long Cycle Marketing.
  • You should have (and use) a great signature talk. Most people say they have one but stumble when called up on to stand and deliver.
  • You don’t have to create everything you use in social media, you can improve your credibility in your field by being a great curator of materials already out there.
  • Everything we do builds (or detracts from) our influence, even if we think no one is watching.
  • The first sign of greatness is when you’re not worried about appearing great.  You’re worried about BEING great.


Transcript – Book Club – Pam Hendrickson’s The Art of Impact


the art of impactAnnouncer: 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, ensure strategies, relevant example, hacks, and how tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, so you won’t miss a thing.

Paula Williams: One of the things that we do in our Insider Circle is we take one book each month and review it from the perspective of aviation sales and marketing.

So a lot of great books are on the market about sales and marketing topics, but most of them seem to have kind of the retail perspective. So, we take one of our favorite books from the listings in Amazon, about marketing and sales, and we review it and we discuss it in our group.

So in our group today and talking about Pam Hendrickson’s book The Art of Impact, we have myself, John Williams of ABCI, and Brian Rauch, who is a really cool guy who has just joined our Insider Circle,  And has some really great insights  from more of a sales perspective, I would say, and the rest of us have a marketing perspective.

So I hope you enjoy this episode, it should be very enlightening, especially if you’ve read the book, which we do all highly recommend. And we’re jumping in kind of in the middle here of the conversation because of some technical difficulties. So we just started talking about The Art of Impact, the section on page 14, where Pam talks about the staggering amount of data that people consume online.

John Williams: 60 to 70% of traditional marketing content is completely ignored. For crying out loud, that makes it really tough.

Paula Williams: It does. What I got out of that section of the book, anyway, was that people are absorbing a lot of information, especially online. But they’re not necessarily engaging with it, they’re not necessarily acting on it, and they’re not necessarily using it.

One thing outside of that section of the book that I noticed was that, well, they see something interesting and they share it without actually even having read the article that they’re sharing. And I thought that was enough [INAUDIBLE] staggering.

John Williams: The author says that people want excellence. We want to excel and draw in a way that matters to us.

The thing all over again. So I guess the most urgent problem [INAUDIBLE] innovative from a real immediate need in our lives.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: So that’s what you’re good for.

Paula Williams: Yeah, now see, she calls it excellence. I think I would call it authenticity.

John Williams: I read an article today in the New York Times about being authentic. People don’t want to be authentic.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: They want, that’s a whole different story. Should you lie or should you not?  So they don’t really want authenticity.

What they want is to, whatever you say, do that.

Paula Williams: Whatever you say, be that? That sounds like-

John Williams: Whatever comes out of your mouth, that’s why you need to be. That’s authentic.

Paula Williams: Exactly, exactly.

John Williams: Well, but being authentic doesn’t necessarily mean bad. As you open up your brain to let everybody see inside, that’s authentic right?

Paula Williams: Okay, so the best part of yourself, be authentic to that, not just transparent. Okay, well, that’s a pretty good discussion. I think we could talk about authentic versus transparent, probably all day, but I think authenticity’s still a good word. And you can disagree with me if you want to.

All right, so next section, five stages of a content marketing relationship. I think there is a lot In that section. I prefer our three stages to their five, but I think it’s exactly the same thing. Basically, you have a initial stage of getting people’s attention, you have a stage of building the relationship, and a stage after someone has already become accustomed to continue that relationship.

They just make it a little bit more detailed than that. What did you think of that section?

John Williams: The thing I got out of that was that attention.

Paula Williams: Okay, and most people stop there. And I think that’s the problem is you look at somebody’s Facebook feed and over and over again it’s just, like our page, or they’re trying to get attention and it takes up 90% of the posts that they make.

And I think that’s counterproductive, because you never move beyond that, and especially for aviation, we use a long sales cycle, because it’s not an impulse buy. It takes eight months sometimes to make a transaction work in the aviation industry. So you have to move past the, okay now you’ve got my attention.

Now give me something that tells me how you’re better than your competitors, tell me something that’s useful to me. And that really is the stage that’s missing is that middle part or that meat.

Brian Rauch: But the comment I was going to have along with that is a comment that you, I just realized internally to you guys is the the attention grabbing, which is just going kinda the short term gains or attention span.

And everybody’s looking for sales now, and it’s one and done, and then move on to the next one. And that is a relational problem.

Paula Williams: Yes, I agree with that. That social media kind of encourages those shallow relationships that aren’t even really relationships. It’s more of a transaction than a relationship.

And in our industry, we need to go further than that. Okay, so great. So that’s the five stages of a content marketing relationship. I think that’s actually very similar to what we teach with our phase one, phase two, and phase three that they did go in to more detail, and that might be helpful for some folks.

So hopefully they got some good out of that. The next section I wanted to talk about was on page 59. Do you have and use a great signature talk? And, of course, we did a webinar a couple of years ago about your 15 second sales presentation. And this is something that you do when you’re in a networking opportunity and somebody asks you what do you do.

And if you have a really good attention-getting, but comfortable 15-second sales presentation that identifies, is this person a legitimate customer for you or is this a relationship where this is not going to be a sales relationship, but maybe a supplier relationship or something like that. And so, this is one step beyond that, where you have a signature talk where you have an opportunity to talk with a group of people at a Rotary Club or something like that, and you get more than 15 seconds, but less than maybe a keynote address or something like that.

What do you think, John?

John Williams: Well I think it’s an extension of the 15 second thing. And that is, it takes you, you have your chance the first seven seconds. Then you have to sell the next seven and so on.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: And I think that’s what your signature talk does.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh

John Williams: Hopefully, it’s correct and you try not to over teach us it just something that will get their attention and then they’ll listen to you for the rest of what you got to say.

Paula Williams: Right, well and what we found out when we do that as a workshop is that everybody said they had one.

Everybody said they had a 15 second sales presentation that would just roll of their tongue and they’d be comfortable doing it. But then we gave people the opportunity to do it and we were actually throwing candy in this session to anybody who would do their 15 second sales presentation.

And not only do you get to stand up in front of a group of business aviation professionals and give your 15 second sales presentation, but you also get a bag of M&Ms out of the deal. And we had very few takers. And I thought that really was pretty indicative of the fact that people don’t always do what they say, or they may feel like they’ve got a good sales presentation.

But when it comes down to the rubber meeting the road and actually delivering, stand and deliver, very few people can do it.

John Williams: Yep, that’s true.

Paula Williams: I thought that was hysterical.

John Williams: Well, but they don’t take it from their audience’s viewpoint. And as long as you can’t look at it in your customer or potential customer viewpoint, then you have an issue.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s true.

Brian Rauch: Well, the only thing I can relate it to is the most commonly used jargon of the elevator speech. You have 30 seconds, where you’re in the elevator with someone. And tell them what you do and you have to get their attention. Sometimes, that’s the most difficult thing to do, especially if you’re starting from zero.

And I could say, that yes, you’re relating to the workshop you said, where you passed out candy. I’ve been in the situations before, and when it’s been a new product or service. And it’s more of the challenge for that instead of kind of an icebreaker. That makes it hard and I know I clammed up in some of those situations.

But if it’s something I’ve already been doing, yeah, stand up and say it because I had the confidence to back it up.

Paula Williams: There you go. And how did you get the confidence to to back it up?

Brian Rauch: Some of it’s just experience and the others, practice. Or if it’s a situation where I was comfortable as well.

Paula Williams: Right, right. So the only part of that that you really have control over is the practice. And I think anybody can, it’s really worth your time to spend an afternoon writing out your signature talk or your 15 second sales presentation or whatever you’re calling it. And practice it on your dog [LAUGH], your wall, orwhatever you need to do, or especially record it and play it back to yourself.

Over and over and over again until that becomes comfortable. And then that takes the anxiety away, for me, anyway. John, what do you think?

John Williams: I relate it to way back when I was in IT real heavy and my daughter started, she said, Dad what do you do when you go to work everyday?

And I’m thinking, what am I going to tell this 13, 14 year old?

Paula Williams: Mm-hm

John Williams: What I do. So, and this is, the way I did that and the way I’ve done almost everything since is treat people like kids. So what do you do? I help people with computer problems.

John Williams: And if they say, that’s cool.

Paula Williams: Yep.

John Williams: But if they say, well, what do you mean? How do you that? Then I would go down a little bit deeper and a little bit deeper. And then once I have like that several times, then I could do the whole thing a little bit of time and see if that answers our question.

And sales, I think is the same way. I’m not a [LAUGH] an experienced salesperson like you, Brian. I’ve been to a lot of sales oriented schools and I tried, I mean, I went to what was it? The Equitable Life Assurance sales thing for two weeks. I went to Century 21 for two weeks.

I went to Pacific Institute for a month or two, and I don’t remember. We went to-

Paula Williams: Sandler.

John Williams: Yeah, Sandler.

Paula Williams: Wow.

John Williams: And I go to all the stuff does not mean I can put it into [LAUGH] use like you do.

Paula Williams: Knowing it and doing it are two different things, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Anyway.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: I don’t know if I got anywhere with that, but that’s what I was trying to say.

Paula Williams: Well, good conversation, anyway. So I think the takeaway that I got from this session was basically that you really, really should use and refine and practice.

A signature talk and get comfortable with it, and the only way for me to get comfortable with it is to practice, use it every chance I get. And I like your idea of breaking it down into simple enough that a 13-year-old can understand, cuz 13-year-old’s know everything but they don’t know everything [LAUGH] .

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: And then also making it interactive so that a lot of sales people that I know start with a question instead of with their 15 second sales presentation. They start with a question. Well, what do you do? And then they find out as much as they can about the other person and then tailor their signature talk or the 15 seconds sale presentation to a way that they know the other person’s going to understand because of their background.

So I think that’s also very smart. Okay, moving on, page 74. I like the idea that you don’t have to create everything you use, to become a great curator. And, we had Todd as our guest on a panel discussion a while ago and he said, something that really stuck with me since.

And he says, you don’t need to reinvent hot water, that’s already been done. If somebody else has already created materials that support your point, the point you’re going to make, it’s almost more credible to use their materials than to use their own. As long as you attribute them.

And say, hey, The Pacific Institute says that you should do this from a sales perspective rather than ABCI says you should do this from a sales perspective, as long as it’s something that we agree with.

John Williams: Of course. I mean, I’ve done that back in the old IT days.

When you were writing code, you would always start with someone else’s code.

Paula Williams: Right, [LAUGH] that’s true.

John Williams: Seriously, no sense [INAUDIBLE] because the base concept is still good. You have to modify it to what you want to do.

Paula Williams: Right, and for a lot of people, when you do a case study or a white paper or something like that, it’s only as good as the footnotes.

That’s the first thing they look at is where you’re getting your information and if you’ve got credible sources of information as your sources, then it will do a lot more good than if you were making all the data or doing your own studies and things like that.

Brian Rauch: It also goes with the idea which another way of saying it, is learn from the mistakes and successes of others.

If there’s nothing new under the sun, to use that cliche, but you have that and you’re going to have an arm’s length or virtual Mentor in that case or a real life one depending on the circumstance.

Paula Williams: Right.

Brian Rauch: And what you do is you gather the information and systematize it, if possible.

Paula Williams: Good point, but you’re putting an interpretation or a context on what’s already out there, taking all of that stuff and filtering it for people, being an editor rather than a writer.

Brian Rauch: And a further illustration, to borrow from George he says everything has a recipe; just figure out how to put that recipe together.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and that’s one thing I really liked about the conversation that you and I had last week. Where you were talking about Rahmet Seti and some of the things that he had said and how he had spent a lot of time and energy putting things into a perspective that’s really, really great for a particular audience, for that younger generation that’s looking at personal finance as an example.

That’s not an audience that other people have reached. But he’s taking the stuff that everybody else has done and filtering it for them in a different voice, and I think that’s really fantastic, the way he does that. And I think it was really fantastic the way you brought that into our conversation about something completely different.

So that was cool. All right, the next section that I really liked on page 123, everything we do builds or detracts from our influence. And John, I know you’ve had issues with companies where they’ve detracted from their influence with you pretty significantly because of something that had nothing to do with their marketing or maybe contradicted the way that their product is marketed.

In fact you probably had one this morning right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well, yeah. I was trying to fix that one this morning. So we’ll see what happen, they’re supposed to call me back.

Paula Williams: Okay. Can you give us the basics of what happened and how that works? Just so we have a good example with real life.

John Williams: A company sold me, let’s see, one, two, three, four combination of four products and services that I had, I’d heard about them all over. They’re in airports, they’re everywhere. So I called them, told them what I wanted, a guy gave me a great price and I bought it.

And unbeknownst to me and beyond my control, he screwed up the order form.

Paula Williams: Uh-oh.

John Williams: So, now I get a copy of the receipt and it’s got words and things on it that I have no clue what are. But here I go assuming things. I’m assuming they know what they’re doing and it works within their organization.

And a year and about three months later, they refused service to me on a product I’ve been using for a year and a half, and said because I haven’t purchased it. I said, no, wait a minute. They just completely blew away customer service because they refused to service it rather than service it and then look at what’s wrong.

I mean, I’m logged into the service and they say well, it doesn’t matter, I don’t have it here on paper so you can’t be. So to that fact I got a supervisor on the line and then I had him fill out a case for customer service. I called in this morning and they’re trying to figure out what’s going on because they recognize that the order form is done incorrectly upon their end.

And everybody I talked to for last year and a half said they couldn’t fix it. So now, they going to have to fix it one way or another to resolve the Case Number. So what were you saying?

Paula Williams: So that company does not have the same reputation with you as they did to start with?

John Williams: Their products are good but it’s the customer service sure sucks.

Paula Williams: Right, it’s not some place that you’ve really comfortable providing your to.

John Williams: Well, the problem is and see, they can sorta get away with this for a while because there’s nobody else out there doing what they do.

Paula Williams: Right. I think that’s true of a lot of aviation companies where they feel like, well, we don’t have any competition, so we don’t have to go out of our way to make our customers happy. If they need our product, they need our product.

John Williams: Yeah, I would hate to not have these guys, so I’m trying to help fix their problem.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] That’s true.

Brian Rauch: Well, I’m sure most people can relate to that. And I guess the other thing that talks about influence which impacts like your example drug, you guys could talk, maybe reflect on other conversations you’ve been with. My understanding is also the influence internally. Because if internally the organization says they’re going to do something like, I’m going to borrow your example John, you’ve got this product and they say they’re going to back it up.

And your up line says of course we do that. And then like in this situation comes, well, I need this material, I need this technical support, whatever, and management goes, no. But you said you were going to, no we changed our minds. Or they go we knew that.

It’s unfortunate. So that has an impact; it detracts from the performance of the rep in this case. Rain say. And it’s a challenge to balance that as well.

John Williams: Yes, it is.

Paula Williams: That’s true and I think as a salesperson, having worked with a few of them, they won’t work for very long for a company that won’t back them up.

Because they ruined their reputation with people and the aviation industry. And they’re done, whether they work for you or whether they work for someone else. Their reputation is more important than any particular commission, because it is unlimited audience, besides a lot of sales people that I know have an incredible sense of integrity, and have to.

If something that the company does undercuts the salesperson’s influence, then they really can’t support that. But then if you really want the best salespeople, you really have to back them up. And if a mistake is made, it needs to err on the salesperson’s side or the customer’s side.

And sometimes that costs money. [LAUGH] And sometimes you have to break rules, but that’s just the way it is.

John Williams: You look at standard versus policy and policy is just what we typically do versus what you have to do.

Paula Williams: Yes.

John Williams: So, somebody tells us our company policy this is then I don’t know, so what? .

That doesn’t mean you can’t do this and if you can find somebody that will think, that they’ll realize that a policy can be overridden in the event that it makes for good customer service.

Paula Williams: Right, principles over policy.

John Williams: If you want to get somebody start an argument with me, tell them, well, that’s company policy.


Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Wrong words for this.

Paula Williams: A statement that she makes, I think it’s page 136 where she talks about the first sign of greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great. That’s actually a quote from Dale Carnegie. And I guess that goes into the whole Stephen Covey thing, when something gets, so internalized that you don’t have to think about it anymore.

You don’t have to worry about your reputation, you’re just worried about what you need to do everyday to take care of your customers. And I think that evolves past the whole idea of what we just talked about. You know once you get past the policies and things like that and you go our people are well trained enough to know that they can make a decision that is maybe with $100 or $200.

Or, whatever you’re comfortable with as long as they make the customer happy. And they stayed within legal guidelines and other things, but once you get people to the point where you can trust them enough to do that without having every little thing in a policy. That’s when you get to this point.

Brian Rauch: And the other thing is I believe that court relates to one’s talking to the individual or the organization become what you want to be. So if you can enact it, then internalize it, the humility comes with it. So you don’t carry a chip on your shoulder or demonstrate hubris.

Be humble, you achieve it. Don’t necessarily flaunt it.

Paula Williams: Right, so you’re no longer faking it until you make it? [LAUGH] Which is usually pretty obvious because people are overcompensating with the or whatever. And maybe come much more authentic coming back to that word. Authentic not transparent right?

Brian Rauch: Yes.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Okay, John, would you agree with that or do you want to take issue?

John Williams: Yeah, sure and I’d like to quote on final thoughts from and that just very rare to have a lot of thoughts like that, the battle is pretty good.

Paula Williams: Well, read it, which one?

John Williams: Because if he believes in himself he doesn’t try to convince others. Because he is content with himself he doesn´t need others approval. Because he accepts himself the whole world accepts him.

Paula Williams: Right. Excellent. That’s a great note to end on.

John Williams: That works [INAUDIBLE] companies as well.

Paula Williams: Right. That’s absolutely true. So next month, we’re going to be talking about how to get the most out of trade shows by Steve Miller. People should be getting their books this week, so that discussion is actually going to be on July, 11th, at noon my time, which is Mountain Standard Time, well not daylight time, I always get those mixed up.

But Mountain Time, July 11th, and once again we are going to try and involve more people from the group. I know summer is really hard, no matter when we schedule it to get people together and some people are in the other side of the planet so of course it will be middle of the night for them.

But if you’re able to make it, we love to have you in that conversation and that would be fantastic. So let’s just go around the room and John if you could tell us who you are and what you do, and then Brian. That would be fantastic.

John Williams: Who I am.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Who are you?

John Williams: Well, [LAUGH]
I am many things, but I don’t know exactly what you want in this little essay, but retired military, retired private sector, decided to get in and help you start a business. So if you may be the financial person in this company and I help along the way with other things using my sales experience where possible

John Williams: And that’s about that.

Paula Williams: Great. So John is actually our CFO and he is also my husband. And so therefore, he has to be here. [LAUGH] And Brian, actually, is one of our newest members, I guess I can say that. And Brian, you want to tell us a little bit about your background?

Brian Rauch: My background? I have a combination of 20 plus years in sales across numerous industry, industry education, food service, and I also have, in that period, management and organizational development experience. Ended up getting a master’s degree recently in innovative leadership and what I am seeking to do is to break into the sales aspect or organizational leadership aspect with the aviation industry because that’s in my blood.

I come from an aviation family. My father’s Air Force Reserve, a commercial pilot, and so forth. And, out here in Mesa, Arizona, with my family, my wife works for Boeing in the testing for the Apache program and we’re right under the Flight patterns of both Falcon Field and Sky Harbor.

So my eyes are constantly glued to the sky.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And I hope that you have a window in your office.

Brian Rauch: Yes. That would help.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Thanks for bearing with us. We have some interesting technical issues the more voices we get on the line. Hopefully we’ll have that resolved by next month and these book club discussions will be smoother and easier to listen to, but I do think this was well-worth the effort because it’s great to get more voices into the conversation.

So thank you for joining us. Please do let us know what you think of our book club conversation as well as the other regular features that we are planning on having on our Podcast. So, let us know at Marketing or Paula at aviationbusinessconsultants.com.

Announcer: Thanks for joining us for Aviation Marketing Hanger 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.






  • Trade Shows - Distant Early Planning

AMHF 0034 – Trade Shows – Distant Early Planning

Trade shows are a huge, and very powerful part of the marketing plans for MANY aviation companies. And most people agree that early planning is important.   But what exactly should you be DOING early, and why?

Transcript – Trade Shows- Distant Early Planning

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying, episode number 34. Trade Shows, Distant Early Planning. Remember the distant early warning system?

John Williams: Right [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly, most people don’t start soon enough. So I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: And I’m John Williams and it’s early in the morning.

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

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

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you’d like to join the conversation about this webinar or any of our webinars or any of our other materials, we’re using the hashtag #AvGeekMarketing.

#AvGeekMarketing and we promise we will reply to every tweet or every Instagram or every other thing that you’re using and you can send comments, questions, anything else that you’d like to discuss. So our motto is no random acts of marketing and a lot of what people do at trade shows looks a lot to us like random acts of marketing right John?

John Williams: Not only looks like it, some of it doesn’t even look relative to the product.

Paula Williams: Exactly. I think what happens a lot is that a salesperson for the trade show will call and talk to somebody and tell them about this fabulous trade show and give them a deal or something like that on booth space.

And someone will decide sure it’s not too far away and it’s convenient for us let’s just do it. Without giving a whole lot of thought as to how this fits into their grand scheme of things. What their purpose is in really doing trade show, how they’re gonna measure their return on investment, all of those other kinds of things.

So what we’re gonna talk about today are some of the things that we want to do to make sure that your trade show is not a random act of marketing and that you actually do get a return on investment out of it. Now trade shows in the aviation industry are hugely important, they’re one of the biggest traditional methods of advertising a product or service and it is a really great way to meet a lot of people in the same place, right John?

John Williams: Yeah. If you haven’t been to one, particularly NVAA or even the regional, it’s quite an event.

Paula Williams: Right, the term that comes to mind is dizzying just because of the number of people that are there both as exhibitors and attendees. It can be really overwhelming, and it can be a really fantastic opportunity.

But, it can also be a complete waste of time and money, and very, very frustrating, and a lot of people. In fact, we were reading Steve Miller’s book, How to Get the Most out of Trade Shows, and in the preface he talks about how much he hates trade shows or how much he used to hate trade shows.

And simply because you’re surrounded by people you don’t know, a lot of it is very disorganized, a lot of it is chance as far as meetings and other kinds of things. But there’s a lot of ways to make that a lot better, for you and for your salespeople, where you can really set yourself up for success, instead of just being thrown into, the meat grinders, they say, right?

John Williams: Yes, that’s correct.

Paula Williams: Right. So, today we’re talking about starting early, and what you can do, in terms of planning. But why [LAUGH] is it important to start early? We got lots of other things on our plate and if we’ve got six months to get to a trade show, like right now when we’re recording this it’s June.

NVAA the big trade show of the year is in November, so you know why should we start thinking about this now?

John Williams: Because there’s a lot to do between now and then if you’re going to do this right and get any kind of ROI.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so it takes time to execute great ideas, and to come up with really good campaigns.

Creative work doesn’t do very well, I know this is a point of contention among some people, some people think that creativity just springs out of your head when you need it the most. But for me, I prefer to have a lot of time, especially if I’m trying to think up something really, really cool.

Or think up something that nobody else is doing or something that’s really creative. I do best with that when I’m not under pressure, and so if you can start early it takes the pressure off and you can actually be a lot more creative and a lot more options that things you can do.

And the other thing is you save money when you are not in a hurry, right John?

John Williams: Typically.

Paula Williams: Being the CFO?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Well, can always get better deals on everything from airline tickets to hotel rooms if you plan way in advance.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. And that’s true of printing, and any novelties that you need to buy, and anything else.

You’re not paying expedite fees or expedite shipping fees, or any of those kinds of things. So, you save a lot of money, and you can do a lot more, get a lot more bang for your buck if you’re not doing the last minute sort of things. So a lot of people have the problem of okay well that’s great, I love to start early what the heck am I supposed to do?

John Williams: And that’s the other thing.

Paula Williams: Right, so-

John Williams: We can help you with that.

Paula Williams: We can help you with that, exactly. So what we like to do, especially when we have a really large project is to monopolize a wall, and we’ve done this in a lot of different places that we’ve worked.

And John and I have actually worked together before we were in aviation marketing, we were working for a financial services company, and we were doing really big projects that involved hundreds of people. I don’t know if we were doing one that was thousands of people.

John Williams: Close.

Paula Williams: Close, probably to a thousand but when you have projects that are really really big, it is very reassuring to have a lot of space that’s very visible so we would monopolize a wall in a conference room.

And that would be our planning stage that everybody could see. And we’d write down questions, we would write down calendars, we’d write down tasks, dependencies, anything that we could think of and anything that anybody else could think of. They were welcome to put a sticky note on the wall, and then, of course, we review that on a regular basis and figure out what needs to go where, and organize that.

So, a lot of us are working virtually these days, we’re not in an office with a conference room, or a big, white board. But, when we’re home we still like to do that. I have a whiteboard in my office, and John has a whiteboard in his office. And our big projects get a really big square on one or the other of our whiteboards so that we have a place to plan that and think about it.

And every time we look at it we think, you know what we should do? Here’s a really great idea and here’s something that maybe ties into that other idea. And the more you see that and the more you add to it, the better those plans become because you’re, it’s working in your subconscious as you’re going throughout your day.

And just occasionally glancing at that wall right John?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: And the other things is, if your who team can see it, they’re gonna think of things you wouldn’t think of. Maybe the people in charge of shipping are going to say, you know what, this is going to take longer than you have written out for it here, so let’s make a change to that.

Or they may have a really great idea that springboards off of something that’s already on the wall. So those are our reasons to make this really visible. So the other reason is quality. It takes time to execute really good ideas. So if you want to create a really great brochure or a really great product demonstration or something like that.

You can take the time to write that out, rehearse it, show it to people, see what they think, refine it, do it again, do it again, do it again. Sales pitches and some of the best sales presentations that we have ever heard our from people who have been doing it on consistent basis and refining that for years.

And so if you have a couple of months to refine your presentation for a trade show, you can really get that down, get that comfortable. Get to the point where you can do it with out even thinking about it. Then you can adapt it really well to whomever you’re talking to.

Because your stuff is embedded in your head having done it so often, right John?

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Like have you ever had a project, for anything where you had a long enough time to work on it that you really got it polished? Tell us about that?

John Williams: Well, there are a couple of projects, the one, I don’t what you mean by a long time.

I’ve done one that was pretty quick, but some of the ones that take longer, we’ve had months to plan. And those really work out well. And matter of fact, the trade shows we did for NBAA for us we do six or eight months in advance.

Paula Williams: Great.

John Williams: And it looks like we live and breathe the stuff if we go down there.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right. And we actually have worked in a mastermind group with a magician. His name is Dave D and he works for GKIC and he talks about his programs. He used to be a, and he still is, a magician. But he uses magic in a lot of his presentations and things like that and how would it be to be a sales guy who’s also a musician?

That can be really useful. But he will tell you that the whole secret of magic, especially of sleight of hand or anything that’s like a presentation kind of a magic is practice, and time. You don’t just wake up one morning and decide to do a particular trick. People who are in the profession of doing magic, typically, it takes them months, before they will perform a particular trick before the public.

And, the reason is because it takes that long to number one get the mechanics down, and then second to get it smooth enough. And then third, to do whatever you’re doing on top of that to distract people, while you’re doing the trick. So, you have to get the muscle memory, you have to get the stuff in your head, you have to get the engagement with the audience, you have to get all of that down, and all of those layers don’t just happen at one time.

I think people often expect too much of themselves and they just think well I’ll just wing it when I get there and that just is not going to come across as polished. It’s not gonna come across as really well done. So that’s true of your sales presentation, that’s true of you product demonstrations, that’s true of the way you put your booth together.

That’s true of just about everything there is to know about trade shows, and quality really shines through. You can tell the people that it’ll just band it together versus the people who really have their stuff down, right?

John Williams: It occurs to me that the more money that you’re going to put up and the more people involved, the more advanced you need to start planning.

Paula Williams: Right.

John Williams: I mean, the project we did with several hundred people, I believe we started almost two years in advance to make that one work.

Paula Williams: Right. And typically when you’re doing a trade show, it involves more than just you. You may have a team of three or five or 12 or 20 depending on the set size of your company.

But, it does involve more than just one person. So the more people you add exponentially, the more time you need to get everybody’s ideas and get everybody onboard and get everybody’s input to make sure they’ve got their practice done and, all of that stuff.

John Williams: Well, they need to really understand how they fit into the process and they’ve got to practice with other people in some cases.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So another reason to start early is your review cycle. We talked about how it takes time to execute great ideas, and you save money when you’re not in a hurry. Review cycles are something we cannot emphasize enough. We are in the business of producing marketing materials for clients.

And the earlier we can get a draft to clients, the better final product we’re gonna end up with because often it will spark ideas on their side. We really shouldn’t be saying this. We should be taking it from this other angle, or, here’s an error that I didn’t catch.

Now we have time to do the reset and make it really polished and work out. So you really want to have a very simple review cycle. And ours, of course, is we draft something and circulate it among ABCIs team. We publish it to base camp with a cover sheet.

And the client has revisions, it’s approved, we approve it, we do a final review, and then publish it to the appropriate channels. Or, most often, especially on a first draft, the client has some things they want to discuss, we make revisions. We set up a different file name with a different date, put it back into base camp, re-draft it, circulate it among ABCI’s team, and go through that loop as many times as we need to to get something perfect.

And there is a difference between a document that has been perfected, and a document that’s been thrown together, and they’re just 1,000 times more effective. People may not notice on the surface, but there is a subconscious acknowledgement I think of when you’re reading something that has been thoroughly reviewed versus if you’re reading something that’s been slammed together, right?

John Williams: [LAUGH] Yes, it comes through to anybody that reads.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and even if they say they don’t care, they just want a rough draft [LAUGH].

John Williams: They do care.

Paula Williams: They do care. And it will affect the way that they feel about the contents of the document.

So if you put together a really great polished fabulous brochure, it’s gonna be much more effective than something that you throw together at the last minute.

John Williams: As a matter of fact, I don’t know why they say they don’t care, because every time I’ve run across that, they do care.

Paula Williams: Exactly, I’ve run across that a lot. Especially lately people will say just put something together for me. I don’t care if it’s perfect I just want to see something, that makes me crazy [LAUGH].

John Williams: Well and then if you, obviously you can’t put it together perfect to start with but you have to do your best, and they have to know it’s an interview process.

Paula Williams: Exactly. And we’ve already talked about this before, but I think it bears a little bit more discussion. The financial end of the situation, the more time you have, the better you are able to put numbers in boxes. And John’s really good at this, the more time you give him with something that needs to be paid for, the more options he has as far as using cash flow from different situations, using other financial resources maybe bartering or trading with other organizations.

There are lots of ways to make the financial situation work better if you have more time. If you’re at the last minute you have no choice but to just shell out the cash, and you absolutely need to have a hotel room in a certain city, on a certain night and it’s the night before, you really don’t have much choice.

You just have to do what you gotta do.

John Williams: That was true even when I planned out our vacation. I started eight months in advance and I got airline tickets for about, what was it, $370 total round trip.

Paula Williams: To Hawaii, that’s crazy. Everybody’s asking, how did you do that?


John Williams: You plan ahead of time. Eight months, you can put alerts out there and everybody will come back and say they got this or that. So you just have to grab one and be ready. We got our hotel room for $100 a night in Hawaii. It was, again, planning in advance gives you lots of time to stare up options.

Paula Williams: Yeah, and this was not a bargain basement sort of situation, it was actually a really really nice hotel, you just have a lot more options with a lot less money if you start earlier. And so fair watchers are a good one, thinking out of the box in terms of the financial impact of a situation.

Or maybe there’s a company that does, something that you need done or maybe you can do some partnerships with people who are also going to the trade show. Where you can save some money on some of the talent or shipping or other things that you need done.

John Williams: I mean we’ve had reservations at NBAA for hotels now for a month or so and this is now just May, or June.

Paula Williams: It just started being June. [LAUGH] Exactly. So, yeah, it’s really financially to your advantage to start early. So what are some of the things you can do early? The earliest one, of course, is to attend the show the year before you decide to exhibit, and walk around, see who’s there.

See what kinds of booths there are, see if you’re looking at maybe a ten by ten, see if they’re stuck off in a corner somewhere. And they’re giving all the attention to the big guys with the big booths, you want to see where the traffic flows are. Where do people go when they first come in in the morning, where do they go at lunch?

Study those traffic flows and figure out where do you want your route. Because it’s not gonna cost you anymore usually for better placement in the show. Also, you may decide the show is not for you and that would save you a lot of money by not doing the wrong shows.

So, you want to look at a lot of different things there. You’re gonna take notes of opportunities for visitors, maybe they have a product spotlight. A lot of places will also have a press room. So you wanna take notes of all of the different things you could do so you can maximize your investment in that show.

You wanna research your top ten most feared competitors and your top ten most wanted customers, and find out if they are there. And if they’re there, what size of booth do they have? Are they doing a product demonstration? Are they doing something really cool? Do they have booth talent?

Do they have a magician? What do they have that you want to make sure that you’re going to be different from, right? [LAUGH] All kinds of things. You want to obtain the show’s schedule and other information as soon as you possibly can so that you can start planning out those days.

Which days do you want to focus on different activities, and things like that. And note important deadlines, so if you know there is a deadline to get your press releases in. If there is a deadline to reserve your space and get the premium spaces, other kinds of things, to get the most out of the show.

John Williams: And you should take note of how to contact the folks that put out those daily rags there as well.

Paula Williams: Yes, a lot of the shows have, especially NBAA, has the, I think, two different dailies, news dailies that come out. They have young ladies distributing those at the entry point to the convention center and things like that.

Those guys work pretty hard to fill that space, and they love photos, charts, graphs, other kinds of things. So, if you can find a way to do something newsworthy and get a photo in one of those rags, we call them rags, we mean that in the nicest possible way.

They’re actually fairly polished news dailies, but you do want to look at those things and figure out how can you use this opportunity to your best advantage. All right, some other things to do early, plan your exhibit. What size do you want, how do you want your signage to stand out from everybody else that’s gonna be at the show?

We always advise people to go up, go vertical, as vertical as you possibly can, because then people can see it from farther away. And also most people don’t go much above, they usually have those curtains that go between the booths that are about six, seven feet tall depending on the show.

John Williams: The best one I’ve seen was at LA expo and a company who I’ll go ahead and name.

Paula Williams: Go right ahead.

John Williams: LA Values.

Paula Williams: Yup.

John Williams: Put their name on the size that tell you the numbers of the rows that are way up high.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: So it would say, you walk down the roads and he’s always looking up. Cuz you’re looking for a specific booth number. You look up high and it says 2020 to 2050. And underneath those numbers they’ve just extended the sign and put their logo up there and their name.

It was everywhere.

Paula Williams: Brilliant, yeah.

John Williams: That was, that was outstanding.

Paula Williams: So kudos to LA Values on a great idea. But generally speaking when you walk into one of those convention centers, it’s really overwhelming. And so what you tend to do is look up because that’s where they have the row numbers and the booth numbers and things like that.

So when you’re looking up, to kind of orient yourself, the first things that you see are the things that are the tallest. And so if you can suspend something from the ceiling, sometimes they allow that at different shows, have signage and other things that are suspended and rotating.

Or if you can’t do that, at least have tall banners and other signs that stick up above all the rest of the fray in the convention center. So think vertical, especially when your planning your exhibit and your signage. Look at the guidelines of course, for the show, and make sure that it’s not gonna get disallowed.

But as tall as they will allow, that’s really where you want your best visual stuff to go. You wanna plan a campaign to attract the right people to your booth. So think about what you can you invite people to do at your booth. Can you invite them for a mini consultation or product demonstration?

Or a contest or game of some kind, the earlier you start thinking about that the better ideas you’re going to come up with. You want to think about the kind of people you want to come to your booth. What can you do that will make them spend 20 minutes out of this very valuable time that they have at the show to make it a point to come to your booth?

It has to be something other than just come see us.

John Williams: Or give away an iPad, you don’t do that to everybody.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, exactly. Okay, another thing you might want to do is consider hosting an event, or a dinner, or a seminar, or something like that.

And this is whether or not you’re exhibiting a trade show. Some people just show up in the same town at the same time, stay at a nearby hotel, and host a seminar or a dinner. Because they’re taking advantage of the fact that everybody’s in town for this particular trade show.

John Williams: As a matter of fact, we attended a few of those dinners at various trade shows.

Paula Williams: Exactly. Or you know a seminar on a particular topic. The problem there is that there’s a lot of competition for people’s time, especially at dinner. And a lot of the fuel companies and other folks that are fairly large companies with a lot of resources do some big parties at night during the show.

So you may want to do a breakfast, you may want to do something the day before or the day after the show, while people are in town. But you have to consider that there is a lot of demands on people’s attention, and make sure you get RSVPd so you don’t end up with an empty room.

All right, another thing you want to do is determine whether you’ll need any custom supplies or novelties. And you want to order them early, because a lot of the novelty companies will give you a better price and you’re in a much better negotiation position, especially if you’re ordering a lot of stuff, if you give people more time.

John Williams: Not only that, if they make a mistake and you don’t see it, ’til you get the product to look at, you have a chance to tell them to fix it.

Paula Williams: Right, and we are really particular about novelties and other kinds of things, and a lot of them end up being really, really cheap and or badly done.

We send a lot of them back and make them redo them, or we end up cancelling the order and ordering something else. So you want to make sure that those are guaranteed, and make sure that you get them early enough to try them out. If you get pens or whatever, pick some random ones out of the bundle and make sure that they actually write.

If you’re getting lights make sure that they light, if you’re getting other supplies, make sure that they don’t seem overly plastic, or overly cheap. And if they are and if they don’t represent you well, don’t use them, make sure that you have a guarantee, so you can send those back and get something else.

Aviation Trade Show Marketing Checklist CoverAll right, and if you start that a few months ahead of time you can do that a couple of times if you need to. And say, you know what? We’re not gonna do this. We’re gonna do something completely different. Start over, back to the drawing board. All right, so if you have not already downloaded our trade show checklist, you can get that fairly easily at ABCI1.com/TradeShow.

It’s Alpha Bravo Charlie India number one dot com forward slash TradeShow, ABCI1.com/Tradeshow. all one word. So download that, it has all of this information and a lot more detail that you can go through and check things off as you do them. You can hang up some of those pages on that white board we talked about, and make sure those things get done.

So go sell more stuff.

John Williams: Yup.

Paula Williams: America needs the business.

John Williams: Zig Ziglar.

Paula Williams: Exactly. And subscribe to our podcast, Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying. We are on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please do subscribe and please do leave a rating. We’ll see you next week.

John Williams: See you next time.

Download our Trade Show Checklist here:


Need more help?   Get our consultants to do the work with  you with our Trade Show Program

Product - Trade Shows







AMHF 0033- Trade Show Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Trade shows are a huge, and very powerful part of the marketing plans for MANY aviation companies. Of course, they are also a big investment. We talk about four common trade show mistakes and what to do instead.


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Transcript – Trade Show Disasters & How to Avoid Them

Paula Williams: Welcome to Aviation Marketing Hangar Flying Episode 33. Trade Show Disasters & How To Avoid Them.

John Williams: Hopefully.

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

John Williams: And I am John Williams.

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

John Williams: To help all you ladies and gents out there sell more stuff in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so if you’d like to join the conversation, you can use the hashtag #avgeekmarketing. That’s pound, avgeekmarketing and we promise we will reply to every tweet. And also if you have any ideas about guests that you would like to hear. Aviation people who have great ideas and things like that or if you have a great idea about marketing for the aviation industry we’d love to talk with you about being a guest.

John Williams: Yep, that’ll work.

Paula Williams: Okay, so one of the things that we talk about the most is that we never want to see random acts of marketing. We want to make sure that people know what they’re doing, and why. And a really good place to see fabulous exhibits of random acts of marketing is just [CROSSTALK] about any aviation trade show.

[LAUGH] Right?

John Williams: The other problem with random acts of marketing, forgetting the fact that it’s not part of an integrated plan, it’s expensive. It doesn’t get you anything.

Paula Williams: Exactly and it is really easy to run up a lot of expense very quickly at a trade show especially, so this is a very high cost investment.

High risk investment for a lot of our clients. We want to make sure everything goes correctly.

John Williams: You do random acts of marketing. If anybody knows what a random generator is, a number generator on a computer, that’s what your customer sales are going to look like.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yep that’s for sure.

So we want to make sure that we’re doing the very best we can and making the very best possible use of your investment of time and money and shoe leather and everything else that you do in a trade show. They’re a lot of money and a lot of work.

So mistake number one I’m going to say is presenting at the wrong shows, right?

John Williams: Or trying to do too many of them.

Paula Williams: Yep, absolutely. So we have presented at the wrong shows before.

John Williams: Yes we have.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And it becomes fairly obviously when you’re there if you are having a hard time explaining what you do to the people there and they don’t really seem to understand the need for what you do.

You are in the wrong place and you have spent money to be in the wrong place, which is a really bad place to be but at least you don’t repeat that mistake.

John Williams: Even in the smaller shows then this using this smallest booth, the ten by ten, you guys spent 2,500 to $3,000 just to have a decent presence.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: And that doesn’t count travel costs and people costs and everything else.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm. Right, so the thing you really want to do is do your research before the show. Look at the demographics of past shows. Almost all of the show promoters will send you a packet of information.

Or you can find it online where you can see, these are the sorts of people that come and make sure that they hit your target demographic of people that are really going to need your product or service and understand what it is that you sell. So if they’re not your ideal customers don’t bother showing up.

John Williams: And, think through the annual cost of the trade show or trade shows that you go to, because once you start, if you stop, people are going to think you went out of business.

Paula Williams: Right, so you want to pick shows that you are going to go to every single year in the future.

Because if you make it a tradition of being there and then you decide not to show up then you’ll be talked about just as much.

[tweetthis]If you make a tradition of a trade show and then don’t show up, your absence will be talked about![/tweetthis]


John Williams: And not positively.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: Positively talked about but not in a positive manner.

Paula Williams: Yeah exactly. So there are lots and lots and lots of shows to choose from and you can go to our aviation service directory.com and look under events and you can see every single month there are lots of shows in the United States, lots of shows in Europe, shows in the Middle East and Asia- Latin America.

John Williams: They’re everywhere.

Paula Williams: Exactly and there are shows-

John Williams: They even have them in South Africa.

Paula Williams: Right, on specialties within aviation. So some of them are focused towards defense, some of them are focused toward general aviation, some of them are focused toward business aviation. And different sizes I’m going to say of-

John Williams: Those.

Paula Williams: Companies. So if you’re looking for, looking to do business with smaller companies then some of the regional shows might be a lot more cost effective for you than going to the big annual shows in some cases.

John Williams: Well last time I put a list together I think there were 265 shows large enough that we would consider going to them annually.

Paula Williams: Exactly, yeah every year our members get a list of shows that they can go through with a highlighter. One of our first meetings of the year we go through the list with a highlighter and say here are the shows that we’re interested in finding out more about.

And we usually for most of our clients, don’t recommend that they do more than about four shows a year because those are the ones that you can do the research for. You can do the preparation, you can pick out your top ten most wanted customers, you can do the work on the front end and the back end to make those really worth the money.

John Williams: And you don’t want to do them back to back because by doing that, unless you’re a larger company, you don’t have the personnel to do the follow up necessarily from each trade show.

Paula Williams: Exactly, now if you were a large company and you’re set up to do trade shows that’s a different scenario but what we recommend for most folks is that they do fewer shows but do them better.

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Right and how you do them better is you plan, and we’ve got a great checklist that does 90 days in advance, 60 days in advance, 30 days in advance. And then of course your followup after the show, and then 30 days after the show. Has all of that lined out for you in our trade show checklist and we’ll talk about that in just a few minutes.

That’s the first mistake and I would say probably the most expensive mistake. [LAUGH] And the most catastrophic mistake, the hardest to recover from is presenting at the wrong shows or presenting at too many shows. So might want to look at your calendar and think about you know where can I cut back here and do it once take the hit, get talked about, but you can always communicate with your customers and say you know what?

We have decided to do fewer shows but do a better job of follow-up after and everything else. And most people will respect that, if you explain your reasons, right?

John Williams: Mm-hm.

Paula Williams: Okay, mistake number two is just showing up.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: When you are in an environment like this, where you’ve got thousands of people, lots of shiny objects.

You’ve got the big aircraft manufacturers always have fabulous, shiny, beautiful booths with a shiny aircraft on a turn table or something, dancing girls and elephants. I’m only halfway kidding here. Balloons and everything else. If you just show up in a ten by ten booth and have a banner and sit, you are not going to attract much attention because all of your competition is doing a whole lot more to attract the attention of the people wandering the show.

John Williams: Well not only that, you need to plan ahead far enough, because if you plan ahead far enough, an NBAA is a year or more advance. [COUGH] You can pick where you want your booth to be. Having been there enough times and you know where the traffic’s going to be by looking at the map.

And you have a better chance of getting your booth in a place where people can walk by it.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Whether they want to or not.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, and that makes a big difference. Your placement might make a investment in a show go from abysmal.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: To really, really good. So it’s just a matter of where you are on the floor.

John Williams: Yeah sometimes it is.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm. Right and there’s a lot of things that you can do if you do the planning in advance that don’t cost a lot of money. So some of the things that we’ve done successfully are to have a trivia quiz or something like that on your subject of expertise that costs almost nothing.

You can just print up some little blanks. Send invitations to the people that you know saying that you’re having a trivia quiz. You can give away a few prizes. You can do a drawing for each day of the show or even just one drawing in general. Not spend a whole lot of money.

John Williams: But it needs to be your business or your product suite oriented.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: We have seen people give away iPads just by merely dropping a business card in a fishbowl, well what the hey? I mean, so you win.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: The guy doing this is losing his money on the iPad cuz he doesn’t know anything about you.

I go to those things, I always drop my business card in to see if I can win, because I don’t have to do anything else. But that’s not good. What you want them to do is to ask about your product, do something, get your information so they can contact you later, and so forth.

Paula Williams: Exactly so if you have a drawing for a free iPad with no conditions around it or no nothing that they have to do for that, you’re going to get a lot of people who have no interest in your company. And you’re going to have fishbowl full of people, who just walked by and won’t even remember the name of your company, that just entered.

So you really do want to put some onus on the customer to prove that they are actually a valid prospect for your product or service. So some of the ways you can do that are trivia quizzes, we talked about that, other kinds of contests, product demonstrations, sign up for an appointment or a demonstration and we’ll enter you in a drawing.

There’s lots of ways that you can.

John Williams: Or just talk to people.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: And ask them if they profess an interest in your product. Really, and how does that apply to your business?

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so think through what are you going to do when people come to your booth, or how are you going to attract people to your booth?

And that checklist really is a good way of giving you some ideas, and ways to plan a good contest or invitation or a demo or something that gets the right people.

John Williams: I have to add here the old tired cliche.

Paula Williams: Uh-huh.

John Williams: But with that slide up there I have to say it.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: Failing the plan is planning to fail.

Paula Williams: That was Norman Schwarzkopf, right?

John Williams: Yeah, I believe, whatever.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: But it’s true actually.

Paula Williams: If you’re doing too many shows, frankly, you just don’t have the time, energy, or enthusiasm to plan as well as you really should.

John Williams: You need to be planning minimal 90 days ahead of time and all the way through the show and then 90 days afterward. So your plans gotta incorporate that amount of time.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm. Absolutely, all right, so mistake number three, chasing prospects.

John Williams: Never a good idea.

Paula Williams: Never a good idea.

So there are some shows where there are booths where people actually actively avoid. They walk the long way around to avoid going by specific booths because they have very aggressive sales people. The purpose of a trade show in most cases in the aviation industry is not to actually make a sale.

Most of our products are complex or high dollar products, people don’t make impulse purchases. And they’re not going to make a decision today. So the best that you can hope for is contact information, interest, and permission to follow up later, and hopefully they will remember you because you had something interesting to say.

John Williams: Then explain why Airbus and Bell and those other guys, NBA announced we just sold 300 whatever.

Paula Williams: Yeah airplanes at the show. That didn’t happen at the show, that was in negotiation for six months before the show. They just timed it to coincide with the show so that they could take-

John Williams: For PR-

Paula Williams: The attention of the news media who happens to have their lens focused and have all of these tabloids to fill, the Show Dailies and things like that. So those press releases are full of sales and a lot of people get really excited about that but what you’re seeing in most cases is pre-planned, pre-determined.

The company that’s making the sale gets publicity, the company that made the purchase gets the publicity and they time that to coincide with the show.

John Williams: Yes they do.

Paula Williams: Very few decisions are actually made.

John Williams: You can bet they don’t chase people.

Paula Williams: No. [LAUGH] Exactly. So what you want to do instead is think like speed dating.

If you read any of the advice columns and things like that in Facebook, not that I do that, about speed dating, and we are happily married by the way. But some of our kids have been involved in dating adventures of various sorts and misadventures of various sorts. In these speed dating environments the only thing that you want to do is figure out if you want to see each other again.

And that’s really the only thing that you’re doing at a trade show, is figuring out if you have an interest in seeing each other again. Do we have a product that will help you with a problem? Or do you have a problem that I can help you with?

That is it.

John Williams: And then exchange contact info.

Paula Williams: And exchange contact information. Anything beyond that is asking too much of the venue. And is going to be counter productive right?

John Williams: Yep absolutely. I mean you may get lucky and make a sale. Don’t be afraid to sell if somebody wants to buy right then.

Paula Williams: Yeah. Be prepared.

John Williams: But it’s typically not going to happen.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so you just want to think in terms of the first step. You just want to move the ball five yards down the field, you don’t want to make a touchdown here. It’s just too much pressure for too little time.

All right mistake number four is not chasing prospects.

John Williams: [LAUGH] Wait a minute, you said earlier.

Paula Williams: I know I am contradicting myself. So you are there to make sales, you are there to further your sales objectives. But like we said, five yards at a time. If you don’t make five yards.

If you don’t exchange contact information, [CROSSTALK] if you don’t identify your ideal customer-

John Williams: I don’t think chasing is correct, I think you want to use the word pursue.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: So mistake number four is not pursuing your prospects. You really should go in armed with a list of people that you want to talk to or companies that you want to talk to so that you can at least narrow down who is the right person to talk to once you get over there.

And you really want to do what you can to advance your sales process with each of the folks that comes to your booth. In a lot of cases the people that man the booths have zero interest in doing anything other than killing time till cocktail hour.

John Williams: Right.

Paula Williams: And you can see that and those are not engaging sales people.

John Williams: And those are the opposite of the aggressive guy that won’t let anybody go by, he’s got to tell you everything.

Paula Williams: Exactly and that’s kind of the difference between having the owner or a very aggressive sales person in the booth versus having hired help basically in the booth that gets paid the same whether they sell anything or not.

So you want to make sure that the people in the booth are engaged, they’re part of the company. It’s usually best if they know something about the product or service. They’re not just hired guns. Or if they are hired guns, they have some knowledge. You’ve given them enough AQ, you’ve given them a quiz ahead of time so you know that they know their stuff.

You give them some incentive for collecting contact information of legitimate prospects. So you need to strike a balance there of chasing versus not chasing, right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, and the main thing here is follow up. All of the sales happen after the show. And they may happen the week after.

They may happen six weeks after. They may happen six months after. We don’t know. It really depends on your product and it depends on your customers.

John Williams: You need to follow up because that list of leads that you have is very perishable.

Paula Williams: Right, what does that say?

The only difference between a salad and garbage is?

John Williams: Time. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Time, exactly. And the only difference between a list of really good leads and a list of really bad leads is?

John Williams: Time.

Paula Williams: Time, exactly. They’ll do something else. They’ll forget that they had a conversation with you.

Lots of things are going to happen if you don’t get back to them. So what we like to do is see something happen the week that you get back from a trade show and that’s could be a hand written card, it could be a post card, it could a phone call.

Something needs to happen immediately so that they remember you, kind of anchor that in their memory. And then you have a follow-up program that lasts however long your sales cycle is predicted to last. In most cases in the aviation industry, we plan on usually about eight months, right?

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: Yeah.

John Williams: Except for the really small items.

Paula Williams: Yep, that’s true. There’s a lot of people to be consulted, a lot of policy, a lot of budget stuff that goes into those purchases. All right, so actions. Present at fewer shows, but do them better.

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Don’t just show up, have a plan. Don’t aggressively pursue the sale. All you want them to do is get them to want to talk to you further. Get permission to follow up with them. And the last thing of course is, don’t fail to follow up. That happens so often.

I mean of all of the cards that I’ve dropped at trade shows, I would say less than 10% actually follow up with me. Have you seen that? Or what’s your-

John Williams: Absolutely, and the fact is that if they get one of my cards and they don’t follow up, they’re lost.

I don’t just hand my cards out to anybody.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly and you’re much more conservative than I am, being in marketing I throw them everywhere like confetti. Because I want to see how people do their marketing, it’s research right. I end up buying a lot of products but I do spread a lot of cards in places like this because I do want to see what their sales process is like.

And 10% is probably over stating the case. But very few companies actually follow up. So the ones that do have huge advantage. So you want to make sure that you do that. Okay, so here is the Trade Show Checklist I was talking about. Just go to ABCI1.com/Tradeshow. This is actually a checklist that we’ve been using for quite some time.

We update it every year. And you may already have a copy, which is great. If you do, dust it off and use it. If you don’t have it, get it. That’s Alpha Bravo Charlie India number 1.com/Tradeshow. Now go sell more stuff. America needs the business.

John Williams: That’s Zig Ziglar.

Aviation Trade Show Marketing Checklist Cover

Paula Williams: Zig Ziglar, subscribe to our podcast. We are on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher so please do subscribe and please do leave us a review. And once again if you do know somebody who would be a great guest on our podcast, we’d love to hear from more voices other than just John and me.

So if you know somebody who has a really great idea about marketing in the aviation industry or if you have some thoughts that you want to share. We’d love to have you on as a guest on the show and we promise to be mostly nice, right?

John Williams: No.

Paula Williams: No, [LAUGH] have a great week and we’ll talk to you later.

Download our Trade Show Checklist here:


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Product - Trade Shows


AMHF 0032- Advanced Visual Storytelling

We’ve talked a lot in the last few weeks about the importance of images and visuals in your marketing, how to make  images and visuals, different kinds of images and visuals like illustrations, pull-quotes, diagrams, charts and graphs and so on. So today we’re going into a bit more Advanced Visual Storytelling.

But how do you know what type of image to use when?

Rather than simply throwing more images around (which, admittedly, would be an improvement if you’re not using enough of them,) how can you be STRATEGIC with using images in the most compelling way at the best place in your marketing program?

We talk about that today  . . .

Podcast 25Podcast 25Podcast 25

Transcript – Advanced Visual Storytelling

Paula Williams: Welcome to aviation marketing hangar flying episode number 32, Advanced Visual Storytelling. So, I’m Paula Williams.

John Williams: I’m John Williams.

Paula Williams: We are ABCI. And ABCI’s mission.

John Williams: To help you ladies and gentlemen sell more stuff in the aviation world.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. So we’re using a hashtag, #AvGeekMarketing.

That’s the pound sign, and then AvGeekMarketing. And if you are in Twitter or Instagram or any of those bizarre little programs, then you know what that does is it helps us find your comments more easily. And we promise we will reply to every tweet and that way you could be part of the conversation if you have comments or want to mention something or share something or disagree with us, heaven forbid.

Or anything along those lines. Okay, so one of the things we talk about is we never want to do Random Acts of Marketing, right? We want to make sure that we’re knowing what we are doing and why. So we’ve been talking for the last several weeks about images, right? And before that we we’re talking about branding.

So a lot of stuff about visuals and how you use them and when you use them and so on. And today we’re going to kinda put that together into the marketing system phases and talk about what kinds of images you might use in your Phase One and your Phase Two and your Phase Three to meet the objectives that you need to meet in each of those phases so that you’re not just randomly throwing pictures around.

[LAUGH] And hoping for the best, right?

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool, so in a marketing system which is the opposite of random acts of marketing, we have Phase One which is advertising and prospecting. Phase Two, which is building credibility and closing sales. And Phase Three, which is referrals, recaptures, and resales, right?

John Williams: That’s what we’ve been espousing forever.

Paula Williams: Forever, exactly. And if you pick up any marketing textbook, you’ll find something very similar to this. The difference usually between ABCI and anybody else you talk to about marketing is the emphasis. So, we placed a lot of emphasis on Phase Two and Phase Three.

We think you should use at least 50% of your marketing budget for something other than advertising and prospecting, which doesn’t mean that advertising and prospecting-

John Williams: Well, you know, it is not only the difference. The other difference is clarity. When you see something from us, it’s extremely clear, as opposed to trying to dig pieces and parts out of 350 pages of textbook.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Exactly. So there’s a lot of differences, but one of the key differences between ABCI and other people is that most marketing agencies focus on Phase One. In fact a lot of people think that marketing and advertising are the same thing, when really advertising is just a very small part of what you need to do with marketing.

Right, John?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay, cool. So Phase One. We’ll start with that. Advertising and Prospecting. How can you use visuals to make your Phase One work better? Okay, now some of the things that we have in Phase One are things like podcasts, webinars, trade shows, public speaking, Facebook ads, prospecting packages, postcards.

All of those lend themselves very well to visuals, right?

John Williams: And more things besides those. Those are just the biggies.

Paula Williams: Exactly, but since we’re talking about visuals today, there’s a lot of attention getting that can happen in all of those features. So, you can have a great podcast icon and there are some guidelines for what that should look like.

It should look really good on a cell phone. It has to look really good, really small. Webinars, we recommend that people use their branding on their webinars. Make sure that they’ve got their logo on every slide so that people don’t just steal your concepts and run away with them with a screenshot and things like that.

Trade shows and public speaking is probably the one that is the most interesting but you can always put logos on your slides, on your handouts. Make sure those things are branded and so on. And trade shows the same thing. You can make sure that you booth makes it clear who you are and so on.

Facebook ads are very small. You want to make sure you’re using good images there. Prospecting packages. You want to make it really clear who that’s from. And, postcards are probably the most visual direct mail because there’s no envelope. So you’re looking right at an image usually as soon as you get a postcard.

John Williams: You notice that we left magazines and newspapers off this because they’re basically expensive And the readership is down.

Paula Williams: Right, I mean we can go on for miles and miles and miles of little blue arrows but the concepts that we’re explaining are the same, no matter what you are doing with your advertising.

So in our webinar last week we talked about four different types of visuals, we talked about illustrations, diagrams, pull quotes and graphs and tables, right?

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: Okay, so, of those four, and of course rules are meant to be broken, but we have to have rules to start with so that we know what we’re talking about.

Of those four, which do you think would be the most effective in Phase One?

John Williams: You’re the doctor. I’m just the nurse’s aid. [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Okay. Illustrations. We talked about how illustrations should show some kind of emotion. The kind of thing that we’re talking about is stock photography of somebody tearing their hair out because their plane’s broken.

Or somebody banging their head against a desk because they’re frustrated because their software isn’t working.

John Williams: So what’s the difference between an illustration and a picture?

Paula Williams: Illustrations include pictures, right? You’re illustrating a concept, right? So, of the four different categories, which would you put pictures in? We’ve got illustrations, diagrams, pull quotes and charts and graphs.

John Williams: You could put a picture in all of those.

Paula Williams: You could, but I would find it really weird to have a picture in a diagram, that’s kind of funny, or a picture in a pull quote or a picture in a table or chart.

John Williams: Yeah, you might find it funny but some other people may not.

Paula Williams: Yeah, that’s true. There are some creative uses of that, but usually when we’re talking about photographs or-.

John Williams: That’s why you’re the doctor and [CROSSTALK] have you tell us what’s going on.

Paula Williams: And illustrations. Usually, photographs fall into that first category. So, and usually the purpose of an illustration is to demonstrate an emotion, right?

John Williams: Is that right?

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: Okay.

Paula Williams: Okay, so.

John Williams: Demonstrate an emotion.

Paula Williams: To be about. That’s the purpose of art, right? Is to evoke an emotion or to invoke a reaction.

John Williams: A reaction I would believe.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: Emotion, I would guess that’s part of it, so.

Paula Williams: Right, exactly. And so the emotions that you might want to evoke as a advertiser or a marketer in this phase are things like what your product is going to do for people, or what problem it’s going to solve, right?

John Williams: Or you’ve got to be kidding me. [LAUGH]

Paula Williams: Yeah. In fact, we showed that 1984 Apple Advertisement that run during the Superbowl and part of the reason that it was so impactful is because it was about the customer not about the product. And they could have gone on and on and on about this has the most, this has a user interface.

All of those things were revolutionary at the time. But they talked about their customers and it’s one of the things that has really makes the difference between professional advertising and people who are just trying to say, here’s what my product is. You might want it or you might not.

But you really want to make your advertisements about your customer and how they will use your product, or how they can solve a problem or make their life better with your product. So, of those things, the most compelling is an illustration. Of course you can use the others, but if we wanted to break down some rules of what do you start with in Phase One the most powerful thing you can start with is an illustration.

John Williams: Cool.

Paula Williams: Cool, that make sense?

John Williams: Sure.

Paula Williams: All right. Okay. So we talked about those things. We talked about having a call to action in every one of our advertisements right?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: So if you have a call to action with a very evocative picture or illustration that cause of action will be something will be something like download a tip sheet or a book or a call us today, or get a free consultation, or take whatever the next step is in your sales process.

So you get all these emotion worked up and then you gotta get them something to do [LAUGH] and not just leave them hanging right. Okay.

John Williams: Something easy to do.

Paula Williams: Something easy to do because once again you’re at the beginning of a relationship so you don’t want to say buy my $5000 product when they have never heard of you before.

You’d have to evoke a lot of emotion to make that happen and that’s usually not going to happen in that first interaction so.

John Williams: Even if your product is $10 million, you still have to take easy steps along the way because, if it’s 10 million bucks, chances are they’ve heard of you and they’re interested and just doing maybe market research to figure what they really want to buy.

Paula Williams: Absolutely. That’s absolutely correct. So here’s an example of an illustration that evokes an emotion, right? So we talked about an article that we’d written, and that was a pre-call checklist. So it’s great information, but it was all text and we weren’t getting a whole lot of traffic to it on our website.

So what we did is we created an advertisement for it that was an illustration of an emotion. So, we have a guy standing in front of a red phone looking a little anxious [LAUGH] about making phone calls. So what this does is evokes an emotion of, a lot of us have felt that way.

I really don’t want to make those sales calls. And that is something that a lot of people, especially our target customers going to empathize with. And, this at itself is a call to action because it’s clickable. If we use it in social media, it’s a link to that article. So all we’re asking for is come visit the article, and take the next step in our sales process which is learn about this checklist.

And learn a little bit more about sales and how ABCI might help you with sales. So that’s how an illustration can be used in phase one. To get people to take the next step. All right, Pull Quotes can also evoke an emotion. We put this Pull Quote together from that same article as sales call check list.

If the answer to any of these question is no, postpone or cancel the sales call. There’s no point in wasting our time where client’s time on a sale we won’t win or even worse on a project we do win that causes problems.

John Williams: And here’s why you’re the doctor.

Paula Williams: Okay.

John Williams: Because when we were talked about this but when I first saw this [COUGH] being a finance kind of guy, and trying to learn this marketing stuff, I figure that the Pull Quote was the thing in red, when actually you said it’s the whole thing in the blue box.

Paula Williams: Yeah, the whole thing in the blue box and this is an audio podcast so that’s why I read the Pull Quote to you, but-

John Williams: The stuff in red says postpone or cancel the sales call.

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: And it’s highlighted and it’s a larger font and I thought, so that’s it.

Paula Williams: Yeah. So a Pull Quote is just a smaller portion of a larger piece of work. So, this whole blue box is a Pull Quote from the article. The red is Pull Quote actually from this little ad. But what it does is it evokes an emotion. You look at this and you go, wow.

You’re giving me permission to postpone or cancel a sales call? That captures my attention. I want to find out more about that. And the emotion might just be curiosity, in this case. So this is not as powerful, I don’t think, as our first example. But it is another way and it is a really way to make a lot of the content on your site get a lot more traffic to it by using Pull Quotes.

And using these in places where people are likely to see them. And then go to your website. Social media is a great example but you could use this in a news letter. You can use this on a postcard. You can use this on any advertising media. So there’s two examples of ways to use images in your Phase One.

John Williams: True.

Paula Williams: What do you think? Does that makes sense?

John Williams: Thus far.

Paula Williams: Thus far, okay. And that is the important thing, is that it makes sense. So Phase Two, we talked about Phase One as advertising and prospecting are your very first interaction with a client. Now we’re moving on to Phase Two, which is, let’s say after they’ve clicked that article, downloaded a tip sheet, had a phone call with you, they’ve had some interaction with you but they aren’t yet to the point of writing the check.

This can be a long time in the aviation industry because a lot of times people have to wait for approval or they have to do research or they’re waiting for the opportunity to meet the resources whatever the situation is. A lot of things have to line up in the aviation industry and as a buyer in the aviation industry you know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you John?

John Williams: Yeah life gets in the way and so does business. You can be trucking along in your business knowing you need whatever the product is that you’re looking at and just simply run out of time by the end of the day to be able to talk to a sales guy.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So you’ve been in situations where it’s been months or even years from the time when you first became interested in a product or service, to the time that you actually made the purchase.

John Williams: Yeah, it took

John Williams: Well, as a matter of fact it took eight months from the time I first saw the sales guys first talked to me or sent me a postcard about my first airplane before I purchased it.

It was just life and business getting in the way. I wanted to do it. I was prepared to do it, had the money to do it. But, [LAUGH] it was just a series of things that got in the way. [COUGH]

Paula Williams: Exactly, so this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a terrible salesperson, or that your marketing is no good, or any of those things.

It just means that your customer’s not ready yet.

John Williams: Which to that point, just because the guy doesn’t buy right away, doesn’t mean you should come back to him with a lower price.

Paula Williams: Yeah. That will sometimes do the opposite of what you want, which is it’ll actually hurt your credibility.

Because they’ll think, well why didn’t you give me your best price the first time?

John Williams: Well, yeah, I mean. I am helping some folks. I am not a broker, okay? But I’m helping some folks, because they asked me to help them determine which model and manufacturer, and so forth of aircraft to buy.

Well because of that, I’ve talked to several aircraft manufacturers and some of them keep coming back to me and say, we got a real deal on this one now. We can knock off 1.1 million, and in a week or two later another 100,000, and I’m thinking, well wait a minute.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: That’s not the way it works, with me anyway. [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Yeah, if you could have bought it at the price it was offered earlier, you would have. But there’s a legal, or some kind of hurdle that needs to be-.

John Williams: There’s all kinds of things going on with this with these guys.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: So, it just reinforced into me that lowering the price is not the reason you should have discourse with your customer, to understand what their reason for not buying is.

Paula Williams: Mm-hm.

John Williams: And 99.9% of the time it’s not going to be about money, particularly in aviation.

Paula Williams: Exactly, okay, so let’s go under the covers of phase two and look at some of the things that you can do while all of that stuff is happening on the client side that we don’t have a lot of control over, right? You can send them regular emails.

Not too regular of emails. You don’t want to drown their inbox, but you do want to be a regular presence. So once a week, tip of the week, or something along those lines, is usually welcome. Printed and mailed newsletters, we have never run into a situation where that is not welcome.

Those are, in fact, people complain when they don’t get them. So those are very well-received. And actually I was just reading some data yesterday from the American Marketing Association that said that printed and mailed materials are six times more effective than any electronic media. And that includes very, very targeted Facebook ads, which are kind of the thing right now.

John Williams: Having said that, if you don’t have a website and keep it up to date, then people wonder if you’re out of business or not.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, so you do need to do multiple media. If you’re only going to do one with the aviation industry, I’d suggest doing print rather than electronic, but everybody has to have a website these days at least.

John Williams: And back to my previous remark, that’s not just us talking. We have clients who have said they’ve had people come, [LAUGH] Calling and say, what’s up with your website? Are you guys going out of business?

Paula Williams: Cuz their website’s about four years old.

John Williams: Yeah.

Paula Williams: Using old technology and.

John Williams: And the guy said, well, no. And then they called us up and say, can you fix this?

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Yeah, we need some work on our website, which is cool. So all of your material should be, that’s another thing, is you want everything to be coherent and branded similarly, so that they know this is the same website from the same company as the newsletter that I’m getting.

John Williams: Can’t over-emphasize in a, [LAUGH] In an integrated plan.

Paula Williams: Exactly. You can have social media conversations with your top ten most wanted customers. We recommend follow Fridays, where you take an hour and you look at your top ten most wanted customers. Look at what they’re doing on social media, reply, those kinds of things.

Because most of us are doing way too much publishing and way too little listening. It’s called social media for a reason. You really want to make sure that you are having an authentic relationship with people, and not just using it as a megaphone. So, that’s really important. And then direct mail promotions.

You can do that once a quarter, or something along those lines, where you’re offering a special that makes sense. Buy an airplane this week, and we will throw in service or something that is of value to somebody who’s making that particular purchase. Follow-up sales calls is required. Formal sales presentations as, usually they’re asked for.

They’ll say can you come in and talk to our board about that, and so on. So, often those are requested by the customer and then of course you make the sale. But let’s talk about what kinds of visuals do you use in phase two, of those four that we’ve talked about?

We’ve talked about illustrations, we talked about poll quotes, we talked about, jeez, what was the third one?

John Williams: So what’s wrong with using them all depending upon the situation?

Paula Williams: Not a darned thing. But again, we want to take some of the random out of this and give people some guidelines of where to start.

John Williams: All right, so then do that knot.

Paula Williams: Okay, so we’ve got illustrations, we’ve got poll quotes, we have got diagrams and we’ve got charts and graphs.

John Williams: Yes.

Paula Williams: So of those things, we’re going to go with diagrams. Because at this point they’ve already heard of you, you’ve already got their attention.

John Williams: Good point.

Paula Williams: But you want to help them understand more about your product, because the more they understand the more comfortable they become making that purchase decision.

John Williams: So, phase one’s sort of an overview. Phase two is more of a detail oriented stuff.

Paula Williams: Exactly. So there’s usually a lot that people have to learn before they feel comfortable writing that check.

And anything that you can illustrate with a diagram, usually people can digest that information much more quickly than they could the same amount of text. People digest that very easily. A lot of aviation people are very visual, so it actually works better for them than trying to read a page of text and understand what you’re trying to say.

So think about all of the things that your customer needs to know before they make an educated buying decision, and think how can I show this rather than tell this? And make some illustrations that do that for you. So, you with me so far?

John Williams: Absolutely.

Paula Williams: Okay cool, all right.

And then Phase Three, Referrals, Resales & Recaptures. So after you’ve made the sale, most people stop, which is a huge mistake. Most of the money in aviation is made in phase three. We say this every time we talk about our marketing system. And that is because customers cost a lot less to acquire once you’ve made a sale to them.

It’s much easier to sell a second item, or a second time, or have them bring somebody in whose a referral, or any of those kinds of things. Aviation’s a small community, so people take each other’s opinions and experiences very seriously. And they say, how did things go with this company?

I’m thinking about doing that too. And they talk to each other a whole heck of a lot. Pilots are notorious for spending a lot of time with each other, taking each other’s opinions very seriously.

John Williams: Well, the other thing about this is, and I’m a prime example unfortunately, or fortunately, however you want to look at it.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH].

John Williams: I bought the first airplane and the guy didn’t Do this phase three and I bought the second air plane from a different person [CROSSTALK] from a different company.

Paula Williams: Wow, okay, so there’s a really good example and I was actually reading-.

John Williams: And they were both new aircrafts.

So it’s the same manufacturer but different sales organization.

Paula Williams: Man, I bet that first guy felt a little slighted.

John Williams: He didn’t keep up with me. I couldn’t remember how to get a hold of him.

Paula Williams: There you go. See, and I was actually reading an article yesterday about resales, recaptures and referrals, and one of the folks in our master mind group, Sean Buck, was talking about one of his customers who was a lawyer.

John Williams: [LAUGH] That’s right.

Paula Williams: And this guy had happy customers. He was winning a lot of cases for his customers, he was doing a bang up job, his customers were winning cases, they were making a lot of money, they were very happy. But he went through a list of 100 of his old customers and called them personally to ask them, how are we failing to get your return business or your referral business and things like that.

And out of the 100 people that he called, a really large number didn’t even remember who he was. And he had actually one guy that he had won $100,000 settlement that was really a difficult case and he called the guy up, expecting a warm reception and everything else, but the guy didn’t even remember who he was.

So a lot of these very busy business people have a lot going on in their lives and if you are just a means to an end to them, you can’t take it personally that they don’t remember you.

John Williams: What it means is you have failed in phase three.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so there’s a lot of things that you can do to make sure that they do remember you and to make sure that they have your contact information, and that they feel like they have a relationship with you and you’re not just a functionary in their life, you’re actually a human being.

And some of those things are like a new customer package where you send them some chocolates or popcorn or something that says we really appreciate your business. Here are some of the key things that you need to know, here’s a little card so that you have our customer service numbers, all of those kinds of things.

We talk about that in a lot more detail in some of our other materials. You can do a customer satisfaction survey once a year or at some point that’s [INAUDIBLE].

John Williams: When you spend several hundred thousand dollars [COUGH] or more [COUGH] excuse me, on an aircraft, then one would hope that the sales organization cold afford to do what she just said.

Paula Williams: Absolutely, or even if they buy a $20 product, you can at least a letter or an email that serves the same purpose and says here’s our customer service numbers, here’s some of the top five questions people have in their first week with us, those kind of things.

John Williams: Even where we go to buy fountain pens which, yes, we use fountain pens. They’re less than $100, but the guy that owns the store sends us an email once in a while that says, thank you very much and then are you having any troubles, is there anything else I can help you with?

Paula Williams: Yeah, actually he sends hand-written note cards, which is of course their business and nobody does that any more, which is what makes that so cool. But the name of the company actually is Tabula Rasa in Trolley Square in Salt Lake City. I think it’s a one of a kind sort of a place, but-.

John Williams: But he knows he’s got the phase three down.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and because he does something that nobody else does, he’s getting mentioned on a pod cast that he doesn’t even know about.

John Williams: [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: So you do something unusual and people will remember it. You can do follow up calls especially after a customer satisfaction survey to respond to some of the things that they mentioned, make sure all of the problems are resolved or to thank them and say, would you mind going on record or can we use your comments in our marketing materials?

People are usually perfectly fine with that. Thank you gifts, referral incentive packages, weekly emails, monthly printed newsletters, social media conversations, greeting cards, all of these things are really good ways to stay in touch with your customers. There’s no shortage of ideas, of ways to further your agenda once you have made that sale.

So in phase three, what sorts of things do you think might be useful as far as illustrations and types of visuals that you could use that are really.

John Williams: Based on our previous conversation, I would say more detail.

Paula Williams: More detail, exactly. So they already know you, they already like you, they already trust you.

So more details about what you do and other things that you do that maybe they bought one product from you, but you offer more than that. So tables and graphs are a really great way to let them know, you made a really smart decision when you bought from us and here’s why.

John Williams: But when you make tables and graphs, adhere to the KISS principle.

Paula Williams: Yep, keep it simple.

John Williams: And clear.

Paula Williams: And clear.

John Williams: Clarity and KISS.

Paula Williams: Yep, absolutely. So tables and graphs, and we explained in our last webinar that how every visual should communicate only one piece of data.

So if you have more than one piece of data that you want to communicate, you want to separate that into two tables or two charts or two graphs, or whatever.

John Williams: Exactly.

Paula Williams: Yeah, so you can use Excel, you can use Canva, you can use PowerPoint, you can use Keynote.

There’s lots of things that will make charts, graphs, tables, pie charts, other kinds of visual data for you that much more attractive than simply numbers or text.

John Williams: Yep.

Paula Williams: Another thing that you can do and we talked about this earlier is if there are some specific tables, and graphs and charts that illustrate your unique selling proposition or really key points in your sale process that’s really important for people to understand, you can always hire a graphic designer to make those even cooler for you, so that you can use those larger.

You can get them made in vector art, you can put them on posters, you can put them in your newsletters, other kinds of things. You want to use those everywhere that you possibly can. Another thing that we really like to do that we didn’t include in our five types of illustrations or four types of illustrations are cartoons.

If you do a regular series of anything, it gets more attention than one offs, and cartoons are just made for series. In fact, we did a cartoon for a client where the cartoon characters are basically inviting their customers to their booth at a trade show talking about what they would win if they aced a trivia quiz.

And then the next month, we’re putting another cartoon with the cartoon characters congratulating the winners. So you can really make these cartoon characters part of your sales staff.

John Williams: And they’re relatively inexpensive, for crying out loud.

Paula Williams: Exactly, so what this does is it just makes concepts a lot more visible and another thing that cartoons do and humour in general, is it lets you say some things that would be offensive any other way.

So in an example that we’re using here in the first frame, a broker asks and this is one for GC Aircraft or greatcircleaircraft.com for Dean Clo who has a fantastic sense of humour by the way.

John Williams: [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: So in the first frame, we’ve got an aircraft buyer asking three different pilots, what is the perfect air plane for me?

The first pilot says, a Gulf Stream 4. The next pilot says, a Citation 10. And the next pilot says a Challenger 604 and the owner says, why? And all the pilots say, because I know how to work the radios. So weirdly, people get attached to air planes because of very simple or very, I’m going to say, trivial reasons.

John Williams: Once you get tired of it and realize what you’ve gotta do to relearn a new box, the FMS, you’ll understand. [LAUGH].

Paula Williams: Exactly.

John Williams: Cuz some of them can be painful.

Paula Williams: Right, so that’s a point that we wouldn’t want to make any other way, because you might say well that’s insulting to pilots or whatever.

But everybody who looks at this cartoon that knows anything about pilots and knows about the industry is going to kind of nod their head and smile because this is kinda what goes on, right? So actions, you want to add more visuals to each phase of your marketing system. In phase one, you want to use illustrations based on emotions and problem solution kinds of scenarios.

In phase two, you want to use images that help prospects understand your key concepts. So remember, you’ve already got their attention, they just need to know more. So you want to use charts, graphs, diagrams and other things to make them more educated about your process or your product. In phase three, you want to use cartoons and other attention getting visuals that will keep you top of mind and explain maybe what else you sell.

So if you sell more than one product, they may not even know that. If they think you specialize in websites, they may not know that you also do printed newsletters or whatever your differences are there. Our freebie this week. We have a tip sheet about charts, graphs, tables, and diagrams, things to think about in putting those together and ways to get that done and that is available from ABCI1.com/charts.

It’s alpha, bravo, charlie, India number 1.com/charts.

John Williams: The Arabic number one.

Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right, exactly. So go sell more stuff. America needs the business.

John Williams: Our good buddy Zig Ziglar said that.

Paula Williams: Exactly, and subscribe to our podcast. We are on Stitcher, Google Play and iTunes, of course.

Please subscribe and leave a review.

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

Paula Williams: Absolutely.







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