The process in business is the easiest thing to change and can result in fast results in a short period of time. To sum up the post right up front, you may be having the wrong person answering your inquiry to flight training and costing you a lot of business. You want to believe that this is being handled correctly, but as a flight school operator, you should be tracking the number of calls, and setting an appropriate follow up to find out if the prospect had all their questions answered. Just managing the prospect list and creating a sales method, most flight schools can double the amount of activity with student pilots in less than 30 days. Continue reading “Double your flight school business in less than 30 days!” »
I recently received a call from an individual that was trying to sell his airplane, and wanted a candid opinion on why his airplane was still on the market. My question back to him was “how candid would you like me to be”, because there are two secrets to selling an airplane quickly, you just have to tell yourself that it is alright to sell the airplane. Sounds simple, but in many cases, an airplane owner has a certain attachment that goes beyond the emotion you feel when you sell your car. At times, I think the idea of selling the airplane is a decision that makes sense, however once the emotion takes over, it becomes a question of not selling it too fast. Continue reading “The two secrets to selling an airplane fast!” »
I was recently on YouTube watching several video’s of the Lockheed Super Constellation, which if you have ever seen one in flight, has to be one of the most beautiful airliners in flight. As I was watching the video, I noted that every 1,300 hours the airplane was put into “heavy maintenance”, meaning a very thorough check including the tear down of all four engines. The maintenance included the fabric replacement of a flight control, all radios and instruments were removed and put through a stringent test etc. This inspection resulted in over 4,500 man hours and was completed in five working days…at least that is what the video said. As I thought about the cost for each inspection, this would reflect that in the ticket price for airline travel, which was VERY expensive. Bring on the jet age…which was a game-changer for sure! Continue reading “How the Airlines changed general aviation” »
This has to be the million dollar question that very few seem to have an answer for. When I run an analytics for this web site, the average daily hit total is quite high, but very few comments are left. This leads me to believe one of two things. Either the reader already has tried changing their business model/methods, OR, the belief is limited to aviation is not supposed to be a profitable endeavor. I believe it is a combination of the two thoughts, because those that have been “outside aviation” seem to get it, while those on the “inside aviation” seem to not understand. Continue reading “What does business have to do with Aviation?” »
In today’s world, there’s a belief that web-sites and the Internet alone can produce sales results.
This may be true for small ticket items,(purchases), but not appropriate for higher priced products or the uniqueness of flight lessons or aircraft sales.
That said, we’ll focus on the personal selling effort or that of what is call “face to face or eyeball to eyeball” direct selling.
There’s an old saying; “nothing happens until something is sold”. And this certainly applies to the flight training operation whether a “stand alone” (training only) or part of a full service FBO.
Since it’s a known fact that the number of potential prospects in very low, it is of the upmost importance to “capture” their initial and inquiry be it by telephone, e-mail or a walk-in or an in person visit.
Very few smaller FBO’s or flight schools rarely have a systematic procedure to handle student or customer inquires – from the CSR (Customer Service Representative) or office receptionist who may be responsible for initial e-mail or phone call follow-up. Continue reading “MARKETING, ADVERTISING AND SALES (Part III) By Rod Beck” »
I recently was looking at vacation destinations with an eye on the Bahama’s as the weather looked beautiful, with the sandy beaches, clear water, and sunshine. As I pulled up the options for booking a flight, it became very frustrating from a standpoint of taking two days to get there, as the connections just would not line up. I pulled out the maps and looked on-line at the aeronautical charts from skyvector.com, and started daydreaming of a personal flight off the coast of Florida to Freeport on the Grand Bahama Island. I remembered from years back one of the most enjoyable flying articles that I had read prior to learning how to fly, and that was a pilot who flew a Piper Warrior II from the Northeast US to this island…and his experiences as he took his family on a trip of a lifetime. It was filled with the emotions of flight, from going on his first long cross country and bringing his family along, with the feelings and thoughts of flying over water. It made you feel like you were on the flight itself, and it brought back memories of adventure, flying, and enjoying general aviation aircraft. Today, you will find that the topics are mostly consumed with the cost of flying and the dangers of flying, which takes away from the fun and excitement of what flying is all about. Continue reading “The wonderful world of flying” »
Have you ever wondered what the REAL reason flight schools have such a small profit margin? Quite simply, marketing and sales processes are non-existent for most of them, and those that do marketing are doing so without any measurable results! The most you will ever see a flight school do for the marketing program, is to have a Facebook page with all these “likes” which essentially mean NOTHING! In fact, if you have competition you are setting yourself up for failure by inviting the “likes” to your page, because it offers a great opportunity to counter market your page very easily and inexpensively through Facebook. If this is your idea of marketing, please show me how this is bringing customers to your business in a measurable way. Continue reading “Aviation Marketing part II – By Rod Beck” »
I recently was in a sales meeting, and the topic of why we were so successful in our operation, is because we implement steps to the sale that MUST be followed. These steps include introduction, presentation, adding value to the product, asking for the sale, and putting it all together for the customer to have a good experience. As I stepped back and looked at the process at most flight schools, I can identify serious weaknesses in just about every aspect of the business, and it tells me we are only capturing about 30% of the business that we can. When I say capturing, I am saying that we have an inquiry that we need to take control of the sale, and get some some type of action going, whether it is a first lesson, or an appointment to meet with the flight instructor. Doing this one step will double your business of not triple it in a short period of time. Continue reading “Flight schools and selling the “learn to fly concept” on a daily basis.” »
MARKETING, ADVERTISING, AND SALES – for the small or independent FBO or Flight School Part I of III by Rod BeckAviation Marketing No Comments
Why is aviation such a unique industry that it doesn’t require any marketing and sales to be a success? Wait a minute, maybe this could be the problem….no, after thinking about it for a while, this is THE MAJOR problem with the flight schools and FBO’s in the country! Marketing? Not a clue. Sales? Well, kind of scary, would have to admit that I am in business to make money! Advertising? I don’t know how that works, maybe I will do Facebook? Yeah, there is a real winner and good luck with that! I said it here, Facebook isn’t going to make you money at all, it is a way to “spread the Gospel”, but actual results are not there….YET. It does have an avenue of creating interest, but driving business to your door, NOT SO FAST PILGRIM!
Continue reading “MARKETING, ADVERTISING, AND SALES – for the small or independent FBO or Flight School Part I of III by Rod Beck” »
The question is “is there really going to be a pilot shortage”, because in my career I have lived through about three pilot shortage events, and for all the hype, there never seems to be a shortage of pilots? (yes, question mark!) Now why is that? There are several reasons for this, one is that there are a lot of pilots that are fully qualified, yet due to income and schedules that are required for aviation, they have decided to pursue another profession. In reality, the real shortage in aviation is the stability and the income at the Jr. level! I think a lot of aviation has this challenge, whether it is the A&P mechanics, engineers, and the pilots that fly the airplanes, pay and stability have driven a lot of talent away from the industry. Continue reading “Is there a pilot shortage?…only if you speak Mandarin Chinese!” »