Blog about aviation & marketing

MARKETING, ADVERTISING AND SALES (Part III) By Rod Beck

Aviation Marketing 3 Comments

SALES

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. Read More

The wonderful world of flying

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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. Read More

Aviation Marketing part II – By Rod Beck

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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. Read More

Flight schools and selling the “learn to fly concept” on a daily basis.

Aviation Thoughts 1 Comment

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. Read More

MARKETING, ADVERTISING, AND SALES – for the small or independent FBO or Flight School Part I of III by Rod Beck

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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!
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Is there a pilot shortage?…only if you speak Mandarin Chinese!

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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. Read More

My most enjoyable aviation trip – A Beechcraft S35 Bonanaza to Atlanta

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I recently had an opportunity to share a question with pilots, and that question was “what is the most memorable and/or enjoyable airplane trip you have ever made?”  If anyone has been flying for very long, they usually recall a vacation trip they took where the weather was great and it was a cross country that challenged them.  There is a lot of psychology that plays into a long trip accross the country, because it is out of the norm for the majority of our flights and experience to that point.  With a few days prior to the departure date, the weather channel is being watched, the route and modifications to the departure time are considered, and the excitement builds.  For some, there are a few trips that are remembered as the best they have ever taken, others are disappointments due to weather and other challenges that required decisions that were not part of the thinking at the time the trip was being planned.  For me, I would say my trip to Atlanta GA in late April 2003 was that trip.  It was about good friends, a great airplane, good weather and a romance that made it all come together. Read More