Aviation Sales at Small Specialty Trade Shows

Broadcasting live from Setup Day at the Flight School Association of North America Convention in San Diego, we bring you three tips for improving aviation sales at small specialty trade shows.

Here are three tips for making them successful:

  1. Choose these specialty shows carefully to ensure you’re in a “target rich” environment with lots of your ideal customers in attendance.
  2. Ask show administration about other advertising opportunities for exhibitors and attendees.
  3. Get there early, set up & test, help your neighbors set up! Make friends with the infrastructure people – you’d be surprised how much they can help!

 

One thing NOT to do (but that everyone seems to do!) is to arrive late and frantic and to be demanding of everyone around them.

Live from the Flight Schedule Pro booth at the Flight School Association of North America conference in beautiful San Diego California,  we talk about small, specialty aviation trade shows and conferences and how to make the most of the marketing opportunities there.

Did you know that John and Martha King are big fans of aviation sales and marketing? Note – after this was filmed, we had the opportunity to spend a little time with John and Martha King, who were featured speakers at a dinner.  They hung around and chatted with attendees, and graciously posed for a photo.

And yes, they are JUST as delightful in person as they are in their videos.

Download our Trade Show Checklist to learn more about how to sell more aviation products and services next year, by attending or exhibiting at aviation trade shows!

New to aviation, or new to sales? 

Check out our Aviation Sales Basics Course – it’s a quick, efficient and FUN way to get up to speed quickly! (And spare you all the mistakes because we’ve made them for you!)

Aviation Sales Basics - Aviation Sales Associate

 

 

How to Avoid Desperation in Aviation Sales

How to Avoid Desperation in Aviation Sales

We’ve all been there – with ambitious sales goals for the month, quarter or year, and not much time left to accomplish them. It’s ideal to avoid these situations, because desperation is not attractive. But, there are a few things you can do. We share them here.

We’d be negligent as aviation marketing consultants if we didn’t tell you – it would be better if you didn’t put yourself in the position of having to work so quickly to make sales, because desperation is not an attractive quality in any salesperson, and especially in aviation sales, because we have such a long sales cycle. (It’s a marathon, not a sprint!)
But, this is a judgement-free zone, and we’ve all been there. So, we’ll first talk about how to avoid this type of situation, and then talk about specific tactics you can use if you find yourself in this situation despite your best intentions.
avoid desperation in aviation sales - Christmas vacancies
The problem – people in aviation are usually not focused on purchasing during December.   Charter organizations are flying the wings off their aircraft keeping up with the holiday demand, and larger B2B organizations have their most senior executives taking sometimes mandatory (use it or lose it by the end of the year!) vacation time.

Planning Goals To Avoid Desperation

Some aviation companies spread their sales goals over the other months of the year, so that salespeople are not dependent on actively closing business during certain months of the year when they know they’ll be busy with other activities, or when conditions are just not ideal for closing business.
In this example, this salesperson has a million dollar sales goal, (we wanted to make the math easy!) and spread those goals over nine months of the year, excluding February (when he’s busy preparing for and building relationships due to the Heli Expo) October (when he’s preparing for NBAA) and December, when his prospects are most likely out of the office for the holidays.
Of course, if sales occur during those months, that’s fine, but it’s usually best to plan around the ideal sales environment to give yourself every advantage possible and avoid desperation in aviation sales!

Sell Your Smallest, Simplest Product

how to avoid desperation in aviation sales
If you find that you ARE in the situation of having to make sales with a short timeframe and you have more than one product to sell, sell your smallest, simplest product.
That one person left in the office who is trying to get something done probably has the authority to spend a certain amount of money without consulting colleagues and getting approval from superiors.
If you propose she buy a small, simple product that’s easy to understand without a lot of consultation and consideration by a whole committee, she’s more likely to be comfortable making the decision quickly.

How to Create Urgency

On a related note, you want to give your prospect a reason to act quickly.  Some possible reasons you might use:

  • Taxes
  • Regulations
  • Guarantees
  • Dollarized Value (How much money are you LOSING every month if you don’t buy this?)
  • Incentives
  • Discounts  (Last resort!)

Many desperate salespeople jump immediately to discounts, but those should be avoided if at all possible.  Long-term damage to your price integrity and the race to the bottom with your competition often result from an ill-considered discount.

 

The Bottom LineHow to avoid desperation in aviation sales - our calendar template

If you find that, in spite of your planning, desperation in aviation sales has set in, and you’re in the position of having to make sales quickly. If this happens to you, focus on sales of your smallest, simplest product; and find a compelling reason to create some urgency for your ideal customers. (Which are the holiday refugees left in the office near the holidays!)

Download our Aviation Marketing Calendar template!

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to helping you sell more of your products and services next year!