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Wed, Jul 03, 2013

Aero-Marketing 101: Nothing Happens Until Something Is Sold

Approaching A Show Like Oshkosh, A Comprehensive Sales Plan Can Be Invaluable

By David Juwel, LPBC

Part of the problem with salespeople in the past is that colleges rarely taught salesmanship as part of their course of instruction. They taught their students to seek security instead of success. Consequently students sought different degrees and endeavors. But the truth is that a career in sales is one of the best career choices you can make. The salesperson is actually the most critical person in the company because nothing happens until something is sold. Plus, having the ability to sell brings you real job security because you can do it anywhere in the world, with almost anything (remember the pet rock?). Apparently academia has caught up to this fact because today there are over 70 colleges that offer advanced degrees in sales and marketing.

Having established the criticality and value of the sales position, we are led to a crucial question; “Do you have a comprehensive course of instruction and sales plan for your salespeople?” Years ago I wrote a sales manual of about 100 pages for a start-up Kit-Aircraft Company. The manual was designed to teach the parent company and their dealers how to aggressively market their aircraft. The manual was necessary because salespeople need a sales plan just as much as corporations need a business plan. I also did this because I recognized that having a course of sales instruction combined with a comprehensive sales plan can make all the difference between corporate success, mediocre results, and failure.

In my previous articles, I have pointed out the marketing discrepancies that I have observed at the various aviation events (ITBOA BNITBOB, or “In The Business Of Aviation, But Not In The Business Of Business”). Although not exclusively, the majority of these discrepancies occur with the staff of the smaller manufacturers and companies. Since then, we have received responses from managers thanking us for pointing out these discrepancies, and I’m sure there have been a few meetings of the mind between the corporate managers and the event sales staff.

But I wonder. Can we really blame it solely on the sales staff? How can so many people within a single segment of an industry do so badly? It’s not just the economy. Perhaps there is another cause. Perhaps the cause and effect is also a corporate issue. Is there insufficient training, insufficient direction, insufficient support, or a combination of these and other causal possibilities occurring within your company?

To mitigate the issue and bring balance to both sides of the table, I encourage each company to provide their staff with comprehensive training and support in both marketing and sales. Make the marketing training comprehensive, and make the sales training practical and systematic.

Remember what I’ve said in the past; when you’re fishing, the fish don’t jump into your boat, they need to be drawn in, and the sale is not complete when you get the fishes attention. It is only complete when the fish is sizzling in the frying pan. Teach your people how to properly fish and your corporate platter will be full ever after.

Wishing you blue skies and greater profitability.

(Pictured: David Juwel)



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