How Aviation Businesses Can Earn More Business By Offering Free Consultations

How Aviation Businesses Can Earn More Business By Offering Free Consultations


(upbeat instrumental music) – Welcome to Episode number 171, 171. – That’s with a seven. – How to earn more business
with free consultations. – Yes. – Exactly, which is what we do. – We do? – We do. – I mean, we do. – Of course we do. – Okay. – So I’m Paula Williams. – I’m John Williams. – And we are ABCI, and ABCI’s mission is – To help all you ladies
and gentlemen out there in the aviation world, sell more of your products and services. – Absolutely, with free consultations. – In this case. – Exactly. That’s our mission every week, but this week we’re talking
about free consultations. – One more way of how to do it. – Exactly. This is what we’re gonna
be talking about this week. What a free consultation is not, it is not a sales pitch, right? – Exactly. – And it is not an opportunity for your prospects to pick
your brain for free, right? – No. – But it is, we’re gonna talk about how to do a valuable sales presentation that does result in great relationships, qualified prospects, and more sales. – Right. – Not every consultation is
going to result in a sale, but we’ll talk about that as well. So this episode is brought to you by our Aviation Marketing Lab, and I was actually doing
a little bit of digging because I thought it
was really interesting. I wanted to kind of dollarize the value of what our customers
get in our marketing lab. And they get use of some fabulous software that is out of reach of a lot
of really small companies. For example, JetNet Evolution is a tool that we use, we have a subscription, and we are able, under
the terms of service with JetNet, to use it for
the benefit of our clients, and look up how many Cessnas
are in Cessna citations are in Florida, as an example, to help them determine their market. We can also use it to
do lists for postcards and other things like that, but anyway, in our marketing lab
we’re able to use that to help define your market and how access to some of that data is really cool, and is very expensive, it’s 375 a month, if you were to pay for
that on your own, right? – True. – Basecamp is a piece of software that we use for project management. The main reason that people don’t execute their marketing plans is not because they don’t know what to
do, or they don’t have the wherewithal or they
don’t have the skill or whatever, it’s because
things just don’t get done. So project management
is incredibly important, and that’s something that costs $99 if a company were to go out
and buy their own subscription. And they have unlimited use of that, it becomes their own Basecamp project that they can add other people to, and add tasks and do other things with, and unlimited files and everything else. SEO Reports from SEMrush,
that would be 99.95 a month if you were to buy that on your own, and you get reports from us each month on your top ten most wanted keywords and your top competitors in your space to show you where you are
and how you’re progressing with your search engine optimization. – Mhm. – LeadFeeder is a really cool little tool that tells you who’s been on your website, even if they didn’t fill
out a form or anything. It tells you what companies you’re getting some interest from, and you can find out what pages they visited,
and how long they spent– – Even if they come in anonymously, it will let you know
some of the information. – Right, unless they’re behind a firewall, like a military grade
security or something, but most people you can get
some information from that. So that’s fabulous. Book Club’s about 30 bucks a month, depending on the book, and the postage and everything else for
that, so you actually get the physical book
in the mail every month. Mr. Math, if we were to do the math, 375, plus 99, plus 99, plus 53, plus 30? – That’s around 600. – About 600 a month in value, and you’re getting that for 279. But you’re also getting things that are kinda hard to put a price on, like the networking opportunities, our private Facebook group,
our quarterly office hours, monthly projects. Each month we work on something, by the end of the year you
will have 12 different things that you’ve made a great
deal of improvement on in your marketing system. So it is the very best deal
that we could come up with for small to medium
sized aviation companies that don’t have a huge budget and don’t have a huge sales
and marketing department. But they really need to compete against some companies that do, right? – Yep, and the way we
do this is, obviously, we have enough people in
the class to pay for this. – Right, so you take advantage
of our economies of scale and other kinds of things. We do have a special during March. If you join us by the end of March, you also get our Aviation
Sales Basics course, which we talked about, 499. That’s a one-time thing. You can go through the
course, it’s 12 units, and you get an Aviation
Sales Associates certificate at the end of it. So that really helps people who are coming from other fields, like real estate, or selling cars or
whatever, or if they’re new to sales, and maybe are a
pilot or a product developer or a mechanic, you know, whatever, getting into sales for the first time. Either way, that’s helpful. And if you join us by the end of April, you get our personal branding,
which is $979 in value, when you join us for our marketing lab. So we tried to make it a huge no-brainer that’s $1478 in bonuses if you join us by April 20th of 2019. – It’s easy for you to say. – Exactly. – And for that we’d really like to have a six month handshake commitment. We want long term
relationships with people, but your satisfaction is
absolutely guaranteed. We don’t want you in the
group if you’re not happy. – Exactly. – So that’s our handshake agreement, is that you come in with the understanding that it’s gonna take a
while to get the results that you want, and you’re
in it for the long haul, and you want to build relationships with the people in the group, and we want to build relationships with you, and we want this to work really well. But of course, your satisfaction
is guaranteed, right? – Of course. – Okay, so end of commercial. And on to the real thing, right? Okay, so what a free consultation is not. A sales pitch, an opportunity for prospects to pick your brain. So let’s start with the
whole sales pitch idea. One thing we try to never
do in a consultation is to talk about ourselves,
to talk about our company, or even to talk about our products. A consultation should really be about the person we’re consulting with. – The only reason we get
sidetracked into that is if they ask. – Right, if they ask a direct question, we will answer a direct question. – Exactly. – And of course, before
a free consultation, we will send them a packet
of information about us, so that should answer all their questions before we even get together. So it’s not a sales pitch, and we draw a pretty tight boundary around that. We don’t even talk very
much about our products unless it is a solution
to a specific problem that they ask about, and
those kinds of things. So the focus is 100% on the customer and their problem, right? – And if you decide to do this, you will get asked questions. – Right, exactly. Okay, it is also not an
opportunity to pick your brain. We had a gentleman in New York, he was a broker, aircraft consultant. And he had his friends,
and he had a lot of really wealthy friends
who owned airplanes, and things like that, that would take him to lunch all the time,
and ask him questions and just say, let me just pick your brain. And he would end up
doing a whole lot of work for free, because he
didn’t really know how to set that boundary,
and that was something that we talked about
in a free consultation. But it is not an opportunity
to have unfettered access to our brains, or anybody else’s. What this is about is basically
a 30 minute consultation about a very focused problem,
and they come out of it with a report, they come out of it with some very specific solutions, ways to solve that problem,
and things like that. So you really need to
keep the focus tight, and by limiting it to 30
minutes, or in some cases if you limit it to an hour,
you can do that really well. – They can take what they learned and earned, and go off and do it. If they try it and it doesn’t work, they can come back and ask us to help. And we can make a deal and do it. – Right, and that happens all the time. So to start, we wanna talk
a little bit about mindset, because there is a certain mindset that it takes to make this work. And even if you followed all the steps, if the mindset isn’t correct,
you’re gonna have some issues. So let’s talk about a
few little things here. The first one is you
wanna take it seriously. No matter what you think of the prospect to begin with, how likely
they are to become a customer, or how unlikely you think
they are to become a customer, you wanna take this very seriously because you don’t know who they know, and people surprise you,
all the time, right? – Yes, you don’t select
them, they will select you. – That is absolutely correct. The second thing of course is
to stick to the time limit. We follow the time pretty carefully, and when we get close to
the end, we let them know. We’re coming up on a hard stop
if we have another meeting, or if we don’t have another
meeting, we’ll say, you know, we’re coming up to a point
where you need to go, and if we decide to continue,
if you’ve got more questions, I’ve got another ten minutes, perhaps, if that works out for everyone. But we plan on being just
a 30 minute consultation. – Exactly. – We also use a very structured process. We have a thing called
a campaign worksheet that we use in almost every consultation, and it works for almost
any marketing problem. So that’s our process that we use, we always come with our reports. If they’ve asked us about a website or if they’ve asked us about a competitor, we’ve done the research ahead of time, and have that, have done that. Always arrive on time and be prepared, because you’re only
giving them 30 minutes, so you wanna make sure
they get the whole thing. – Right. – Make sure they are prepared. So we like to call the
night before, and say, is this time still convenient for you? Did you receive the materials
we sent you in the mail? Did you have time to review them? If not, let’s reschedule and not waste your time or ours, right? – Precisely. – Yeah, so that keeps that
boundary pretty tight, and also, signals to them that you’re taking this seriously
and they should too. We always use teleconferencing, because most communication
is nonverbal, right? So we want to make sure
that we’re doing that if at all possible, and if
they are only on the phone, then that’s fine, if they don’t have teleconferencing available,
but very much preferred. And we always record the session so that they will have access to it later. They can refer to it, they can share it with their colleagues, whatever
they wanna do with that. – And our software is set up so that only the people they want to have access to it can have access. – Correct, that’s right. We always dress appropriately. That should go without saying, but we have had pre-consultations
with software vendors and others that show up looking like they’re in their parents’ basement, and it shows a lack of respect for us and for the time that we’ve committed to spend together, right? – Exactly. – This is a business meeting
about a business problem, and so we should dress like business. If you’re in a different type of company, if you’re talking about
aircraft service or whatever, then dressing like a service
person is perfectly fine. – Exactly. – But you do wanna make
a good first impression. And you do wanna follow up scrupulously after the appointment, because that shows, this is their first
impression of what you’re like to do business with, right? – So after all this is said and done, how is this gonna get you a sale? – Okay, cool. So we’re gonna talk
about three things to do to make those consultations successful. The first one is to
attract the right people. The second one is to provide value, whether they hire you or not. And the third one is to make sure that the consultee chooses the next step. Is consultee a word? – I don’t know, probably. – It is now, right? Okay, so you let them
know they’re in charge of the process from that point forward. This is not, and that takes that firmly out of the realm of sales pitch, and it also makes sure
that they are not just picking your brain in an
unlimited sort of fashion, right? – Right. – Okay, so let’s start by
attracting the right people. This is one of the frustrating things for a lot of people that
give free consultations is that they find themselves
talking to students, they find themselves talking
to people who are maybe not in a position to make a purchase. And that happens
sometimes with us as well, and we don’t mind. The reason is because those students are going to be decision makers, sooner than you think, right? – And even if the person is not the right level in the organization, if you make a favorable impression, they will discuss it. – Absolutely. So it all starts somewhere, and aviation is such a small field that everybody is important. There are no unimportant
people in this industry. That’s probably true of any industry, but any person is worth
30 minutes of our time if we can figure out
a way to make it work, and if they have a
problem we can help with. We are absolutely not above doing that, no matter who they are, right? – Exactly. – Okay, and once again, that has to be, whatever you think about
that has to be sincere, because it comes across,
whether it’s true or not. Okay, so we wanna be very specific about what we’re offering,
and we tell people at the end of almost every podcast, if you have a sales or marketing question, and you work in the aviation industry, we’d be happy to talk with you for 30 minutes and see if we can help you solve that problem, or come
up with some solutions. – To get you on the right track. – Exactly. So everyone offers a free consultation. Yours needs to be different
from everyone else’s. So you wanna be really
clear about what’s included and what’s not included. You know, what will they
leave the session with? In our case, they’re
gonna leave the session with a campaign worksheet,
and with some SEMrush data about their competitors,
and about their keywords, and about other things
that may be going on with their online marketing, if that’s what they’ve asked us about. So it’s gonna be pretty tightly focused on the question that they have, and then we wanna make sure that they know how it’s gonna benefit them
and how they’re gonna use it going forward, whether
or not they work with us. – Along with the recording
they can access of, and review if they had questions. – Right, so attracting
people has a lot to do with our advertising placement. So our ads for our consultations, most of our consultations
come from our podcast. So the people who are
listening to our podcast are people with the kinds of problems that we talk about in our podcast. So they’re the most
likely to have problems that we’re likely to be able to solve. If you’re placing your advertisement in a flyer that is being
airdropped at ahsh-kahsh, you’re gonna get everything
from high school students who are flying for the first time, to people who have been in
the business for 75 years, to people who know everything to people who know nothing
about your product or service. So you wanna be really
targeted and specific about who is getting your advertising for your free consultation, right? – True. – Kay, cool. So attract the right people,
that’s thing number one. Thing number two is to provide value, whether they hire you or not. So our intention, going into
every single consultation, is that they’re gonna
leave us with two or three really good ideas that are going to bring them more business,
whether or not they use us as their method of doing that. And the process that we use for that, we usually ask them several
questions before we meet, depending on what they’re coming in with, what type of a situation or
problem they’re indicating. – Right. – We also do some
worksheets and some reports prior to coming in to that meeting, and then there’s one worksheet
that we fill out together as we’re going through it,
that’s our means of taking notes and also of making sure we’re following a good textbook marketing process. – That’s like a whiteboard collaboration, they can actually see us
filling it out online. – Right, exactly. We come prepared, like I said, we’ve looked up their
competitors, their website, and so we’re not just
asking them questions because we don’t know anything. We’re asking them
questions because we wanna get deeper into how to solve the problem. And then we also use a proven process that we know works, to solve just about every marketing problem.
– Every marketing problem. – Exactly. Right, okay. And then the third thing is that the consultee chooses the next step. They’re in control of the process so it doesn’t feel like a sales pitch, because they literally get
to decide what happens next. So some ways to start wrapping up as you get to the end of
your time together is, was this helpful? Was this what you were expecting to hear? Are we meeting our expectations? Are we helping? Are we providing things
that are relevant to you, or are we providing
stuff that you can’t use for one reason for another, and make sure you get back on track
as quickly as you can. So we actually do that pretty early in the session, we ask one
of those two questions, to – Oh yeah, you ask them throughout. – Exactly. And then toward the end, we start asking, so what’s next? What would you like to do next? Would you like to talk more about one of our products or solutions? Does that sound like a
good idea or something that would be worth your
time to find out more about? If it seems like that’s a good fit? If not, how can we help
you solve this problem? What can we do beyond this half hour? And if they have any specific requests or requests for
information, we consider it. And maybe send them some additional data or any other thing that
maybe we can help them with. If you’d like to meet again, who else should we include in that session? So this is how we solve the problem of if we’re meeting with someone who just isn’t in a
position to make a decision about using our products or services, or taking the next step
to solve this problem. Okay, well let’s bring that person in, and let’s have another consultation, or let’s talk about one of
our products or services and we can decide. – The first consultation is free. – The first consultation is free. – And there’s no sales. – That is absolutely true. – The second one, however, – Exactly. May be a sales presentation, if that is agreed on by everyone, right? – Uh huh. – But then they know they’re going into a sales presentation. – Right. – And they’ve agreed to it
and they’ve asked for it. – And they know we don’t
hold guns to their head and do anything like
that, we’re just people. – Exactly, exactly. Or, if they find out, you know what, I am not at the right
place in the organization to be making a decision about this, can we do a free consultation for my boss? And then the answer of
course is yes, right? – Mhm. – And we invite everyone
to that next meeting so that we can build on
what we started with. – And if we end up making
a sales presentation, and you hear this a lot from us, but at the end of it, the valid answers to the question are, yes, no, or not now. – Exactly. – No is fine, because then
we won’t waste any more time, and they won’t either. – Exactly, no pressure. – Yes means how do we get started? – Exactly. – And not now means, when? – Right, we need to do X,
Y, and Z before we can work with you, that’s perfectly fine. – Yep, absolutely. – We work with that as well. But the consultee is always in charge of what the next step is, and that is a really nice feeling of
security on their part, so that they know that this
is not a sales presentation, even if it is a sales presentation, this is how we do business. So that is how we keep that
from getting silly, right? Okay, so those three
things will really help you have much better free consultations, will help you have more of them, and also help you do a better
job as you go through them in identifying the right people and helping them feel comfortable with you and the way that you do business. So that’s a little bit about
our sales consultations and our sales consultation
process as well, but that’s also how we advise
our clients to structure them. Make sure that you’re
attracting the right people, providing value whether
they hire you or not, and make sure you allow the consultee to choose the next step. – And this is just one of the steps in our funnel, we do analysis quarterly, sometimes more frequently,
but at least annually, semi-annually to how many
people come in the top of the funnel, and at
which stage, how many, what percentage goes on down, and at what percentage end up being customers. – Exactly. – So we know this works. – Right, and we know that
doing free consultations, out of every 10 that we do, we end up with about four customers. So we don’t know which of those four are going to end up being customers, and that really takes the
pressure off for everyone. Because everybody has the possibility, but everybody is unlikely, statistically, to become a customer as a
result of that consultation so it takes the pressure off of everybody. We know we don’t have to make a sale. They know that they’re not in the barrel. – Exactly. They decide to get in the barrel, then they jump in with both feet. – Exactly, and everybody’s happy to do so because that’s what they need,
and what they want, right? – Exactly. – Okay. All right. So once again, this
episode was brought to you by our Aviation Marketing
Lab, where we do things like consult about your consultation process. So if the problem that you come to us with is how do I get more people
to sign up for consultations, how do I get them to go
better in the process, do you wanna role play some consultations, do you wanna work on your worksheets or your research or
whatever it is that you do provide, to make sure that
is of really high value and that you’re attracting
the right people. And that you’re making
sure that the consultee feels comfortable and is
ready to move forward. So those are some of things that we do in our marketing lab with
our customers, right? – Exactly. – Right, and then you also
get these other fabulous, fabulous prizes, right? – Yes. – Okay, if you would like
to have a free consultation with us about any avaiation
sales or marketing problem, you can do that by
requesting it on our website, and you click that contact us button, that gold button in the
middle of our website, and it will take you to a place where you can select an
appointment on our calendar, and that will start the process and we’ll ask you some questions, and we’ll go through this
whole process with you. So that’s really a good
way to see it in action if you’d like to see a consultation, we’d be happy to demonstrate
one for you, right? – Just bring us a problem. – Just bring us a problem, exactly. Or a question. – Or a question. – Right, so thank you for joining us, and we’ll see you next week. – Have a great week. (lively instrumental music)

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