Developing your individual sales technique and that of your staff is vital when trying to convince potential students who walk through your doors to plunk down big bucks for training. Just because you have the best CFIs and support personnel around doesn’t mean they know how to properly sell flight training.
Given that many flight instructors come to the profession as pilots and not salesmen, staff training in sales should be mandatory whether on site or through a seminar. Regardless of the venue, the intent is to help your staff develop their personal sales technique.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what car lot you go to, you can expect the same spiel from the salesman who approaches you? Even though you say you’re “just looking,” the next thing you know, you’re breezing along in that shiny new car because the salesman tossed you the keys “just for fun.” As you’re enjoying the smooth ride and power behind the wheel the salesman is sizing you up and exploring how best to direct his pitch. If you have a family he’ll likely point out the safety features, and he’ll demonstrate the heated seats if it’s a cold and wintry day.
Although you may not have realized it at the time, you’ve already employed this very same sales technique by offering an introductory flight to a prospective student who walked through your doors. Getting the prospect in the air to see his dream of flying come to fruition is a powerful emotional tool. But back in the office does your staff know how to close the deal? Studies show that if you aren’t able to secure a new customer before they walk out your door, they are 35 percent less likely to return.
Whether it’s a free 30-day subscription offer, a new techno gadget placed in your hands, or the car salesman who seems happy to spend his time tootling around town with you, rest assured that these skilled professionals have mastered how to turn a tire kicker into a buyer. Their sales ploys are strategic and based upon proven psychological social marketing, starting with two universal sales principles.
Since it’s easier to sell material products than convince someone to drop big money on something intangible, such as an education, creative sales techniques have been specifically developed and cultivated to master the task. Major corporations who sell consumer products regularly employ environmental psychology, also known as the psychology of marketing, to help them improve their marketing strategies. By tracking how their customers are influenced and satisfied, companies are able to attract the types of customers they desire, as well as anticipate, provide, and service their needs with more effectiveness. Taking clues from the corporate world, universities and colleges have increased enrollment a huge amount by developing their own strategies using the principles of the psychology of marketing, and better understanding their customer. Here are the basic principles.
Remember that all of your careful budgeting and advertisement planning only gets them in the doors, but you and your staff have the ability to keep them there.