CORPORATE EXPERIENCE: It Begins And Ends With You - The
by Jay Mesinger
has had the distinct pleasure of selling three new aircraft
recently to three different first time buyers. This was such
an exciting opportunity for us. The companies in each case
are product driven sales companies. Each had a little
different approach to basic servicing that supported the
sales and growth potential of their products. Each
independently realized that in order to keep their
respective industry lead as well as take their company's
growth to new heights something needed to change. Each
within the confines of their own board rooms decided to take
their product driven companies and wrap the products in a
new level of service. They all felt that by creating new
deliverables with products wrapped in service, they could
expand market share as well as increase profits. That all
sounds pretty simple. Or does it?
company as if reading or really writing the same book at the
same time decided that the new level of service to be
delivered was as much a corporate cultural change as a
strategy change. Each began to look internally at their
current method of meeting with clients, meeting with vendors
and meeting with employees. All three decided to forego as a
primary method of remote sales and management the use of web
or telephonic meetings. They all three decided that the
"back to basic" approach of meeting face to face
was the true answer.
article is about what happens when the solution is found,
the cultural change begins and the flight department gets
engaged. Each company approached us to help prepare the way.
As I often say the backbone of any exercise starts the same
way. Find and hire an aircraft sales professional to help
develop collaboratively the mission profile, the budget and
the strategy needed to complete the analysis for purchase.
By the way,
the answer is not always new equipment and it may not even
be purchasing. It may start with chartering at first or
maybe a share of a fractional plane. It might be a
partnership. The answer for the correct execution will and
should be different for many.
title points out, the "Corporate Experience"
begins not when the corporate customer walks into the
corporate office, or when the customer walks out of the
visited corporate office. It does not begin when the remote
location employee or manager walks into or out of the
corporate headquarters. It starts when your flight crew
lands at the airport. This is when the vital corporate
experience begins. If the aircraft, (obviously a significant
investment and no doubt one who's decision to buy had to
cross many hurdles) is not considered the beginning and the
end of the experience, one has missed the significance of
with the look of the plane on the ramp. Is it pristine and
clean? Has it been made ready for this important meeting?
When the flight crew greets the passengers, is this a
positive first impression? It's not important the crew be in
suits. Often I see very professional crews greeting
passengers in kakis and company polo shirts. It's not the
outfit as much as it is the culture, the hospitality.
this trip in a corporate aircraft may be a first for this
customer or employee. Do not take this exciting - and maybe
even a little frightening - experience for granted. Once
inside is the plane looking it's best? Are the seat belts
neatly laid out on the seats? Little things, sometimes so
little the crew does not realize their importance is what
really makes an impression. Here is an example using a
Hawker. When loading the plane, after the bags are put into
the forward baggage area and the webbing is put on, does the
crew then slide the curtain over for a neater more
decorative look? Is the passenger briefing thorough and
elicits confidence? These are simple yet cultural details
that begin the corporate experience on the right track.
occur picking up customers and bringing them to the home
office. Are the customerís sales representative on board?
This can be a perfect opportunity to build a relationship
during a non- threatening time. The time in flight can be a
great foundation builder for new and expanded sales
welcome aboard mementos, napkins with the visitorís logo
as well as your corporate logo printed on them, catering
that considers the special dietary needs of the customer are
all experience driving factors. These factors create an
extension of the experience. They expand the envelope and
give you, with the flight crew an even more vital corporate
role. A role that helps insure the success of the strategy
to change and deliver a new corporate culture.
there is a tremendous amount of responsibility placed on the
flight crew when extending this new culture. Grasp it with
both hands and your heart. Do not take the little things for
granted. Work with corporate management to help them
understand the many ways you and your flight department can
be a vital part of this new culture. If you miss this
opportunity to be the beginning and end of the experience,
you will be writing yourself out of, not into, the picture.
cultural change moment. Get the flight department engaged.
Utilize this significant asset, and fly it to a new level of
Jay Mesinger is the CEO of J. Mesinger Corporate
Jet Sales, Inc. He is on the NBAA Board of Directors
and is Vice Chairman of the AMAC. Additionally, he
served on the Duncan Aviation Customer Advisory
Board for two terms, is a member of MEBAA, EBAA
and is associated with IBAC.