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Is there skill involved in selling flight lessons?

check6

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The fact is that there is. Sometimes, after getting off the phone with someone I almost feel like I threw a student away. Anyone have any tips for "telling someone the cost of flying" without saying the actual cost?

The company I'm working for is kind of slow right now, but we have potential.
 

Flechas

........
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I always prefered to be honest about the price. I hated when I heard CFIs getting off a tangent when asked about the price, that'sjust wrong.
What you can do though, is tell them how much youguys charge per hour, how many hours minmum to get the rating (40 hrs for pvt), and how many hours does it realy normally take. Then you can do the sweet taking.

You can tell them that they don't have to pay the $4000 all at the same time, you can pay as you go, so if one week you are short on money, youdon't have to fly, however, the more often you fly the better, because it will take you less hours to finish the rating, that means it's cheaper.

Then you ask them if they would like to come by for an intro flight, it's only $60 and you'll have the chance to see what it's like for half an hour.

After you have the student, even if he/she is your only student, DON'T MILK THEM FOR HOURS OR MONEY, get them done as soos and cheap as possible, and your reputation wil take care of giving you more students.

Good luck!!
 

English

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There's a great book written by Greg Brown called "The Savvy Flight Instructor" that has lots of neat hints on how to make the proper sell.


Sell them on a low-priced introductory flight, which is only $49 (www.beapilot.com). After they see how much they love flying, show them the price in a breakdown that won't scare them. Always talk about the smallest chunks of costs. For example, share the price of an hourly lesson, not the price of earning the certificate. That realization can come after you get them hooked and they've had a few lessons (made a commitment to learn to fly).
 

check6

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Thanks for the answers. I'm a little embarrassed since I've been instructing for a year now. This is supposed to be the busy time of year now and we're about the same as we were all Spring, even with the occasional spring snow/thunderstorm. Frustrating as usual I guess.
 

Fly_Chick

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check6 said:
Sometimes, after getting off the phone with someone I almost feel like I threw a student away.

Smile when you are talking on the phone. Your voice will automatically be more upbeat, you will be more excited, and the recipient will subconsciously receive this message. Besides the cost of flying, I often want to portray the joy and love of flying, and this will show through with the presentation, then the cost does not come across as too high or prohibitive.

Try to sell them on the intro flights, beapilot.com, etc. The hardest part is to get them in the aircraft initially, after that we can let them know how truly wonderful it is to fly.
 

midlifeflyer

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check6 said:
The fact is that there is. Sometimes, after getting off the phone with someone I almost feel like I threw a student away. Anyone have any tips for "telling someone the cost of flying" without saying the actual cost?
I wonder whether you may be telling them something that they are not asking. I do a lot of intro flights (and almost never for $49.00) and incredibly few people even ask what the whole process might cost.

At some point, "sales" is like explaining sex to a 5 year old. You gotta figure out what they are asking and not just tell them everything you know.
 

JediNein

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Aviation loses students because they didn't think it'd cost so much (schools/instructors not telling 'em the truth). Aviation is not losing students because they can't afford it (look at Cirrus sales to non-pilots).

My sales process is a little different. I'm trying to weed out those that don't have the money to afford me.

If they don't have the funds for me and really want to fly, I'll steer 'em towards a safe bottom-feeder flight school on the field. They know what they are getting into and keep their eyes open. They also stop wasting my time and I can spend more time pursuing those that have the funds.

It's hard to put this in writing without sounding like a conceited horse's rear end, but it is the truth. You don't want to waste your time on those that can't afford you.

I found out having a high price tends to eliminate those clients that will waste your time by not paying, canceling with no notice, or simply not showing. One must provide a good value for the price one is charging or you will quickly lose the clients whose checks don't bounce. If I really have the desire to work for free, all I have to do is log on to flightinfo for a bit and answer some questions seriously.

I haven't flown a junker airplane in over a year. I rarely fly one without a moving map IFR GPS with a current database. I don't spend hours in the traffic pattern banging out landings with students, either. I don't have to.

Fly SAFE!
Jedi Nein
 

dueguard1

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Got my CFI tickets and hit every College within a 35 mile radius of the airport and my home........Painted the town red w/ a Sea of flyers and business cards, it also did'nt hurt to schmooze a little with a couple of Pilot shop owners in the vicinity.
 

nosehair

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JediNein said:
It's hard to put this in writing without sounding like a conceited horse's rear end, but it is the truth. You don't want to waste your time on those that can't afford you.
I haven't flown a junker airplane in over a year. I rarely fly one without a moving map IFR GPS with a current database. I don't spend hours in the traffic pattern banging out landings with students, either. I don't have to.

...yet some of us just love to spend hours in the traffic pattern banging out landings with those who can't really afford it, but the spirit is within them. They love it - I love it - what's not to love?
It all depends on what you're really selling. I sell myself - or the pure love of flying, and teaching it to someone else. I downplay the "big-picture over-all" cost of training up towards an airline pilot career. We all know it takes a haleova lot more training than a "commercial certificate". The actual cost is not measurable.
But everyone, and I mean everone, who becomes an airline pilot, or an astronaught, or whatever, has to solo. So that's what I sell; an intro ride and during the ride I make sure they get to feel like thay are flying and get them hooked. That is, if they are hookable - and some aren't.
 

midlifeflyer

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I'll add an experience I had for whatever it might suggest to you for an idea.

The first November after I got my CFI, I "advertised" a 3-lesson gift certificate with the slogan "Did you give socks for Christmas last year? This year give the gift of flight." The advertising was on my web site, but the primary target was the (non-aviation) company I worked for at the time. They were priced so that, while I wouldn't make a lot, I would not lose money either.

I sold 4 or 5 packages. As I recall, two people continued taking lessons, one took only two of the three, and one never used it at all.
 

JediNein

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nosehair said:
...yet some of us just love to spend hours in the traffic pattern banging out landings with those who can't really afford it, but the spirit is within them. They love it - I love it - what's not to love?

If you're flying the plane in your avatar, I wouldn't mind a few days spent banging out landings myself, until the first bee got stuck between my teeth from my ear-to-ear grin.

Unlike the airlines, one can really 'choose their own adventure' as a flight instructor.

Fly SAFE!
Jedi Nein
 

check6

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Once again, thanks for the posts. My company offers a variety of intro flight packages, so that is not a new concept to me, but some of your other ideas I'll have to try.

Since I posted this I've picked up two new students!
 
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