John and I discuss Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book, The Impact Equation, and what aviation sales and marketing professionals can use from the book.

“Anyone can write a blog post, but not everyone can get it liked thirty-five thousand times, and not everyone can get seventy-five thousand subscribers. But the reason we’ve done these things isn’t because we’re special. It’s because we tried and failed, the same way you learn to ride a bike. We tried again and again, and now we have an idea how to get from point A to point B faster because of it.”


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Transcript – Discussion – The Impact Equation


Announcer: You’re listening to aviation marketing Hangar Flying, the community for the best sales and marketing professionals in the Aviation Industry. Your hosts, John and Paula Williams, are your sales and marketing test pilots. They take the risks for you and share strategies, relevant examples, hacks, and how-tos. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you won’t miss a thing.


Paula Williams: Welcome to our book club discussion this month. This is our Aviation Sales and Marketing Book Club, where we talk about a really cool book every month from the perspective of sales and marketing thresholds in the Aviation Industry, right?


John Williams: Yes we do.


Paula Williams: So, I’m Paula Williams.


John Williams: I’m John Williams.


Paula Williams: And we are a ABCI and ABCI’s mission is.


John Williams: To help all you folks out there selling our products and services in the aviation world.


Paula Williams: Absolutely and this month we read the impact equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.


John Williams: Yes.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] And so what did you think? 
 First impressions?


John Williams: Actually, it took a new look at a new perspective on some old information.


Paula Williams: Good, yeah this is actually one of few sales and marketing books that I haven’t read. I read a whole bunch of books and this one was suggested by somebody in our Aviation Sales and Marketing group that I thought this was a great book and this is a little outside, I’m gonna say the usual management book genre, right?


John Williams: Yes.


Paula Williams: A lot more pop culture references, a lot more current information, things like that.


John Williams: Yes but they still, that’s my understanding approaches to different things that require nowadays and you just have to do.


Paula Williams: Absolutely, so what I like about this book really is that it, most of the other books that you read have a lot about make more height, make more height, make more height, that’s kind of their moral of this story for a look of books especially a lot of the ones by Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin who wrote Lynch Pin and Tribes. 
 Except where people are really evangelizing social media and saying you need to have a blog and you need to do this and you need to do that, and you need to make more noise. This one kind of takes the opposite opinion that more noise is not necessarily better, right?


John Williams: Exactly that’s what he does say. And then he gives his reasons for that and what you need to do.


Paula Williams: Exactly, so it’s a long time coming I think and I’m glad that this is out there and I’m glad that we read this as a group, so fun. 
 Okay, so the first bookmark, I bookmark about six ideas in each book that I think are particularly important for aviation marketing professionals and aviation sales professionals. The first one really is contrast.


John Williams: So what did you think about that?


Paula Williams: So using their acronym which I think is actually pretty good, they create acronym contrast, reach, exposure, articulation, trust, and echo. 
 This is how you create materials that are better and are more likely to get a reaction than what everybody else is putting out. So this is from the back of the book, contrast, does your idea stand out? Reach, how many people do you connect to? Exposure, how often does your audience hear from you? 
 Articulation, is your idea clear enough? Trust, do people believe you? And echo, does your idea connect to your audience? I really like that acronym, and I think contrast being the first one makes perfect sense, the how are you different? This is always been talked about as unique selling proposition but I think they do a nice job of saying is your idea throwable, and is your idea catchable, using the baseball mitt analogy. 
 If you’re just throwing confetti, [LAUGH] nobody is gonna catch it. Nobody is gonna throw it to somebody else.


John Williams: Or they’re gonna turn around and walk off.


Paula Williams: Exactly it will just fall on the floor and get trampled under foot. So are you creating confetti or are you creating a baseball or something that fits what your customer’s expecting because they have a mitt? 
 I like that analogy. What did you think?


John Williams: [LAUGH] 
 You don’t want to throw them a baseball bat if they’ve got a catcher’s mitt.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] No, we form function, right? So yeah, and the unique selling proposition I think is an old idea but this is a new twist on it. 
 So I think the way that they explained it is actually pretty usable. And also it makes all those people that have been doing USPs forever, people who have been in sales or marketing for a long time, go back and look at your USP from that perspective. Is it a baseball, or is it just confetti or crap? 
 Okay, next one, articulation, I have an example to use on this one.


John Williams: Of course you do.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Of course I do.


John Williams: [LAUGH]


Paula Williams: Okay this is actual web site copy from the home page of an aviation company, Name omitted. And I’m gonna read this because some people are just listening to this. 
 Name omitted brings together the best professionals in the industry to serve the interests of our clients. We are relationship-focused, not just transaction-focused, and everything we do is driven by one thing: extra-ordinary value. Our desire is to count you among the dozens of highly satisfied clients who have worked with us over the years. 
 We want to earn your business and grow your trust. You are in good hands with our group.


John Williams: And that could be any one of 1,000 people.


Paula Williams: So exactly, how unique is that?


John Williams: It’s not.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] All right.


John Williams: It’s not even close.


Paula Williams: Exactly.


John Williams: It’s not even a proposition.


Paula Williams: Mm-hh, and I have an antidote for that.


John Williams: Of course you do.


Paula Williams: Every piece of marketing that you do, and this is something that we’ve put on our website before but, and this wasn’t from the book. This is something that the book brought to mind and I think it was actually probably said better by Dan Kennedy at one point. 
 Every piece of marketing, every page of your website, every piece of paper that you send to a client should answer four questions, right?


John Williams: Yes.


Paula Williams: And busy people, aviation decision makers are very busy people. Don’t like it when you dance around the subject and waste their time, right?


John Williams: Uh-huh.


Paula Williams: Okay, so question one, why should I read or listen to you? Question two, why should I believe what you have to say? Question three, why should I do anything about what you’re offering? And question four, why should I act now? If it doesn’t answer those four questions, and it doesn’t have to directly just-


John Williams: Right, but it has to have a-


Paula Williams: Yeah.


John Williams: And if you don’t have that in there then you’re wasting your time and theirs.


Paula Williams: Okay, so next bookmark was platforms and reach.


John Williams: Mm-hm.


Paula Williams: And reach is probably the reason that most people pick up the book. 
 They were saying that everybody wants to hear about, they want the giant freaking laser beam, right? They don’t necessarily care about all of the details and things like that, they just want the giant freaking laser beam. The problem is, there really isn’t one, right? There is no way to do this other than going through the process and doing the hard work, right.


John Williams: Yeah, I like this thought on [COUGH] how you do reach, and the fact that you do whatever you can, even if it’s cheating, because nobody says it’s fair. It’s on page 180, that quote. That is a great quote. And I don’t know what I was thinking about, it’s on page 144. 
 Is reach fair? No. Did we ever, ever, ever mention fairness in this entire book? No, nor will we. Fair is a lie that the vanquish tell one another while licking their wounds. There’s nothing fair about reach. To keep reach alive and drive impact echo and articulation must be considered in similar measure.


Paula Williams: Exactly, and that’s where they talk about the difference between Rebecca Black and Paulo Coelho. Two people who couldn’t be more different. Somebody who is an influencer of great thinkers and somebody who is kind of a soda pop music icon, you know? Rebecca Black obviously has a much greater reach or a much bigger laser beam, unfairly so maybe, but on the other hand Paulo Coelho doesn’t want that same audience. 
 He doesn’t want an audience that big, he just wants to reach the 100 greatest people in the world.


John Williams: In front of that quote is basically they’re telling you how you can cheat. And cheat is not, it’s a word designed to get your attention, that’s how you do things, quote, unfairly.


Paula Williams: Right, exactly. So is that fair? No! Is that a reality? Yeah! So we deal with the reality of what there is, so here’s another thing about reality. Sales is a numbers game, right?


John Williams: Yeah.


Paula Williams: But who are you counting or what are you counting in those numbers? 
 It’s fairly simple to buy a very large social media audience with cheap tricks and with purchased likes on advertisements and other things like that, but you’re not actually earning an audience.


John Williams: No, and they may be 13 year olds.


Paula Williams: Mm-hm.


John Williams: I mean you don’t know what you’re getting there because they aren’t qualified or even semi-qualified.


Paula Williams: Right, they might be robots, they might be people from other countries, it might be people from who are paid a minimum wage to click links. So they may not be actual people at all, they might be just a program. And all of those things are not going to be helpful to you in terms of actual buyers or people you want influence, so.


John Williams: I can’t think of a product or service that that would work with because, I mean just because you’re reaching 10 million people you’d have to one of the chances you have at some product or service that you wouldn’t care about their demographics.


Paula Williams: Right.


John Williams: And be able to link sales to a percentage or two of them.


Paula Williams: Exactly, so we’re looking for quality over quantity but you do have to have a certain amount of quantity. You can’t be talking to an empty room.


John Williams: True.


Paula Williams: And have any kind of effect. So we look for some standard numbers, like we look for at least 100 user sessions, or 500 a month, 1, 000 a month, something like that depending on the how specific the market for the company that we’re talking about is. 
 If it’s something that is only for multi-engine students as an example, that’s a much smaller number than something that is for all flight students, or something that is for all airplanes is different than something that is only for King Air 350 ERs, right?


John Williams: Yep.


Paula Williams: Okay, so the value of the platform is not only the size of the group of people listening but also the quality, if we wanna put it that way of the people listening as well, right, okay. 
 I like this analogy that they used, what are you selling? And this is two podcasts, kind of a tale of two podcasts,


Paula Williams: Ricky Gervais had the most popular podcast, audio podcast in the world, had more downloads than any other podcasts in the world. He had a vast and enviable platform. 
 But then he decided or some manager decided to charge for his podcasts, right, and put up a pay gate. And he thought well if I just charge a very small amount of money for these podcasts, obviously everybody loves them, so some people will pay for the podcasts and we’ll make a lot of money. 
 As it turned out, people weren’t willing to pay for something that they hadn’t been paying for before. He didn’t upgrade this, he didn’t make a deluxe version of it, he just started charging for something on Tuesday that had been free on Monday, right?


John Williams: Yeah, can’t do that.


Paula Williams: Exactly okay, the opposite of that is Chris Brogan, who also has a very popular podcast. What he did is he got sponsors for his podcast and put some advertising in his podcast. He made money, which is what they both wanted to do, didn’t upset his audience.


John Williams: At least not too much.


Paula Williams: Exactly, and kept a very large platform. So did he sacrifice the platform to make money? No, he monetized the platform without sacrificing it, right?


John Williams: Yep.


Paula Williams: Okay, I really like that idea, okay. Let’s talk about exposure. And here they talk about being the television show rather than being the advertisement. 
 And here’s one of my guilty pleasures, is Hawaii Five-O, which is probably one of the most beautifully shot TV shows ever created, right?


John Williams: Yeah, you’re just predisposed because you spent a week out there [LAUGH].


Paula Williams: Exactly, and if you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know they have a fantastic set, and so they almost can’t screw this up. 
 But they also have some decent characters and the plot is not a whole lot to write home about, but it is a very addictive TV show, right? And there is a lot of advertising embedded in this TV show.


John Williams: Yeah, they don’t break and say, pause from our prior sponsor. 
 They just have sponsored [LAUGH] placement throughout.


Paula Williams: Exactly, the Chevy cars. Everybody in this show, good guys, bad guys, and everybody else drives shiny beautiful Chevy Camaros and trucks and everything else and all of the iconic character’s vehicles are all Chevys. They all use-


John Williams: Windows computers.


Paula Williams: Windows computers like the Surface Pros. 
 They pull those out in the middle of a case and start doing stuff on it. The logo’s clearly showing. So they’re doing some things with advertising in the midst of the show and if you think about your blog or your podcast or your content as the vehicle for your advertising without interrupting, I think that’s a really helpful thing. 
 So you can either have sponsors or you can be you’re own sponsor.


John Williams: Yes.


Paula Williams: But you want to be the show [LAUGH].


John Williams: That’s right.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] Right? [CROSSTALK] You’ll be advertising, right, cool. All right, so let’s talk about trust. This is really key in aviation, so this is something that we’ve bookmarked quite a lot. 
 And these guys wrote a book, another book about trust as well. So that’s a really huge topic for them, the trust agents. And this book that we’re reading now, The Impact Equation is kind of a follow onto the trust agents. So that might be worth picking up as well. 
 But this is their formula, CRIS, basically. C* R * I / S = Trust.


John Williams: Uh-huh.


Paula Williams: And C = being Credibility, R= Reliability, I = Intimacy, divided by Self Interest is Trust. So we had talked about-


John Williams: At least in their discussion you would’ve expected, [COUGH] I would’ve been squared [LAUGH] .


Paula Williams: You think?


John Williams: Yeah, but they didn’t do that.


Paula Williams: No they didn’t, yeah, that was weird. So I’m not too sure about the formula exactly, but I think they got all the right ingredients.


John Williams: Yeah, it’s just that I’m not sure that based on what they said that they have the right formula.


Paula Williams: Right, so how can you make this happen in your work? Of course, credibility, the statement that we read for you from someone’s home page didn’t do a whole lot to inspire credibility because I don’t know that there were any true statements in there. Everybody wants to be the most reliable and be most trustworthy and the most, our customers are the most important thing, and we are the best at creating relationships.


John Williams: They’re just a bunch of.


Paula Williams: Right? They offer no proof of that. They offer no testimonials, they offer no way to build their credibility.


John Williams: They just put words on a page that didn’t mean much.


Aviation NewsPaula Williams: Exactly, so you have to provide those markers of credibility by aligning yourself with, if you publish an article in Forbes magazine or the Wall Street Journal or something like that, that’s credibility. 
 If you are a member of NBAA putting their logo on your site, that’s credibility. If you have a testimonial from a customer that everybody knows their name, that’s credibility.


John Williams: And if you back up a product or service after it’s paid for you go ahead and help somebody fix it anyway, that’s reliability.


Paula Williams: Exactly, and another way you can build reliability without spending any money at all is just doing the same thing all the time. Having a set process, sending out your emails every Monday, that’s one thing that we do. Having a process, every consultation has a check list that gives people a sense of reliability and saying this every time they do business with you. 
 Intimacy, the way that you do that in the Aviation Industry of course is to be there in person. There’s no better way than to be at their trade show, right, or to be at your customer’s office.


John Williams: Yep.


In Person Sales PresentationsPaula Williams: And we figured that out, anything that you’re selling over about $10,000 you really need to get on a plane, show up at somebody’s office, shake their hand. 
 Those large complex transactions take a lot of  in-person involvement, right?


John Williams: Uh-huh.


Paula Williams: Right, and self interest, of course, that’s always the customer, right? The customer’s self-interest, not yours.


John Williams: Uh-huh.


Paula Williams: Uh-huh, okay. Anything else to add on this?


John Williams: No, what’s your next one?


Paula Williams: Next one is echo. 
 Echo, echo, echo. So the example they used in the book that I really liked was Adele at the Royal Albert Hall. She’s probably the most, the least self-aggrandizing superstar that has ever appeared at the real opera hall because the whole time she was just kind of astonished by the experience herself and she’s saying my goodness, this is so posh I don’t know what to do with myself. 
 [LAUGH] And it was really appealing to the audience because they could empathize with her, she was just like everybody else. And she was hobnobbing with the audience between numbers and also her music is very much fits into that brand of, it’s about common experience that everybody has. Everybody has had a break up. 
 So, it’s not like she’s talking about superstar stuff, she is talking about stuff that happens to everybody from the highest to the lowest classes, and had a really diverse audience and made everybody feel like she is talking specifically to them. So how can you do that with your marketing?


John Williams: Carefully.


Paula Williams: Yeah, [LAUGH] it’s much easier if you don’t have room full of people like this, if you do what we call micro-targeting. So you pick a very small number of people that have a very specific issue and you write specifically for them. And the more specific you can be, the more likely that is to echo in their head and to have them talk to each other about it. 
 Another example of this is we went to Omaha for Christmas and one of our kids just bought a new vehicle and he couldn’t say enough about it. It was a Ford F150 with the auto start and everything else, and it was really cold in Omaha, so he was starting the car with his auto start, it was just fun.


John Williams: It wasn’t an auto start, it actually was an app on his iPhone.


Paula Williams: An app on his iPhone, exactly.


John Williams: He can start it anywhere in the country if he wanted to.


Paula Williams: Right, see so that’s something that people talk about to each other because it’s got a novelty and everybody has an iPhone and they think wow, what else can I do with my iPhone? .


John Williams: And the fact that he can select, turn on the heated steering wheel, the heated seats, the heater to a certain temperature, [LAUGH] and start the darn thing ahead of time.


Paula Williams: Exactly, so I think Apple does a really nice job with this. And they combine that with other companies like Ford, and come up with these very, very attractive ideas because everybody has an iPhone. 
 Everybody has a car, [LAUGH] everybody gets cold, all of that is very common problems that they’ve done a really nice elegant solution for.


John Williams: And when he landed and he got through putting the airplane away it was 18 degrees below zero, so he told us that [INAUDIBLE] I’ll just start my car, and [INAUDIBLE] got one of those too.


Paula Williams: [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] iPhones.


John Williams: That’s right.


Paula Williams: How funny, no, it’s, seriously if you can do something that other people can sympathize or empathize with, then it’s already in the conversation in their head. I think that’s really very powerful. So good stuff, all right. So next month, Blue Ocean Shift, right?


John Williams: That’s the name of the book.


Paula Williams: Yep, we’ve read the Blue Ocean Strategy before, which is by the same author and it’s, I assume on the same theme. I have not read this book, so this will be a new one for me.


John Williams: Me too. 

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Paula Williams: Yeah, cool! 
 So we’re looking forward to that and, yeah, if you have an interest in our book club, you are a very welcome to follow along. You can go to for the details on our insider circle with all of the details, including networking courses, book club, marketing services, office hours, everything that we do for our clients. 
 And if you’d like to be one of us, we’d be happy to have you. You can get a free consultation to find out how this would fit with your particular goals for 2018 and how this would help you get where you wanna be, right?


John Williams: Yep, we also do business consulting on a case-by-case business, depending on request.


Paula Williams: Absolutely, and all of our products and services are available under the services tab, so if there’s anything we can help you with we would be happy to do that and otherwise we look forward to talking with you next time. So Go Sell More Stuff!


John Williams: American Needs the Business!


Paula Williams: Absolutely.


John Williams: Zig Ziglar.


Paula Williams: Have a great day. [SOUND]


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