Mentor Marketing Tips

Flight Training Finance published a series of 12 marketing tips in MENTOR Magazine, the official publication of NAFI (National Association of Flight Instructors). They are reprinted here with permission of MENTOR and available as PDF files. Set aside 15 minutes in your regular staff meetings to address each one individually.
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1. Capture and retain that first day enthusiasm.

Why not sell your entire training program at once, instead of one lesson at a time? That is just what happens when your customer finances his or her training. 92% of Flight Training Finance customers complete their training.

2. Sign up more new students

Why do so many good prospects walk away from their dream of flying? When issue is money, most of them won’t tell you! Embarrassed, they will usually give another reason. Offering financing lets you learn if money is a concern and solve the problem all at once.

3. More flight hours, more revenue.

How can you keep your students flying on schedule? Make it easier for them to stay in the left seat, and harder for them to drop out or drift away! When your existing customers keep flying, your flight hours and revenue will keep rising!

4. Create a professional impression.

Do you anticipate your students’ needs and problems? Do you offer a full range of opportunities and solutions? If customers are not aware that they can pay for their training in low, level, affordable monthly payments, you are missing out. Because most customers will not ask.

5. Sign up Walkaway Joe…and Jane.

Have you met Walkaway Joe…or Walkaway Jane? We bet you have, many times. They are those nice people who came and talked to you about their dream of flying. They were so enthusiastic. But then they left without starting their training! You never heard from them again. Why? MONEY!

6. It matters how you get paid!

55 percent to 70 percent is the average dropout rate for all Private Pilot Students (per FAA). 8 percent to 10 percent is the average dropout rate for packaged and financed students

7. Are you creating a pilot or a Drift-Away-Dan?

Did you ever notice that very few of your students ever make a conscious decision to quit their training? And yet so many do not earn their certificate. They sort of drift away from their training. Why is that?

8. Your students are worried! Do you know why?

In the air or on the ground, flight training is challenging. It is even tougher when your student is worried about paying for the next lesson, or having enough money to finish.

9. Flight training is more than just teaching!

Is it enough to be a great pilot and a good teacher? Sometimes, it isn’t. You may be called upon to wear other hats; counselor, psychologist, or simply friend. The best CFIs also wear the hat of financial advisor!

10. Create a win/win for you and your student!

Reduce your paperwork by selling your training services only once instead of thirty or forty times! At the same time, wipe out your students’ money worries. When they finance their training, your students can concentrate on learning (vs. paying) and you can concentrate on teaching (vs. collecting).

11. Eliminate the #1 reason students drop out or drift away.

Don’t kid yourself. All your students think hard about the cost of flight training. They are always re-evaluating whether learning to fly is “worth it”. Sometimes these worries collide head-on with doubts brought on by a tough lesson or a new financial challenge. That is the exact point when they are likely to drop out or begin drifting away.

12. The eight second solution.

High gas prices, “sticker shock”, fear of stalls. Every day, these reasons and many others make students postpone their dream or drop out or “drift away” from their training. You can solve these problems in eight seconds with these magic words: “By the way, we have financing available. The payments are pretty low. Would you like a brochure?”