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Careers in aircraft sales

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by MikeOH58, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. MikeOH58

    MikeOH58 Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has any experience in aircraft sales. I breifly met a young guy selling falcons for Dassault, and I thought his job seemed interesting (and profitable) as hell, however, I didn't really have that much time to talk with him and pick his brain. I got me thinking, and im at least looking to research into the career.

    Does anyone have any experience in the field? If so, whats the job like? Did you enjoy it? What are some of the best orgs to look into?

    I know this is pretty out there, and I have a ton of research to do on my own, but I figure this is as good of a place to start, and hopefully find out how one gets into the field and what the life is like.

    Thanks

    mike-
  2. quikie

    quikie New Member

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    You know... I've been wondering about this for quite a time myself.
  3. SeanD

    SeanD Well-Known Member

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    I did check into this recently. My dad's neighbor and good friend is retired from Boeing. From what he told me it helps to have a degree in engineering for this career.
  4. Okie_Pilot

    Okie_Pilot Pitts Builder

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    I'd like to know what it's like too...

    Definently would be an interesting job.
  5. scramjet

    scramjet Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I've heard of some good gigs. Flying planes around to shows and selling them. Also giving demos etc. The pay can add up with the commission and all.
  6. MikeOH58

    MikeOH58 Well-Known Member

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    I just signed up to attend a Boeing career fair on the 7th, so I will report back with what info I gain. I'm also hoping to get in touch with the guy I met from Dassault for drinks and hopefully pick his brain a little, so I will fill you in with what I know. However, if there is anyone from the forums with any experience in the field, i'm sure a lot of us would like to hear what you have to say.

    I'd imagine engineering would help, and you would be expected to know as much about the aircraft, if not more than the pilots flying the airplane, however, I think having the ability to communicate and sell are just as important. I hope Political Science doesnt close any doors hehe
  7. Derg

    Derg Major Domo Staff Member

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    There's a couple of guys from my airline that broker planes on the side and do very well. Apparently, his business partner's commission one year included two commas during a robust season.

    I'll try and see if I can get out of him in the meantime. Too bad you don't like in Park City, I betchya you could get a lot of insight for the price of a casual lunch.
  8. worm19

    worm19 Well-Known Member

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    Doug or anyone else for that matter, if you have any information regarding employment at companies that do aircraft sales my dad is in the sales department and is unemployed at the momment. If you have any connections or information regarding to the hiring im sure other people as well as my dad would like to know who to contact or send a resume to.
  9. roundout

    roundout chAApter 11

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    my employer is one of the largest new and used airplane dealers in the country. i am not in sales personally, but i work closely with folks who are. sales can be very rewarding, but it is a high-risk/high-reward way to earn a living. just like selling anything else, it's "what have you done for me lately?" as a logistics/support manager, my income does not depend on how many planes go out the door. however, my income also is dwarfed by those of the men and women who are salespeople.

    it is certainly an interesting job and i wouldn't trade my experience here for anything.
  10. deadstick

    deadstick Well-Known Member

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    I was in ac sales for several year. It is very high risk because of the uncertainty of income. I got out of it and back to flying just for a little stabilization. The fuel prices and housing market really hit us hard because of the increased expenses and the future of peoples' nest eggs (the equity in their houses) was in question. With that said. I believe this is the time to focus in the small businessman and corporate travel. Just look at the delays and cancelations.
  11. Struggling Baron Dude

    Struggling Baron Dude Well-Known Member

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    I've had a couple of friends do this. Both are very profitable. The problem is that one is reputable, while the other will play both sides of a transaction to spread the commission (telling buyer that seller won't budge while telling the owner that there are no buyers). :banghead:

    Of the two, guess who gets repeat business!!

    Dude
  12. tonyw

    tonyw Well-Known Member

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    I've been in sales for a long time now and let me tell you what you've got to be willing to deal with if you want in.

    When I used to go to trade shows, I figured it worked like this.

    For every 100 business cards I got, 20 of the people who gave them to me would be worth even an initial contact.

    Of those 20, maybe 10 would be people I'd start discussing things with.

    Of those ten, I'd put together about seven proposals.

    And if I inked contracts with five of those people I put proposals together for, I'd be very happy.

    If you want to do sales, you've got to be willing to hear no a lot. And I mean a lot. In my hypothetical I heard no 95 times and I was still happy.

    If you have a mindset where you can push past the 20 rejections to get to one yes, you'll be fine.

    If you're the kind of person who will say bleep it after 17, you ain't gonna make it.
  13. Mtts422

    Mtts422 Well-Known Member

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    A/C sales is a great job if you want to do a lot of flying and still have a savvy for the business side of things. I should mention that I am not selling Cessna's or Piper's so I can't attest to being a "true" aircraft sales rep. However, I am essentially selling an airplane (Columbia's) as well as a lifestyle that our company is providing our customers. Our program is best described as a viable alternative to ownership.

    My degree is in Aviation Management and a/c sales has been a perfect fit. I'm flying a badass airplane, doing demo flights and meeting a lot of fantastic people that are interested in our program.

    It certainly is not for those people who enjoy a set schedule. My phone is on 24 hours a day and if a customer calls at 11 pm with questions about our program I'll be taking the call. Likewise, if the only time they have available for a demo flight is 6 AM on Sunday morning I will be at the airport to take them up. (I'm sure much like a lot of you guys sitting reserve right now!)

    I count myself as one of the lucky ones as I happened to fall into this job right after graduating from UND, and I was able to work my way into a sales position relatively quickly.

    Earning potential is high, most jobs in A/C sales are based completely on performance (100% commission). My structure is a combination of base and commission and is a very nice setup.

    Selling GA is a tight nit group of people, but once you're in you can count on developing a network that will allow you to go almost anywhere within the industry.


    Feel free to fire away if anyone has more questions, I'll do what I can to answer.


    P.S. Doug - I was thinking about doing a perspectives article with a sort of "Day in the Life of an Aircraft Salesman"...let me know if you are interested.
  14. Derg

    Derg Major Domo Staff Member

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    Hell yes.
  15. Carb Heat

    Carb Heat New Member

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    Interesting topic to say the least. I don't have much more information than most of what's already been posted but I did want to offer information on several opportunities that I saw as of recent. Evergreen International is looking for the following at its Mcminville OR. location:

    1. Aircraft Broker
    2. Fixed wing salesperson
    3. Rotor craft salesperson

    Thought this might be of particular interest to Worm 19.

    Good luck to all.

    Geoff:D
  16. Okie_Pilot

    Okie_Pilot Pitts Builder

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    Sounds awesome. I plan on majoring in Aerospace Engineering, and I don't want to be an airline pilot. Sounds like something that I may want to look into.

    Thanks for all the responses to this. MikeOH58, definently tell us what you got out of them...

    Mtts422, please do a write-up of what it's like!


    --Okie_Pilot
  17. tprops4me

    tprops4me Well-Known Member

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    Tough to get going in this field. If it takes off, it can be very lucrative. I looked into this a few months back. It turns out that everyone and their grandmother is a broker. At least around me. There are a few well known guys, and then everyone else. The problem you run into is "Well why should I buy from you, when John Smith over there has 20 years experience with this, and everyone knows him." Best advice I got from one of the major players around here is to buy a plane, and basically flip it. Start small then move up. Clean up a old plane, put a for sale sign on it, and let people come to you. Sometimes they move fast, sometimes they do not. It boils down to how much start up capital you have. If you don't have alot you will be flipping cessna or champs to start. After a while you will be known, and business will improve. People will want you to find them a plane. The bigger the plane, the bigger your cut. If you search Aircraft Brokers on Google you would be amazed at how many there are. Or you can go work for one, but then you will be working for someone else, and you wont be happy. Better to start your own. Just takes time. Anyone wanting more info on this can PM me.
  18. SeanD

    SeanD Well-Known Member

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    Im curious as to what the commission percentage is? Are these jobs salary plus commission or straight commission?
  19. Mtts422

    Mtts422 Well-Known Member

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    For most of the Cessna dealers it is all commission based.

    Cirrus and Columbia are different in that the sales reps in the field actually work for the factory as opposed to an independent dealer. Those reps have a base with a quota and commission system.

    My situation is a base plus commission based on how many memberships I sell.

    I can't really speak for some of the heavy metal brokers but my guess would be all commission.
  20. I_Money

    I_Money Moderator Staff Member

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    For airliners it ranges from 5% to under 0.5%.

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