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Mesinger Pulse: Thoughts From A New Experience

I just returned from the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, CA. I am not sure I have ever had that kind of experience before. It was a list of global who’s who, speaking on topics that were geopolitical, financial, services, and on and on, though no political slant or other biases were obvious. Having a list of speakers and panelists like this conference gathered then attracted the unbelievable list of attendees who were actually no less impressive than those on stage speaking. When you have the privilege and credentials to attend an event like this it is truly a playing field leveler. Everyone there enjoys equal footing. I want to thank Bombardier for the generous invitation and hosting that they bestowed on me. It was no small deal!

I went to many sessions and wanted to take this article to leave you all with some powerful takeaways I had. One of my favorite themes throughout the conference was, effort does not equal results. So many initiatives and actions fall short due to there being just that, a lot of effort or action without the benefit of good planning or clear goals. Do those people expending the effort wonder why there is no result at the end of all of this activity? It really made me think about how our organization of Mesinger Jet Sales does our best every day to work hard, but also strategically and thoughtfully, to create real results behind the effort.

Next is the belief people have that longevity is really all you need for success. I, like many of my fellow sales professionals, will say or advertise the long number of years we have been in business, as a badge honor. Don’t get me wrong, the 45 years we have been buying and selling planes is a real badge of honor, but longevity in life or business is not enough. Many of the speakers and topics dug down into what really creates sustainability. It is more than number of years in business. It is more about evolving and continuing to develop one’s deliverables to meet changing needs of the client. Just think about this in terms of sales evolution. So many companies start in business because they develop a product or service that a market needs and is not being delivered by either their current provider or by anyone else, often due to changing needs. Companies that used to fly domestically now needing to fly internationally for one examnple. This change brings about very different needs of the customer, such as trip handling, security, and service support in other parts of the world.

In fact, they say there are three phases to a sales and product business. The first phase is the offering of a new product or service that meets a new need of the customer. Phase two is the replication of the deliverable. This phase allows the product or service to become profitable and allows for the research and development costs to be recouped. It is the third phase where most small new companies fail and fall out of their success. This is the phase that looks to their customer base and recognizes that the business or segment they are in is evolving and the needs of the customer are changing. In short this means the current product or service is no longer meeting the needs of the customer base. Those companies that rest on their laurels miss the boat and do not emerge to phase three. Evolution therefor plays an equal or maybe even greater role than sheer incumbency.

Finally, data, data, data. The more the better in today’s world. Artificial Intelligence was a hot topic this year. Aggregating and disseminating data may be the future for many industries such as health care, maintenance and marketing to name a few. I do not think however, that in our industry segment, there are enough aircraft sales transactions to bring enough data together to be meaningful to the true definition of artificial intelligence. Transactions can be too unique with variables that cannot be linked from one to the next in a way that an algorithm can set. Data in our industry segment is critical, but it remains subjective in many cases and it still takes the hard legwork, thinking strategically, to make the results meaningful. A computer will not do this for us.

As the conference was titled, “Driving Shared Prosperity,” one must always move beyond the words into deeds and result oriented actions. Planning and then acting on the plans. Delivering products or thoughts into a diverse world are what really create change and awareness. I came home more aware.

Mesinger Pulse: Why Would Anyone Want To Do What We Do For A Living?

For me, after 45 years, the answer rolls off of my tongue. I care about others and I care that what I promise in life, I can deliver. I get huge enjoyment out of success. I also wanted to build a business I could proudly bring my family into.   I receive emails and phone calls all the time from people asking me, “how do I get into your industry?” It seems the tougher the overall business climate is, the more calls I get. From the outside looking in we probably look like a very sexy and high paying industry. After all, we sell private jets to the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations. It only stands to reason we would be an attractive career. The only problem is that we are not that sexy and we do not make huge amounts of money. We are an industry of relationships and very hard and diligent workers.

I always get a good laugh when I get these calls. People call that think they can just come on in! It is true as an industry, at least in the brokerage side, that has no real barriers to entry. There are no bricks and mortar. It does not take a credit line to broker aircraft. If anything, this should be as troubling to our fellow aircraft sales professionals as it is to our client base. It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. When the curtain blows away all that one sometimes finds is a person with a megaphone shouting skills and successes with no real reality to back it up.

The only thing a real participant can shout about is a track record of time and success that are real and can be substantiated. I have many friends who have been in this industry almost as long as I have. They are solid, important leaders in this sales professional arena. They may be single practitioners without a stable of employees, and if the curtain blew back it might only be them. This should not be reason alone to not continue the dialog with that person. Size and depth could be limiting based on the overall scope of a certain project, but no reason to not keep the discussion going. So many of us have different models we subscribe to. Some want to be big in size, and some believe in and deliver excellent products being smaller and nimble.

The most important factor would be the line of questions one should ask everyone they are considering working with. They should center around experience. Especially around the specific project one is contemplating. Do they have the network of people they can bring in for multi-registration projects? Do they have maintenance expertise they can contract with to complete the initial due diligence, as well as provide oversight for a project? There should be no reason to feel like bigger is better with respect to the size of the company. I think the number of years doing it successfully with high transparency and personal ethics are the keys to success.

There is also something to be said about working in such a small niche industry which serves the people who can take advantage of this very specialized and impactful type of transportation. I have to also say that those fellow aircraft sales professionals, for the most part, are wonderful people to rub elbows with. After all, in most transactions there are sales professionals on both sides. That means I get to brainstorm and execute with highly skilled people and come up with solutions to very hard, thought provoking challenges. I think about solutions all the time. There is no such thing as an easy deal. I always say if it were easy everyone would be doing it. Real transactions never occur by accident. They happen because everyone involved is pulling in the same direction. This does not mean we always see eye-to-eye at the moment, but ultimately before a successful deal is complete, we all come together to pull it across the finish line.

So, if you are thinking about coming into this industry, think long and hard. Are you willing to work harder than you ever have? Are you willing to work smarter than you ever have? Are you willing to invest years in an industry that will reward you generously not ridiculously? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you just may be suited for our industry. Now you can come on in!

Mesinger Pulse Live: What Is In Store For 2019?

Today we hosted our third Mesinger Pulse – Live event and we want thank everyone who took the time to join us on the call. This will be a regular 10 minute conference call hosted by Mesinger Jet Sales, providing market intelligence for buyers and sellers. The calls are meant to keep participants anonymous and questions are optional. We look forward to hosting many more of these events in the future. If you are interested in being invited please write to and we will be sure to add you to the list.

Mesinger Pulse: Industry Gatherings: Corporate Jet Investor – Gathering #1

Several articles were written as the year drew to a close, which positioned themselves as being the guiding light for going forward into 2019. Would there continue to be strong demand? Would prices remain firm based on limited supply against the strong demand? Will North America continue to be the leader in transactional activity? All great questions that are often best answered with a crystal ball and non-industry related input rather than trend-based data.

What makes this industry so difficult to predict? Seems there would be plenty of markers to lay out a road map. Our industry is vital to so many corporations and individuals looking to maximize their time and productivity, however, it is susceptible to so many external factors. Global economic activity, oil prices, stock market fluctuations and interest rates. Internally the aviation industry, unlike real estate, faces a lack of transparency related to sale prices, which makes pricing challenging.  We do not have a recordation body that accurately captures selling prices which could add stability to our values. Instead it is a relationship business and we are left to extrapolate value based on anecdotal data and personal real-world experience with our own transactions.  In our company we work very hard to provide an accurate and sophisticated analysis of an aircraft’s value, including historical data, recent sales information and detailed side-by-side comparisons.

These questions are also why industry gatherings are so vital and I am looking so forward to the one taking place in London next week sponsored by Corporate Jet Investor.  It is always great to have the opportunity to get the best and brightest minds together for a couple of days of sharing, collaborating and conceptualizing on the near-term and long-term future of the industry. This gathering in particular, being held in Europe, not only brings many of those from North America together but also the rest of the world. In the two days of panels and speakers each of us is provided rare access to each other, our expertise and each other’s visions.

This is one of many events that take place regionally, globally and locally. NBAA Regional Forums are another set of venues designed to inform and enlighten its participants. Programming at these events typically will include topics on lending, registering, importing, tax and myriad of other relevant topics. In many ways our industry is one of the most unsophisticated sophisticated industries. Not in the area of important gathering events. In this our industry shines.

These events always provide a healthy mix of social and educational scheduling. I know that attending these can be costly and hard to always prioritize into our annual budgets. I must say that reevaluating the expense should be a priority for everyone in 2019. Do not underestimate the real value add of gathering with the best and brightest of your industry peers. Face-to-face discussion and even disagreements about positions create healthy dialog that can leave each participant in the discussion better informed and often more open to the other side of the issue.

Getting access to the manufacturers and meeting them in person can create new friendships that when used correctly going forward will make you even more valuable to your clients as you work your individual transactions. Being able to say to your customer, if stuck in a deal with what may seem like an immovable position, that you may be able to find resolution by being able to simply pick up the phone and call your new friend for help. This is not just a phenomenon that can be helpful from the manufacturer but also with legal log jams or tax questions or broader lending opportunities. Good old fashion networking.

I am sure that once home from the Corporate Jet Investor conference this month and having listened to and socialized with this esteemed group I will be better prepared to answer how 2019 will be. Will demand remain strong? Will prices remain firm? No matter the intelligence gathered we must all always be vigilant to external factors that affect not just our industry but the entire global economy. This global connectedness has never been so reliant on each integral piece of the puzzle.

I always say that until I have wished you Happy New Year it is not too late to still do that. So, Happy New Year and I wish us all continued success and strong friendships and strong learning platforms. I look forward to seeing many of you at one gathering or the other someplace in the world or your neighborhood soon.

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