AINsight: Just Let Go

 - September 6, 2019, 11:25 AM

Talk to me long enough on the telephone and you will hang up with an ear full of my sayings. My sons Josh and Adam just roll their eyes when they hear one coming. I just can't help applying arresting sayings to everyday discussions. One of my favorites is so perfect in almost every preowned business aircraft transaction I’m involved in: “Let go and see who else is hanging on, because I am not strong enough to hold a deal together all by myself!”

Now to put some real-time sense to that saying. I can assure you that to make an aircraft transaction successful it takes everyone involved working and pulling in the same direction. It gets so easy to find yourself taking on the job that belongs to others to just be sure the deal closes. That is not only unfair, but also not a recipe for success. At some point, fatigue will surely set in for the person doing all the pulling.

Unfortunately, I am not just talking about your side of the deal’s participants. Far too often I see the other side slacking. Either because of a sheer lack of knowledge about how to cross a finish line in a difficult deal or just plain lazy and figuring that since it seems another person in the deal is willing to go above and beyond, why not let them?

When people ask me to explain my role as a broker or consultant, I explain how many moving parts there really are to be managed. I try to break a transaction down into its constituent parts. Let’s just name a few: there is the broker or consultant, lender, flight department or management company, aviation and tax attorney, maintenance facility for the pre-buy inspection, and programs administrators.

That shortlist does not even include the concept of the first-time buyer who comes to the table without the mature flight department or real working knowledge of what makes the world go 'round. This takes even more dedication so this first-time buyer not only gets a wonderful aircraft but also a perfect operational plan.

So as I describe my role to buyers or sellers, it quickly becomes obvious that managing all of these players—much like an orchestra conductor—most often also falls in the broker’s or consultant’s court. Lots of people and tasks.

If the orchestra leader does not pay close attention to the musicians, the music does not sound as it should. That is the same outcome that can occur in the aircraft transaction if all of the players are not pulling their weight.

Thus, it is imperative that both sides of the transaction—which each have an identical staffing model, so double the number people I outlined above—must be working in concert to get the deal done. So back to my favorite saying: let go to see who is holding on.

It only takes a short time to identify the slackers and pull them back in. There is no such thing as beautiful music being played by a one-man band. Hold on for success and keep pulling.