Jay Mesinger, J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales
Jay Mesinger is the CEO of J. Mesinger Corporate Jet Sales and one of the most respected aircraft brokers in the business.
Jay Mesinger is a veteran of the aircraft broker world. It was a passion and all-round knowledge of aviation, which led him to first stumble into the industry in 1974, and he says: “Over the 39 years which I’ve been doing this, I’ve had some terrific transactions.”
Mesinger’s advice for new brokers is threefold: “You need to have people skills, you need to have knowledge of the equipment that you’re selling, and you need to have knowledge of the overall market that the equipment fits into.”
Now heading up his own brokerage, based in Colorado, he also believes that a good broker needs to know when to stop selling. “Know when you’ve made the sale,” he says.
How did you get into the job?
“When I got out of college, I went to work for a person in the beer business in Houston, Texas. In high school I learned to fly, and in college I was a flight instructor. After about six months of working with this man, he came to my little office one Friday afternoon and said: ‘I want to go out and buy an airplane, you know everything about them, come with me.’
“He wanted to buy a Piper Navajo, which was a piston twin-engine airplane. We went to the dealership that afternoon in 1974, and the dealership was going out of business, so instead of buying an airplane, we bought the dealership. I knew nothing about running a business like that, but we turned it into Piper’s largest dealership in the world within a year. As my client started to ask me to help him buy and sell bigger equipment, I made that matriculation from the piston into the turbon and then into the jet.”
Do you consider yourself as a salesman?
“Absolutely. Ultimately, I’m incentified and paid when a sale occurs. I have to pay particular attention to be sure that I’m listening to the client. Listening is a skill of a good salesman; making sure I’m hearing what they’re telling me, what their needs are and what their expectations are. I’m then taking the key pieces that I’m hearing and shaping what could then be a transaction.”
Do you prefer to sell new aircraft or pre-owned aircraft?
For newer airplanes, sometimes process is easier, because you don’t have 20 or 30 years of records to go through, and anomalies to contend with. I like to deal with quality aircraft, and quality aircraft are not so much about the age as they are about the quality and the integrity of the maintenance and the records.
What else makes a good aircraft broker?