Paul Pennington launches executive coaching for business aviation


Paul Pennington business jet sales trainer

Paul Pennington, a media trainer and executive coach, has launched a new company targeting business aviation.

Pennington developed a sales coaching programme for Bombardier’s international sales team which he ran for 15 years. He also worked with ExecuJet and Rizon Jet. Pennington says that he is keen to help others in the market.

Corporate Jet Investor: How did you end up as a corporate coach?

Pennington: Corporate coaching is a part of what I do, alongside broadcasting, journalism, campaigning, PR and media production. I’ve been coaching performers since I was 13 (40 years ago)– although back in those days it was the theatrical variety as opposed to the investment and business aviation professionals that dominate my work as a corporate coach today.

Corporate Jet Investor: What sort of clients do you most enjoy working with?

Pennington: The clients I enjoy working with are those who are dedicated to improving their skills and put the time and effort in to progress.

I don’t possess a magic wand but I do have the experience and tools to enable my clients make a real difference to their lives. Every professional I’ve worked with requires an individual  approach that’s bespoke to their character and capabilities to enable them to reach and exceed their goals, or, those put in place by their employer.

All the work I do as a corporate coach is confidential which allows the client to completely open up in order for us to get to grips with whatever issues need to be addressed or overcome to help them move forward.

Corporate Jet Investor: Is corporate coaching only for big companies?

Pennington: Corporate coaching is for anyone who wants to improve and has the capacity and wherewithal to put the work in to achieve their goals.

Under many tax systems the type of coaching and training I offer can be categorised as specialised or designated to be part of the individuals continuous professional development, therefore tax deductible and cost neutral.

Corporate Jet Investor: How did you end up in business aviation?

Pennington: My first steps into business aviation happened by chance. I got a call out of the blue from a then business aviation salesman who was going to be interviewed for a promotion within the OEM he worked for and felt he needed interview practice.

He had been referred to me by someone  I had media trained for a broadcast  interview on a major network. The company of the spokesperson I media trained, had fouled up and there was plenty of scope for this interview to spiral out of control and further compound their problems.

Prior to working with this spokesperson I did a huge amount of research on the company in question, the market they operate in and the issues that had arisen, so I was fully prepared.  I then spent a week before the broadcast interview was due to take place in my radio studio intensively role-playing the various lines of negative questioning with the spokesperson, fine tuning his communication skills and working on responses that dealt with the issues fairly and squarely whilst positioning the spokesperson and the company he represented in their best possible light. The spokesperson appeared on on-air and at the end of the interview the show’s presenter congratulated him for his performance.

I used the same techniques with the business aviation salesman who came to me for job interview training, his name was Bob Horner, he was not only successful in securing the regional vice presidents job he was interviewed for but went on to rise to the position of senior vice president of sales within Bombardier.

He has been kind enough over the years to say that the work we did together helped him enormously as a business aviation sales professional and he brought me in to work with salespeople under his leadership at Bombardier and I developed a bespoke programme of training and coaching for business aviation sales professionals that has been highly successful for the past 15 years.

Corporate Jet Investor: Is selling a business jet the same as selling anything?

Pennington: Having been blessed with having had  the opportunity to work with some of the most successful business aircraft sales professionals across the last 15 years contrasted against assignments with sales and marketing professionals from other industries, you see very quickly that you need to be so much more than just a salesperson to be successful as a business aircraft sales professional

Corporate Jet Investor: Are great business jet salespeople born or made?

Pennington: There is no exact formula. It all depends on the individual.

Corporate Jet Investor: What one tip would you give to someone selling a jet?

Pennington: Never promise what you can’t deliver.

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