United Kingdom – There’s hundreds of millions of salespeople in the world, selling all manner of weird and wonderful things. However, only the brave select few are trusted with selling 93,000lb aircraft, costing upwards of £15 million.
Barry Lloyd is one of these mavericks, having spent over a decade as part of the exclusive and highly-competitive British Aerospace sales team. It was a job that required sharp tenacity, a quit wit and deal-closing skills that make ‘The Apprentice’ look like child’s play. For the first time, Lloyd is now sharing his story.
‘Wings for Sale: Worldwide Experiences of an Aircraft Salesman 1981-94’ is a unique memoir that gives insight into a job role few even know exists. The stakes are high, the disappointments are crippling and those who take on the job are required to have nerves and patience of steel.
IN THIS ENJOYABLE and informative memoir, Barry Lloyd looks back on an eventful period in the 1980s/90s during which he was a member of the salesforce for British Aerospace in their commercial aircraft division and later their corporate jet division.
The aircraft that Barry and his colleagues were responsible for selling were the BAe 748, the ATP and the BAe 146 and his allocated territories were South America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe.
Barry’s professional activities led him to many far-flung locations where he and his colleagues did their utmost to secure the business of a wide variety of customers.
Selling aeroplanes is fiercely competitive, of course, so wherever Barry and his BAe colleagues went they were up against robust competition from rival aircraft manufacturers prepared to use every trick in the book in order to secure the more lucrative contracts.
Consequently frustration and disappointment were often the aircraft salesman’s only reward, even after expensive demonstrations and lengthy negotiations with a potential customer, when the final buying decision was made in favour of a rival company. Such was the challenging nature of the industry but of course it also made winning a contract all the more enjoyable.
In the course of more than a decade as an aircraft salesman Barry had his share of triumphs and disappointments but even in those cases where he failed to secure a successful outcome, the often quirky and unusual places he visited and the colourful characters with whom he did business gave him plenty of entertaining stories to tell.
And this he does, with quiet good humour, in a narrative that provides a fascinating insight into an unusual occupation about which most members of the public know nothing.
“My job as a commercial aircraft salesman has been a constant source of unconventional conversation with everyone I meet,” explains the author. “They didn’t know “I” even exist in the aerospace world, and are fascinated by the stores I have to tell. I want to leave a legacy, so felt the time was right to finally release a book.”
Continuing, “It’s also highly topical. My job showed just how hard trade and sales negotiations can be, and how it comes down to a very fine all-or-nothing wire. With Article 50 about to trigger and Brexit talks to commence, I don’t think the average person knows quite how tough it’s going to be to pull trade deals together. I show, at a very grassroots level, the challenges the UK will face on a macro scale.”
‘Wings for Sale: Worldwide Experiences of an Aircraft Salesman 1981-94’, from Woodfield Publishing, is available now: http://amzn.to/2lH0slU.
For more information, visit the publisher’s website: http://bit.ly/2lbNAr2.
About the author, in his own words:
I have spent two-thirds of my working life in aviation, in many different aspects, but mainly in operations and international sales.
The Merchant Navy was my original choice before I left school, but with the development of civil aviation from the 60s onwards with new airlines starting up and the advent of holiday flights to the Mediterranean, I became fascinated by the complexities within the business and how it all comes together in order for a flight to take place.