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Home  > Insider profile
Allen Williamsen
Private Jet Sales

It's possible to take your passion and turn it into a career in unexpected ways.

As children, we're all asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How did you answer?

I thought I'd be a pilot.

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

I love flying. For years, I worked as a pilot for a commercial airline. The company experienced financial difficulties and had to conduct a round of layoffs. I was 'downsized' and had to find another job. I interviewed with most of the other major carriers but the whole industry was having trouble so I knew it would only be a matter of time before I could be laid off there too. I spotted a trend in the industry- private jets for hire. More and more people were interested in hiring private planes and skipping the commercial airlines altogether. I thought that would be the future of airline travel. I jumped on at a great time and have never looked back.

How did you get your big breaks?

I recognized the value we were offering people: the convenience, the flexibility, premium safety, premium experience. I just happened to be in office one day when a stranger came in and asked about it. I describe my views without knowing who this person was, and when I finished, the guy said "You sold me!" Turns out the guy represents a large group of businesses and was interested in offering their executives private planes for business. That contract turned out to be the biggest revenue we had ever had. The owner offered me a sales job on the spot. A week later, I received a commission check from that 'sale'. I couldn't believe the amount of that check.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

If you are doing something you really enjoy, the money will follow.

What have you learned from your experience?

I never thought of myself as a salesman exactly, but I've been really successful because I believe in value of the service I'm selling. It's possible to take your passion and turn it into a career in unexpected ways.

What most excites you about your job right now?

I really enjoy talking to people and organizations about the benefits of hiring a private jet. It combines the enthusiasm I have for flying with the value I see in the company and service. I think people can connect with the message because I can deliver it with a broader appreciate for how useful a tool private travel services can be. It's not just a perk for the rich anymore. Business people can really benefit from this service and I think that brings it down to a more realistic level. One thing we have done as a company, is to offer free flight service to sick childern, and their familes, who need transportation to distant hospitals. I personally donate my time to pilot some of those flights. I really feel good about that.

What would you like to have achieved by the last day of your career?

I'd like to be around to see the new advances in flight design and the aviation industry as a whole.

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