As many of you may know, I owned a media consultancy company called NRS Media. We consulted to Radio, TV and Newspaper publishers, and online media companies all over the world.

As you can probably appreciate, it involved a lot of travel, with many of our staff often on planes for weeks on end. (with weekends off, of course.)

If you want to watch a great movie on air travel as a businessperson, I would recommend Up in the Air starring George Clooney.

Some of the tricks and manoeuvers he goes through to get on some of his flights are very funny and I am sure many of our staff think the same, as they contemplate their journeys.

One of the questions that I always ask when I arrive at the counter is “How busy is the flight today” if the answer is “Okay, not too bad, not too full” I always ask the next question.

“Can you block off the middle seat?” I ask,

“I’ve got a bit of work to do and want to spread out”.

Usually if they have one, they will do it for me.

You see, the middle seat is NOT the seat of choice for a frequent traveller, it’s a seat that nobody wants, unless it’s the kids and they share it with each other.

The kids don’t mind, it gives them the chance to play against each other with some new video game, or a movie they can watch.

So, the question is, would you pay for the seat to be FREE? Well, some people would, and one airline, my airline, Air New Zealand does just that.

It’s part of their new makeover on their new flash Boeing 777’s. If the seat next to you is empty, you can secure it; if you part with $150.

They also sell you the option to stretch out on a mini futon, sort of like a mini bed. As the saying goes, two seats are better than one, and the middle seat is catapulted to “wow” status.

Not a bad idea, thinking outside the cockpit, don’t you think?


I love looking at other businesses for ideas. Your sales organisation can be innovative too, you know.

Create your own upsells.


Good selling.



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Mike Brunel started after being a successful entrepreneur and founder of NRS Media.  He co-founded NRS Media in Wellington, New Zealand, expanded it into a global powerhouse in media sales and training, and was eventually responsible for opening offices in London, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Capetown, and Bogota. He has hired hundreds of salespeople around the world.

He made a lot of mistakes when it came to hiring his superstars. Check out his How to Hire A Super Salesperson Each and Every timeIt’s packed with tips and ideas on how to hire great salespeople. Don’t ever Hire Bad Salespeople Ever Again. Promise!