Taking Aim on Selling in the High Stakes Industry of International Aerospace
Naval Institute Press

C-17 development
F/A-18 Hornet
Selling MD-11
F-15 sales
Harrier development
JDAM marketing
development of JDAM

From TOP, McDonnell Douglas:
AH-64 Longbow Apache
F/A-18 Hornet
F/A-18 Hornet
F-15 Eagle
AV8-B Harrier
JDAM on 2000 lb bomb
JDAM bombs in cluster


Tom Gunn


This is a book about selling. Before, during, and after delivery of the product. Against tough and often cut-throat competition with billions of dollars at stake . . . on every sale.

A book for neophytes and seasoned professionals alike, in any industry and on both sides of a transaction: sellers and buyers, all of whom need to know the rules of the game--and for the politicians who play referee.

A "how-to" in the guise of a memoir, packed with real-world examples and guidance on a wide range of topics, including . . .
Creative Business Development
Selecting a Sales Team
Assessing the Competition
Selling to the Department of Defense
Working with Congress
Agents and Consultants
Strategic Planning
International Airshows
Dealing with Unethical Competitors
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
Avoiding Cultural Traps
The ins-and- outs of "Offset" (Industrial Participation)
Developing and Applying a Disciplined Process
Creative Sales Campaigns
The RFP and Winning Proposals
Winning sales in Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Saudi Arabia . . . and the U.S.

Tom Gunn had a life-altering career change in 1975 when he went from an eight-year stint as staff lawyer with the U.S. Senate to a job in aerospace sales and marketing at McDonnell Douglas. He knew a lot about military appropriations and classified developments, but almost nothing about marketing. Over the next twenty-two years, however, Gunn and the team he assembled developed a process for strategic selling and marketing that delivered $250 billion in sales of military and commercial aircraft, missiles, space systems, and logistic support, against strong and at times cutthroat domestic and international competition. His book is both the story of that success and a handbook for anyone who wants to learn about high-powered selling, about assessing the competition and understanding the customer, and about using a defined process to shape strategic planning. Gunn details that process step by step, outlines cultural traps overseas and political realities at home, and makes his points in selected case studies.

Among other assignments,Tom Gunn was Vice President, Marketing; Senior Vice President, Business Development. President, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company; and President, McDonnell Douglas International.




Gunn Sights is an insider's view of the no-holds-barred world of billion-dollar contracts in the highly competitive international aerospace industry, where a single loss or win may affect tens of thousands of lives, a company's future, and a nation's security.  No one knows this world of sharp elbows and sharp minds better than Tom Gunn.  He turns the reader into a student gladly seeking the insights of a master.
-- Gerald S. J. Cassidy, Chairman, Cassidy & Associates

I have had the privilege of working with Tom Gunn during many of the years that he so articulately describes in GUNN SIGHTS. For those who are interested in real world business development and Strategic marketing in aerospace this is the GOLD STANDARD
-- Gen. P. X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

Tom Gunn has an incredibly interesting story to tell and he does so with humor and self-awareness. But this book does much more: It gives any aspiring executive, politician or salesman a road map to success with real world solutions to real world problems. It is a must read for people of any field that simply want to be the best.
-- Dick Gephardt, member of Congress, 1977–2005

Although this book focuses on domestic and international marketing strategies in military aerospace products using McDonnell Douglas and Boeing cases, it is very useful and relevant to general business strategy managers and also to MBA students. The book integrates all aspects of winning an international business contract, covering the areas of politics, business, production, engineering, cost estimates, financing and cultural sensitivity. MBA students will be fascinated by actual behind-the-scenes stories in dealing with foreign governments, business executives, and media representatives. It is real business practice in action in international business strategy cases.
-- Seung H. Kim, PhD, Director, Boeing Institute of International Business
Saint Louis University

The dos and don'ts, the doables and un-doables, the how-tos and how-not-tos, all with a good sense of humor and of self. This is a great guide for practitioners and rookies alike.  A gun(n) slinger who shoots straight!
-- Ken Duberstein, former Reagan White House Chief of Staff

A book that gives the operators in the military services a better understanding of the interworkings of the acquisition process is well worth the read. Gunn Sights is a memoir, but more importantly it is the personal recollections of a man who spent his entire life in the military industrial complex starting as young lawyer on the staff of a US senator and culminating as a senior executive in a major aerospace company. The vignettes are informative, many times entertaining and always instructive.   
-- Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.), former Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force

Whether you are a career military officer, a politician or a business executive, this book is a guide to getting things done.  Tom Gunn's discipline and energy---keeping his mind in the game and eye on the ball---are stunning examples for all of us.  I'm only glad that Tom and I met a little later in our lives. . . I could not have lived up to his remarkable standards.  YCSASOYA. Want to know what it means, read this book.
-- Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, 2001–2005 .



What they're saying about

"An insider's view of the no-holds-barred world of billion-dollar contracts."
--Gerry Cassidy

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"Real-world solutions to real-world problems."
-- Dick Gephardt

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"The gold standard."
-- Gen. P.X. Kelley, USMC(Ret)

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"Behind-the-scenes stories in dealing with foreign governments, business executives, and media representatives."
-- Seung H. Kim, PhD

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"The dos and don'ts, the doables and un-doables, the how-tos and how-not-tos."
-- Ken Duberstein

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"Stunning examples for all of us."
-- Richard Armitage

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"Well worth the read."
-- Gen Ron Fogleman, USAF(Ret)

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Naval Institute Press
ISBN: 978-1-59114-346-8
Hardcover, 192 pages. Date Available: 11/1/2008

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