The closing moments of your lesson are very important in creating that desire in your students to come back and ski with you again. In this post I provide specific steps you can take to convert todays guest into a return booking.
In September, 2013, Snowpros.org featured an article titled How To Bring Beginners Back for More.
Here are some of the article highlights:
Marti Bauer, Rocky Mountain Division; Alpine Level II, Children’s Specialist 1 wrote:
Provide the big picture: where they started at the beginning of the lesson, the incremental improvements (however small) and where they are at the end of the day.
JP Chevalier, Northwest Division; Alpine Level III advised instructors to
Take the extra step and ask the guest if you can use their smart phone to take a picture of them succeeding at a task and then suggest post it to social media so their family and friends can see. Focus on positive moments that boost morale, self-esteem, and awareness.
Invite them back. Conclude every lesson with a personal invitation asking them to return. Make each person feel that they belong and when they come back there’s a friend on the mountain that will remember them forever!
Siga B. Andrew, Rocky Mountain Division; Cross Country Level I discussed the importance of empathy, and said
I always let my students know that I continue to work on my skiing, no matter how long I have taught. I relate that it’s a journey; I am always learning something new and focusing on something that needs improvement. It helps them understand that their instructor is not perfect and we all have to work at it.
Based on these words of wisdom, I’ve created the following tips to keep students of every level coming back for more.
- The Final Run of the Day: Weems Westfeldt, creator of The Sports Diamond, is one of Colorado’s most coveted instructors. Why? Because he makes students feel successful at the end of the lesson. He calls his signature, last run of the day, The Gratitude Run. Weems chooses an easy or moderately challenging run, and tells students to stop thinking about technique, and simply “thank the mountain” for providing a wonderful experience. This gets students out of their heads and into their bodies, thereby allowing them to experience the sheer sensual pleasure of the sport.
- Summarize the Day: Talk about you accomplished, and tell them where you would take them on their next lesson. Create a sense of excitement and anticipation.
- Invite Students to Ski With You Again: Let them know how much you enjoyed working with them. Some instructors even create entire group lessons made up of former students.
- Collect Their Email Addresses: Don’t just collect. Make contact. If a student has a particular issue, personalize the email, and use empathy to discuss the problem. Create optimism, and let them know that you can help them fix the problem.
- Socialize: Apres ski is one of the major pleasures of the skiing lifestyle. Perhaps you know a unique location, that shares a special type of beverage. Invite students, as well as their friends and family, to join you. Become their go-to person for all things skiing!
- Suggest Bootfitters: Improper bootfit impedes technique. Suggest your favorite bootfitter, and offer to write an assessment of your skiing difficulties, and how bootfit will correct them. This also provides an opportunity to get referrals from boot fitters.
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