Trust is an essential ingredient to a successful business. Clients invest their trust in a business when they select a product or service. The are trusting that it will live up to the reputation and the promises implied in the brand. Successful ski instructors quickly establish rapport with their clients that then builds up to a mutually trusting relationship. This post gives you five behaviors that will build trust between you and your clients giving them a better day and bring them back to you for more.
1. Do What you Say and Say What You Do
Showing up to the lesson on time is the very first step in establishing trust. This is so important but sometimes overlooked. A scheduled meeting is your first promise you have made to the customer, don’t get off on the wrong foot by breaking that promise. That means plan to arrive early so your timing will not be impacted by normal issues of busy wintertime travel. You need to continue to make sure that you make the schedule explicit and it matches what is agreed upon with the client as the day progress. If things happen out of your control or you detect that the group would like to change the schedule make sure you communicate the changes to everyone.
Making sure you get the little things right in this area sets the stage for keeping the more important promises. When you put off a clients question or request until later, make sure you come back to it. More to the core of the lesson make sure your demonstrations match what you are talking about as well make sure the feedback given to the client matches the skills or tasks that you asked them to focus on. People also judge your trustworthiness in how you treat others. Follow the safety rules of the resort and be courteous and helpful to all guests and other employees of the resort. If you treat others how you’re treating your guests, it will strengthen the trust between you.
2. Listen First
When working on this article, I used Stephen Covey’s Post on Trust to sharpen my own observations on the issue. He emphasises throughout his work the importance of effective listening in building effective relationships and effective organizations. The PSIA Guest Centered Teaching Model gives you an outstanding framework to help you focus on listening to your guests. Early on in the lesson you are listening to your guest and observing their behaviors to determine their Movement, Understanding and Emotional needs. From this input, you can then structure a successful learning experience addressing a mixture of these needs. Taking the time to listen and understand what your guest is after as well as demonstrating that you understand them as you construct the lesson goes a long way in building trust.
3. Deliver Results
We always get back to the fact that your success as ski or snowboard instructor must include delivering an effective product. Nothing will bring them back to you more than a Wow experience, living up to the promises of the resort and your own personal brand. As you do an effective job of listening, the best ways to deliver this result usually flows easily. Nothing breeds trust as much as mutual success.
4. Be Vulnerable
This behavior can also be understood to mean: be genuine or create transparency. It is best understood by looking at the opposite of these behaviors. If your client senses that you are hiding something or that you are presenting a false front, no matter how benign it might be, you lost a portion of their trust. If you make a mistake or encounter difficulty. Don’t hide if from your guest. Share the issue and let them know that you too have issues but demonstrate how you overcome them as well. People learn best by story telling, often a self-deprecating story can set up the day for an open and positive experience for all your guests. Of course, this needs to be balanced by why we are on the mountain. Therapy and issue resolution is for another time.
5. Be Generous
Being generous with all the resource you have at your disposal as the time together allows adds significantly to the trust factor. If people feel like you’re giving them all you have, working hard for them they will repay you with their trust. As ski instructors, there is a lot we can share with our students beyond specific direction in changing movement patterns. We can help them be better skiers, manage and handle their equipment, select appropriate clothing, find interesting things to do while not on the snow and if invited offer insights into other aspects of the student’s lives. If you only deliver a ski lesson, you limit what the relationship can provide. But, if you are enabling a new and healthy lifestyle the rewards can be equally unbounded. In my post on the Tip of the Day card, I discuss how a generous gift by you at the end of the lesson can lead to a bigger tip. This is just a small way your generosity is repaid.
Does how you present yourself match what your lesson delivers? Getting your personal brand right is the first step of establishing trust. Not sure what your personal brand should be. Sign up for our newsletter or return here as I am writing a series of blog posts where I will sharpen your ability to create your own stellar personal brand.