Archive | Tip Of The Week

Tip of the Week. Each week during the Northern Winter I’m going to be posting a small tip to enhance your business of being a Snow Sports Pro.

Tip: Create Momentum

As instructors, we often help our guests achieve some larger goal by breaking it down into achievable steps. Giving the student a path to success is one of the biggest benefits of joining a lesson.

People often push off decisions and making commitments until the last minute. The most successful sales pitches include a call to action with a time limit.

Combine these two concepts to build a path of progress for your client beyond the current lesson. Create a sense urgency with your students. They are close to achieving their goal, booking another lesson with you will push them over the top. “See how much we have improved today, spending the next day with me and you’ll be killing that bump run.”

Tip

Use the momentum of improvement you are creating for your client to invite them back with a sense of urgency.

Tip: Make Your Clients Feel Like They Are Important

I saw this quote on my LinkedIn stream: “Managers make you feel that they are important. Leaders make you feel that you are important.” This resonated with the tip I received from Scott Burger a Ski Pro in the Beaver Creek Children’s Ski School. The best ski instructors make the client feel like they are #1.

Honest Approach

You must communicate this feeling honestly. It starts by taking a few moments to learn their name and then taking the appropriate amount of time to understand their goal. Moving below the surface request and teasing out their deeper goals. Then develop a common understanding of what they need to be successful.

It is about paying attention to our clients. Our attention is an important asset. Social Media advertisers and others vie aggressively for our attention. When we focus that attention on our guest, connecting what they said earlier to a new observations, showing that your making detail assessments, they will understand they are important to us.

Tip

Pay attention to your guests and honestly demonstrate you feel they are #1 to you.

Tip: Always ask for that next lesson

There is this sales technique with the acronym, ABC, Always Be Closing. It is good advice for ski instructors as well. I’m not advocating any sleazy salesman speak, or to barrage your client with a constant stream of requests. What I am suggesting is to simply at some point in the lesson tell your client that you would like to ski with them again and ask for that next lesson. Once you get a signal of interest, make a plan with the client to “close” the deal by booking that next lesson. Make it clear, pick a date, and with the clients permission pick up the phone and book it.

Getting That Next Lesson is Like Hooking A Fish

Selling can be a lot like fly fishing. If you tug hard on the line, it will snap, and the fish will get away. The best method is a gentle coaxing that gradually brings the fish in to shore – although sometimes when they are spooked you have to let them out again and calm them down further away.

From an article on Sales at changingminds.org

Tip

Like a fisherman, have a plan on how you are going to reel in your client for another lesson.

Tip: Take A PSIA Clinic at another resort

To maintain your PSIA membership, you are required to attend at least two days of PSIA clinics every other year. I found this to be a wonderful opportunity to push the envelope and explore other resorts. I got started on this habit my rookie season at Loveland, when a group invited me on their annual pilgrimage to Winterpark/Mary Jane for the Performance Bumps clinic. What an amazing experience. That resort has long wide bump runs at just about any degree of difficulty to choose from. Giving our clinic leader, Winter Park’s own Bob Barns, an infinite classroom of just the right degree of challenge for each task set before us.

Benefits

Ski with a different group of highly motivated fellow PSIA MembersExpand your network of other ski professionals
Explore un-familiar terrain, allowing you to respond to your guests resort comparison questions with knowledge
Guided by a PSIA leader which would Cost more then $800/day if you booked commercially
Complete your PSIA clinic requirements
All for less than the cost of a daily lift ticket

This season I’m planning to Explore Crested Butte while pushing my personal envelope on a Big Mountain Clinic. Where are you headed and why?

Tip

Expand your knowledge or other resorts, ski with an excellent group of skiers, lead by a leading professional. All for less than the price of a daily ticket. Signup for a PSIA Clinic at another resort.

Tip: Visualize Your Ideal Client

We all have had that great client. One that has brought out our best teaching, compelling us to create a WOW guest experience resulting in substantial rewards for all involved. How do we find more clients like that?

First Step To Building Your Business

Michael Port in “Book Yourself Solid” makes visualization of your ideal client the first step in taking your consulting practice to the next level. He talks about the importance of understanding how you can identify your ideal client and then package your services and project a brand that will attract and keep them? Better clients, make a better business.

Tip

Take a few minutes to reflect on your best lessons and your best clients. Visualize one of these clients, how did this client find you, what else do they do at your resort. Use the answers to inform your strategy to attract similar clients.

Tip: Always Be On-Time (Early)

Trust is an essential ingredient to a successful business. Customers invest their trust in a business when they select a product or service. They 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.

Do What you Say and Say What You Do

An important behavior for establishing this trust is to “Do What You Say.” That first appointment with your guest is the first opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are trustworthy. By showing up on-time or even a bit early puts you on the right foot to establishing trust early. It also demonstrates that you value your guests time and the opportunity to ski with them.

Tip

Demonstrate you value your guests time, demonstrate you are trustworthy by always showing up on time.

Tip: Let Your Guest Know How Much You Like Skiing With Them

This tip comes from Steve Trout an Instructor at Beaver Creek Colorado and Cardrona New Zealand. Guest often have the misconception that as their instructor you would rather be doing something else. That is they imagine you would rather be skiing the big challenging slopes or off with your friends. Steve found that when he decided to make it clear to his guests that teaching is his favorite thing and more specifically he liked skiing with them personally, his return business grew. He is currently just about fully booked with return guests and attributes this success to this and other guest centered aspects of his approach.

Good Match

Now not all guest match with you and your style of teaching, but when you do find guest that are resonating with you, make an effort to communicate how much you are enjoying the lesson. This expression has to be truly genuine, or it will be off-putting to your guest. Steve gives his card to new guests that he feels the match is strong and invites them to contact him. When they do reach out, he follows up with the guest with friendly interactions via email and texts. When the guest return to work with him, he makes sure to communicate his genuine joy of skiing with them throughout the lesson.

Tip

When you are truly enjoying your time with your guest, make sure you clear any misconception’s they may have about what you would rather be doing and let them know how much you like skiing with them.

Tip: Give A Bit More

I am adding a new category of Posts to the SnoCoach blog. It is a Tip of the Week. Each week during the Northern Winter I am going to be posting a small tip to enhance your business of being a Snow Sports Pro. The tips will come from my experience as a consultant, from my interviews of top Pros, writings from others in similar businesses and nuggets from my posts here on SnoCoach. It is my little bit extra for my readers …

Your Generosity will be Rewarded

Do you notice that wait staff at restaurants often give you some candy and put a personal note on the bill? Those smiley faces and peppermints do work! That little bit of extra consideration has been shown in studies to increase gratuities for the server. In the post Want Bigger Tips? Give a Tip of the Day Card!, I reference the studies that demonstrate the effectiveness and show how a “Tip of the Day Card” is easy to do and can achieve big benefits for you.

Tip

To increase your own tips, at the end of the lesson give your guest a small token of your appreciate and a personal message they can take away with them.