During a good ski lesson, your students improve their skills and overcome previous physical and mental obstacles. During an outstanding lesson, students engage, interact, and maintain contact, even after their vacation ends. A season full of good lessons keeps you employed. Outstanding lessons improves your status with resort management and builds your professional reputation. Don’t settle for good. Set your goals on outstanding. Incorporate these five ideas during your off season, and reap the emotional and financial rewards in your next season.
1. Evaluate Your Previous Season
The relationships you foster with your past, present and potential students drive the success of your ski teaching career. Thanks to use of powerful new tools available for little cost, you can collect important data and develop your own CRM — Client Relationship Management — system. Gather your records for the previous season and create a list of essential metrics. What was your return rate on group or private requests? What about your conversion rate? Do your beginners get hooked on the sport, and return to the mountain? What did you do to inspire them?
The next part is difficult but necessary. Evaluate what when wrong during those less than stellar a lessons. Was there a trend? Think about what you could have done to make them better. Discuss these ideas with your trainer or your colleagues. After your evaluation, make specific measurable goals for the next season.
2. Get Into Ski Shape With Agility Training
The word “agility” describes an athlete’s ability to respond to external stimuli without losing balance or correct postural alignment. Every skier needs agility. Ski instructors need it even more. Fast reaction times on the part of an instructor can save a student from serious injuries. Unfortunately, as we get older, agility, balance and proprioception — your body’s awareness of its position in space — declines.
The machines at the gym will increase your strength, but their movement patterns are predictable. Yoga helps limber up your body, but the flexibility is static. Skiing requires dynamic strength and flexibility. Agility training uses balance boards, stability balls, medicine balls and other devices that promote a fast reaction time. Create your own agility training program, and share your ideas with your students. Post your program on your social media pages.
3. Build a Referral Network
Every resort employee, including the housekeeping staff, the cafeteria workers, the mountain ambassadors and gear shop workers are a potential lead generator for your business. Get to know the other workers. In most cases, they are entitled to free or discount lessons. Encourage them to take your classes.
Don’t forget the employee satisfaction surveyors. They are the ones on the mountain interacting guests, conducting surveys about the resort services. As such, they are often the first to hear about visitors likes and dislikes. One on-slope marketing researcher, who worked at Copper Mountain, had a cell phone list of her favorite instructors. After a few minutes of conversation, she was able to determine the best instructor for the student’s needs.
Since some students might not be able to visit your resort more than once each your, set up communication with their instructor on their home mountain. Look them up on facebook, or ask your student for their instructor’s contact information.
4. Invite Them Into Your World
Students book ski lessons to improve their skills, but many have other motives as well. Your mountain lifestyle fascinates them. They want to experience it, at least vicariously. Let them in on the local secrets of the mountain lifestyle. Tell them about the local’s coffee shops or restaurants where the resort staff hangs out. User your Facebook page and fill it with stories about your mountain lifestyle. Some of your students might be seriously interested in relocating to your area. Update your page with information about location independent careers, affordable condo rentals and house sales. If they move near the resort, you will see them on a regular basis.
5. Send Out Season Planning Emails
Do this while the season is still in its planning stages. For many that is shortly after the school years starts and vacation schedules are finalized. Make it personal. Send out pictures of your group, and recall the fun experiences you had. Individualize each email by reminding them of last season’s accomplishments, and their goals for this season. Create enticement. “I think you will be ready to tackle the Black Trails this season.” Create a sense of urgency. “My schedule is open but will fill up fast.”
Ask questions that encourage responses, such as “That’s an excellent balance training program. I am going to turn you into a mogul meister this season!” Hint: A CRM app helps you organize your data for each individual student. Having this information available makes it easy to personalize your emails.
Social media can be the thread that unites these five ideas. Set up your facebook page now, and prepare for an outstanding season.