Maximize Contact Hours, Maximize Sales

ClockThe term contact hours refers to the amount of time students spend engaged in personal interaction with their instructors. And, as many dive retailers have discovered, there is a direct relationship between contact hours and sales. Simply stated, the more time your students spend engaged in personal interaction with their instructors and other store staff, the more sales you will make.

11 ways to increase that first sale

MaskAccording to a survey of dive retailers, over 80 percent of USA dive stores have their entry-level students purchase a minimum of mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit boots. In most instances, this is the first (and, all too often, only) equipment sale you make to customers — and it is, arguably, the most important.


Four daily reminders

ReminderWant a simple way to increase your sales every single day? You can. Just take the list appearing here and post it by your cash register or POS system. Then begin each day by reviewing the list and thinking about how you can integrate it into your daily interaction with customers. (A link to download this list in PDF format appears at the end of this article.) Here is the list:


Building your mailing list

Mailing ListIn 1997 — approximately four decades ago in Internet years — Dave Farrar of Gypsy Divers in Raleigh, North Carolina, invited me to qualify his staff instructors to teach Nitrox. To help make the trip worth my while, he suggested I teach a consumer-level Nitrox course at the same time.

In so far as this took place on short notice, I had little hope of seeing more than a handful of divers in addition to the instructor staff. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the store to find the classroom filled with over 20 smiling faces.


Just How Often?

 How Often?The issue of how often to send out promotional information is an important one. If you don’t do it often enough, you’ll lose sales. If you do it too often, your customers will start ignoring what you send them and, instead, relegate your printed or e-mail newsletters to the wastebasket or spam filter.


The escape clause

EscapeEverywhere you look, advertisers seem to be bending over backwards to remind consumers how bad the economy is. “We understand times are tough,” they tell us, “so we’re cutting prices…”

As dive retailers, there are a number of ways we can profit by following the example of large, successful retailers. Folks, this ain’t one of them.


The qualities of leadership

LeadershipAs a dive store owner or manager, there are things you can manage and things you can’t. Things you can manage include time, money, effort, resources, projects, trips, classes and events. The one thing you cannot“manage,” however, is people.