When I conduct sales training at a dive center, my first question always is, ‘Who likes to sell?’. Depending on the number of people in the room, I am lucky if one or two actually raise their hand. The fact is that most people don’t like to sell. They’ve either had a bad experience with a salesperson or they are afraid to push a product or service that the customer does not want.
Well, lets go back to basics. When a customer decides to get certified as a diver, they have chosen the dive center and they have agreed on the price of the course. This is their choice, not anyone else’s. And that is pretty much the same with anything else they are buying. Yes, of course, some people are afraid to say ‘no’ and feel bad if they don’t buy an item the salesperson tries to sell to them. They will make the purchase and then go home knowing that they did not want the item – they can’t really afford it, it’s not the right colour, they don’t like it or they don’t need it. They will never return to the shop as they would rather avoid the shop or salesperson than return the item. This is a lose-lose situation for all and simply bad salesmanship. The solution is simple: ask questions and LISTEN!
The PADI Open Water Course covers the importance of owning your own basic scuba gear. It is up to you, the PADI Professional, to show them the equipment in the dive store; give them look, feel and allow them to try it on. You all know all the reasons why it is good for students to own at their own basic equipment (hygiene, fit, etc.). Then, after your demonstration, ask them how they liked it; do they like the colour, fit, etc.? Would you like to buy it? If the student is hesitant, don’t push. Instead, ask more questions (What colour would you prefer? Is the fit wrong? Is the cost a barrier?) and go from there. After trying on the equipment and the student likes it say yes, they like it, then that is your confirmation right there.
Now, if you think that this sounds to easy or would like some more help, contact your PADI Regional Manager and ask to set up a sales training session. Equipment manufacturers can also get involved; of course, they know all the selling points of their brand! When I meet divers that have purchased their own gear, they are always the ones diving a lot more, and in turn helping the diving industry to keep growing!