Nitrox Here Sign at Dive Shop

ADD VALUE TO YOUR OPEN WATER COURSE THIS SUMMER

If you are not incorporating nitrox into your open water classes, you could be missing a huge opportunity to increase revenue, sales, and value

“Save time, make extra money, and add value to your open water course.”

This is what motivated me when I was running a dive center to add SDI computer nitrox to every open water class. SDI computer nitrox adds significant value to a diver because as we all know it can extend bottom times, reduce surface intervals, and is one of the most popular courses on the market.

I sat down with all of my instructors at the dive center and discussed how to increase enrollment in continuing education. We ran an analysis, trying to identify the course with the lowest barrier of entry for students and discovered SDI computer nitrox as the course.

While doing this analysis, we realized that there were things that we did in every SDI open water course we taught. We taught our students how to dive plan while we used a computer for every session in the water. While doing these sessions, we took time to talk about the benefits of using nitrox, hoping to sell a computer nitrox course in the near future. During this audit, we joked that it took us more time to try to sell the course than it would take to teach the additional components. This gave us an idea: why not just include computer nitrox with every SDI open water course?

With SDI, we can teach computer nitrox at the same time we are teaching open water. We don’t need to wait until after the person is certified in open water to start the nitrox coursework. We decided to do a cost analysis of the time and effort that goes into teaching the SDI computer nitrox course concurrently with open water.

It became very evident that the amount of time and effort it took to sell computer nitrox at a competitive price in the market far exceeded the cost of including it in the open water course.

Essentially, we could add SDI computer nitrox to our open water course, teach it concurrently, and the price increase would be less than market pricing of an independent SDI computer nitrox course.

In addition to this, the amount of work that went into teaching the computer nitrox course in conjunction with open water was far less than teaching the computer nitrox course itself as we were already talking about the benefits of using nitrox, showing how to program it into a computer so that they could see the additional no decompression limit, and talking about how nature affects the body and nitrox reduces the amount of nitrogen.

You’re covering dive planning, computer use, no decompression limits, and surface intervals. You’re covering programming a computer and logging those dives. How much more do you really have to cover to finish the SDI computer nitrox course? The answer is not much if you are teaching a comprehensive open water course.

HOW?

Follow the standards and procedures and use the speaker notes in the PowerPoint presentation for SDI computer nitrox. If you compare what you are doing in open water, you are really not going to find much more to add than
Completion of the e-learning
Covering oxygen toxicity
Labeling and analyzing breathing gas
Writing that down in a log

From experience, I can tell you it takes less time to do it in the open water class and there is better student retention of the information because they have a better understanding with the additional education. Covering this material makes better open water divers, provides more benefits, and focuses on selecting better and safer gasses for the diving they’re doing. The slight increase in price you would charge is negligible compared to the benefits that your divers receive.

We had the opportunity to add value to our open water course and stand out from the competition while providing a better service. I can tell you that it had an effect on our open water registrations. We sold more. Before I finish this piece, I’ll give you some tips I learned from mistakes I made when implementing this change.

3 TIPs from a Dive Center Owner

First is the question of how much your course costs. Many people quickly just tell the customer the price. This is a mistake and I learned this the hard way. Tell the customer everything that is included in your course. Don’t draw this out too long but get the point across.

For example:

“That’s an excellent question. Let me first tell you what’s included and then I’ll tell you the price. We include two certifications: the SDI open water and computer nitrox course. We do this because we want you to be able to spend as much time underwater as possible and the computer nitrox lets you do that. We include all pool sessions, all rental fees for confined water and open water dives, all four open water dives, instructor fees, two e-learning courses, registration fees and certification cards. All of this for only $XXX.XX.”

This lets the customer come up with the price they think it’s going to cost in their heads. They are prepared for you to say a number that is likely more than what you actually ask. From experience, customers normally think it would cost twice as much even though our prices were not low by any means. Prospective students were expecting numbers in the thousands. They were relieved by the price and enthusiastic about signing up.

The second tip I have for you is don’t give customers the option. Include SDI computer nitrox with every SDI open water course. Customers don’t yet understand the benefits of the two courses. If you use the first tip, you are not going to lose students because you included nitrox and you’re a little more expensive. Customers will see the value and happily pay this price. If you give an option instead of presenting as your expert recommendation and requirement, it’ll be viewed as an upsell. The customer knows that if you feel strongly enough to make it required that it’s important. If you give an option to the customer they see it as you don’t really believe in it, you’re just trying to make more sales.

The last tip I can give you is make sure everyone is on board. Make sure all of your professionals know why you are requiring this and how to execute the first tip. Also, make sure every single one of your instructors can teach SDI computer nitrox.

Based on the success, I highly recommend you require SDI computer nitrox with your SDI open water classes. Take a few minutes, sit down, and complete a price audit of open water and computer nitrox and see how you can find the same benefits.

Summer Nitrox Special: Running Through August 17!

We’re excited to help instructors and dive centers start teaching Computer Nitrox or expand their Nitrox classes with our Summer Nitrox Special!
Member Qualification Tiers:
  1. Newly Certified Nitrox/Computer Nitrox Instructors (certified within the past 6 months):
  • You should have received an email with 1 Free eLearning code.
  • Purchase 3 additional Computer Nitrox Codes + Registrations, and you’ll receive another free code!
  1. Active Instructors Without a Nitrox Instructor Rating:
  • Apply for the Nitrox Instructor rating and get 3 free Computer Nitrox or Nitrox codes!
  1. Members Who Did Not Receive Either Email:
  • Purchase a 3 Computer Nitrox Codes and Credits and get 1 Computer Nitrox Code and Credit for free!
These offers are available as a one-time special per member.
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services at marketing.sdi@tdisdi.com and include your member number for assistance.

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