How Big is your Funnel?

When it comes to Business Development & Recruitment the Size of your Funnel is so important!

Right about now you are saying what the heck is this about? Welcome, pull up a chair, open your mind, and let’s get started.

I am talking about your sales funnel in case you were left guessing. And the “Funnel” in this case can take many different forms:

  • That mega regional mall that no matter what time of day or night has a packed parking lot
  • The bigger-than-the-town-it-is-in new car dealership bedecked with a giant flag and selling every auto brand you can imagine
  • That BIG BOX store where when you walk in you get that Lost in Space feeling as you say to yourself:  “if they ain’t got it, I must not need it”!

You see each of these examples has a different type of “Funnel” and they each of them is doing its job. Look at it this way, if you are trying to fill a test tube in a rain storm a funnel really helps to direct more drops into your test tube?

Your test tube is the dive business you have been operating now for some time; and the rain drops are those most valuable of all assets; divers. Ask a group of dive operators who is their most important customer and they will usually reply new divers!

So how do you increase your open-water diver or entry level classes? The answer is simply to fall back on the long list of tried-and-true techniques that you have used before and tweak every so often.

Here are a couple of tweaks to consider. They are common practice but deserve repetition here.

·         Push for referrals; but you must have a hook. Ask yourself why is someone going to refer you new business? Maybe because they need a dive buddy! Think as well: Divers buy boats! Divers book travel! Divers put aquariums in their house! Find a common denominator with local businesses and go for it. But the best referral business comes from your own students. How about a “try some new gear” party, a pool party, a tail gate BBQ, any event you can think of will probably work but you have to ask for the referral! One retailer put together a package with a pool builder that offered a FREE scuba Intro in their new pool! Good idea? Maybe you can work a similar deal with a pool maintenance company.

·         The mash potato and rubber chicken circuit. Get out and make presentations. Talk to anyone that will listen. And at the close of play, do not forget to ask for the business.

·         Create alliances with other local industry members. This means reaching out and creating alliances with some you may have seen as “fierce competitors” in years gone by. Reach out to HS scuba instructor, your local community college program, adult education facility. Yes, even independent instructors. In this economic climate none of us can afford to be “too independent”.

Remember your objective is to grow the circumference of the mouth of your funnel and catch every drop you can!

Let us hear from you and tell us what is working for you? What recruitment techniques are you employing successfully in your business? Now is the time to lean on your data base and to work it, with e-mails, reminders and invitations to nay activity you can imagine. After all FUN Activities are a great way to increase the size of your funnel.

How do you contact the area instructors and recruit them to work with you? No different than asking for a referral, simply ask them to work with you! After all the more Divers a community creates the more people that are out there talking about it the healthier everyone’s business will be.

Need more info on data base mining, see the accompanying article titled Developing and Retaining Long-Distance Loyalty: Do you do ALL you can?



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