Selling Training Online

By: Cris Merz
It is 2017 and the sales process has changed drastically in the last 3-5 years.  The buyer-seller relation is no longer the same.  It isn’t anyone’s fault and there is nothing you can do but make the business adjustments necessary to stay current with contemporary marketing and sales tools and platforms.  These changes are inevitable and it is simply the progression of how consumers choose to make purchases.

We have always found that the most successful dealers are always the ones with the best adaptability.  I remember when SDI’s 1st online program came out back in 2002.  It was new to scuba and it was not very popular at first.  However, so many of our dealers embraced it that their competitors started demanding their training agency launch one as well.  These dealers were the ones that embraced technology because they saw the benefit to it.  Rather than approaching it as moving away from how we did things in the good ol’ days, they found ways to make it grow.

Many dealers complained about competing with online sales.  Other dealers created an online store to compete with online sales.  Which stores do you think are the most successful today?

Online stores are not just for selling gear, but training as well.  Dealers have the option of keeping their doors open to sell whatever products and services they have at 2 am, when the doors to their store are closed for business.

Back when we launched our 2.0 version of SDI’s eLearning back in 2006, (over 10 years ago) we added a feature that dealers could use to keep their doors open 24/7.  Although this feature has been around for a very long time, dealers are updating their website, crossing over from other agencies, and are simply ready to embrace the fact that it is 2017 and it’s now time to use technology to the best of their advantage.

According to

“Global B2C eCommerce sales will grow approximately 17.7 percent this year and reach $1.77 trillion dollars.

Currently, 62 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months, and this is only going to grow over the years. Mobile commerce isn’t just a trend, with total digital sales increasing by 31 percent, or $109 billion by 2017.

Make sure your web store is responsive so your users get the best experience.”

Hubspot supports these facts

“The number of online shoppers has increased sharply within the past few years. Just three years ago, 36% of American shoppers completed their holiday shopping online. Last Christmas, that number jumped to 61%. Keep in mind, that’s only holiday shoppers that did all or most of their shopping online. If we study the number of people who’ve made at least one online purchase, the percentage would skyrocket. Even 39% of shoppers who prefer stores will investigate prices and brands online before buying.

A large percentage of shoppers, 93% to be exact, actually prefer local business who offer online shopping. These buyers want to find something unique that’s not available anywhere else, but they still want the convenience of online buying. Others like to buy online and pick up at their local retailer.”

Here at SDI-TDI-ERDI we made sure the eLearning course was mobile competitive when we did the last major overhaul in 2011, understanding that mobile shopping was getting bigger and bigger.  Cyber Monday was earning stores much more than Black Friday – there was a pivot in how people were buying things and we had to stay current.

So, the problem to solve is…I don’t have an online store but I still want to be able to sell eLearning to those 2am online shoppers looking for a nitrox course.

Log in as a facility administrator and click on eLearning resources.

On this page, below SDI TDI & ERDI Graphics and Clip Art”, you will have several banners that you can use to promote your courses on your site…use them; they are there for you to use.  You can use these banners on your site, blogs and or newsletters suggesting a call to action.  “We are going to Galapagos in March – Get Certified in Advanced Adventure TODAY!”  Be as creative as you like.
Continuing down the page of eLearning Resources, you will find several “Technology Resources” you will find your facility’s “unique URLs.” These URLs are specific to your facility. You will find links for SDI, TDI and ERDI.  Use only the links for the organizations you promote.

You can immbed your URL’s on your website and promote them with a call to action using one of the banners we designed for you or create your own graphic or design.  That is up to you.  Now that these links are posted on your website –you are able to offer eLearning courses from your website on all hours of the day.

Be sure to contact your regional office to find out the availability as well as the price structure as it may vary from region to region.

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