The power of YES!

“Yes” or “No”?

“Yes!” Yes is the word I used most once I became a Scuba Instructor.
I had just opened my new dive shop in Essex. I was so excited!
My old club always answered questions with the word “No”. And it didn’t matter what that question was.
“Can I dive at the weekend?”
“No.”
“Maybe I can finish my course next week?”
“No.”
“Can I take the Navigation course?”
“No.”
The answer was always “NO”  followed by a weak excuse.

Knowing how frustrating the word “No” could be; “Yes” soon become my favourite word.
Surprisingly, answering “yes” taught me a lesson I would never forget.
It led me to find precisely what people wanted. And that turned out to be a big surprise to me.

I learned that people didn’t want to buy equipment or courses. Instead, they craved an escape from day to day life. In fact I found that our dive trips were what people wanted most. Above all, they wanted laughter, fun and the diversion from life that our regular diving adventures brought.

After all, the name of my dive centre was “Adventures in Diving”

People bought the dream

Once I realised that people needed a diversion from day to day life, I stopped advertising Open Water courses, I also stopped asking people if they wanted to learn to dive.
Instead, I gave people a reason to dive, a reason for adventure.
People knew that we sold Dreams! But these were dreams that came true. Even for first timers!
For them I’d point to a screen showing a video of our last Red Sea holiday and say:
“See those divers there? A month ago they were just like you. They also had never dived, after they came into this shop they decided to change their lives.”
Then I’d explain how the Open Water course could work for them, and how they could join us for the next adventure. In addition they could be the star on our next video!

Why you should offer plenty of trips

We had trips to the coast most weekends. In addition we’d run 3 or 4 Red Sea trips per year. People would often choose to take courses on these trips. In fact I’d often run trips specifically for Specialties and people would come along for the adventure regardless of which specialties. They knew that they’d have fun, they also knew that they’d be better divers afterwards.

Why did you become an Instructor in the first place?

Close your eyes, go back in time and try to remember why you became an instructor in the first place. For instance, how did you imagine your life would be? Most instructors saw themselves:

  • Leading dives on wrecks
  • Lots of marine life
  • Surrounded by fish
  • Generating fun
  • Having adventures
  • Sense of achievement

In fact, your non-diving friends and family probably still imagine that this is your life right now.
So you see?  Your vision of yourself was not that far away from the desires of your customers. In fact in a recent survey divers were asked what they loved about diving. This is what they said:

  • Escaping from daily life
  • Part of a fun group
  • Enjoying adventures
  • Camaraderie
  • Sense of achievement
  • Learning new things
  • Laughter

You see? The lists are very similar. All that needs to happen is for you to offer experiences that will excite your customers. Then you’ll soon find that people will come back time and again, they’ll also book courses and buy equipment. But first they need a reason!