Why ski instructors don't advertise themselves?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by abcd, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I have to agree with you. As you know I've become discerning about who I will ask to teach me. Much of this is based on how the instructor communicates and how it jams with me. The time I spent with you a few weeks ago has resonated in a huge way and broke me out of my plateau, which inspired me to ski multiple laps in Dropout and Wipeout last weekend.
    IMG_5563.jpg IMG_5565.jpg

    I couldn't have done so many laps prior to my time with you.
    I guess that @4ster is my jam, which is making steep moguls my jam :yeah:
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  2. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    Thanks! :)
    Just from your photos above I can see your stance looks much more in the “go” mode than braced resistance ;) .

    Remember...
    “it’s a lot easier for you to catch up with your skis, than it is for your skis to catch up with you”
    49954067-B106-4B44-BB9D-DE6739ACE31F.gif

    Keep on jammin’
     
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  3. T-Square

    T-Square Terry Moderator Instructor

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    90 CUBIC YARDS!!!! Wow! That’s a lot of stuff.
     
  4. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    And the pictures show the Velvet Hammer no longer presses her inside knee against the outside one. Yah!!
     
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  5. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Don't forget the two 40-foot shipping containers we filled, one with my woodworking and metalworking tools and one with household goods we thought we should keep a little longer!!!

    The trashed stuff and the containerized stuff represent an accumulation over 48 years, during which we had a dozen rentals and a 45-room motel to look after, as well as my wife's contributions like half a dozen knitting machines.
     


  6. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    The skis though. You put them in a dumpster?? Geez, someone could have at least built a wall or a troll out of them.
    What's a "knitting machine"? A loom?
     
  7. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    It was a time thing, James. Had to clear out and had limited other spaces. Actually, I gave several pairs to a guy who came to buy my dozen fuel cans, saving both the cans and those skis from the dumpster.

    Knitting machines are what we use to produce our knitted cotton baby blankets: http://www.knitknacks.com/

    The machines look like:[​IMG]

    image stolen from somebody else.
     
  8. geepers

    geepers Out on the slopes Skier

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    This. Excellent.

    I can understand why most instructors don't promote themselves externally. Not trained in marketing. Modesty ("Ski with me - I'm cheaper than an L4"). Rules of the house. Suspect ROI.

    However, politely asking for repeat business and/or referrals when students are clearly having a good experience doesn't seem too demanding. Can't recall it ever happening other than a rare, half-hearted "Next week?". So I assume that, at least at the resorts I've visited, ski schools aren't prompting/training their instructors to do this.

    Last couple of decades I've coached a multitude of small businesses and having business team members who interact with customers ask for extra/repeat/referral business is a standard action. Cost is low - all it takes it a short script and a little training.

    In my own business, at the end of each client session I ask 2 questions: "What was the #1 thing from today's session?" and "Did you get great value from our work together?" An enthusiastic response :yahoo:is a perfect time to ask for more business. (A lukewarm response is cause to reflect on the value being provided to that client and how it may be improved:huh: :doh:)
     
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  9. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Its me who should be thanking you.
    The point of my post is, finding the right instructor for the student.
    I've had lessons that didn't resonate, and many that did. You are not just an incredible instructor, but you're a good fit for me.

    We could create a list of instructors on Pugski with teaching credentials, experience, ski school association, etc, but those are data points, and don't take the 'person' into consideration.
     
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  10. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

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    Absolutely a huge part of the equation!
    As a supervisor in charge of assigning lessons, first is understanding enough about your staff to know who fits with what type. Next is having the insight & ability to effectively & succinctly interview the guest & make that proper match.
    As a trainer it is providing the tools & developing the skills of the instructor staff to adapt to different types of students.
    As a director/manager it is hiring a well rounded versatile staff of different ages, genders & backgrounds. Then supporting their continued education & development by allowing time for the supervisors & trainers to do their jobs. Treat their employees like they want their guests to be treated. For a Snowsports School to be successful it starts at the top.
    Area management needs to realize that snowsports education is a guest service that is imperative to the continued health of the industry & more than just a profit center. Sadly, I think much of the industry has lost sight of that
    :(
     
  11. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    ^^^ This post in spades.^^^
     
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  12. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    And it is not going to change.
     
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  13. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    These quotes from page one of this thread.

    This has always been in the back of my mind. When someone starts skiing they get the lowest common denominator as an instructor. At best a L1 and more likely the new hire that is working on their L1.
    I'm not saying that the new skier isn't going to get a good experience with a beginner instructor, but retention of skiers may depend on getting a seasoned instructor who can give that new skier the best experience.
    Meanwhile, we hope that the examiners and trainers are honing the skills of the new hire to give the beginning skier a good experience as @4ster describes in this quote...

    Do examiners and trainers actually teach resort guests? Sure, sometimes, but more often than not, they are teaching other instructors and pushing papers.

    I recall talking to @Bob Barnes when he was working at Keystone. I can't remember his actual title, but he said that one of the things he missed about having that job was that he didn't get much snow time with resort guests because his job required too much desk time.
     
  14. VickieH

    VickieH Out on the slopes Skier

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    Awkward question. Many will give you a positive response just to get out of what could become an uncomfortable situation. If someone asked me that, I would assume they're just wanting a stroke.

    If I had a great lesson experience with someone, the conversation would end better with "The next thing to work on is _____". That would demonstrate they have identified the next weakest link and are setting me up for my next step, whether with them or someone else. It would leave me feeling as if I, the client, was the focus of the lesson.
     
  15. geepers

    geepers Out on the slopes Skier

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    Well, I can imagine it would be awkward depending on how it was framed and how it's asked. Just popped out at the end in the wrong way could be weird.Like one of those waiters who seems to be auto-pilot reciting "was everything alright?" when we know they really don't want to hear otherwise.

    Still, I can't help thinking something is seriously amiss if a service provider isn't able to obtain some direct customer feedback. Especially an industry where the customer retention rate is around 18%.

    For what it's worth here's more on the way I deal with it in my business:
    1. I genuinely want to know what the client thought of the session and I try to communicate that when asking. I'm looking to get honest, meaningful feedback so I can adjust and continue the business relationship, not have it end prematurely.
    2. Question is pre-framed - I let the client know at the start I'll be asking those two questions at the end.
    3. Gauging the client's reactions throughout the session on how things are being received.
    4. It's vital to ask that 1st question "What was the #1 thing...?" before proceeding to the value question. If the answer to the #1 thing is vague/non-committal then I'll inquire some more.

    Your suggestion of "next thing to work on.." seems a good one. Although I would guess that in a great many cases, given the shortness of a ski lesson, the next thing would be a heap more practice of the same thing. In any event it should provide an opportunity to politely and casually find out if another lesson is possible.
     
  16. jimtransition

    jimtransition Getting on the lift Skier

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    It's more usual in some places than others, and obviously depends on the individual instructors desires and the way in which companies motivate them. Personally I have had my L3 for 18 seasons and whilst I do run some training for instructors, I primarily work with private guests. I also know people who as soon as they got their level 3 became supervisors/trainers and haven't taught a guest lesson since. The latter is more common in the US as it's easier to make a living there that way. In our school in Japan the way the school operates is a little different so you do get very high level instructors skiing with regular guests. .
     
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  17. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    I couldn't agree more!!! But the house was sold AND occupied and the deadline for turning the barn over to the buyers was upon us.
     
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  18. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Its 2019. There are apps for that... :D Well, not for ski instruction :huh:

    https://www.thumbtack.com

    Regarding Ski Instruction. I WANT (Need) Motion Analysis.
     
  19. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    PM me (yours are blocked), I'd like to talk with you off line about this.
     
  20. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Me too
     

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