Lead Generation

The SkiWithMe system generates leads through a combination of Digetal marketing and tradition advertising and belly-to-belly sales.

Digital marketing deploys:

  • An interactive Web sites calling to and collecting members
  • Opt-in email
  • Social Media advertising
  • Mobil phone campaigns
  • Event hosting
  • Content marketing
  • Webinar

Traditional advertising uses print to supplement and the more trackable, diagnostic, accountable digital campaigns.

Face-to-face sales a minor aspect of initial marketing efforts, but grows in importance and effect with webinars, And then  flowers with the belly-to-belly role of the professional instructors

[Return to SkiWithMe overview]

 

Client Satisfaction

Client satisfaction is the logical next step in the SkiWithMe programed progression.

  1. A satisfied client likely invests more funds in the mountain experience.
  2. And the satisfied client becomes your loyal repeating customer.
  3. Lastly they emrge as your resorts entusuastic promoter.

The SWM client satisfaction element:.

  1. SWM provides your instructors with training, ideas and support to assist in the production of a satisfied clien customer
  2. Swm is avialbel an an intermediary resource a liason twixt the client and your resort
  3. SWM provides post visit communication on a regular, opt-in basis.
[Return to SkiWithMe overview]

 

Client Retention

Client retention is a function of client conversion. It is repeat business. It is a relationship rather than a simple transaction.

And repeat business reduces the time and expense of an entirely new cycle of prospect nurturing.

  1. Repeat business is more profitable even if the purchase price remains the same.
  2. Repeat business is a function of customer satisfaction as well as comfort.

The person who has the most contact time with your Resort customers is the professional instructor. It stands to reason the instructor is the most valuable ingredient in your sales process!

SkiWithme is a program that

  1. Strengthens and supports your instructors
  2. Develops the careers of your instructors
  3. Elevates the role of your instructors
  4. Produces an engaged client
  5. Assists in converting clients into loyal customers, avid supporters and enthusiastic promoters.
  6. Serves your bottom line.

SWM is a program that generates leads, facilitates the sales process, and produces loyal followers. The SWM process is build around your professional instructors.

[Return to SkiWithMe overview]

Prospect Nurturing

Prospect nurturing is the process of converting leads into clients. Marketing develops the leads, but sales produces the customers.

SkiWithMe provides a Customer Relations Management system (CRM) to facilitate and assist the sales process.

CRM system components:

  1. Training
  2. Support
  3. Booking system
  4. Payment system
  5. Back Office tracking and management
  6. Customer conversion = repeating clients
[Return to SkiWithMe overview]

The SkiWithMe Overview

The SkiWithMe System is a comprehensive program that bolsters the Outdoor Sports industry and strengthens the Mountain Resort business through a unique Customer Relation Management package.

Lead Generation

  1. Digital marketing
  2. Events
  3. Print and other traditional advertising
    Learn more about SWM lead generation

Prospect nurturing and development

  1. Tools for tracking
  2. Tolls for booking
  3. Training
  4. Support
    Learn more about SWM sales development

Client Satisfaction

  1. Professional development with seasonal clinics
  2. Instuctional training and in cooperation with PSIA
  3. SWM support
    Learn more about SWM client satisfaction

Customer Retention is a function of customer conversion

  1. Tools for continued correspondence and promotion
  2. Training and support
    Learn more about SWM repeat business

’16-17 Season is here!

A winter warning was issued for Hawaii in the first week in December, ’16. It’s no joke, check it out. Now let’s review. Hawaii is the fiftieth of the United States. It comprises several Islands in the mid Pacific. The largest Island is properly named Hawaii (somewhat like New York City in New York State, right?)

The “Big Island” of Hawaii is actually the tip of the largest (biggest) mountain on earth. The base rests deep below the surface waters, and its peak stretches to an altitude of about 13,303 feet! Thankfully Mauna Kea is a dormant, massive, shield volcano.

Mauna Kea is considered to be the biggest mountain in the world with a height of 33,100 feet (10,100 meters) from its base at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean or over twice the actual height of Mount Everest in Asia. The height of mountains is usually determined by their elevation above sea level, which makes Mount Everest the highest mountain in the world.

So here’s the story: Mauna Kea, at this elevation gets frequent snow, but not enough to support a ski resort, So if you want to ski Hawaii, you have to hike.

And here is the scoop: Weathermen are warning the mountain could receive between two and three feet this weekend!

But here’s the rub:  Airfares to Hawaii are high without advance purchase, and the snow rapidly melts when so close to the equator.  So investing in a well planned mountain in the lower 48 is a wiser move and a better value even for those who love and long for time in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Some times ya just can’t have it all.

On a more realistic note, several ski areas have opened for the season out west.

Poor John …

... perfect environment for writing <b>ski</b> articles comes to a tragic endAlas, poor John. I knew him well. Friend, compatriot (he encouraged and guided me in this blog endeavor) and fellow instructor … and now he’s gone … well for the ’15-16 season anyway. Done for the duration. Wiped out at Holiday Valley; felled by a tree; brought down no less … by a ski patroller!

It all began many years ago. John migrated into the Western New York region, in from Illinois … pretty wife, three beautiful children. Seems he was taking on a new career, starting a new life in the cold northeast – Buffalo to be more precise. Good Lord! What might he do to pass the long winters and keep his family happy? Well for one, he could pursue his avocation and expand upon his interest in skiing.

So, we hooked up and I dragged him out to the Buffalo Ski Club. John proved to be an “air-head”. To put it mildly, John loves to jump the bumps – loves to “get air”. And he loves to ski fast. Plus he loves people. Lastly, he is especially adept in helping people. All the ingredients of a club member, a teacher, and a ski instructor.  Oh, and did I mention he likes to sample craft brews? Well that’s just another “plus” in his dossier but another whole story.

So, I talked him into joining the instructional team. He came along well. Progressed rapidly, he did. And soon he made a Ski School Signplace for himself, and thankfully dragged his daughters into his scheme. Yep, Maddie and Lorian both proved great assets to our children’s “Mountain Ranger” instructional program. I got to work with them on occasion, and I can attest to their merits and worth. What a find! Thanks, John.

However things began to slowly change. Yes, at first John appeared to be taking new turns. Granted, initially they were turns for the better. After becoming a member of the PSIA group (Professional Ski Instructors of America) we noticed his turns were sharper, more deeply edged, precise and clean. Yea, John was on the right track for a while.

Yep, things began to go awry. I hear tell “Big John”  went west – Telluride to be exact. They say once you go that far, it’s pretty tough to come back home … skiing the steeps with his brothers … always on edge … living the fast life … and all that. When he returned, he made what may have been his fatal mistake: he accompanied me on a short circle route  around Vermont until we added three more states visiting varied and sundry resorts to sample their “stuff”.  All that was in the late season of ’14-15.

Yea, he returned “home” for ’15-16. And, he appeared to be on the mend – quietly returning to “life as normal”. In deed, he diligently assisted the “crew” in clearing brush from the club’s off-piste glades and gullies. Yup, he loves the wild side all right. But here he was righteously clearing the way, merely trying to set it straight for our Buffalo Ski Club (BSC) Extreme Team, Adventure Kids, and Mountain Ranger youth programs.

Then on that fateful day, he took up with the lift operators and one errant patrolman who on Monday, their day off (the Crest for National Ski Patrolclub shuts down for a day of maintenance), trekked south to Holiday Valley, a respectable resort not too far south of our humble facilities. And yes, as you guessed it, John ran into Bill, an otherwise respected, normally sagacious, and expectantly safety-minded Ski Patrolman at the BSC.

Yes, I was originally to be with them. Perhaps if I’d have been there …. Well suffice it to say, I may have been a premonition. Or maybe it was divine guidance. Or maybe it was just commonsense. (All others will totally refute that!) . But, I didn’t go. I still wonder what might have happened if ….

... carle a cartoons accident crashed skiing a cartoon skiing sufferedSo, John was headed to the right exactly matching Bill’s speed, each (patroller and instructor) in synch but also in the other’s blind spot – especially narrowed with their goggles down in position.  In the lead, “Jason the younger” adroitly executed a skillful, short-radius turn sharply left. Seemingly ricocheting off the still, evening air, accelerating throughout, he beckoned all.  Jason, in quest of a splendid mogul field, bellowed, “Come. Follow me down this narrow cross cut.”

John responded instantly, replicating the skilled move of Jason. But the safety-conscious Bill intending to scope the cut hesitated briefly – as any sane skier should. Then, BAM! The rest is history.

hip fracture what is a hip fractureBill dropped on the spot, stressing and straining his MCL close to his patella. The good news is, he has returned to duty following a couple weeks of rest and recovery (R’n’R). John careened into the woods to meet the appointed tree. He fractured his hip in two places and broke his femur. The saving grace is, following complex ORIF surgery with a titanium insertion, John returned home. Returned that is after an additional ten days or so of intense sub-acute rehabilitation.

You can’t keep a good man down! John miraculously reappeared to distribute the customary BSC bronze metals to his Mountain Ranger group at this year’s concluding, Saturday lesson (crutches and all) award ceremony.  John has expressed his intention to join the adaptive program, as a participant to experience and master our club’s mono-ski device which is so marvelously and masterfully deployed by the BSC Adaptive Team.

Pictures Of Crutches - Cliparts.coJohn’s next of kin and all the club look forward to his complete recovery and anticipate his much-appreciated return to full service … ah, next season that is! The predicted, much-shortened season might well serve this good man with a heart of gold and the best of intentions (perhaps not the best judgment). Good grief, John, take a break  (well deserved).

At this moment, the one thing I can say with confidence is, “Only time and the good Lord can tell.”

Come, Ski With Me!

 

Link to more of ’15-16 season’s escapes and reviews: [Southern US] or [Idaho & points west]

return to [home page]

 

Parenting & Skiing

OK, how are the two related, “parenting” and “skiing”? Well, as we’ve advocated so heavily though this entire blog effort: They are a good fit because skiing brings the family together, and it’s fun for all.

  1. They combine fun and learning.
  2. Skiing puts “pleasure” in teaching.
  3. They unite responsibility with excitement.
  4. Basic rules are necessary, values are reinforced, ethics are instilled and morality infuse.
  5. The environment is central, and ecology lessons follow naturally. (Yes, pun intended.)
  6. The main focus, new view,  and level horizon are constantly changing.
  7. We can all go our own way and still meet at the bottom. And it’s really difficult to get lost. Plus the kids have to return to us if they want to eat. (And that is a constant!)
  8. The family that plays together stays together.
  9. Older generations can participate and keep up (to a degree) because we work with gravity and gravity is a constant.
  10. Friends, neighbors and relatives can be included and new relationships made.

OK, generally are nice, but let’s get specific. But, before that, let’s quote of all people, Grover Cleveland, a twice elected President of the U.S. the approaching turn of the earlier century: “The strength, the perpetuity, and the destiny of the nation rest upon our homes, established by the law of God, guarded by parental care, authority, and sanctified by parental love …. The mothers of our land, who rule the nation as they mold the character and guide the actions of their sons, live according to God’s Holy ordinances, and each, secure, and happy in the exclusive love of the father of her children, sheds the warm light of true womanhood, unperverted and unpolluted upon all within her pure and wholesome family circle.

Now, the specifics … (to be continued.)

 

Come, SkiWithMe.

 

[Link to: It’s All About Family post]
[Link to: All in the Family post]

All in the Family

The building block of civilization is the family. Yea, I learned that in Sociology 101. And then I took the “Anthropology of the Family”, an entire semester study good for 3 credit hours toward graduation. That was a “3” or “4” hundred level course of study. (Hey, I gotta brag. I “aced” it!) But now, I’ve transferred what ever I learned to skiing.

As I posted “It’s All About Family” and spoke to planning a ski trip, it hit me how fundamental are the nuclear and extended families. My entire skiing experience, my whole life has been a strengthening of understanding of the role and importance of the family. The mountain experience has taught us many lessons and drawn our family closer.

Now the family is closely akin to the home. And the home has many functions. It is a sanctuary of peace and security. Yet it is also the window and door to the world. It is the nest where children are nurtured and instructed. But it’s the nest from which the eaglets spring to soar into the future. And it is a repository of memories that securely store the bank of memories that shape character and sculpt integrity.

Pretty heavy stuff this “family and home”, huh? Well now, add “friends and compatriots” and then pour in “teachers and coaches”;  then mix and bake.  Next, frost with “mentors and models” and we have the leaders of our culture – who incidentally will carry us through in our old age. This recipe is enough to make instruction meaningful and exciting.  (Oh yea, and then there is “parenting”. But that’s another story; another time.)

Sunday’s :”Green Team” Mountain Rangers Program ’16: Cheering the Gump whose backyard is our playground

When I teach skiing, children are my students in about 9 out of 10 cases. Note that my entire weekends are scheduled intentionally to serve the youth through our club programs. So my instructional schedule is definitely skewed toward the youngsters. But our society is youth centered. Our modern culture is focused on our children. Our club lives and has its being in our kids. If you seek to get a message out, in our times, sent it home through the students.

So there are a couple of things I have developed and regularly deploy in my classes. As a teacher, I feel more than sports is purveyed on the slopes. I like to develop a sense of community belonging and responsibility. So there is a team spirit. We are the “Snow Dogs” in Saturday’s Xtreme Team sessions. And we “Dogs” discuss safety, courtesy, rules, service, obligations, loyalty, and faithfulness over our eight weeks together.  Sunday it’s the  “Green Team” my moniker for my two groups formed out of the BSC Mountain Ranger program. Just a side note here: Our different weekend programs involve over 300 kids in about 200 families. Many of those households are “generational” – they grew up here and wouldn’t consider anywhere else unless they move from the region of Western NY (WNY).

But then we relate all to our family roles both nuclear and extended. So although we come together as a community, we are working our way down to the core unit. Everyone is encouraged to discuss all we have learned with their parents and siblings (if they will listen). there is more than sports. Not only are students assigned to take the day’s lesson to the family, but actually reinforce this request by asking how things went as I ride up the chair with the kids the weeks following. Each day I make a conscious effort to share a trip with each of the students, and expect my apprentices to do the same.

Each day I share the “Quote of the Day”. It’s always an aphorism that speaks not only to our mountain adventures, but can well extend to life in general. My favorite is: “Liberty is not the freedom to do what eve we please, but rather the responsibility to do want we know is right.” That’s commonly my opening day, and you can imagine how we move forward from here. I love the ancient philosophers – Greek, yes – but especially the greatest Middle Eastern sage. And these quotes are to be part of the “take home” to the family members.

Not leaving things solely on the shoulders of my young charges, I love to hang around at the close of each day. It is standard operations and procedure to keep the kids in tow until a parent presents themselves to claim and take their child. Well, what a great opportunity to review the day’s work! Now on each day we can really only effectively connect with two sets of parents. So a class list checked off regularly is the only efficient way to “keep score” and cover all bases.

We have a very low vertical at BSC, so the runs are brief, But this allows me to invite, encourage and press each parent to take a run together at least once during the season. Now I’m done instructing for the day! Enjoy the moment and observe how the family interacts. I always suggest the child lead the way and even “tech what we covered today. WOW! Do we ever learn a lot. And It is so much fun, because it’s not a ski lesson, it’s applying life’s lessons. And this IS living!

Again, after we’re done, the time is up, and the class is over, we offer 1 more run, and this run is a “family run”. It’s optional and voluntary so if my apprentices opt out, so be it. But unless they have pressing commitments, my assistants often enjoy the experience too. And I feel they learn as much as they dole out. But I invite and encourage Mom and Dad, “Come, ski with us”. And it’s all about the kids. Let ‘m show their stuff and teach the parents what they learned.

Now again, all parents can’t take this run every day. But there are 8, sometimes 9 weeks per season. So check off lists help ensure a personal invitation if not even appointment for each and every family.  Lastly, we call on all parents to become involved and help in administering all our ancillary activities: the kids dance, smores at lunch, hotdogs on the hill, our sleepover, club race, carnival and more. We couldn’t do any of this within their help.

So the family is really the most important institution of learning. Yes, all learning is best instilled through degrees of discipline, especially in formal classes, it vital. But the family emphasizes a more effective element. That of love. Now don’t think “eros”. Romantic love was years ago as the nuclear family unit was birthed, We’re referring to “storge”, familial or extended family love, “phila”, brotherly (or community) love , or even “agape” love . “Agape” is a Greek term for the purest love of a perfect god, the highest, selfless concern for the welfare of others.

WOW! And you call this family concern a matter of skiing. Well yes and no. It is starts with the winter sport, but it encompasses life,  and that should be the “life worth living”. And all this is “the good news”. So, let’s spread the word.

Come, SkiWithMe!

 

[Link to: It’s All About Family post]
[Link to: Parenting & Skiing post]

It’s All about “Family”

What I love about skiing is the family aspect. Because of my business and my teaching experience I have always been blessed to ski with my family. And there is no better sport for family activity than the sport of skiing.

OK,  I must declare I’ve got a fantastic wife, who’s been so supportive of our ski escapades. But let’s be realistic, she is the one who does most of the real work involved not only with the ski adventures, but also in rearing the kids and is still amassing points with our eight grand children.

(Now, because we were so supportive of our kids, they are now reciprocating by letting us hang around with them as they now take their kids on the fun-filled ski excursions. Although it’s difficult with all the kids and the grand children together one trip  – what with the career obligations, plus the myriad school and sports commitments – we still  average about three our five households per trip each year.)

The annual  mountain “reunion” has been centered around Kji,  our #2 son whose home is in Denver), thus it’s Summit County Colorado. Of late, we’re now beginning to spread the venue to more distant areas. (Hey, there’s absolutely nothing shabby about the Front Range in Colorado, it’s just that I’m afraid the kids have inherited the wanderer gene that runs in the family DNA.)

So what are the keys to a good family ski excursion? Wow that’s a tough question. The children come first. Slopes that appeal to their ski skills are the #1 consideration. Realize that even the steepest and toughest slopes usually have a green or blue “cat” trail off the top that provides access for groomer.  But DON”T push the kids or your ski partners beyond the comfort levels!

Next, if the kids are somewhat skilled and experienced, good equipment is a major concern. Consider rentals as a viable option. Unless you’re a very experienced skier with your own unique equipment, rentals are likely the best answer, especially with airline luggage fees. And even then, a good rental program will have high-end equipment that allow you to test and work the latest in mountain technology. Swap ‘m out each day and you might find new preferences and favorites.

Lessons with good fun-centered instructors will make the experience. Consider day long group lessons for a day or two to begin with. Drop the kids off early. Don’t be bothered with lunch, and enjoy your time on the mountain!. But always leave an hour each day and a day at the end so the kids can ski with you to show off (and maybe even teach you a thing or two.) Line up lessons and day care ahead of time. The programs often sell out on holidays and weekends.

An instructor can help with more than skiing. They know the slopes and the locale better than most. And then the surface conditions are important yet with todays technology shouldn’t be a worry.

For accommodations, I highly recommend renting condo or even an entire house if there are three households or more. It’s always better together on with ski adventures, and believe it or not, the kids actually behave more (or maybe they’re more fully engaged) in the presence of peers.

Your schedule has to be fully active,  so “close” or” shared”  quarters of the ski lodge is really not a concern. The kids usually take care of each other, and have more fun than the adults. Baby -sitter? One, and split the costs. Or of course, invite the grand parents. You can’t beat the price, and they love it!

If “ski-in; ski-out” is even remotely possible, go for it. Yes, it can run the expenses up initially, but in the long run it’s well worth the extra investment. The convenience will add to the fun and drastically reduce the stress. And there is money to e saved in reduced meals, especially lunches. Most on slope facilities will have more inclusive packages that reduce lift costs. And the need for a rental car is virtually eliminated. Most resorts offer regular free shuttle service to just about every thing and everywhere in the village.

Oh and then there is the weather. Sun and reasonable temperatures are good. We always say, if there is sun, the week will be a memory. Lots of luck on this the weather factor. It’s ultimately a function of “mother nature”  But again there are ways to make it up if nature heaps on the challenges, And that leads us to secondary considerations like ancillary activates and après ski life.

The après scène is important for those family members (usually in-laws) who may not have the same passion for skiing. But food is always good, the beverages are omnipresent and the camaraderie is always par excellence. The difficulty lies in the stamina of the skiers. After a day on the slopes, a soothing hot tub session compounded by age and the ability to remain awake is the only concern. Our family meals are all moments of memories.

One fun thing that has become the tradition or perhaps even the modus operandi is home-cooked meals. Each family takes the responsibility for breakfast and a diner. It’s theirs to set the menu, shop the ingredients and prepare the meal. Breakfasts have produced almost unbelievable variety. And the suppers likewise, but even more fun, The preparers can get so involved, they knock off early from the slopes or even take the day off as a welcome respite.

And then there is the impromptu, unscheduled mid day breaks of after close happy hours. Spontaneity is the key and fun plus memories are the products. New friends even be a bonus, but often the cronyism can preclude the making of new relationships. And then too there might be the designated driver issue. Again, the free shuttles are a bonus!

Now the planning process in probably the most cumbersome, touchy, yet important process. Begin a year in advance. School scheduling in central, but once the dates are set, all other family priority become secondary . Scheduling other events seem to fall before the trip. Low airfares as well as resort specials are significant when booked in advance.

Talk and listen to others. Their experiences are very helpful. Finding a knowledge travel agent can be difficult. But if you find one, listen and rescue! Web sites as well as social media are so valuable. Need I say more? Involve family members by assigning specific tasks . And enjoy the experience. Don’t get hung up on the small stuff, details and minutia- the “nickel ‘n dime stuff. And take lots of pictures. Their value multiplies over time.

Have the time of your life. Make memories. Count your blessings.  And then, redo it annually.

Come. SkiWithMe!

 

 [Link to: All in the Family post] [Link to: Parenting & Skiing post]