Pro-Level Customer Acquisition

Back to basics for better business

By John Kinsella

Ross Neill has trained a PADI® Pro or two. He’s a five time Platinum Course Director, a 300 Level Elite Instructor has more than 20 years experience teaching divers. (Check out The Bearer of Dreams blog on for some fascinating insights into his career.) He’s also now a Regional Training Consultant at PADI Americas covering the Southern California and Central Pacific regions. When he talks about the business of instructor development, it’s a good idea to pay attention.

Neill is open with his advice. He likes to “dive it forward” and has no qualms sharing his top tricks and techniques. When he speaks about pro-level customer acquisition, his peers perch on tiptoe and lean in; a bit like a group of investors eavesdropping on Warren Buffet. Everyone’s expecting something big, a game changer, a life altering revelation.

What they get, at least what the dive pros get, is a reminder of the basics. If you want more divemaster and instructor candidates the key is customer service.

Start with superior phone etiquette. You’d think that something as simple as answering the phone should be a given. Surprisingly, it’s not, and there is nothing more certain to annoy people than getting the run around when they call your dive shop. The ideal is a prompt, professional and personable pick up. If that’s not possible and a caller has to leave a voice message, it’s absolutely imperative that you respond within three or four hours; immediately is better. If you don’t, rest assured that your potential customer is now doing business with someone else. The same principle applies to email or any other form of contact, respond quickly, ask for a phone number and make the call.

Go Pro

Once you have future PADI Pros on the line make sure that they get the information they need. All staff, everyone, should be trained to sell pro-level courses. One of the best ways to do this is to create a pitch book and/or a frequently asked questions sheet that staff can use face to face or over the phone. Every person working in the store should be equipped to answer questions about the complete line-up of pro-level programs, overcome objections and find out precisely what the customer wants.

Finally, get a comprehensive information package into your potential customers’ hands (There’s a plethora of professional promotional publications you can use, add to and customize available on the PADI Pros’ Site and you’ll find PADI Regional Headquarters happy to help too.) and follow up once they’ve had some time (not too long) to review it with, you guessed it, a phone call.



Get Going with the EVE Complete System

In the previous two PADI® Surface Intervals, you learned about the EVE Complete System and why you need the system. Now let’s look at the support you receive to get the EVE Complete System up and running.


Whether you’re just starting with the EVE Complete System or upgrading any part of it, the process is simple. You’ll be guided through each step, so you can maximize your use of the system. Personalized help and demonstrations show you how to get going with each component, including the following:


  • Creating or updating your database
  • Training on setup and configuration, ready for in-store and online application

EVE Agent

  • Importing the more than 100 new marketing assets and campaign tools
  • Importing the more than 100 new email and newsletter templates available for simple customization and ready for you to send to your divers
  • Training about how to edit, customize and add to these campaigns and emails

EVE Website

  • Creating your initial template design
  • Populating your website with more than 120 pages, including information on every PADI program
  • Webinars where you’re guided through how to further enhance and modify your website by the simple use of your own content management system

EVE OnLine store

  • Creating and setting up your online store
  • Linking your online store to your website and to your EVE database for seamless, synchronized information, pricing and scheduling
  • Providing more than 10,000 library images for you to use
  • Training on how to manage, organize and populate your online store

EVE Data Hosting

  • Setting up your unique access to the online servers
  • Managing your backups and data protection
  • Tying all aspects of the EVE Complete System together

Additional EVE support and training

  • Providing a comprehensive Help Manual
  • Providing clear “how to” information in the User Guide
  • Maintaining and developing a Video Library of tech tips and FAQs for all areas
  • Being on hand to answer your questions via the Community, FAQs, Blogs and the Contact Form areas of the

Get the EVE Complete System to enhance your store’s approach to business, marketing and sales. Plus, take advantage of EVE Business Consulting, which is based on more than 100 cumulative years of experience in the dive industry. Act now by going to to find out more or contact to see how you can use the EVE Complete System to upgrade your dive business today.

Listen To Your Ears

Written by DAN Staff

In the first metre/three feet of a descent, your ears experience 10 percent greater pressure than they did at the surface. At two metres/six feet that percentage doubles, and at three metres/10 feet, there’s enough pressure differential to rupture ear drums, or burst blood vessels and draw fluid and blood into the inner ear.


Despite the fact that most ear injuries can be prevented, many divers seem to equalize their ears almost as an afterthought. Injury statistics show that ear issues are one of the leading causes of dive injuries. You can help reduce you student divers’ risk of an ear injury by firmly establishing the importance of equalization early in their training and continually reinforcing the need to equalize before any discomfort occurs.

Ear injuries can occur quickly, so take a moment to brush up on your ear injury knowledge to help improve your divers’ safety and comfort.

Middle Ear Barotrauma

A middle-ear barotrauma is a condition in which pressure in the tympanic cavity (air-filled space in the middle ear) is significantly lower than the pressure outside the ear. This results in a relative vacuum that causes the eardrum to bulge inward, ear tissue swells, and fluid and blood from ruptured vessels leak into the tympanic cavity. This can be caused by a failure to equalize or Eustachian tube obstruction on descent. Divers with middle ear barotrauma will generally report initial discomfort that may intensify to severe pain, and the feeling of clogged, or stuffy ears.

Perforated Eardrum

A rupture of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) is generally the result of a failure to equalize the middle ear, or too forceful a Valsalva maneuver. The condition often causes pain, although the rupture may relieve the feeling pressure on the ear, and vertigo may follow. Most perforations will heal naturally within a few weeks, although some cases may require surgical repair. Factors like congestion, inadequate training, and excessive descent rates can increase a diver’s risk of eardrum perforation.


Inner Ear Barotrauma

Similar to eardrum perforation, inner-ear barotrauma can be caused by a failure to equalize or an inappropriately aggressive Valsalva maneuver. A significant pressure differential between the external and middle ear can cause an outward bulging of the ear’s round window. This can cause inner ear injuries without a rupture. If the round window ruptures, the loss of fluid in the inner ear can damage the balance and hearing organs, and surgical repair may be required. Divers with inner ear barotrauma often experience severe vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (persistent noise in the ears), a feeling of fullness in their ear, and involuntary eye movements known as nystagmus.

Facial Baroparesis

In some individuals, increased pressure in the middle ear can stop circulation to a facial nerve resulting in facial baroparesis – paralysis of the facial nerve. This reversible condition can happen while flying or diving, and symptoms usually include numbness, tingling, weakness and facial paralysis. Facial droop can sometimes be seen and can cause concern, but facial baroparesis often resolves spontaneously. Divers who exhibit symptoms of facial baroparesis should seek medical attention to rule out other serious conditions.

For more information on ear injuries and safe diving practices, visit

How Good is Your Emergency Action Plan?

Article written by DAN staff

In the middle of an emergency is not the time to think about how you’ll respond or whether your emergency action plan (EAP) is up to snuff. An effective EAP can be a powerful tool when an emergency arises.

Breathing Check

As a busy dive professional, you have to keep track of students and their individual needs, prepare for and organize training logistics, evaluate water conditions, etc. Adding the burden of responding to an emergency is task loading, but with an entire class of students in the water you need to make sure your emergency response plan is mentally and physically engrained. Knowing the dive site and having the appropriate equipment to deal with the emergency are necessary steps in setting you up for success. When was the last time you stepped back and considered the logistics of managing a real emergency?

DAN_EAPflowCommit Your Plan to Memory

Having a plan on paper is great, but you also need to know your plan and be ready to act on it under pressure. Use DAN’s EAP guideline to create your plan and practice it until it becomes an automatic response. By the time you identify the need to deal with an injured diver, you don’t have to think about your response – your EAP training should automate your response to evaluate the situation and continue down the planned steps.

Manage the Scene

Once an emergency occurs and you respond, it’s vital to your safety and the safety of the injured diver that you effectively manage the scene. Be aware of bystanders, boat or car traffic, or anyone who may be interfering with your response. Emergency response requires firm but respectful commands. Control the crowd and have a perimeter created around the injured diver so you have a safe space in which to provide care and prevent further harm to everyone involved. Use direct orders to get specific bystanders to contact emergency services, block traffic or help you move the patient. Talking to a crowd rather than an individual is confusing. Task specific people in order to get an effective response.

Communication and Logistics

Effective communications between all parties involved in an emergency can decrease stress and improve patient outcomes. Improving your communication with emergency medical personnel can increase the effectiveness and speed of their response, and help relay valuable patient information to the receiving physician. Whether you supply handheld radios to your staff, carry a satellite phone on a remote expedition, or have a fluent native speaker relay information to healthcare personnel to avoid translation issues, make sure that your communication is short, gets directly to the point and is as clear as possible.

For more information on EAPs and safe diving practices, visit



2017 PADI Marketing Tool Kit is Now Available

PADI® Americas is sending out announcements from now through 15 June with instructions about how to custom order your free annual tool kit. In the kit you’ll find new, innovative and effective marketing collateral to help recruit new divers, keep current divers diving and encourage active divers to go pro.

Marketing kits can be mailed to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts operating in the 50 US States and Territories. If your dive center or resort is outside of these areas or currently uses a PO Box or FPO/APO address for mail services, please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant to request the materials.

Click the link below to learn how you can use the kit to drive more divers through your dive shop doors.


Why You Need the EVE Complete System

In last month’s Surface Interval™, you learned about EVE Complete System components and how EVE has revolutionized the way a dive center operates, is managed and communicates with customers. Now let’s look at an example of how EVE can help you guide the journey of a potential new diver.


The customer contacts you – whether via email, your website, social media, telephone or a physical store visit – and you enter the customer’s details into EVE as an enquiry.

EVE Agent then sends that potential diver automated emails based on the new diver marketing criteria you’ve set up. Each email contains new content and fresh imagery designed to drive the customer to your website or to the click the “Buy Now” link.

If your website was create using EVE Website, the customer will see information pulled automatically from your EVE in-store system to your EVE Online Store, including:

  • Expanded information about the PADI® Open Water Diver course
  • Your upcoming course dates
  • Your course price
  • Buy Now links and options
  • Related products – perhaps a Discover Scuba® Diving experience or a mask, fins and snorkel package

Receiving consistent and regular messages, the customer is far more likely to act on the Buy Now message and sign up for the course.

After the customer enrolls in the course, another set of regular email messages can go out including:

  • “Course starting soon”
  • “Course starts tomorrow”
  • “Now that you’ve started your course…”
  • “It’s time for your open water dives”

These organized and automated emails can be a combination of practical information, chances to purchase equipment or messages that sow the seeds of continuing education. And, that’s only the start of the marketing cycle. When the course is completed, you can continue to promote the next steps to the diver, such as:

  • Travel
  • Continuing Education
  • Equipment

Because you set up all the marketing steps, the only manual effort in this scenario would have been entering the enquiry into EVE. The rest of the actions are automatic. This cycle applies to every diver for every course you offer, which is why the EVE Complete System is so beneficial to any dive business.

Act now and go to to find out more, or contact to learn how you can use the EVE Complete System to upgrade your dive business today.

PADI Business Academy Next Stop: PADI Americas

padibusinessLooking for the chance to visit PADI® Americas Regional Headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California?

Come join PADI staff for the next PADI Business Academy (PBA), scheduled 3-4 May 2017, just days before the annual Scuba Show in Long Beach, California. Whether you are a PADI Dive Center or Resort owner, manager or employee, or an individual PADI Member, the new PBA will provide you with the motivation and knowledge needed to grow your operation.

Day Month Location
03-04 May Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA – at PADI Americas

For more information or to register, log in to the PADI Pros’ Site today.

PADI Events Calendar

Register to attend the PADI® events located near you.


Day(s) Month Event Location Registration Link
10-14 October PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Puerto Rico Register Now
13-15 October PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Atlanta, Georgia, USA Register Now
13-15 October PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Tempe, Arizona, USA Register Now
27-29 October PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA Register Now
27-29 October PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Cranford, New Jersey, USA Register Now
5-7 January 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Glenview, Illinois, USA Register Now
6-9 February 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA Register Now
1-3 March 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA Register Now
2-4 March 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Cape Coral, Florida, USA Register Now
23-25 March 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Eugene, Oregon, USA Register Now
23-25 March 2018 PADI Swim School Instructor Trainer Development Course (ITDC) Glenview, Illinois, USA Register Now

2017-18 Insurance Renewal Information

Information about PADI-endorsed professional liability, store general liability and property insurance renewal for the 30 June 2017 to 30 June 30 2018 policy period is now available.

You can look forward to the dive industry’s most competitive prices, best coverage and excellent customer service provided by the most stable, longest-running dive insurance program. The excellent safety performance of PADI® Members and PADI educational programs, along with PADI’s nearly 33-year relationship with broker Vicencia and Buckley (a division of HUB International), make the continuation of this important member benefit possible.

Especially notable for 2017-18, you’ll find:

  • The price – compare for yourself
  • Unlimited defense costs, over and above policy limits
  • No reduced ratios for introductory scuba
  • Freediver, Tec, and swim instruction/supervision coverage provided at no additional charge
  • Coverage from the dive industry’s only A++ XV rated US insurance company

Look for full information and applications on the PADI Pros’ Site.

Note: This is just a general description of the policies. Coverage will be determined by the actual policy language.

Reserve Your Room Now for DEMA Show 2017


Do you already know that you’re headed to Orlando, Florida, USA, this year for the DEMA Show 2017?

Be one of the first to book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel, located just steps away from the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center. Call PADI Travel Network to secure the special room rate of $189 US per night (plus tax) and you’ll receive complimentary parking, internet and access to the hotel’s fitness center.

PADI® programs such as Course Director Update, Emergency First Response® Instructor Trainer, and the PADI Social will take place in the Rosen Centre Hotel, so you’ll be staying in the center of the action.

Email PADI Travel Network, or call (800) 736 7021 (US and Canada) or +1 (949) 858 7234, ext. 2539, to reserve your room today.

*Rates subject to change without notice.