Key Industry Professionals In Diving
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional
The Dive Industry Foundation is working on a research project to identify Key Industry Professionals in the diving equipment manufacturing, dive training and dive travel sectors of our diving community. Invitations were sent to Industry Professionals in the manufacturing and training sectors, to identify their National Corporate Executives and Regional Sales Reps. The response was better than expected. So far, 33 companies have responded with their information. Updated lists have already been provided to each participant.
Industry Professionals were asked to identify their company’s General Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Manger and their Regional Sales Reps. The purpose of the project is to identify Key People in the various sectors in order to increase business opportunities for Buyers and Sellers. Knowing the proper people to connect with, prior to a sale will result in more direct referrals, increased sales and less unnecessary emails for both Buyers and Sellers. The Dive Industry Foundation will follow-up with the Industry’s Key Professionals to verify their full contact information and offer our support for direct referrals.
The projects third invitation will now go out to the Travel Industry. We are looking for travel companies to identify their Corporate Owner, General Manager, Marketing Manager and Sales Manager. We are also looking to identify their Reservations Representative and their Regional Sales & Marketing Reps. The Foundation has over 800 Travel Industry Professionals from 900 dive travel companies in its database. Again, the results will be shared with each participant for their unrestricted use.
Identifying the Key Industry People in the equipment, training and travel sectors will help us start a referral program to refer more business to the industry suppliers in these sectors. It is our hope that all providers of diving equipment, training and travel, will realize that they can never make a sufficient number of sales if the final consumer doesn’t know you exist or how to reach you.
The second part of this three-part program will be to identify and validate the Industry Professionals who are our Wholesalers ad Resellers of diving equipment, training and travel. Many times, this group is neglected in the industry’s main chain of distribution, by the Industry Suppliers. Working with wholesalers is a very cost effective way of doing business and reaching a larger percentage of the general population. There are two obstacles to growth that will be addressed in the outcome of this project and should result in increased industry efficiency, economies of scale, more sales and industry growth.
Obstacle #1: In our niche market of the recreational industry, there are too many suppliers of diving equipment, training and travel. Many suppliers don’t advertise, don’t exhibit at trade and consumer dive and travel shows, and don’t have adequate regional sales support. They also don’t have access to the necessary modern marketing tools and technologies necessary to reach and acquire a sufficient number of profitable clients. In the 21st Century business climate, having a website, a facebook page and an email address is not sufficient to run a successful business in this very selective and competitive market.
Obstacle #2: Our Industry Wholesalers and Resellers are very similar to many of their Suppliers. They don’t advertise, they don’t exhibit at their Regional Dive Shows, and they spend way too little time on the business side of diving. Instead of managing a successful business that sells equipment, training and travel, they would rather be the person who is diving, teaching and traveling. Aside from that core fault of not focusing on their business, too many wholesalers fail to assert themselves as the pivotal link between the Providers and Consumers of the industry’s Equipment, Training and Travel. The first step of making the necessary paradigm shift from Vendor Dependency to Leadership, the industry has to get a better hold on identifying the wholesalers in our industry, determine who the Key People in this sector are and showcasing the Best Practices that make the more successful wholesalers successful.
When the second part of our project is complete, we will be ready to begin the third part of our project – identifying and reaching the final consumer of diving equipment, training and travel. But a lot of work has to be accomplished before we reach that point.
If you are a Supplier of Travel (Resort, Liveaboard, Dive Operator, Resort Destination Dive Center, etc) please look for our email invitation in your in-box. If you are in the Wholesale Sector, be ready in a week or two to help us with Part II.
Sincere thanks to all current participants of this project and thank you in advance to the rest of the industry that is willing to help Build a Better Industry.
For more information, Contact Gene Muchanski at firstname.lastname@example.org