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Learn vs Try: Maybe Our “Grow Skiing” Initiatives Have Been Missing the Biggest Step

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It’s an important word. One our industry has relied on to fuel growth for quite some time now. After all, unless people learn, how can they become the valuable life-longers necessary to our success?

But hidden in that word is something that may prevent thousands of people from joining our ranks.

This gap is encapsulated in one word: try.

Learn, Learn, Learn
Learning to do something carries a very important implication. It implies a desired ability.

And, of course, that has two parts. The desire to do something and an understanding of the value of being able to do it. It implies that someone has already been inspired or sold on the skill and now just need to get from Point A to Point B.

An example might be that if I want to do what I just saw Lindsey Vonn do, I must learn how to ski. But what about people who have no interest in racing. Or have no exposure to skiing aside from knowing what it is?

A Step Ahead
In the context of our efforts to grow skiing, I wonder if we’ve been jumping the gun.

We’ve been talking to non-skiers in a way that only makes sense to people that already have a desire to learn to ski. We’ve been talking to people that already understand the benefits of skiing a somewhat proficient level.

In effect, what this means is that for years we’ve been telling people to “learn to ski” under the assumption that they are already sold on skiing.

Try, Try, Try
Perhaps we need a different approach. An approach that expands “learn to” and adds a supporting, preceeding step of “try”. Maybe our motto shouldn’t be “learn to ski” but rather assume people may not be sold on the value of it and capitalize on their fleeting interest with “give skiing a try.”

When you pass a free sample table at the grocery store you have no interest in buying that product. But, after that sensation hits your tongue, you’re intrigued enough to consider it. These free sample tables exist because enough people who try end up buying.

Likewise, instead of working under the assumption that people both understand and desire to make turns, we start one step earlier and create simple ways for them to try. Then maybe, like a free sample at the grocery store, we could turn more disinterested passers-by into intrigued potential customers.

  • AK

    Elegance in simplicity. Great post Gregg.

    Try it. You might like it. (inviting)

    Learn it. You might be able to do it. (intimidating)

    • Thanks, Alex. And well said on the inviting/intimidating response.

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