• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Keyman for Independents

Discussion in 'Training, Practices and Equipment' started by MikadoWu, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    243
    46
    28
    Why is it so hard for independent DM's and Instructors to get Keyman pricing?

    As a DM, I been working with an instructor for over a year. We generally get all our air and accessories from 1 of 2 shops, which are 40 miles away from each other. We have both tried talking to these shops about getting Keyman pricing on some new gear, and both denied. I have reached out to some other random shops, and they just side step the conversation.

    This has led my instructor to look into purchasing is own compressor, and recommending students to online gear vendors.

    I do not understand the thought process, of these shops. Anyone understand this?
     
  2. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    2,130
    1,189
    113
    First, there may be different understanding of what "keyman" means.
    I think of it as a price that is below dealer cost, provided by the manufacturer according to various rules determined by the individual vendor. Some will provide keyman on almost anything, some will provide it only once a year for a limited number of people, some will base it off an annual allowance calculated off of annual shop purchases. And I probably only scratched the surface of all the possible variations. (I suspect that it also reduces the sales rep's commissions, so if they are the approver that can also be a speed bump.)

    So sometimes keyman pricing may be a very limited commodity, and is already "consumed" by existing store staff.
    In this industry, sometimes we are our own best customers. So aside from possibly a standard professional discount such as 10%, I would expect a shop to be looking for a specific mutually beneficial relationship that drives business directly to them, rather than just hoping that providing a deep discount for another competing business winds up helping them out.
     
    oly5050user likes this.
  3. mmerriman

    mmerriman Captain

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Boston MA
    698
    204
    43
    keyman pricing is from the manufacturer. Go directly to them and give them your stats (level, insurance, and most importantly your student counts). They want your students to see you in their gear so they'll buy it. You're not going to get significant discounts from an LDS since you state you frequent more than one, and therefore the owner can't be sure you'll point a prospective buyer to his shop.
     
    Sam Miller III likes this.
  4. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    3,934
    739
    113
    Look at this from LDS point of view. Why should LDS offer their possible competition a discount or assistance ? What is there in it for them? What can you do that benefits them? Something like this needs to be mutually beneficial. LDS has a large investment in their business, you want key man pricing, open a LDS , invest what it cost to open, depending on your geographic area startup cost can be as low as $75,000 to more than $250,000+. Doing this to save a couple of hundred $ makes no sense. Going direct to manufacture not likely to work as it probably violates dealer agreements by not going thru LDS . As to purchasing your own compressor, be aware of initial and ongoing costs involved . We have a few independents use our in house pool for classes. We require their students to purchase mask, snorkel, fins, boots from LDS and in exchange instructor has use of classroom, pool, tanks,weights, BCD, regulators for confined water use. Students do not purchase this gear,then there is cost to be paid by instructor to use pool. Not sure what that cost is, as I am not the owner, but I would estimate $100 per student.
     
    JackD342 likes this.
  5. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    2,130
    1,189
    113
    Yep. @MikadoWu I am curious what your approach was. Just asking for a discount, or bringing forward a specific proposal that benefits both?
    Keyman pricing is generally intended as a sales stimulus offered to influencers, it is not an earned reward, recognition, benefit, or a right.
     
    oly5050user likes this.
  6. Scott

    Scott Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    2,385
    729
    113
    Many times keyman is below dealer cost as an added incentive to the dealer and staff to become billboards. Instead of talking with the shop(s) about keyman pricing, why not discuss professional discounts? Start at maybe 25% and as you bring more business you receive a steeper discount. Then maybe talk keyman after you bring in $50k of business
     
    oly5050user likes this.
  7. MikadoWu

    MikadoWu Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida
    243
    46
    28
    Thank you all for your information. I agree with a little of what was said above, and some of the $ mentioned is outrageous.

    We really are not a huge threat to these LDS's market, for reasons to long to type and the Florida market itself is Way different then up north.

    The Marketing point of Students will buy what the instructor wears, neither shops sells (but can order, reluctantly) what I wear. I have offered to switch out for a deal, to help promote the gear they sell among other ideas. What's in it for me to change out of my gear...…..

    Myself as a business man, fearing competition, is silly. If you are loosing, your business model needs to be adjusted. I learned this with my first business which I had to close after 9/11, but life since has been so much better.
    I had reached out to a Manufacture yesterday, and was approved today to be a reseller. I am really unsure if I want to take this step, but it demonstrated that my city is outside these LDS's range.

    And....estimate $100 per student, to use the pool, what highway robbery. We pay $5 per student, per day, use of an Olympic size dive pool, 3 cities away.

    Back to Diving....
     
  8. oly5050user

    oly5050user Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Westchester NY
    3,934
    739
    113
    What I wrote is if students purchase mask, snorkel, fins,boots then the instructor pays ZERO for the pool complete with tanks,BCD, regulators, weights, and fully equipped classroom , and parking in our parking lot. That is for entire length of course(if PADI that is 5 modules) If they do not purchase then it is $100 per student that did not purchase gear. Try getting pool time in NYC or Westchester NY at a college or health club or ymca/ywca if you can get it. Can be more than $600 to $1,000 conduct course and you will need to supply and transport all gear to and from location . Reach out to manufacturer, if it works for you, can be a good thing. The major manufacturers such as Atomic, Scubapro, Aqualung, etc all require a storefront, established business hours, compressor,tech certified to do repairs,certain purchase levels,perhaps additional insurance coverage for said repairs and gear rentals if gear is rented out to students.
     
  9. Superlyte27

    Superlyte27 Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Florida
    3,614
    2,609
    113
    We’ve tried to help independent instructors half a dozen times. Even got them a full sets of rental gear for their classes at cost. It never works out. Ultimately, we build in our own competition and never have anything to show for it. Not to be a jerk, but what’s in it for us? We have 100k in stock, tens of thousands on rent, thousands in electric, etc, etc, etc. You want the pricing we get, buy a shop.

    I believe there should be some professional courtesy, but that’s not going to get you keyman unless you’re selling dive gear out of my store for me.
     
    mmerriman and oly5050user like this.

Share This Page