There have been times when I’ve received a call from the father of a family or four or more who wants to book a charter for the entire family but is working from a limited budget. Scheduling a second boat and captain to handle the extra customers had been a challenge for my operation. Sometimes, the second boat simply isn’t feasible or it may not be worth the extra “sweet talking” to bring in that second captain.
If you recall from our overflow business model there is money to be made here and is well worth the effort but certain families just won’t be able to afford to charter two boats. So, I could only accommodate three anglers at a time. What to do?
The beauty of my Charter Fishing business model is that many of my clients are simply looking to experience something that they cannot experience at home – and catching a trophy species isn’t a top priority. However, providing a good time on the water for their children IS A PRIORITY for the mother and father.
With this in mind, I created the “Split Family” trip and here’s how it works:
Simply advise the parents that you will be taking one parent and two kids out at a time. You take the full-day trip and split if into four-hour (half day) sessions. This way, everyone gets to fish and is not a budget breaker. This is an absolute win-win for everyone.
With the Split Family Trip, the family avoids the cost of chartering multiple boats and captains, which would be likely double what they were looking to spend. Instead, they spend about 20% and the entire family gets to have a great time on the water with the same captain – YOU.
You benefit by keeping the customer with you the entire day plus you’re now booked for the full day (always push for full day trips). You also rid yourself of the challenges of lining up another boat and captain. Everything stays under your control.
Work with the parents to arrive at the best way to schedule the trip. For example, you can have the father and 2 kids fish from 8am-12am. Then, the mother and other two can take the next trip from 1pm-4pm. You can even spice things up and create an inter-family tournament with teams and a leader board, with the winning team being crowned at the end of the day. Make sure that you post the winning team’s photo on your website. If all goes well, the family will want to fish with you next year to see whether the winning team can defend its title! Just wait until the children go back home and share the link to the “Catch Of The Month” with all their friends and family.
The Split Family Trip may not always be an easy sell and it doesn’t work for every captain. If your fishing is rather close to the dock, you can easily head back in and pick up the second group. If you are super close to a pickup area, then you can even offer a half day trip where the parties are split into two hours each.
Make sure to hit on the following selling points when on the phone with a potential Split Family Trip customer:
- Save money by not hiring 2 captains.
- We only accommodate 3 people so that the boat isn’t over-crowded and everyone can fish.
- The trips are much more active with 3 people.
- Bigger boats can’t offer the same type of fishing we do, otherwise we would have one.
- Instruction is far more personal with the smaller group.
- Everyone gets to fish.
Remember, as a fishing guide you are your best salesman. Be sure to include reasons from the “Use This, It Works” sheet explaining why customers should book with you and not the competition.