How to Host a Scuba Ladies Night

Sell More Gear and Classes

Written by Megan Denny

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Around the globe, hundreds of PADI® Dive Centers and Resorts are planning events to celebrate PADI Women’s Dive Day. If you’re not the tu-tu type or just haven’t had time to plan something, read on for a turnkey event idea based on the $1.2 million US success of PADI Pro Nights.

If you’ve ever hosted a PADI Pro Night, you know it’s a great way to sell gear and fill your class pipeline months in advance. Some dive centers have used the Pro Night framework to promote travel and fill their exotic trips. Women are the decision makers for 85 percent of household purchases and have $125 billion US annual spending power (source: Forbes). So, why not host a special event, built on the Pro Night framework, to promote scuba diving to women and their families?

In lieu of the presentation about becoming a PADI Pro, have female instructors or active female divers talk about why they love diving. Show off the gear you carry that’s specific to women, and consider scheduling an all-female PADI Open Water Diver class. Create opportunities for women to ask questions, get to know your staff, and feel welcome at your shop.

Create an event for and about women

Ask your female staff and active divers for event suggestions. Are ladies in your area more into an evening wine tasting, or would they prefer a cookout where their kids can play and run around? Call your event a Ladies Night, Gathering of the Goddesses or Mermaid Meetup (be creative), and schedule it on PADI Women’s Dive Day, 15 July, or not.

The important thing is to make the event for and about women. Line up female staff or dive club members to share why scuba plays an important role in their lives. Challenge current customers to attend and bring a female friend who could use a little more fun and adventure in her life.

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Promote the event

  • Visit the PADI Pros’ Site Women in Diving page to download customizable PADI Women’s Dive Day marketing materials.
  • Create an event invite and include photos of female divers, staff or members of your dive club.
  • When posting to social media, invite current customers to tag a female friend who has mermaid potential.
  • Email female customers you haven’t seen in awhile and invite them to attend the event and sign up for ReActivate®.
  • Promote the equipment you carry for female divers on your Facebook page or Instagram account and invite female staff to comment.
  • Preview your one-night-only training/travel/gear packages via email and social media.
  • Use #PADIWomen and #PADIWomensDiveDay to promote your event on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Register your event on the PADI Women’s Dive Day Event Locator at com/women-dive.

Prepare for the event

  • Display gear, apparel and other items that appeal to female divers.
  • If needed, rearrange the store to make it more stroller and child-friendly.
  • Consider arranging for childcare or someone to keep little ones entertained.
  • Schedule three or four female staff or dive club members to be guest speakers.
  • Create special training, travel and/or gear packages.

Create exclusive packages

  • Offer deals on multiple sets of gear or certifications for multiple family members.
  • Feature upcoming trips that are family-friendly.
  • Offer incentives for current customers to convince a friend to sign up.

USA TourThe key to selling packages at an event is one-night-only specials. Savvy dive centers know when a customers says, “I’ll think about it and call you tomorrow” it’s akin to no sale.

Another tip: include PADI eLearning® in your training packages. Working women and those with family commitments will appreciate this flexible, go-at-your-own-pace option.

At the event

  • Interview female staff or dive club members. Ask them how they became a diver, to share their best diving story and what scuba diving means to them.
  • Set out a box where people can submit questions anonymously.
  • Pass out small mementos that the guests will see the next day and smile.
  • Take photos and encourage PADI Women’s Dive Day participants to tag their photos with #PADIWomen for a chance to be featured on PADI’s social channels.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the free tools and templates to promote your Women’s Dive Day/Night event. For additional event inspiration, check out our 2017 Women’s Dive Day event spotlight and to learn more about Women’s Dive Day, visit the Women’s Dive Day page on padi.com.

Have You Renewed Your PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance?

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Stay protected with PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance by renewing your coverage today. PADI-endorsed policies run from 30 June 2017 until 30 June 2018, so if you haven’t renewed yet, you may not be covered. Here are a few reasons why you should choose the PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance program.

  • The industry’s only A++ XV rated US Insurance Company – A++ XV is the highest rating possible.
  • Group Professional Liability with Prior Acts Coverage – This plan provides professional liability insurance to your pro staff (PADI® Professional Members, plus 25 percent of the store’s total insureds may be pros from other agencies) and the store for one low price. Other insurance policies do not cover “prior acts” for unknown and unreported incidents. PADI-endorsed prior acts coverage dates back to 30 June 1992, if there is no gap in coverage with any insurer.
  • Contingent Professional Liability – This exclusive coverage is designed to defend your business if sued as a result of an inwater incident when a professional’s insurance is not valid. The PADI-endorsed policy is the only policy in the industry that includes this coverage to defend your business, owners, officers and directors.
  • Waived Co-Insurance Requirement – A co-insurance requirement means that you must insure a certain percentage (such as 80-90 percent) of the value of your property, or face a reduction in payments should you have a loss. The PADI-endorsed property insurance has no such restriction allowing you to make your own decisions, unlike other policies available today.
  • Unlimited Defense Costs – With the PADI-endorsed policy there are no limits to the amount of money the insurance company will pay to defend you. Other policy defense costs come out of the total policy limits, reducing the amount available to pay for judgments or settlements. Stay protected with exclusive unlimited defense cost coverage.
  • Broadened Tenants Liability – The PADI-endorsed policy includes coverage for damage to your landlord’s building for fire, smoke, water and explosion. Other policies only include coverage for fire damage. Without this expanded coverage you may be liable for the landlord’s property damage for losses other than fire.

Stay protected and profitable with PADI-endorsed Dive Center and Resort Insurance

PADI Programs at the 2017 DEMA Show

DEMA16_banner02_600x200Course Director Update

Tuesday, 31 October – 7:00am – 12:00pm
Room: Rosen Centre Hotel Grand Ballroom A, B, C

IDC Staff Instructor Update

Friday, 3 November – 7:00am – 12:00pm
Room: Orange County Convention Center – S330 A, B, C, D

This year’s Course Director and IDC Staff Instructor Updates center on the highly anticipated revision of the Instructor Development Course (IDC). Get a sneak peek at some of the IDC components in development including the “Think Like an Instructor” concept and the enhanced knowledge development, confined water and open water evaluation criteria.

The update will feature breakout sessions to cultivate interaction and engagement with colleagues and PADI® staff.

Renewed, Teaching status Course Directors and renewed, Teaching status IDC Staff Instructors qualify to attend the half-day program. Topics include:

  • What’s New: IDC Revision – a preview of this PADI flagship program
  • Evaluation Training Workshop and the New Evaluation Criteria
  • Risk Management in Instructor Development

At the Course Director Update, don’t miss the PADI Frequent Trainer Program award ceremony recognizing PADI Platinum Course Directors.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), or +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

Emergency First Response® Instructor Trainer

Thursday, 2 November – 8:00am – 1:00pm
Room: Rosen Centre Hotel Salon 7/8

EFR_CPR_Chest_Compress_Mannequin.tifThis half-day program is open to Emergency First Response Instructors who have completed the preparatory online component and conducted at least five Emergency First Response courses or issued at least 25 Emergency First Response course completion cards. This program includes access to online presentations, an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer Manual (digital version), Emergency First Response Instructor Course Lesson Guides, Emergency First Response Instructor Course exam booklet and the Instructor Trainer application fee. Please bring a current or updated Emergency First Response Instructor Manual.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

PADI Business Academy: Mastering Online Advertising

Saturday, 4 November – 8:00am – 12:00pm
Room: Rosen Centre Hotel Salon 5/6

A step-by-step interactive guide to implementing the latest online ad trends

Learn how to tackle and master the most important online advertising trends during this hands-on workshop. Stay ahead of the curve by learning how to use online advertising to acquire new divers and keep your existing ones coming back.

What will you learn to implement?

  • Facebook ads, including custom and look-alike audiences
  • Instagram ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Google display ads
  • Google call-only ads

Note: CDTC applicants can earn three seminar credits by attending this workshop.

To register for the program, contact Lisa Joralemon at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), or +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2552.

New PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Programs Orientation

Wednesday, 1 November – 8:00am – 12:00pm
Location: Orlando YMCA

This half-day program introduces the new PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program to PADI Instructors and PADI Course Directors. If you want to learn techniques and effective approaches for teaching and supervising divers of varying abilities and physical challenges, this program is for you. Many of the concepts discussed apply to all diver training, but this focused practice will also raise your awareness and strengthen your student-centered teaching ability. Completion of this orientation results in certification as a PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program Instructor (or Instructor Trainer if you’re a PADI Course Director), once additional experience is documented. The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Program qualifies you to teach two courses: PADI Adaptive Teaching Techniques Specialty course to dive leaders, and the PADI Adaptive Support Diver Specialty course to divers.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

Basic Freediver Course

Saturday, 4 November – 8:00am-12:00pm
Location: Orlando YMCA

Have you tried the PADI FreediverTM program yet? You can learn more about it, give freediving a try and get started on the PADI Basic Freediver course rating in just a few hours while at 2017 DEMA Show.

Freediver_poolThis half-day event covers the knowledge development and confined water portions of the PADI Freediver course, and successful completion result in certification as a PADI Basic Freediver. Complete the two remaining open water sessions to become certified as a PADI Freediver at a later date.

The program costs $199 US and registration incudes the PADI Freediver TouchTM, confined water session and certification as a PADI Basic Freediver. Please register no later than Monday, 16 October, to receive the Touch code to complete independent study in time for the confined water session on Saturday, 4 November.

You don’t need special freediving equipment to participate – just bring your regular fins, mask and snorkel. It’s a great, fun way to learn by doing. Find out why so many PADI Pros are jumping into PADI Freediving.

To register for the program, contact Yvonne Lara at 800 729 7234 (US and Canada only), or +1 949 858 7234, ext. 2296.

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Women’s Health in Diving

Written by DAN staff

DFD_WomenDiversWith PADI® Women’s Dive Day coming up on 15 July, this is an excellent time to review a few issues unique to female scuba divers. The issues that pertain to women’s health and safety in the water aren’t broadly publicized. Refresh yourself on some of the most common gender-specific questions student divers may ask and do your part to better educate the dive community.

Oral Contraceptives

While there has been no evidence found that the use of oral contraceptives increases a diver’s risk of DCS, it may slightly elevate the risk of clotting conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Research indicates that use of an oral contraceptive pill (OCP) can increase the risk of events like a pulmonary embolism, heart attack or stroke. That risk is further increased by a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. While these events may be somewhat manageable on dry land, they can cause serious issues in the water. OCP use is generally accepted as safe for divers, but it’s recommend that student divers exercise regularly and not smoke to reduce their risk of clotting conditions that could cause injuries during a dive.

Diving After Pregnancy

Recommendations for returning to diving after childbirth vary based on the type of delivery. After a typical delivery without complications, a woman can generally resume diving in about 21 days. This allows time for the cervix to close and limits the risk of infection. Uncomplicated Cesarean sections generally require eight to 12 weeks of recovery before diving to limit infection risk. If a woman is put on bed rest due to complications of the pregnancy, it is prudent to refrain from diving for more than 12 weeks because of the loss of strength and aerobic capacity. Following a miscarriage, a woman can return to diving as soon as a physician releases her for full and unrestricted activity.

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Osteoporosis

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women receive a bone density test if they have broken a bone after age 50, are menopausal or postmenopausal with risk factors, or are older than age 65. The recommendations include a significant portion of both divers and potential divers, and the condition should not be overlooked. Osteoporosis is not a contraindication for diving, but women who have the condition or severe bone loss should consider donning equipment in the water and adapting their diving to reduce the risk of fractures and falls. Good precautions for divers who may have compromised bone health include avoiding wearing heavy dive gear out of the water, carrying cylinders on land, or undertaking hazardous shore entries.

Breast Implants

Once sufficient time has passed after a breast augmentation or reconstructive surgery, a diver may resume diving without increased risk. Divers with implants may experience minor buoyancy and trim changes following their surgery, and should avoid constrictive chest straps that may increase the likelihood of implant rupture, but otherwise have no reason to be concerned. Breast implants do not pose a problem to diving from the standpoint of gas absorption and do not represent a contraindication to diving.

For more information on women’s health and diving visit DAN.org/Health

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Pro-Level Continuing Education

Written by John Kinsella

It’s at the very heart of the PADI® System and instinctively you know it’s important. You make a point of letting all the divers you work with know about continuing education: Open Water Diver is just the beginning, Advanced Open Water Diver is not for advanced divers, it’s to advance divers, Rescue Diver is the obvious next step and so on. Promoting diver level continuing education is second nature for dive pros. But do you practice what you preach? Professional-level continuing education is, if anything, even more important. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Continuing education benefits both dive businesses and dive pros. Businesses thrive on highly skilled, specialized and cross functional staff who have the skills to perform a variety of duties and teach a broad range of courses. Dive pros with those skills position themselves well for promotions and equip themselves to compete effectively in the job market. Simply put, they’ll get better jobs and their employer will have a more valuable employees.PADIDiveShop_0513_0204
  2. Perhaps an even greater benefit for dive professionals is that continuing education encourages finding and using the best tools and techniques available at any given time, and to realize that these tools and techniques will change over time. This attitude is increasingly important in the face of consistent technological advances and increased competition for jobs. Crucially, it helps dive businesses stay relevant to emerging markets that expect, and demand, technologically savvy instructors.
  3. Another continuing education benefit may be more abstract, but is no less important: It’s a powerful way for dive pros to acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge and to improve their problem-solving skills. This is an essential arrow in every dive professional’s quiver. Things change, issues crop up, but the well educated and well prepared PADI Pro is equipped to avoid or solve problems before they become something worse.
  4. Finally, it’s just fun. There is no better cure for a mild dose of the “same old same old” than an immersive experience in something new and exciting. Nothing benefits a dive business more than a refreshed dive pro.

 

 

The Business of Women in Diving

Written by Megan Denny

The average entry-level diver is 27-30 years old, college educated, and male (60 percent are male). For many years the gender ratio of 65 percent male versus 35 percent female remained constant. However, there’s been a shift in the past five years and women now make up 40 percent of new divers. That’s good progress, but the pool of potential women divers is still massive.

An average female consumer is an ideal scuba diving customer. The numbers don’t lie.

Major companies, such as Nike and the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) are taking statistics like these to heart. After Nike chose to focus on women, sales jumped 20 percent and Nike expects revenue from women’s apparel more than double in five years. The PGA recently launched a campaign to increase women’s participation in golf – an industry that is in decline. Only 19 percent of all golfers are women, and PGA research shows, “there are millions of women who want to participate in golf, but they don’t feel welcome. They haven’t been invited.”

Make Women Feel Welcome

Many of the things that make your business female-friendly are just plain smart business practices including:

  • Offer PADI eLearning® – Working women and those trying to balance family commitments will appreciate this flexible, go-at-your-own-pace option.
  • Keep it clean – Many people, not just women, think negatively about a business with a dingy bathroom or changing room. If you’d think twice about showing your mother your facilities, it’s time to spruce up the place.
  • Invite them back – Get in touch with women who’ve dropped out of scuba diving and invite them back by promoting ReActivate®.
  • Stock women’s gear – Having dive gear and other products designed for women available is welcoming.

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One of the most effective ways to bring in new female divers is by asking current customers to invite other women to try diving. Be upfront: let them know you’re trying to change the perception that scuba is for old guys. Ask what you could do to bring in more women and offer an incentive. The results will pay off.

“Camaraderie keeps women diving, buying gear, taking trips,” says Chelsea Cameron, Sales and Marketing Manager for The Diving Locker in Vancouver, Canada. “There’s one group of ladies at our store that went to Cozumel together and they‘re like the three amigas. They’ve been doing courses together, they all bought dry suits together and they egg each other on.”

Female Staff and Instructors are Essential

“Having female staff helps to draw in more female divers. They feel more comfortable when they see other women in the sport. Especially when fitting gear, there are things guys don’t think of, especially with getting into wetsuits,” says Cameron.

Virginia Watson, Marketing Manager at Dive Otago, New Zealand echoes this sentiment. Having a mix of male and female instructors enables us to provide good role models for female divers that are just beginning in their dive career. They see that even in our harsher conditions, women are more than capable of diving day in day out.”

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Women make up at least half the staff at both Dive Otago and The Diving Locker and research proves this is a smart idea for any business.

  • An economist from Carnegie Mellon found teams with at least one female member had a collectively higher IQ than male-only teams.
  • When Fortune 500 companies had at least three female directors, the return on capital, sales and return on equity increased by 40 percent or more.
  • Studies from a variety of industries found that having a larger number of women on a team accounts for greater psychological safety, team confidence, group experimentation and team efficiency.

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Greg Kocher owner and president of The Diving Locker notes, “I’ve been in business for 50 years and I’ve always tried to promote scuba to different age groups and demographics. I have eight full time employees and half of them are women. It’s proven to be a good model. I’ve been in business so long because of the exceptional staff.”

At Broadreach, a youth educational adventure company, 75 percent of headquarters employees are women and 62 percent of their dive staff are female. “Having so many women in leadership and instructor roles makes us a very adaptable company, as we’re all coming to the table with different points of view. It makes us better problem solvers and communicators, plus it gives us stronger collaborative spirit,” says Creative Director Ladye Jane Vickers.

Kate Farthing, Director of Field Operations at Broadreach adds, “Our programs have attracted more female students each year, and having females working in the industry is often encouraging to parents trying to support their young women as they reach for their goals. The ability to understand, support and encourage our female students is really rewarding and I think sits well with our clients.

“Female dive staff, for lack of a better way to put this, can help ease the concerns of female participants in ways that male instructors have a harder time with. Getting in and out of wetsuits, lugging gear around, what do I do if I’m on my period…all of these things are so naturally facilitated by female dive instructors (not to say that guys aren’t able) but it’s important to have both so all students feel comfortable sharing their concerns and finding solutions.”

Marketing to Women

Virginia Watson from Dive Otago shared this tip: “Championing female divers on Facebook is an awesome way to boost enrollment numbers organically. When we are actively looking to increase female numbers through paid advertising we specifically target that demographic and use images of inspiring female divers. People need to identify themselves in the imagery so including photos of woman in all areas of your marketing should also help… it might inadvertently pull in more males too!”
Check out: 7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know or female PADI AmbassaDiver™

Photo courtesy of Dive-Otago-2

Photo courtesy of Dive Otago

The Family Factor

Roughly half of women of childbearing age are mothers, and some PADI® Dive Centers have found success partnering with a child-care service or hiring a babysitter. This helps mom take a breather (off a regulator) while she does a scuba review, and gives parents a chance to enjoy time together as a couple.

Another popular way to attract mothers and families is by offering kids scuba programs and selling products that cater to divers with children. “We run a week-long scuba camp for kids 10-15 years old four times during the summer. Predominantly, three women teach the camp, and they enjoy doing it. But all of our staff are involved in teaching, selling, and running weekend trips,” says Kocher of The Dive Locker.

Broadreach Dive Instructor Hannah Tannenbaum shared her thoughts on the benefits of scuba for girls and young women, “Diving is empowering because it’s an entirely new realm in which social pressures and appearance don’t matter. All that matters is your safety, awareness, and immense humility in acknowledging we are such a small piece of this wide and beautiful world, and that our stresses and day-to-day problems don’t matter as much in the face of a sea turtle. I love teaching young women to dive and seeing them develop a new sense of self and gratitude for their world which diving opens.”

Build a Community

A study from Indiana University on exercise habits found that people with a regular gym buddy experienced only a 6.3 percent dropout rate after twelve months compared to a 43 percent dropout rate for people who worked out alone. Help female divers stay active by starting a “Diva Dive Club,” or a PADI Pro mentorship program.

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Kate Farthing from Broadreach notes, “The mere presence of our female staff offers such a great vision of the future to our students. They know being a dive professional isn’t such a far off goal.  Many of our dive instructors began as Broadreach students in middle school and worked their way to being instructors by the age of 18. Our students really build lore around the instructors who have been around Broadreach since they started diving and think they are the coolest of the cool. It’s an easy thing to aspire to.”

Nondiving events (beach parties, bar nights, clean-up events, etc.) can help divers – male or female – connect with new dive buddies. Encourage customers to invite female friends who are curious about diving, but aren’t ready to sign up for a class. Scuba diving can seem intimidating, but meeting fun and supportive divers can quickly shatter that perception.

If you’re interested in bringing more women into diving, use PADI Women’s Dive Day on 15 July as a kickoff event. Dive Otago plans to offer free Discover Scuba® Diving sessions, high tea and tutus. Broadreach has numerous Women’s Dive Day activities planned including a thank you celebration for their female staff and live-streamed dives.

Get started at the PADI Pros’ Site Women in Diving page

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Trying something new can be intimidating – for potential female divers and business owners. But when more women dive, it’s a win-win. Here are some parting words from Chelsea Cameron at The Dive Locker, When you’re out on a dive with more female divers it’s more low pressure, people are more comfortable sharing stories. Having more women is great for the shop the atmosphere. We enjoy it a lot, we have fun, we keep the guys in check.”

 


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 padi.com 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.

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