An eight part series on taking people out on the water.
The experience for the client begins long before the actual day out with you, it starts with the very first point of contact. This may be by word of mouth, your advertisement, reputation, an email or a phone call, they say that first impressions count, well this is it!
Be polite, it costs absolutely nothing, reply in a timely manner and answer all their questions and concerns. Tell them everything they will need to know and what to expect. There is no such thing as a daft question, but there are many daft answers, be careful! It is important that your potential client knows the total cost of that day and what is included or not included in that cost before there is a commitment, nobody likes surprises. It is your responsibility to ask them a few pertinent questions also.
Have they fished before? If so, what experience have they, at what stage are they at right now and what do they hope to achieve during their visit?
Do they posses the correct equipment for the type of fishing they want to try? I often have novices wanting to buy tackle etc before they arrive, this can often be a big mistake when they have been sold unsuitable tackle for the type of fishing intended. I have always advised my clients to wait until after they have had a day on the water first, they can then make an educated decision on a purchase. If they are happy with their new-found sport, send them to a retailer that you trust.
It is not advisable to instruct young people without a guardian or disadvantaged people without qualified help.
If there are more than three people, for safety you should employ another guide for that day and arrange the extra permits which may add to the cost.
Generally, beginners may not have any suitable equipment for the first time out and may not want to spend much money on a pursuit that might not be for them. You will need to know what shoe size/build they are if it is you that intend to supply waders etc. This is also important because often people may turn up with either waders that are not suitable or waders that leak which can potentially ruin the day. If you know their size and build , you can have a spare pair along with a waterproof jacket and extra clothing for each person.
Wading staff, life jacket and eye protection to cover all client/s are a must have in the vehicle, along with peripherals like a spare hat, insect repellent, sun block, water, phone, camera, 15m throw rope and first aid kit.