Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Ashkahn’s back and on form. He and Graham take on the question of how to handle first time floaters interrupt the pre-float intros explaining the process.
There’s a lot of information that first time floaters need, and if they aren’t paying attention, it can cause messy floats or unnecessary difficulty or confusion. The reunited duo provides some great tips while going over different customer scenarios.
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Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: Alright hey everybody Graham here, rocking out the microphone alone again still no Ashkahn-
Ashkahn: Wait a minute-
Graham: Wait what’s that over there? Trouble over there on mic two-
Ashkahn: That’s right.
Graham: That’s what I call your mic when you’re not here by the way, mic number two.
Ashkahn: Yeah, over here on mic two this is Ashkahn, I’m back-
Ashkahn: That’s right.
Graham: Good to have you buddy.
Ashkahn: I missed you guys.
Graham: Its been too long.
Ashkahn: Yeah it has been to long I was a little busy-
Graham: I had to put up with Jake and Derek.
Ashkahn: I know this sounds rough.
Graham: Some really sad episodes while I was alone there, scared, I was scared.
Ashkahn: It’s okay, we’re all back now, we’re back together.
Graham: That’s good, it’s like a warm embrace.
Ashkahn: Yeah, can you guys feel it out there?
Graham: I bet they can.
Ashkahn: They can, I bet they can too.
Graham: Alright well we have another question to answer that you sent us.
Ashkahn: Alright. Back in it.
Graham: So this is your fault. The question is “what do you do when you’re giving someone intro and they keep interrupting you?”
Ashkahn: Oh hold on a sec-
Graham: “When they’re going all over the place and coming in looking for an excuse not to enjoy their float, it doesn’t happen too much, but still trying to figure out the best way to keep them focused on what I have to say to make sure they have a great experience and keep them coming back?”
Ashkahn: Yeah I mean this definitely, I know exactly what this person is talking about.
Graham: Well so there’s the, it’s interesting so I was totally with them and then they said it’s like the people looking for an excuse not to enjoy their float as well, because there are interrupters who I think are excited interrupters.
Ashkahn: But there is, I think it’s a small subset of the interrupters that are this type of person that, because I get that too. And usually the people who are coming in grumpy or being dragged in by somebody else, they’ll tend to be interrupters as well. So there’s definitely a good healthy overlap in the Venn diagram there.
Graham: The interruption diagram. Yeah. Anyway, as I was saying-
Ashkahn: Let’s tackle the second part. Let’s just talk about interrupters in general for a moment.
Ashkahn: Please go ahead.
Graham: No you go first. Me too.
Ashkahn: I kinda like them. You get so used to saying the intro speech over and over again and then someone rolls in and they’re like, it’s usually people who are high energy and they’re looking around-
Graham: “Hey what’s that thing over there?”
Ashkahn: Yeah they’re like, “Well how do I do this thing?” And to me it’s like I get to stretch my intro muscles. I’m like, “Oh you wanted me to jumble up my spiel here? You want to toss up my order of things and for me to just roll with it. And I kind of get excited about it and I’m like let’s do it. Let’s dance buddy. And so they start going over things. So my advice and what I like to do is just give in, ride the interruption train and you be on their schedule and that’s what I do. I answer that question, then they have another question I answer that and I’m just keeping track in my head of what I have gone over and what I haven’t gone over yet then I tend to pick up the pace a little bit about what I’m saying and I’m a little more terse.
I kind of try to match the energy that they’re bringing in and I’m like “boom, light button right here. Snap that bad boy. You turn it off. Over here you got the earplugs.” I’ve always found that to be successful. I feel I have a good interaction with them at that point and I feel like they got the information they needed to get. And I said all of my intro speech, I just didn’t say it in the order that I’m used to saying it or quite at the same flow, but we did it.
Graham: I will say I find with those people you really have to emphasize the important stuff.
Ashkahn: Sure. Yeah.
Graham: And I don’t mean to emphasize, just like you were emphasizing every single sentence that you just said, it’s like you need to pause for a second and be like “Hold on,” I know you’re excited about this thing, but you need to actually absorb what I’m saying, because they’re keyed in on their next question. Like, “Wait, what’s that thing over there?”
Ashkahn: They’re very distracted.
Graham: And you answer. Okay. And also you really need to be careful because it’s slippery and they’re like, “Yeah, yeah, I got it, but what’s this thing?” And you’re like no seriously dude listen to my words, don’t slip and kill yourself. And they’re like, “Oh yeah, sorry I wasn’t listening at all. But seriously, what’s the thing in the corner?” Yeah. So the excited interrupters. There’s just the general curious interrupters and those ones I find I have to cut short sometimes and just tell them wait until afterwards. Because there’ll be like, “What can I expect in there, tell me about some other people’s experiences?” When you’re just trying to tell them where earplugs are, and you’re like, “Dude, let’s talk about other people’s experiences after your float and get you in the tank.” It’s like the overly curious, I don’t want to say float procrastinator for a lot of first timers. It’s like they’re asking enough questions because they’re a little-
Graham: Nervous about going in and they’re like, “Tell me a float time story, tell me about someone else who had a good experience in the tank and then maybe I’ll feel a little more comfortable.”
Ashkahn: Yeah. And it’s true. It’s a very different response to those people. I do end up, I get much more lengthy in what I’m saying rather than going in that kind of terse direction. But I don’t know, just the general lesson I found with intro speeches is to try to do this for any scenario that pops up. I mean, that’s what I always would do is I try to, to me it’s a conversation despite the fact that you’re the one saying pretty much everything. And so to be wise about it, you got to listen to what the other person’s doing or thinking or it’s not even when they interrupt. I can tell when I’m giving an intro speech to someone when I’ve lost them. When they’re just not paying attention anymore. I get that glaze over the eyes and you got to be able to respond to those situations too and know how to change gears or turn or do something to draw their attention back in like that. It’s really for any type of person coming in that you want-
Graham: And it’s why we like intro speeches as opposed to doing a video. Though I think even if we did have a video that we had people watch, we’d still have this nice in person section where we go over the most important stuff just because all you’re having someone do is watch a video, you don’t know who that interrupter is, who in their mind they’re just interrupting the video, asking all these questions and not absorbing more than a single sentence of what gets said.
And yeah, when you’re face to face, I mean it’s still, maybe you’re not going to catch everyone who spaces out in any given moment, but you get a lot of it, it really is. Especially after you do this hundreds of times, your mouth is on autopilot. So you don’t really have to pay attention to the words coming out. You just get to watch the person’s reaction and see whether or not they’re actually absorbing that or they’re off in their own little land.
Ashkahn: Sometimes for the spacers, I would just add more superfluous information in there to see how far I could go. I think I’d be like, “Yeah, and then after that just go ahead and grab a broom from behind the door and mop this whole place up, then I’m going to need you to take the trash can here, go around back we’ve got a dumpster in the back area, the code is 3946.” And I’d go far enough until eventually they are like, “Wait, what?” I then I go like, “Nah, just kidding for that last part.” And then you got them back. So you mess with people is my advice.
Graham: They also don’t trust anything you say after that, but that’s appropriate-
Ashkahn: That’s good that’s-
Graham: They shouldn’t really believe you anyway. Yeah. Okay. But so there is I would say almost another category of interrupter two, which is the second part of the question.
Ashkahn: It’s almost more like the skeptic, like the angry skeptic.
Graham: Yeah. Like the know it all or doesn’t believe in this and he’s going to prove you wrong before they even get in the tank kind of interrupter.
Ashkahn: Until like even listen to your intro speech is an acknowledgment that this whole floating thing is legitimate.
Graham: Yeah. Yeah, sure. Put in the earplugs if that’s what you call them, it’s like, “Earplugs are real, you don’t have to get skeptical about earplugs.” Yeah. So how do we deal, I mean the nice thing is they or someone they loved signed them up to be alone in this room for an hour and a half or an hour, whatever it is. So you make sure that they’re actually listening, especially to the safety information and stuff that might make their float a little better.
Ashkahn: I pretty much like-
Graham: You kind of leave them to it.
Ashkahn: Yeah. I mean that’s where I too, the nice thing is the float tank is going to take care of their grumpy, skepticalness. You don’t even have to deal with that. They’re just going to flow and they’re going to come out and realize that they were a fool. So that part is great. So I basically just, I cut down my intro speech to the essentials, and I feel like they start to appreciate that. Like I cut out the floweriness or any part of elaboration and I keep it much more pragmatic, like here’s this, this is a light button and I try to simplify my language and that way it doesn’t feel like either of us is sitting there, like there’s something to be grumpy about when someone’s just telling you, here’s how you turn a light off. And so that’s the direction I go. And that also shortens it and it gets the process done and then they go float and then they come out and honestly those people have some of the greatest floats. That’s my favorite part. I love talking to those people afterwards because it’s like they’re different people.
Graham: Yeah, for sure. I dealt with one person got out of the tank and said he was just, he’s like, “Oh, there was some time dilation in there, I was counting seconds and it felt much more like 80 minutes to me,” and you’re like, “Wait, what, you were just counting seconds for every second you were in the float tank?” And he’s like, “Yeah, yeah.” And it’s like, “man, you were just fighting that experience, you really didn’t want to give into that” or something. It’s interesting. So yeah, there are those people who almost do seem determined to not have a profound float or keep their conscious connection to reality or something. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on with them, but there also have been some really pleasant people. It’s not like they’re always militantly against what you’re doing.
Ashkahn: And then others you just get. My favorite one was that I had exactly this person that is being described in this question. It was a grumpy old man who was brought in by his wife and his wife was super excited about it and he was just not having any of it. He was doing exactly this. Just interrupting my intro speech as many times as he could because he was clearly not into all this new age nonsense. Right? And then he showered and got out and maybe like four or five minutes before his wife did at the end and this guy was my best friend all of a sudden, we were hanging out.
He was chatting. He was telling me about what he used to do, he used to be an engineer. He’s building a boat. He was going to build a boat that had a hot tub in it. And he was seriously considering making it a float tank instead of a hot tub now. He was offering to help us. He’s like, “Hey, if you need to get into manufacturing, let me know, I’ll talk to these people.” I’m like, “Who are you?” You were so mean to me an hour and a half ago.
Graham: Yeah. It is really nice that we’re in the line of work that we are, that we’re actually not selling snake oil and these tanks are pretty amazing things because it’s true. I mean, and I guess in the end that’s my advice is the same as Ashkahn’s, which is just get them in the tank and let the tank do that work. And some percentage of them will not have a good float into them. They’re in their minds, their skepticism is now justified, and there’s nothing you could’ve done to prevent that anyway. Really? And then sometimes they’ll get in and I’d say even the majority of the time get in and even because they are so skeptical, end up having a way better float than their expectations. It’s one of those things where if you go in with no expectations, it’s pretty easy to beat them, and the float tank is pretty good at that. So.
Ashkahn: So yeah, I mean I think in whatever intro speech, I generally just try to meere the person who’s coming in and kind of match what they’re bringing into the room and going to get that. I don’t know, I guess the alternative would be really trying to be soothing and calming for every single person to lead them into the kind of float experience. But it just doesn’t feel natural to me. It’s never felt like if someone’s coming in all fiery with a lot of questions, I’ve never felt normal just being like. And then you just walk yourself into the float. I feel like that’s just going to be frustrating for that person and so I don’t know, that’s how I’ve always approached it.
Graham: Yeah, it’s very in line with our Float On philosophy too, there is actually, if you didn’t know this, there is actually a spa voice, that spas will train their employees to have and it is that kind of more soothing type of voice and they just want their employees to talk like this to their customers and it’s like that’s so far from how we want to run Float On that. Yeah, I mean matching what people are bringing in I think is a great thing. Unless they get stabby there’s no need to get stabby back.
Ashkahn: There’s no need to get stabby back. Yeah, that’s probably nice of you to say.
Graham: Alright. Do you want to sign us off?
Ashkahn: Yeah, check this out. Dust off the old little outro here, if you guys out there have any questions-
Graham: And if you have anymore questions about interrupting, go ahead and send your interrupting questions over to-
Ashkahn: You can go over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast, put in the question, we will answer it and we’ll see you guys tomorrow.
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