A few days ago I asked a customer about her first float and she said she didn’t remember it. I had posed the question to her so that she could help explain floating to a customer who was about to have his first float. It didn’t occur to me until hours later that forgetting your first float would be a fantastic way to get people in for their next floats. Trust me, this will start to make sense!
There are generally two types of experiences that people have with their first floats. One is an amazing experience where they are able to ‘let go’ completely, have a powerful spiritual journey, or in some other way are simply blown away by their float. The other is on the opposite side of the spectrum where the customer is mostly unimpressed. Often times this person had a busy mind during the entire float and was unable to ‘let go’ and/or only let go right before the music came on, or they had inflated expectations of what the experience would be based on previous research.
I think the former (the amazing float experience) often time comes to those with very little expectation going into the float, those who spend a lot of time in the water, or those who meditate with frequency.
I believe the latter experience is a result of expectations. Floating is in large part a mental experience after all. Joe Rogan, friends hyping the experience via word of mouth, and extreme amounts of research before a float may get one in the door, but it can also paint the float in a set of colors that may not have existed without that prior input.
Perhaps more importantly than why someone had a great or disappointing first float, is how that experience is going to have an effect on that their second float. For many people, the second float is often an inverse of the first. An amazing first float will lead to over-expectation of their second. An underwhelming first experience can lead to a lack of expectations for the second, often leading to a wonderful second float.
Because of this large swing in expectations and resulting feelings about one’s floats, the journey of what floating is for you or your customer can change drastically during the first few floats. Due to this swing of experiences, a part of me wishes people really could simply forget your first float. While the following may simply be a reminder of something you already know, this reminds me how important it is to let people know that it can take several float to truly ‘get’ floating and settle into the experience. Encouraging new floaters to have several floats close together is not simply a business tactic, but is vital to a successful floating experience for the individual as well as for the success of the industry as a whole.
Noah Mask says
I know EXACTLY what you mean!
We have the same types of reactions at our center here in Ohio. Seems as though no matter what side of the country your on the process of coming to yourself remains the same. I remember from the conference in Portland last year hearing Lilly’s quote “thou shalt not program”, now he never said anything about de-programming lol. If I notice an overly expectant client the gentle warning that “The more you expect, the less you experience” generally does the trick.
Rogan’s done some good in raising tank awareness, seeing it sold as a “drug-free psychedelic experience” brings out those looking for a ticketed ride. Equating the experience to a practice seems to put it into perspective for most I encounter on a day to day basis.