Happy New Year, dear yachtsmen, dear readers!
Before continuing with more yacht brands, they are more than one hundred, I chose as my first post this year, another “chapter” for brokers, related to customer care. In a previous article, I’ve said something about assessing the virtual customer from the beginning. I’ve read advertisements saying that a certain broker offers lodging and leisure to any customer ready to accept his offers. Such a guy overplays. Rich, very rich people aren’t looking to this kind of “lodging”. I knew a guy once, who built a sort of a pension on his inherited land near the sea, and pushed a few more dollars by renting it’s four apartments to foreign tourists by day, in the Mediterranean season, which maybe you’ve heard, could be as long as six months in Turkey and five in Greece, Italy and Spain. It wasn’t bad, before all that, he acquired three wooden boats, selling initially another piece of land. With the revenue from chartering the three boats, he built the “resort”, which has a pool as well. He was challenging a pretty known “exclusive” British holiday network in the meantime, network with a hotel less than fifty meters away put in such a position to offer him some kind of partnership for “helping” them. But the main acquisition he made, was an English wife, a former customer on one of his boats. So he became “respectable” in his village. The wife wasn’t quite living on the streets in England, her family worked a few franchised gas stations in Surrey, so the money start pouring. He thought that the yacht brokering business is exactly the next step. For two years he sold nothing, not even a fisherman four meters boat, nor a child plastic one, he offered his own three boats at first, he “entertained” his virtual customers on them, and at his apartments. He started to loose money, but what he spent with the “customers” he put back by working at one of his father in law gas station’s. I have no news of him selling any boat, still.
To sell a boat, you need a plan. You need customers with the necessary budget. You need to work on your plan. You have to be sure that it is only a certain boat you’re going to sell, the one with the bigger commission, so, even if the market is full, and for you it may seem that “it doesn’t matter which boat you’re selling”. In Turkey is very hard to make an exclusivity contract, as they do in Real Estate business. Most of the time, the boat owners prefer to offer the boats for charter, than keeping them on shore, to sharky tourist agencies with cheeky expectations. So, you have to know exactly what you’re going to show, and know exactly which boat you’re going to sell. The chance is ninety five percent for the customer to like most, exactly the boat you wanted to sell from the beginning, and that can’t be called “chance” anymore, because you have had a plan. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a matter of manipulating vibes and be as honest as you can. If you lie as a broker, and many of them are just that, infatuate liars, the damage could be higher, you may have to pay back more than your commission, a whole penalties package.
A very important tip is to have the customer in your hands from the moment he steps in the country you’re selling. For locals is heavier, but not impossible. Having the customer in your “care”, you will know to direct the vibes. You have to be neutral. If you’re too willing to please, the customer (if he’s not naive) will think you’re hiding something. An advantage of being “neutral” is that you put the customer to pay for everything: lodging, food, renting this or that, without seeming greedy, and you pay for your own expenses as well. It’s bad to let the customer to pay for you. An American once, wanted to find a whole number of boats he found on a brokerage site, “aligned” on a dock and ready for his inspection. It happened in Turkey, during the season. Even if this task was possible, only one boat was to be bought, but usually is impossible. The yachts were working (with one or two exceptions) and they were spread along the coast from the West Coast through Antalya, in the South, on more than five hundred kilometers a road. It was absolutely winning to say no to such a pretense, with the risk for another broker to be found. No way for that. Not such a risk, I knew exactly what the client wanted, but we inspected together all the boats in two days. The American had a mechanic with him, which was tremendously helping. We spoke the same “language”, so it helped my task. It was a 100% win, with all our more than one thousand kilometers covered in two days, four and five star two nights, speed boats rented and a lot of food.
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