Originally Posted by jzk
There really is no way for a boat broker
to know how serious the prospective buyer is, so I would imagine a good broker would treat each as if they were very serious. In this internet age, how hard can it be to assemble a nice PDF of the vessel, email
it back, and offer to show the vessel?
On the other hand, I am not going to look at quite a few boats before I make my next decision, and I am not going to feel sorry for all the showings that didn't result in a sale
I sold real estate for some years a long time ago--and I always spent time with prospects even if I thought they were not buyers today. I sold eight times more than the city average in sales (total number of sales divided by sales folk registered) for most months. Most of them over-qualified the buyers and drove away prospects. Eventually many of them got fired--especially when I managed the offices where such practices occurred.
I have found so far only three brokers in Oz among the realtive few--only about twenty or so who I have met-- who really knew their vessels and who were accurate in their assessments of the vessels. That is not a very good percentage. One clown even told me he knew exactly zero about the boats--that a survey
would reveal that--and if he knew nothing he could never misrepresent anything.
For someone who was thinking of buying
this would be one sale not likely to take place. No one wants to buy from an idiot.
I think boat broking and real estate are different entirely. The salesmanship may be similar, but your house is not likely to sink and drown your family
if you buy an inferior home. I have seen vessels given a clean survey
which were completely unseaworthy--so not all marine
surveyors are competent. (Nicer than saying they are dishonest and on the take.)
Selling boats should
be as easy as falling off a log. The way to sell something is not by parading an array of boats to a client, but by properly ascertaining their needs and fitting the best type of vessel to fit them commensurate with their ability to pay and the condition of the vessel.
This is how one gets referral business--and in the last recession I still sold three properties a month--down a lot from the boom times--but good wages nontheless. All came from referrals. Farm sales where one earned larger than usual commissions were almost always from referrals--and in Oz the commission structure was far less than in US or Europe
A good broker needs to understand insurance
and finance too--since often one has to arrange both. Competitive finance makes for affordable worry-free deals which settle. Client affordability is what motivated me. I never oversold people--I may have lost
the odd home sale to some other shark who over-committed them, but if the clients could afford their property very soon the cost of repaying the mortgage would be much less than the rent they would otherwise pay. Later they could sell and move to a larger home shopuld their circumstances change.
One day I might try my hand at boat brokerage--I have a property in a port city. From what I know is out there filling up office space, if they are surviving at the poor techniques they employ, anyone prepared to pull their finger out and spend some time with people who wish to buy will ultimately out-sell all of the others. Even the non-buyers will recommend you to people who are--if you worked for them they owe you one even if they did not buy. Referring you is the way they repay you. Anyone can make the easy sales. It is the ones you do not expect which make the difference.
We all have sales stories--some highly amusing--but selling is a people business. How can one possibly succeed by alienating people? As a newbie broker you are better off taking ten people out without qualification. At least one of them will buy--two will call you back later for another appointment or will crystallize their needs into something else besides what they told you they wanted and one of them will buy. All of them will refer you.
I once took a young couple out for a stock trip--something I did occasionally with people not in a position to buy immediately--and showed them over some new listings. Naughty me--I had not seen them before so it was what I used to call a "Discovery" trip. They particularly liked one of them but were unable to buy it themselves so they referred friends to me who bought not the one the young couple liked but an even larger property. Later I sold the first couple a home on a small acreage--nothing like what they had originaly wanted but they had changed their priorities. I liked to think not so much that I sold them a property--but I presented it to them. They then bought it from me. I used gentle closes--which are all that one needs to use.
I used to tell my sales staff that people out there wanted to buy from you. All you had you do was stop turning them away.
Call reluctance, taking negative comments personally, being afraid to ask for money--is often covered by a reluctance to take out anyone who is not a surefire self-sold prospect who says "I want this boat/home. Here is my money
. It is cash. You do not have to find me a good finance deal. Sign me up!" We all do get these types of buyers--not very often though.
Most people when they approach a broker need help--and not many "brokers" give it to them.
All brokers need do is know their stock--know their finance/insurance (which is always changing--one has to keep up with the rates for the day), then open a notepad, shut up and listen, taking notes of any specific needs, details, phone
numbers, deposits, amounts in affordable repayments etc, just tossing in the odd positive prompt--then inject a little excitement into the project
and bring it home by making the dream reality for them.
I fired order-takers. Much more useful to me if they were working for someone else in opposition. Although we work for vendors--unless we get a property out of their hands we receive no rewards. We have to work just as hard for clients.
The client is King. Not always right, not always just, but still the King!!
You have to make them feel it is Good to be the King!! (Luvya Mel) Then they might buy something from you.