How to Sell Boats to Different Personality Types

October 1, 2018

Do You Know Why Women Always Share Their Deepest Secrets With Their Hairdressers?

Because hairdressers tell them that they’re beautiful and they listen to them.

One of the keys to success in boat sales and in life is knowing how to deal with people.

Relationships and your influence on others can be significantly improved if you adapt your behavior accordingly. If you want to enhance your relationship with others, you should be genuinely interested in them. People will open up to you and feel more comfortable around you if you are able to ‘click’ with their personality.

When it comes to understanding each other to improve your sales ability, you can apply some basic best practices, like the one below: “I think” vs. “I feel.”

“John, out of the two boat models I have shown you today, which do you think is best suited for you?”


“John, out of the two boat models I have shown you today, which do you feel is best suited for you?”

Asking a customer what they ‘think’ will subconsciously make them rationalize their choice in terms of logic, and may not reveal what they truly prefer, or most importantly, why they prefer it.

Asking what they ‘feel’ invites them to share their feelings and their emotions… and sales are made on emotions, rather than logic, so in certain situations, it’s all about the feelings.

Boat Buyers Are Irrational & Trying To Persuade Them With Logic Is Like Trying To Stop My 3-Year-Old Son From...

… eating M&Ms by explaining the danger of high fructose corn syrup to him.

Still, in other situations, a more rational approach might be your best option. But how do you know which approach to use with your customers?

While small tips like the one mentioned above and a basic understanding of human interaction (i.e. the importance of listening, empathy, etc.) will help you in a lot in sales, nothing will help you more than having an understanding of different personality types.

There are 7 billion people on this planet and each one of us is unique. So how can we learn to differentiate personalities? As sales professionals, how can we begin to know what other people want if we don’t know anything about them?

The Simplest Way To Learn To Differentiate Personalities Is To Separate Them Into Categories. However...

The problem I always face with this is that I find it difficult to remember the different types.

I’m sure you’ve heard at least some of the personality types and categories that have already been established, such as: type A / type B, introvert / extrovert, analytical, amiable, creative, expressive, controller, pragmatists, nurturer, protector, visionary, etc.

We can learn about who people are and their personality traits by observing their behavior and how they interact with others.

A Fun Test:

On a blank sheet of paper draw a picture of a pig. Your pig drawing will be used to give insight to some of your potential personality traits.


Now that you are done drawing, see below for an interpretation of your pig drawing. If the pig is drawn…

✔️ Towards the top of the paper – you are positive and optimistic

✔️ In the middle – you are a realist

✔️ Towards the bottom of the paper – you are pessimistic

✔️ Facing left – you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.)

✔️ Facing right – you are innovative and active but do not have a strong sense of family, and you are bad at remembering dates

✔️ Facing forward – you are direct, a devil’s advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions

✔️ With many details – you are analytical, cautious and distrustful

✔️ With few details – you are emotional and naïve, you care little for details and are a risk-taker

✔️ With big ears – you are a good listener

Even if this is a great test, I am sure you will not ask your client to draw a pig. So…

What Can You Do To Easily Identify & Remember Your Client’s Personality?

I wanted to find an analogy that made it easier to remember and helped identify personality types. I decided to make my own classification by using the workplace analogy. I developed the 4 categories listed below. Keep in mind that most people will not fit neatly into one of these four categories, but will instead be a mix of these types, giving them their own unique personality.

From here, you can tailor your selling strategy to fit the unique mix of traits that you encounter with each person. If you know the type you are dealing with, it will increase the chances of you making a sale.

Personality Type #1: The Boss

The Boss is a Formal/Dominant personality type.

You can recognize a boss by their louder than average voice, and animated and confident body language. They are usually extroverted people who are assertive, goal-oriented and often competitive. Their goal is often to find the best product at the lowest rate, delivered as quickly as possible. They like to get straight to the point and usually make rapid buying decisions.

How Can You Sell Boats To “The Boss” Type?

✔️ Mirror their confidence

✔️ Be straight to the point and avoid wasting their time

✔️ Compliment them on their direct style and decisiveness

✔️ Appeal to their ego – tell them how your product or service will make them look good in front of their peers

✔️ Do not tell them they are wrong or not listening

✔️ If you make suggestions, make them short and to the point

✔️ Be prepared and professional, which includes dressing professionally

✔️ Show them how they can benefit from your product

✔️ Stress the quick results that can be gained from your product · Change your voice inflection to maintain their interest

✔️ Put everything in writing

✔️ Let them feel like they are in control

✔️ Tell them you know how busy they are

Personality Type #2: The Event Manager (Party Planner)

The event manager personality type is passionate, extrovert, amiable, enthusiastic and outgoing. They are very social and want to build relationships. As a result, they place likeability as an important buying criteria, and will probably ask you personal questions to try to get to know you.

For event managers, it is less about the product and more about the relationship they have with you. Event managers like to feel important and are sometimes known for being late. However, they are friendly, laid back and great listeners too. They are able to come up with creative solutions to situations and accept new challenges.

How Can You Sell Boats To “The Event Manager” Type?

✔️Establish a rapport

✔️ Sell yourself – they won’t buy your product if they don’t like you

✔️ Act as an advisor to them

✔️ Do not overwhelm them with information

✔️ Do not talk to them analytically (with facts and figures)

✔️ Give them lots of compliments

✔️ Remember their name!

✔️ Be fun and entertaining

✔️ Don’t rush them into your presentation

✔️ Don’t pressure them

✔️ Allow plenty of time for conversation

✔️ Stress the emotional benefits of your product

✔️ Allow them to include others in their decision

✔️ Help them make their decision

With event planners, negotiations can be done over lunch or in a social setting where the atmosphere is good-natured and light-hearted. Make sure you show an interest to them personally – that is the key!

Personality Type #3: The Customer Service Rep (Social Worker)

Customer Service personalities are humanists. They value mutual respect, loyalty, friendship and the personal relationships they have with others.

These personality types have respect for others and are focused more on their team or coworkers rather than on themselves. As a result, they are constantly considering how their decisions might affect others. Because of their empathy for others, they usually come across as reliable and as people pleasers.

Customer Service personalities can be recognized by their concern for others well-being. They want to bond and feel connected to the people they work with. These personality types usually make their decisions using emotions or intuition.

How Can You Sell Boats To “The Customer Service Rep” Type?

✔️ Ask them their opinion

✔️ Make the sale a step-by-step process for them

✔️ Show how your solution will benefit their team/others

✔️ Provide a consistent presentation

✔️ Be soft-spoken

✔️ Do not make off-hand commitments (do not break/change an offer) or it could end your relationship with them

✔️ Highlight the emotional benefits of your product or service

✔️ Show them proof supporting your product or service – testimonials, articles, etc.

✔️ Reassure them of their decision

✔️ Reassure them regularly

✔️ Explain things to them carefully and put details in writing

Personality Type #4: The Accountant

Accountants like data, facts, and figures. These are logical, cautious and can be difficult to read and difficult to engage in an open conversation.

They often make firm, well-planned and thought out decisions, researching all the small details of a product or service. These are the type of people who will always read the manuals, directions, details, or fine print of a product or service.

Accountant types strive for accuracy and analysis, and will usually ask a lot of detailed questions that will test your expertise. These personality types are usually uninterested in getting to know you on a personal level. They will perform research on you and your business in consumer reports, product descriptions, and other data before they even meet you.

They are serious, direct, formal and usually good listeners. They like to analyze all of their options and make their decisions slowly.

How Can You Sell Boats To “The Accountant” Type?

✔️ Never rush them

✔️ Ask for their opinion – this is considered a silent compliment”

✔️ Be prepared for a longer selling process
✔️ Assume they are prepared and have done research

✔️ Spend less time talking about introductory features and more on custom, personalized solutions for their business

✔️ Avoid making high-level claims – always provide data, otherwise you risk losing credibility

✔️ Provide as much detail as possible

✔️ Offer more info than they ask for

✔️Do not force a relationship – they will get annoyed

✔️ Stress rational, logical reasons for buying

✔️ Give quick precise answers

✔️ Provide backup documentation

✔️ Sell things to them by providing them with statistics

Why Understanding Personality Types Matter For Boat Sales

Understanding the key personality types will help you tailor your sales presentations and get the best results in sales but only if you don’t forget the fundamental rule in relationships.

Remember the “hairdresser effect”: 

Be interested in other people. You can be the most influential or most interesting person in the world, but you will still get better results if you are interested in others.

The following story relates this perfectly:

A socialite lady had a chance to have dinner during the same week with both British Prime Minister contestants Gladstone and Disraeli. 

She reportedly said: 

“After dinner with Gladstone, I thought he was the most interesting person in the world…But after dinner with Disraeli, I thought I was the most interesting person in the world…”

And guess what? A few weeks later, Disraeli won the election!

Want More Powerful Boat Sales Tips Like These?

If so, then join my Free 7-Day Training called:

Traditional Boat Sales Is Dead, The Old Way Of Selling Boats Doesn’t Work Anymore

For more information, head on over here:

To your success!

— Vincent Finetti
Founder & Instructor
Yacht Sales Academy

P.S. Try a listing strategy from my FREE Listing ebook here.

P.P.S. I’m doing an exclusive virtual Listings & Sales Workshop with a small group next month to go deep in applying my best strategies to your brokerage business.

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