10 Proven Sales Tips to Help You Sell More Boats in 2019

November 16, 2018

2019 is around the corner so let’s review 10 Proven Sales Tips to Help you Sell More Boats in 2019.

Tip #1: Use a Great Greeting!

Greetings can help you increase sales performance significantly. Have you ever gone to a store and gotten asked if you needed any help? Chances are you responded: “Thanks, just looking!” Poor greetings will cost you a lot of money so make sure NOT to use them.

Those greetings create a “reflex objection” by starting off with a yes/no question. Someone may answer, “I’m just looking.” The greeting you should use: 

Welcome to ABC Boats. I’m (your name) and you are…?” or Welcome to ABC Boat dealers. Is it the first time that you are visiting our store?”

A good greeting is extremely important and will help you start the sale off right by allowing you to get control early on. It will make your customer feel welcome and appreciated.

This rule applies over the phone as well. Make sure your office secretary introduces you properly. For instance, instead of saying “Let me transfer you to John,” she can say “Let me transfer you to John, he is a great broker and has 12 years experience selling boats.”

Tip #2: Stay Away from Negativity

“Never open a shop if you don’t know how to smile.” — Middle East proverb.

One of the keys to success in sales is to be positive.

The first thing you need to do to improve your sales performance is to remove negativity from your life. As Albert Einstein said, “The same level of thinking that created the problem won’t solve the problem”

Stay away from negative people, thoughts, and environments. I am sure that you have all heard the same excuses from negative people: “It is the customer’s fault, the competition, the market, the crisis,” … Remember that it is not about when the crisis is going to be over, but when you are going to be over the crisis. 

Negative people are good at making excuses as to why things are bad instead of learning/trying new things to sell more boats.  They are poison to performance in sales. Stay away from them. I remember hearing a motivational trainer saying you have to always stay away from ANT: Automatic Negative Thoughts. 

So make sure to kill a lot of “ANT”  every day!

Tip # 3: Forget the ‘Always Be Closing’ and Focus on ‘Always Be Helping.’

When you care more about the customer than you do about the sale, you will sell more than anyone else out there! Think about what would motivate your prospects to do business with you. People will do business with you if they like you and if they trust you.

One of my clients and CEO of a famous yacht company shared a story with me of when he recommended a client buy a competitor’s yacht because he knew it was a better fit for them. What do you think happened after treating this customer with so much integrity and respect? He might have lost a sale, but today they have one of the highest rates for returning customers in the yachting industry.

Tip #4: Sell the Cruise, Not the Ship.

Sell the experience and excitement of owning a boat. Sell the time they will spend on the water. Sell the money they will save. Sell how jealous their friends will be when they see it. Sell how beautiful the boat will look at their marina or in their driveway. Sell how happy they will be.

Remember that this is where the real value is for the client. The value is not in the product itself but in what they will do with the product. Doing so will be your best strategy to grow sales. Let me prove it to you right now.

You want to grow sales to make more money. Let’s have a look at the definition of ‘money’ in the dictionary:

The Oxford dictionary’s definition of the word ‘money’:

A medium that can be exchanged for goods and services and is used as a measure of value on the market…-

Notice the association of money with value: used as a measure of value.” It simply means that if you want to increase the amount of money you want to make, you have to increase the VALUE you provide in exchange.

Tip #5: Listen to the Client

When I say listen, I mean really listen, not just pretend to be listening. A boat salesman has 2 ears and one mouth and your job is to communicate to your client by keeping the same ratio. Always remember that SILENT is an anagram for LISTEN so keep quiet and listen clearly to what your client has to say.

(Further Reading: What Every Boat Broker Should Know About Negotiation)

Tip #6: Do More Sea Trials

Do you know the sales technique used in all car dealerships around the world? The test drive.

The test drive is used to sell cars globally for only 1 reason: it works. The success of this method can be explained with only 2 words: Mirror Neurons. Mirror neurons govern all areas of our lives and are the principal reasons for why we buy.

Haven’t you noticed that every time you go to a car dealership their principal objective is to convince you to get behind the wheel for a test drive? 

You can pretend that you are window shopping or just browsing, but when you are actually at the helm of a boat, the emotional part of your mind takes control. You start to imagine what life would be like if you owned this boat. 

Instead of just comparing horsepower, speed and RPM, you actually feel the power of the engine and how easy it is to handle. Imagine the respect you would get from your friends and onlookers while driving this beautiful boat or having it parked in your driveway. 

You stopped comparing and started wanting. Once you start wanting you will probably buy, it is just a matter of time.

Have you ever been to the B&H photo store in NYC? It is the highest selling photo and video store in America! One of the main reasons B&H photo is so successful is simply because they let you try and touch each item. 

You can feel the weight of the body and lenses, hear the sophisticated sounds of the shutter clicking, visualise the nice photos on the camera screen and you end up buying the camera there.

Tip #7: Let Them Do the Talking

Always ask for the why and what. Ask why they want to buy a boat, what they want to do with it. As you start to give them a walk through of the boat, ask them which area of the boat they would like to start with. 

Always make the presentation about them. For instance, when starting a tour say: “They are hundreds of great things I can tell you about this 24’ ABC boat but what’s really important to you and what would you like to start with?”

You have to make them sell themselves on the product and not sell it yourself. Remember their favourite subject is not you, your firm or your boat, but themselves.

Tip #8 Never Use the Word Price

Never talk about the “price” in front of a client, but instead use the term “value”.

Bracket your “value” between 2 benefits. Jean-Marie Brücker, international luxury watch sales trainer, calls it the Macaron Technique. Referring to the sandwich-like French macaron pastry, it goes something like this:

Madame, this timepiece comes from our finest Switzerland workshop and it has a value of Twenty-seven thousand dollars. If you invest in it, your children are sure to enjoy it for generations to come.”

Tip #9 Always Agree With the Client. 

Always agree with the client even if they are saying and justifying themselves that they don’t need it.

A Common mistake: Insisting and pressuring clients.

Prospect: “This boat is beautiful but we don’t need it”.

Response: “I understand. People don’t buy this boat because they need it. They buy it because she looks beautiful and she makes them feel good! “

Do not use the classic “If I could would you” because you assume price is the only objection. Saying this is just disagreeing with them and will not help you in your sales process.

Tip #10 Use These 2 Negotiation Techniques:

Technique #1:

Situation: Client keeps asking for a financial discount:

Common mistake: “This is the best price I can give you.”

Solution: Put a monetary value on the discount you give them by saying this instead:

“I don t have any more money to give you.” (they will perceive the discount as real money and it will help you in your negotiation).

Technique #2:

Situation: Client is buying a boat overbudget.

Common mistake: Trying to justify the full price of the boat.

Solution: Selling on the difference and not the total value.

This is one of the most common mistakes salespeople make. Let’s assume your client has a 100k budget on a boat. You have the model of their dream boat but you are actually over their budget as it is selling for 120k. Do not sell the boat at 120k, but sell it on the difference: the 20k.

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I hope that you enjoyed these 10 tips. If you liked the 10 Proven Sales Tips to Help you Sell More Boats, subscribe to our newsletter!

If you would like to bring your boat sales to the next level check out 7 Days to Boat Sales Transformation.”

— Vincent Finetti
Founder & Instructor
Yacht Sales Academy

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

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