I hear this question on a daily basis. I often ask our students what their main challenge is, and a majority of them always come back with the same answer: “Getting more boat listings.”
The first thing I tell them is that they need to start by asking themselves the right question. Instead of wondering, “How can I get more listings?” they should focus on, “Why would sellers want to list their boats with me?”
The key is not to think like a broker but to think like a boater. Once you ask yourself the right question, half of the battle is already
Let’s take a minute to look at what boat sellers really want when it comes to listing their boats. They want a broker:
• With expertise
• Who can educate them
• Who is good at promoting their listing
• Who will give them tips on how to sell their boat fast and for
• They like and trust
• Who will listen to them
• Who will focus on them and their boat
• With confidence and professionalism
• Who shows previous results (sold boats)
• Referred by a friend or online review
• Who specializes in their type of boat (right positioning)
The truth is this: Prospects don’t give the listing to the broker who needs it but to the one who has earned it the most.
So, artificially building rapport hoping to get your prospects on your side and then proceed to pressure them a your service is not going to work. The key is to have a clear plan of action and that’s what I am going to give you.
1) Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.
There are three major factors that influence a boat being sold:
• The condition of the boat
• The marketing effort
• The price.
The price is by far the most critical element in the selling process. After discussing the listing process with dozens of brokers, it’s clear that pricing is often the major issue between sellers and brokers.
A strange thing happens in our mind when we buy something, no matter if it’s a pair of shoes, a car or a boat. As soon as we become an owner, our mind undergoes an immediate transformation. Ever noticed how when you buy a new car, you suddenly start seeing the exact same model everywhere? It’s because you have become hyper aware of your car and have formed an emotional attachment to it.
If you are a boat owner, you likely value your boat more than the amount it is really worth in the marketplace. That’s completely natural – we all do it. So, if someone offers to buy it from you, chances are you want to charge a lot more than they’re prepared to pay. This psychological bias is called the Endowment Effect (also called the “ownership effect)”. Behavioral economic experts define the Endowment Effect as: “A tendency to overvalue something just because we own it.”
Every seller wants more than his or her boat is worth and every buyer wants to pay less than the listing price. That’s the problem. Your job is to negotiate a price in the middle that attracts the buyer but also satisfies the seller (probably the most challenging part of your job.) Once you understand the reasoning behind the Endowment Effect, you can use it to educate your clients and mentally prepare them to accept a more realistic price.
Pride of ownership is not the only thing that creates a bias when it comes to pricing your boat. The time that you have owned it, the amount of money or effort you’ve spent on it, the attachment to the brand and the memories associated with your boat all contribute to the typical over-evaluation.
2) Put a clear call to action on your website.
Ninety-six percent of prospects browse the web for boats, so your website is the most visited place by potential clients. I always hear that getting listings is the main priority, but when I look at the majority of boat brokerage firms’ websites, very little shows that.
Putting a clear call to action on your homepage works. Let me give you an example: Our main objective last month was to sell my newly discounted course, “The 30 Secrets to Boat Sales”. Guess what call to action we put on our home page? A link to purchase the course. The result? We sold 48 courses last month, so this initiative definitely paid off. It doesn’t matter if you sell training, boats, engines, or want more listings; you have to make a clear offer and call to action on your website. Only then will people respond.
I like to run what I call “the Caveman Test”. If I show your homepage to a caveman for five seconds, will he be able to tell me what you do?
If your page doesn’t clearly state (in five seconds) what you do and the main actions you want your viewers to take, you might want to review the design.
3) Install a Live Chat on your website.
There are dozens of reasons why you should install a live chat on your website and I’m going to share a few with you. Live Chat:
• Is convenient for customers
• Cuts down on expenses
• Gives you the upper hand over your competition
• Develops deeper customer relationships. (Transcripts offer data to
improve customer service or pass on leads to a broker)
• Increases conversions and sales.
There are lots of free, paid, simple and fancy options out there, but after trying four or five of them, we decided to go with LiveChatinc.com. We now feel closer to our clients, offer a better customer experience and it even helped us close two deals last month.
BY VINCENT FINETTI, Marine Sales Strategist, Yacht Sales Academy