It struck me like a lightning bolt!
Well, eventually it did, as I wasn’t a yacht broker, so it initially passed me by.
Because if I’m to be completely honest about it, I certainly didn’t want to be a yacht broker, given the rather dismal reputation salespeople have.
In the 2019 Forbes ‘Least Trusted Professions Index’ it cites car salespeople as second to last of the trusted list, or second in line to the least trusted. Real estate agents are not too far behind.
Yes, I know… of course boat salespeople would argue they are not the same as used car salespeople or real estate agents, but hopefully you get my point here and how one could be excused for making a slight comparison!
But as creator and co-founder, I’d been building a new tech start-up company in the leisure boat industry for almost 3-years at the time.
For the first 2 years I was also working full time, but not any more, so it was now time to turbo-charge the results not only for our clients, but also for us, so we could in the future invite team members to join us.
So, an invitation to triple your income as a yacht broker in 90-days got my attention and I said, yes, I really did need to learn how to do that for our company and so I reluctantly got on board with my new job of being a yacht adviser, in addition to the other jobs in a tech start-up.
It didn’t take long and I was suddenly on a new mission as there was only one way to incorporate this into our company, which was through it! That meant I had to do it first, become a highly paid yacht adviser, so we can then teach others to do the same for themselves, their clients and their families ahead of them joining BASCO Boating.
In October, I embarked on Day 1 of the Journey to a Highly Paid Yacht Adviser.
Here are the 3 biggest lessons I learned in the first 60 days and why it matters:
Lesson 1: The leisure boat industry globally is tiny, compared to other industries.
For example, compared to the property industry/real estate agents or the automobile industry and car salespeople.
This meant that initially while I may not have had much of a clue how to become a highly paid yacht adviser, what was worse was there was very limited information and no clear path or step by step guide how to do this.
So, creating the blueprint to get from Point A (no clue) to Point B (serving clients and making $) was an important lesson from the get-go and I documented the steps and journey in detail, for others to take.
Lesson 2: There is a huge demand for everything boating and it’s a global market.
The demand is huge and growing. And the type of demand is as diverse as the people who enquire and are at different stages of their journey to the boating lifestyle.
Once we started marketing and turned on the ‘marketing tap’ it was mission-critical to have good systems and automations in place that can handle the sheer volume of enquiries you’ll get from such a diverse group of people who have a vastly different needs, wants, questions, and enquiries.
The reason this one is so important is the importance of establishing an effective sales pipeline of the services people were looking for. And building and maintaining a full pipeline is one of the most important lessons learned, period. But more about how to create full pipelines in the boat sales industry in another blog.
From what I understand of the boating industry generally, professional sales processes and principals, practices and sales activity are not very well established.
More common, a broker will have just a handful of deals or people they follow up, sometimes for years, wining and dining them and hoping to build a relationship to a level that one day that person will buy from them.
I learned that this is called the ‘Living Dangerously Pipeline’ and that behaviour certainly was what I had observed over many years on the sidelines of the industry.
The implementation of professional sales pipeline management, rigorous follow-up and implementation of a proper sales execution engine inside a firm appears few and far between. Certainly, in my yacht broker hubby’s 30+ year in the industry, he has never been in a firm that has this level of sales systems support or sales engine implementation.
Lesson 3: The importance of implementing a daily routine that supports income goals.
This one took a while to get on top of, due to the sheer volume in point 2 above.
I was working all hours following up, following up, following up. I had no more time to work. Then we saw how segmenting the enquiries and follow up into 4 different “buckets” was an important aspect of implementing a daily routine that supported our income goals.
I observed the difference in the enquiry types and set up a ‘bucketing system’ including those that were instant follow-ups (two types) and compared to the other two enquiry types that were weekly follow up with associated tasks. The weekly followups were then identified and prioritised as follows:
1. Enquiries and follow-ups that fell into ‘Wanted to Sell Tuesdays’ and
2. Those that fell into ‘Wanted to Buy Wednesdays’.
The reason this was so important to learn early on, was to align all the follow-up activity more closely with the income goals to be able to priortise the overwhelming number of necessary tasks that are an important part of a sales contributor role and workload.
So those were the three biggest learnings in the first 60-days. Here they are in summary:
1. The boating industry is small so best practices and training is scant
2. There’s a huge demand for boating, but handling scale and enquiry volume is mission-critical
3. Get an ideal day in place with structured activities and follow up to achieve client expectations, firm expectations and your own income goals.
That’s it! But the following 60-days was much tougher than the first 60-days. Check out the next blog to read more.
So, the thing I really want you to take away from this is we all have great ideas on how to make things better for clients and customers, and how to make more sales. But you sometimes need a clear step by step guide and path to get from Point A to Point B. Someone to motivate and encourage us in those great ideas also can help!
What this means to you in your boating life or business is if you love the boating lifestyle or the sea, and you have great ideas about improving the leisure boat industry or improving the outcomes for yourself and your family, and for owners and buyers, we all need to have mentors to help us grow and believe in ourselves.
So, here’s your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared: let me know if you have great ideas about how to improve the leisure boat industry or your role within it.
I invite you to join my Facebook Group — become a Boat Boss — and so I can be the one who believes in you and shows you how you can do and be more than you think you can be in this industry.
Click here and apply to join our Facebook Group on How to Buy and Sell Boats Online, Make Consistent Income & Work from Anywhere