Brokerage Yachts Are NOT Used Cars
Most successful yacht brokers have been recruited from other industries that sell high-end products, like Mercedes and Porsches, and apply these selling skills in the yacht brokerage industry. However, although they may be consummate salespeople with an innate or learned ability to sell you a yacht, you need to be careful that they will sell you a yacht that meets your yachting needs.
If you have heard that an Azimut is a good brand, and you contact an Azimut dealer, there’s a fairly good chance that they will sell you an Azimut and not a Princess, Sea Ray or Sunseeker. Of course, you could visit all 4 dealerships and listen to their different sales pitches and then decide which one of these brands is best for you. But, in fact, you will probably buy the brand from the salesman who is the most convincing because all four brands have very similar styling, design, layouts, and performance characteristics because stealing designs from competitors is the sincerest form of flattery.
Good yacht brokers know their boats and ask the right questions. The first criteria to select a yacht broker is to ask questions to determine if they understand boats. You might start out with a simple question like “what is the difference between a planning, semi-displacement, or full displacement yacht?” A follow-up question might be how to select the optimum engine size for those three types of yachts. If you’ve owned a boat in the past, you know the questions to ask. If you have never owned a boat before, you need to learn about boats before you shop for boats in a boat show, otherwise you will become a nail to any yacht salesman who has a hammer.
The second criteria for selecting the right yacht brokers is observing their sales presentation…”are they talkers or listeners?” Talkers, and especially fast talkers, have something to hide…usually their ignorance. The best yacht brokers are listeners who want to understand why you want a yacht, what you are planning to do with it, and fully understand what are all the aspects of this yacht that will make you become a buyer (salespeople have 2 ears and 1 mouth and should use them equally). Sales are lost in the first 2-3 minutes of a sales presentation. It’s during that time that a yacht broker should ask questions and understand what you want, otherwise they will be trying to sell you what they have and not what you need. For this same reason, this is why you should seek out a yacht broker (rather than a dealer) who can give you an honest appraisal of the difference between brands and not focus on selling you what they have in inventory.
Yacht dealers are required to stock and sell a certain number of boats or else lose the dealership. And with margins on new yacht sales than can range from 15-30% (compared to 4-10% in brokerage), the compensation rewards make it difficult for dealer salespeople to remain objective.
Objectivity is what every yacht buyer should expect and the only way to do that is to select a yacht broker to help you in your search who understands the yacht market segment of interest to you.