Quality vs. Quality

Quality vs. Quality

Post by kpk.. » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00


IMHO it's a bigger problem than most boat builders and sellers realize:
nobody wants to lay out big bucks for cruising boat for a salesperson
that treats them like an idiot.

Quote:

> In many cases, the "salesmen" at boat shows are temporary help who have
> no knowledge of boats at all...the dealers hire them as "greeters" to
> head off complaints about "standing there for half an hour before anyone
> even bothered to speak to me."  They're easy to spot...they're the ones
> wearing leather soled shoes. :-)

> > If you really want to be a social outcast, bring along a small notebook
> > and a flashlight. In many cases they won't even let you on board the
> > demo boats.

> I've never seen that happen, or even heard of it before. If it ever
> happened to me, I'd insist on being allowed to board.  OTOH, if you
> aren't the confrontational type, you could just carry a pocket recorder
> and a penlight in your pocket that aren't obvious till you ARE aboard.
> :-)

That's good advice, and I *do* try to be non-confrontational in spite of
being a redhead. The problem is crowds. With 500 people all trying to
look at a boat, somebody has to wait in line. And if the cheif
salesclown doesn't like your looks, you're last....

Quote:

> There's no excuse for poor sales help, but the last thing a guy trying to sell
> boats on commission needs to deal with is
> being unable to show prospects around a vessel on a busy afternoon at a boat
> show because some scholar with a flashlight has the***pit hatch up (while he
> jots down page after page of notes on a yellow tablet).  It's only smart for
> a salesperson to prioritize serious buyers over lookie loos.

Absolutely true- but then in some cases I have published what I found,
including how I was treated. And who's to say that the other potential
customers may not be interested in what I'm finding? Only a salesperson
who has something to hide need fear the flashlight!

Quote:
> You want to be taken seriously as a potential buyer? Don't bring a flashlight;
> bring your wife. Most salespeople realize that a married man shopping without
> his wife will be in
> deep caw caw when he gets home if he spends more than
> $10 or $20 without permission. For years the terminology was "a one-legged up"
> when a salesperson had to deal with
> a married man shopping by himself: a much poorer selling
> opportunity than the highly desirable "full load" where husband and wife are in
> together.

Actually I don't want to be taken seriously as potential buyer, I want
the opportunity to inspect the boat for myself, and have a few questions
answered intelligently. That doesn't take "salesmanship" it takes some
knowledge of the product. It's scary to think anyone would buy a
cruising boat based on soapy smiles and glad-handing from some
commission-fed drone.

Quote:

> Sales 101: "Identify the buyer and the decsion maker. They are not always the
> same person."  When a married couple is shopping for a major purchase, bet on
> the woman as the primary decision maker and you'll be right far more often
> than wrong. Pretty good odds. Hubby may pick out the
> car or the boat or the what have you, but having been involved in thousands of
> sales I can tell you who keeps the checkbook (and writes the check): over 90
> percent of the time it comes out of a purse rather than a pocket.

> Sell the husband, close the wife.

In other words, you can sell any sort of floating cheap junk if the
wifey-poo likes the curtains.

I'm afraid you and I are looking at things from the exact opposite ends
of the stick. I hope some boat-shoppers are following this thread!

This is not to say that my wife doesn't have a major input on decisions.
In fact she made the call on our last boat- but it was a racing-class
dinghy....

Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Anders Svensso » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Boat shows is great fun. From what I hear, we all have the same problems no
matter where the shows are located...

But to be fair to the sales guys, some of the customer categorys are pretty
useless too. I have been at the business end of some trade shows, and this
categorizing work both ways...

I am not thinking about the The Home Builder - they are easily recognized
and can be considered harmless. They will never create uneasiness or say
anything unpleasant as long as they are free to jot down any design
solution to their liking. If they take a fancy to the boat, they often
"pay" for their tour by saying something nice about it. They never buy new
- but they often build or renovate...

Giveaway: Measuring tape, only want brochures if there are sketches or
interior photos.  

The Kibitzer is never buing any boat either. He just pretends that he is,
and is happy looking, talking and reading. He usually knows ALL about your
competitors, and keep asking a lot of questions about what you think about
them.  

Giveaway: A plastic bag with 40-50 of the Big Expensive Boat Brochures - at
least the entrance fee's worth of boat reading...  

The Family Outing is often headed by the father. He is never aware of the
telltale signs of boredom from the rest of the family, who really want to
eat, rest their feet and possibly go have a look at the water toys and the
PWC's too...  To counter boredom and starvation, the family pokes on
things, clicks on anything clickable and tear down any loose or temporary
fitting. If someone finds your hidden lunch sandwiches and check them out,
it is this familys 11 year old boy...

Giveaway:  four person familys, kids eating candy and nose picking at the
same time, wife yawning and/or checking the watch repeadedly - kids
possibly smearing  soda on cushions or dripping soda on mats. Dad may have
boat shoes, mom probably won't.  

The Antagonist has left r.b.c for the real world. He (always a he) is
always finding something to disagree on, and always want to discuss things.
He might know his stuff, but only salesmen will stand him - but not for
long...

Giveaway:  Never smiles, react only when he see a problem area...

The Antagonist close cousin is the Perfectionist. They don't argue, but
leave quickly if something isn't to their liking.  

The Modificator is interested in the boat only if something important could
be changed. In extreme cases, he suggests hull modifications to wring
himself out of a commitment.

I think that *most* boat show sales people are very much aware that they
are promoting a mindset and a way of life - marketing boats, not actually
selling and closing deals. My favourite approach was that of the Nautor
guys (Swan people) many years ago on a fair in Sweden, who booked up small
groups for 20 minutes guided tours of the boat all day long. They handled
the "by appointment only" problem beautifully, not refusing anyone - and
giving ample time for all to check out the details and really look the boat
up. Personally, I think this corteous and generous and very professional
approach was also the best selling tactics.

--
Anders Svensson
----------------------------------------


Quote:
> IMHO it's a bigger problem than most boat builders and sellers realize:
> nobody wants to lay out big bucks for cruising boat for a salesperson
> that treats them like an idiot.


 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Ilana Ster » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> > Sell the husband, close the wife.

> In other words, you can sell any sort of floating cheap junk if the
> wifey-poo likes the curtains.

Hee.  I think the problem is that that's the attitude some
um, more traditional men at boat shows have.  My husband
and I were at the Annapolis sailboat show last fall, and
we diverged a bit in one tent -- he wandered off while I spent
some time investigating a watermaker display and pumping their
survival watermaker.  When I caught up with him, he was
talking with a guy selling folding props.  I came up to
check out what they were looking at and the salesman said
something like, "Oh, the little woman!  You got to keep them
happy -- she'll probably let you buy a new prop if you let her
buy new cushions."  We both stared at him for a second, and
then walked away together in silence.

This was the only time we encountered anything like this,
though.  Most boat and boat product salesmen are prepared
to give the man the run-down on the electrical systems and
the woman the run-down on the galley systems, but if you
break their default by peering into something that's the
"territory" of the opposite sex, they are perfectly happy
to explain things to anyone.

I think it makes a lot of sense though that a married
man shopping for a big-ticket item is taken less seriously
alone than with his wife -- just as a married woman ditto
ditto with her husband.  If a big hunk of the household
budget is going for something, it had better be agreed
upon by everyone involved.

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Peggie Hal » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> Hee.  I think the problem is that that's the attitude some
> um, more traditional men at boat shows have.  My husband
> and I were at the Annapolis sailboat show last fall, and
> we diverged a bit in one tent -- he wandered off while I spent
> some time investigating a watermaker display and pumping their
> survival watermaker.  When I caught up with him, he was
> talking with a guy selling folding props.  I came up to
> check out what they were looking at and the salesman said
> something like, "Oh, the little woman!  You got to keep them
> happy -- she'll probably let you buy a new prop if you let her
> buy new cushions."  We both stared at him for a second, and
> then walked away together in silence.

Either he or his soul-clone was in the booth next to mine. :-)  As an
exhibitor, I encounter more sexism from women than I do from men...women
keep asking me why a woman would want to be in the poop management
business...men never do...they just want answers.

PEggie

Quote:
> This was the only time we encountered anything like this,
> though.  Most boat and boat product salesmen are prepared
> to give the man the run-down on the electrical systems and
> the woman the run-down on the galley systems, but if you
> break their default by peering into something that's the
> "territory" of the opposite sex, they are perfectly happy
> to explain things to anyone.

> I think it makes a lot of sense though that a married
> man shopping for a big-ticket item is taken less seriously
> alone than with his wife -- just as a married woman ditto
> ditto with her husband.  If a big hunk of the household
> budget is going for something, it had better be agreed
> upon by everyone involved.

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Sheldon Gawise » Sat, 05 Sep 1998 04:00:00

I guess we just don't fit this mold.  When Naomi and I began looking for our cruising
home we started with used boats, but realized very soon that the cost of modifying
one to fit our needs made a new boat not so expensive.

And what a difference in the purchase from what has been described here.  We looked
long and hard and had very knowledgeable people, both at boat shows and afterward
show us boats.

In fact, we will be on the Hylas 46 for the weekend days at the Newport show, not
because we get paid (we don't) but to meet other owners and answer people's questions
about the boat.

We did not have a single salesperson on a quality boat who did not attempt to answer
each and every question we had and if he or she did not have the answer, get back to
us with a response.

Of course, we were both there and obviously interested and knowledgeable.

Quote:

> IMHO it's a bigger problem than most boat builders and sellers realize:
> nobody wants to lay out big bucks for cruising boat for a salesperson
> that treats them like an idiot.


> > In many cases, the "salesmen" at boat shows are temporary help who have
> > no knowledge of boats at all...the dealers hire them as "greeters" to
> > head off complaints about "standing there for half an hour before anyone
> > even bothered to speak to me."  They're easy to spot...they're the ones
> > wearing leather soled shoes. :-)


> > > If you really want to be a social outcast, bring along a small notebook
> > > and a flashlight. In many cases they won't even let you on board the
> > > demo boats.

> > I've never seen that happen, or even heard of it before. If it ever
> > happened to me, I'd insist on being allowed to board.  OTOH, if you
> > aren't the confrontational type, you could just carry a pocket recorder
> > and a penlight in your pocket that aren't obvious till you ARE aboard.
> > :-)

> That's good advice, and I *do* try to be non-confrontational in spite of
> being a redhead. The problem is crowds. With 500 people all trying to
> look at a boat, somebody has to wait in line. And if the cheif
> salesclown doesn't like your looks, you're last....


> > There's no excuse for poor sales help, but the last thing a guy trying to sell
> > boats on commission needs to deal with is
> > being unable to show prospects around a vessel on a busy afternoon at a boat
> > show because some scholar with a flashlight has the***pit hatch up (while he
> > jots down page after page of notes on a yellow tablet).  It's only smart for
> > a salesperson to prioritize serious buyers over lookie loos.

> Absolutely true- but then in some cases I have published what I found,
> including how I was treated. And who's to say that the other potential
> customers may not be interested in what I'm finding? Only a salesperson
> who has something to hide need fear the flashlight!

> > You want to be taken seriously as a potential buyer? Don't bring a flashlight;
> > bring your wife. Most salespeople realize that a married man shopping without
> > his wife will be in
> > deep caw caw when he gets home if he spends more than
> > $10 or $20 without permission. For years the terminology was "a one-legged up"
> > when a salesperson had to deal with
> > a married man shopping by himself: a much poorer selling
> > opportunity than the highly desirable "full load" where husband and wife are in
> > together.

> Actually I don't want to be taken seriously as potential buyer, I want
> the opportunity to inspect the boat for myself, and have a few questions
> answered intelligently. That doesn't take "salesmanship" it takes some
> knowledge of the product. It's scary to think anyone would buy a
> cruising boat based on soapy smiles and glad-handing from some
> commission-fed drone.

> > Sales 101: "Identify the buyer and the decsion maker. They are not always the
> > same person."  When a married couple is shopping for a major purchase, bet on
> > the woman as the primary decision maker and you'll be right far more often
> > than wrong. Pretty good odds. Hubby may pick out the
> > car or the boat or the what have you, but having been involved in thousands of
> > sales I can tell you who keeps the checkbook (and writes the check): over 90
> > percent of the time it comes out of a purse rather than a pocket.

> > Sell the husband, close the wife.

> In other words, you can sell any sort of floating cheap junk if the
> wifey-poo likes the curtains.

> I'm afraid you and I are looking at things from the exact opposite ends
> of the stick. I hope some boat-shoppers are following this thread!

> This is not to say that my wife doesn't have a major input on decisions.
> In fact she made the call on our last boat- but it was a racing-class
> dinghy....

> Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by kpk.. » Sun, 06 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> I guess we just don't fit this mold.  When Naomi and I began looking for our cruising
> home we started with used boats, but realized very soon that the cost of modifying
> one to fit our needs made a new boat not so expensive.

> And what a difference in the purchase from what has been described here.  We looked
> long and hard and had very knowledgeable people, both at boat shows and afterward
> show us boats.

Well, that's good.

Quote:
> We did not have a single salesperson on a quality boat who did not attempt to answer
> each and every question we had and if he or she did not have the answer, get back to
> us with a response.

I guess this depends on how you define a "quality" boat. In my
experience (and this includes the Newports show) it's a pretty samll
minority of builders/dealers who are willing (and knowledgable) to
answer serious questions. Most are looking for a quick sale and tend to
dismiss anyone who asks more than about five questions.

Quote:
> Of course, we were both there and obviously interested and knowledgeable.

Oh, of course, obviously. In fact I have brought my wife to every boat
show I have attended (about twenty or so) in the last six years. Before
that I wasn't married, so it wasn't really an option. And my wife is
more interested in cruising boats than I am, and has learned an awful
lot about the technical details. She's also a darn good spinnaker crew.

A big OTOH- there has been an increased tendency to publish technical
data about boats, and often brochures will have stability curves,
details on the hull-deck joint, etc. And in some cases at boat shows I
have gotten to talk with the designers, which is always fascinating and
informative.

Fresh Breezes- Doug King

PS I am reposting Anders' most excellent summary:
*************************************************************
Boat shows is great fun. From what I hear, we all have the same problems
no
matter where the shows are located...

But to be fair to the sales guys, some of the customer categorys are
pretty
useless too. I have been at the business end of some trade shows, and
this
categorizing work both ways...

I am not thinking about the The Home Builder - they are easily
recognized
and can be considered harmless. They will never create uneasiness or say
anything unpleasant as long as they are free to jot down any design
solution to their liking. If they take a fancy to the boat, they often
"pay" for their tour by saying something nice about it. They never buy
new
- but they often build or renovate...

Giveaway: Measuring tape, only want brochures if there are sketches or
interior photos.  

The Kibitzer is never buing any boat either. He just pretends that he
is,
and is happy looking, talking and reading. He usually knows ALL about
your
competitors, and keep asking a lot of questions about what you think
about
them.  

Giveaway: A plastic bag with 40-50 of the Big Expensive Boat Brochures -
at
least the entrance fee's worth of boat reading...  

The Family Outing is often headed by the father. He is never aware of
the
telltale signs of boredom from the rest of the family, who really want
to
eat, rest their feet and possibly go have a look at the water toys and
the
PWC's too...  To counter boredom and starvation, the family pokes on
things, clicks on anything clickable and tear down any loose or
temporary
fitting. If someone finds your hidden lunch sandwiches and check them
out,
it is this familys 11 year old boy...

Giveaway:  four person familys, kids eating candy and nose picking at
the
same time, wife yawning and/or checking the watch repeadedly - kids
possibly smearing  soda on cushions or dripping soda on mats. Dad may
have
boat shoes, mom probably won't.  

The Antagonist has left r.b.c for the real world. He (always a he) is
always finding something to disagree on, and always want to discuss
things.
He might know his stuff, but only salesmen will stand him - but not for
long...

Giveaway:  Never smiles, react only when he see a problem area...

The Antagonist close cousin is the Perfectionist. They don't argue, but
leave quickly if something isn't to their liking.  

The Modificator is interested in the boat only if something important
could
be changed. In extreme cases, he suggests hull modifications to wring
himself out of a commitment.

I think that *most* boat show sales people are very much aware that they
are promoting a mindset and a way of life - marketing boats, not
actually
selling and closing deals. My favourite approach was that of the Nautor
guys (Swan people) many years ago on a fair in Sweden, who booked up
small
groups for 20 minutes guided tours of the boat all day long. They
handled
the "by appointment only" problem beautifully, not refusing anyone - and
giving ample time for all to check out the details and really look the
boat
up. Personally, I think this corteous and generous and very professional
approach was also the best selling tactics.

--
Anders Svensson
----------------------------------------

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Patt » Mon, 07 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Waiting in long lines to look at a boat is a drag,
and a lot of the people are just window shopping
with no intention of buying.  

I think that the best time to shop for a boat is
BEFORE the boat show.  Doing so eliminates the
need to wait in line to see a lot of boats that
you didn't like in your research.  Also, you know
whether the boat-show price is really a discounted
price.  If you've gone to the additional trouble
of arranging financing before the show, you have
an even bigger advantage.  Often, there is a sales
"office" set up at the show in addition to sales
people on the vessel.  If you are serious about
buying, go to the office and meet with the sales
person before boarding the boat.  If the sales
person knows that you are serious, he or she will
probably escort you onto the boat, saving you the
need to stand in line.  Shopping ahead for
electronics and other "necessaries" is also a good
idea.  It can save you time and money.
Molly

Quote:

>I guess we just don't fit this mold.  When Naomi and I began looking for our cruising
>home we started with used boats, but realized very soon that the cost of modifying
>one to fit our needs made a new boat not so expensive.
>And what a difference in the purchase from what has been described here.  We looked
>long and hard and had very knowledgeable people, both at boat shows and afterward
>show us boats.
>In fact, we will be on the Hylas 46 for the weekend days at the Newport show, not
>because we get paid (we don't) but to meet other owners and answer people's questions
>about the boat.
>We did not have a single salesperson on a quality boat who did not attempt to answer
>each and every question we had and if he or she did not have the answer, get back to
>us with a response.
>Of course, we were both there and obviously interested and knowledgeable.

>> IMHO it's a bigger problem than most boat builders and sellers realize:
>> nobody wants to lay out big bucks for cruising boat for a salesperson
>> that treats them like an idiot.


>> > In many cases, the "salesmen" at boat shows are temporary help who have
>> > no knowledge of boats at all...the dealers hire them as "greeters" to
>> > head off complaints about "standing there for half an hour before anyone
>> > even bothered to speak to me."  They're easy to spot...they're the ones
>> > wearing leather soled shoes. :-)


>> > > If you really want to be a social outcast, bring along a small notebook
>> > > and a flashlight. In many cases they won't even let you on board the
>> > > demo boats.

>> > I've never seen that happen, or even heard of it before. If it ever
>> > happened to me, I'd insist on being allowed to board.  OTOH, if you
>> > aren't the confrontational type, you could just carry a pocket recorder
>> > and a penlight in your pocket that aren't obvious till you ARE aboard.
>> > :-)

>> That's good advice, and I *do* try to be non-confrontational in spite of
>> being a redhead. The problem is crowds. With 500 people all trying to
>> look at a boat, somebody has to wait in line. And if the cheif
>> salesclown doesn't like your looks, you're last....


>> > There's no excuse for poor sales help, but the last thing a guy trying to sell
>> > boats on commission needs to deal with is
>> > being unable to show prospects around a vessel on a busy afternoon at a boat
>> > show because some scholar with a flashlight has the***pit hatch up (while he
>> > jots down page after page of notes on a yellow tablet).  It's only smart for
>> > a salesperson to prioritize serious buyers over lookie loos.

>> Absolutely true- but then in some cases I have published what I found,
>> including how I was treated. And who's to say that the other potential
>> customers may not be interested in what I'm finding? Only a salesperson
>> who has something to hide need fear the flashlight!

>> > You want to be taken seriously as a potential buyer? Don't bring a flashlight;
>> > bring your wife. Most salespeople realize that a married man shopping without
>> > his wife will be in
>> > deep caw caw when he gets home if he spends more than
>> > $10 or $20 without permission. For years the terminology was "a one-legged up"
>> > when a salesperson had to deal with
>> > a married man shopping by himself: a much poorer selling
>> > opportunity than the highly desirable "full load" where husband and wife are in
>> > together.

>> Actually I don't want to be taken seriously as potential buyer, I want
>> the opportunity to inspect the boat for myself, and have a few questions
>> answered intelligently. That doesn't take "salesmanship" it takes some
>> knowledge of the product. It's scary to think anyone would buy a
>> cruising boat based on soapy smiles and glad-handing from some
>> commission-fed drone.

>> > Sales 101: "Identify the buyer and the decsion maker. They are not always the
>> > same person."  When a married couple is shopping for a major purchase, bet on
>> > the woman as the primary decision maker and you'll be right far more often
>> > than wrong. Pretty good odds. Hubby may pick out the
>> > car or the boat or the what have you, but having been involved in thousands of
>> > sales I can tell you who keeps the checkbook (and writes the check): over 90
>> > percent of the time it comes out of a purse rather than a pocket.

>> > Sell the husband, close the wife.

>> In other words, you can sell any sort of floating cheap junk if the
>> wifey-poo likes the curtains.

>> I'm afraid you and I are looking at things from the exact opposite ends
>> of the stick. I hope some boat-shoppers are following this thread!

>> This is not to say that my wife doesn't have a major input on decisions.
>> In fact she made the call on our last boat- but it was a racing-class
>> dinghy....

>> Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Gould 07 » Tue, 08 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Doug King said:

Quote:
>Absolutely true- but then in some cases I have published what I found,
>including how I was treated. And who's to say that the other potential
>customers may not be interested in what I'm finding? Only a salesperson
>who has something to hide need fear the flashlight!

The salesperson has nothing to fear, anyway. He or she didn't build the boat.
Only somebody who was attempting to fib about some aspect of the boat or
another would have a problem with a "flashlight" inspection.  The best
salespeople
have no need to lie to get deep into a customer's wallet.

My point was that a "boat show" environment is not probably the right time and
place to attempt an hour long
amateur survey. Why not drop by the dealership on say, a
Wednesday afternoon?  Not only would you most certainly be welcome, but you
would have a chance to crawl around a boat until you'd had your fill of it,
without having to work around potential buyers who want to take a look as well.

Doug also said:

Quote:
>Actually I don't want to be taken seriously as potential buyer, I want
>the opportunity to inspect the boat for myself, and have a few questions
>answered intelligently. That doesn't take "salesmanship" it takes some
>knowledge of the product. It's scary to think anyone would buy a
>cruising boat based on soapy smiles and glad-handing from some
>commission-fed drone.

Hate to have your bubble go pop, but did you know that
answering questions intelligently and sharing product knowledge are important
aspects of salesmanship? Like it or not, a good salesperson considers everybody
a potential buyer.....sometimes the potential is just a little more remote.

And was it your intention to characterize the enormous percentage of the work
force who work on commission as
"drones", or did it simply come out that way?

And Doug remarked:

Quote:
>In other words, you can sell any sort of floating cheap junk if the
>wifey-poo likes the curtains.

>I'm afraid you and I are looking at things from the exact opposite ends
>of the stick. I hope some boat-shoppers are following this thread!

Never said that wifey poos opinion of the curtains is the deciding factor. You
might be genuinely surprised how many
women know as much about a boat as a lot of men do; especially men new to the
field.  Major purchases are very seldom made without spousal approval. That is
an incontrovertible fact. Perhaps in your family the wife's input is restricted
to curtain color etc; (or what dingy to buy) but that is not the general
experience out there in the 90's.

A really excellent technique for processing one-legged ups
involves sending them a postcard thanking them for their visit to the
dealership or their interest in such and such a product at a show.  Now that is
certainly a harmless and polite thing to do, right? I used to do this
regularly, but gave up on it after
a number of guys called up to bawl me out for getting them in
trouble with their wives. "When she found out I was looking at
.............(fill in your choice of high ticket item) she nearly
filed for divorce!"  I suppose if the local massage parlor sent out "thanks for
your visit" cards they'd get a lot of the same
response. :-)

I stand behind my comment that a guy looking at boats with
his wife is a better prospect than a guy looking at boats with
a flashlight and a note pad.

And if potential boat buyers are following this thread, they should be aware
that not all salespeople are soapy smiling,
glad handing, commission fed drones.

Fresh Breezes back at ya.............
(It's ok to disagree as long as we avoid being disagreeable)
:-)

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Anders Svensso » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

I have been on the business end on some trade shows as well as in the
receiving end of many boat shows. I think the operational word is "show".
There will be boats that you won't be able to see elsewhere and getting
another look soon may be very hard.  

IMHO, anyone who is a professional boat salesperson, and thinks that
business is better conducted at shows, and looking at boats is better done
at the sales office is really wanting to both eat the cake and have it. I
suggest that the reverse concept to be more in line with boat show
visitors...

---------------------

I am a professional salesman, and I certainly dislike being categorized
stereotypically.

I have also met a lot of salespersons that are verifying the most
stereotypic and mean descriptions of their profession, even on boat shows.
"Commission fed drones" is a good, but harsh, way of describing the
"sell-by-numbers" tactics used by some of these. As soon as they see you as
a person that isn't going to decide and sign a contract whithin the
timeframe of their assignment, they loose interest immediately as they may
work under conditions similar to Lloyds salvaging rules - "No Cure - No
Pay". If you want to get mad, get mad at the guy hiring them.

I would personally hesitate to use professional salesmen-for-hire (have
mouth, will travel) to reinforce the booth personell, simply because boat
shows are so unique. Possibly these places are the only places where you
have trade fair size effort from the seller, directed to consumer profile
customers. But, most of these guys do an excellent job on commercial shows,
where the customer is a professional and is scouting for his company. Big
part of the job is approaching people nicely and friendly (smiles and
glad-handing), robbing them of their business card and directing them to
something of interest and "our expert".  

Selling to ordinary people with corporate salesmen does not work... (IMHO,
ofcourse)

--
Anders Svensson
----------------------------------------


Quote:

> ....
> My point was that a "boat show" environment is not probably the right
time and
> place to attempt an hour long
> amateur survey. Why not drop by the dealership on say, a
> Wednesday afternoon?  Not only would you most certainly be welcome, but
you
> would have a chance to crawl around a boat until you'd had your fill of
it,
> without having to work around potential buyers who want to take a look as
well.
> ....
> ....
> And was it your intention to characterize the enormous percentage of the
work
> force who work on commission as
> "drones", or did it simply come out that way?
> ....
> ....
> I stand behind my comment that a guy looking at boats with
> his wife is a better prospect than a guy looking at boats with
> a flashlight and a note pad.

> And if potential boat buyers are following this thread, they should be
aware
> that not all salespeople are soapy smiling,
> glad handing, commission fed drones.

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by kpk.. » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

You have very badly misrepresented what I said. Is this a standard sales
technique?

Quote:

> ... You
> might be genuinely surprised how many
> women know as much about a boat as a lot of men do; especially men new to the
> field.  Major purchases are very seldom made without spousal approval. That is
> an incontrovertible fact. Perhaps in your family the wife's input is restricted
> to curtain color etc; (or what dingy to buy) but that is not the general
> experience out there in the 90's.

My wife knows a h### of a lot about the technical details of boats. I
would put her up against most salesmen and even some builders any day.

The decision which you characterized as "which dinghy to buy" was in
fact a major purchase of a racing class boat. A check with five digits
on it changed hands. One design boats without cabins are often referred
to as "racing dinghies" by those who actually know something about it.

Wanna try again?

Fresh Breezes- especially at boat shows- Doug King

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by kpk.. » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> I am a professional salesman, and I certainly dislike being categorized
> stereotypically.

I think everyone does, Anders!

Quote:
> I have also met a lot of salespersons that are verifying the most
> stereotypic and mean descriptions of their profession, even on boat shows.
> "Commission fed drones" is a good, but harsh, way of describing the
> "sell-by-numbers" tactics used by some of these. As soon as they see you as
> a person that isn't going to decide and sign a contract whithin the
> timeframe of their assignment, they loose interest immediately as they may
> work under conditions similar to Lloyds salvaging rules - "No Cure - No
> Pay". If you want to get mad, get mad at the guy hiring them.

IMHO using commissions as the main source of income for sales people is
reinforcing the wrong behaviours for most products, including sailboats.

I am an engineer. I work with a number of salespeople who represent
manufacturers of machines, parts, and tools. They simply are not going
to sell me anything I don't need, period, and if they waste my time
trying then my company's business goes elsewhere. Ditto if they give
misleading information about technical specifications. My life and my
mechanics' lives depend on this in many cases, not to mention the future
of our business!

Buying a sailboat should be similar. It's not like choosing a tennis
shoe or a video game.

Quote:

> > My point was that a "boat show" environment is not probably the right
> time and
> > place to attempt an hour long
> > amateur survey. Why not drop by the dealership on say, a
> > Wednesday afternoon?

Because the boats I want to check out at a boat show are built many
hundreds if not thousands of miles away, and the show will be my only
chance to even get a look.

Quote:
> > And was it your intention to characterize the enormous percentage of the
> work
> > force who work on commission as
> > "drones", or did it simply come out that way?

If the shoe fits, wear it!

In one sense, I work on commissions myself- but if I try to force
unwanted or unneeded services on our clients, then they will quickly go
elsewhere if not actually sue us. Working on commission encourages the
salesperson to consider making the sale above the customers well-being,
and in many cases above the truth about the product. I think this a
large part of what's wrong with the "sailing industry" nowadays.

Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Gould 07 » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>You have very badly misrepresented what I said. Is this a standard sales
>technique?

It certainly isn't.  If memory serves me well and without checking word for
word what you said, exactly, was:

"In other words you can sell any piece of floating ***as long as wifey-poo
likes the curtains...."

This statement was made in response to an observation of mine that the best
sales prospects are usually couples shopping together and that the wife seems
to carry the deciding vote in most major purchase situations. My original
statement made no referance to the wife's involvement being limited to
inconsequential details such as curtains. You drew that conclusion
independently. It would be an easy conclusion to draw since that is exactly how
you apparently
feel that anybody involved in the sales business ("commission -fed drones")
must think.

The salespeople working at boat shows must answer first to
their employers. Yes, they are there to "show" boats, but at the end of the
week no check gets written for the number of boats that were "shown", only the
number that were sold.
Our local 10 day indoor boat show acccounts for a whalloping percentage of the
annual business volume for many of the exhibitors. It would border on
irresponsibility for a salesperson to ignore somebody indicating they are on
the verge of buying a boat in favor of somebody who wants to
compare hull dimensions on a list of 10 or 12 boats. The guy who's sightseeing
should be treated courteously and have his questions answered honestly; but the
folks who are asking
"If we made a deposit on this tonight, how soon would we get delivery?" have
got to come first.  

Consider the cross purposes which exist at boat shows.  John Q Public gets
charged $30 to get his family through the door and he want to be free to "look
around".
John Q has the reasonable expectation that he has purchased a ticket to an
exhibition. But, Clamshell Marine has also paid to get into the show...probably
500 times as much as John Q and his family (or more).  If Clamshell doesn't
generate some serious sales from their participation in the show, both at the
show itself and through subsequent
follow up, there won't be any future "exhibitions" for the
chine rappers to wander through. Each party is economically compelled to seek
out something slightly different.

You also stated that in your family your wife was the decision maker on the
purchase of a dinghy.  So, if the response I posted, (which follows), somehow
badly misrepresents what you said  I must apologize. I often make the mistake
of confusing what somebody actually said with
what it is I think they must have meant (based upon my pre-conceived notion of
who they must be), and I am surely not alone in this aspect of human frailty.

In response to the "wifey-poo" and the curtains remark I posted:

Quote:
>> ... You
>> might be genuinely surprised how many
>> women know as much about a boat as a lot of men do; especially men new to
>the
>> field.  Major purchases are very seldom made without spousal approval. That
>is
>> an incontrovertible fact. Perhaps in your family the wife's input is
>restricted
>> to curtain color etc; (or what dingy to buy) but that is not the general
>> experience out there in the 90's.

More fresh wind.  :-)
 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Anders Svensso » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Doug, we have no argue about the end result.

I certainly have no mercy with fortune seekers that try bluffing or pushing
me into quick deals, neither privately nor professionaly

Just consider that many exhibitors at many trade shows (not only boat
shows) doesn't have the regular staff needed to man a trade show booth over
four or five days with competent people. The idea and concept to hire a
temporary that is willing to work for commission and only minor actual pay
may then be very tempting.

When that salesperson understand that there are virtually no deals for him
to make, he may be desperate and act accordingly. I was followed for
several booth rows by such a person in Copenhagen, some years ago - not
particularily pleasant.

This is not an explanation or an excuse for bad salesmanship, but rater an
observation. I personally think that hiring a nice and friendly boatperson
to act as a backup and general "nice fellow" is a much better idea. A happy
customer of the company, he/she will be a very good ambassador.

I also think that in many places, exhibitors have a unrealistic view of the
sales potential on boat shows.

Anders

 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by kpk.. » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

I'm beginning to think that there is some sort of agenda here.

Quote:

> >You have very badly misrepresented what I said. Is this a standard sales
> >technique?


> It certainly isn't.

If not, then why are you doing it again?

Quote:
>  If memory serves me well and without checking word for
> word what you said, exactly, was:

> "In other words you can sell any piece of floating ***as long as wifey-poo
> likes the curtains...."

Intended, rather obviously I thought, to be a paraophrase of what you
had said regarding "sell the husband, close the wife."

Quote:
> The salespeople working at boat shows must answer first to
> their employers. Yes, they are there to "show" boats, but at the end of the
> week no check gets written for the number of boats that were "shown", only the
> number that were sold.

Rather a shame. How many later sales are made based on the number of
people get to look over a boat they are interested in, and often get a
direct comparison between several possiblities?

Quote:
> The guy who's sightseeing
> should be treated courteously and have his questions answered honestly; but the
> folks who are asking
> "If we made a deposit on this tonight, how soon would we get delivery?" have
> got to come first.

I have never disagreed with this.

Quote:
> You also stated that in your family your wife was the decision maker on the
> purchase of a dinghy.

WRONG! I said a "racing class dinghy." As I attemped to explain in
another post, this is different beast entirely from a Dyer Dink or an
inflatable. And even if they weren't, the dinghy is one of the most
important pieces of cruising equipment.

Quote:
>  So, if the response I posted, (which follows), somehow
> badly misrepresents what you said  I must apologize. I often make the mistake
> of confusing what somebody actually said with
> what it is I think they must have meant (based upon my pre-conceived notion of
> who they must be), and I am surely not alone in this aspect of human frailty.

You certainly share this "frailty" with lots of politicians. Anyway, I
accept your apology since your agenda is now apparent.

How many more boatbuilders and dealers/brokers will go bankrupt before
things change a little? I would suggest changing the financial
arrangements for boat shows should be a pretty high priority.

Quote:
> More fresh wind.  :-)

Right back at ya- Doug King
 
 
 

Quality vs. Quality

Post by Gould 07 » Wed, 09 Sep 1998 04:00:00

Commissions are the very epitome' of the free enterprise system.

Considering that one must be paid for work done, the two most common devices
are a) salary and b) commission.

Salary is like communism. Everybody doing the same job in the same
classification gets the same pay. The only worker being properly compensated on
salary is the mythical "average" performer, as in a group of 10 people all
earning the same salary for the same task the people producing the
most quantity and/or quality are paid exactly the same as the
people who just barely put out enough to keep from getting fired. The achievers
are getting screwed, the slackers are
highly overpaid.

Commission is a system under which you eat what you earn.
Poor salespeople can't make a good living on commission; but
you couldn't run fast enough to catch a professional salesperson if  you wanted
to offer them the "security" of a salary. The cut in pay would be disastrous.

Good salespeople know you can't push a string.

The customer must make the ultimate decision to buy; all that
a salesperson can do is to present information about features and benefits and,
when the product seems to meet the customer's needs, ask for the order.

Doug King made an intersting observation:

Quote:
>They simply are not going
>to sell me anything I don't need, period, and if they waste my time
>trying then my company's business goes elsewhere. Ditto if they give
>misleading information about technical specifications. My life and my
>mechanics' lives depend on this in many cases, not to mention the future
>of our business!

Mechanics? Did somebody mention mechanics?  

Most mechanics work on commission, too. They get paid a
"flat rate" for a repair job, based upon the number of hours
a job is listed to take in a published repair manual. Example;
Joe Blow needs a carburetor overhauled. The local shop says, "The job takes 4
hours at $80 and hour, so the bill will be
$320 plus parts."  Jack Black works out back.  He gets paid for 4 hours labor
(at maybe $20 an hour or so) regardless of how long it actually takes hime to
do the job.  Sharp guys make a lot more than $20 per actual clock hour, just as
the shop is grossing a lot more than $80 per actual clock hour spent on the
job. Jack is motivated to do a good job, becuase he will have to re-do the job
(free) is he screws it up by doing it too fast.

Superior performance should call for superior compensation.