South Shore Road
We caught up with West Nautical Sales Manager Pierre Badin about what is takes to successfully broker a yacht, here is what he had to say.
I believe all Sales Managers should be very grateful to be evolving on a daily basis in such an exclusive and rewarding market. One of the main keys to success, no matter which field you work in, is to enjoy yourself and be passionate about what you are doing.
Beyond the many skills and the knowledge that you will need to be a successful yacht Sales Manager, there are essential qualities which are absolutely necessary.
Dedication is the first one, as you must be prepared to give yourself 100% to your clients and be available at all times to attend viewings with buyers, even when arranged at the last minute. Being a yacht Sales Manager is the ultimate form of customised service.
Integrity is the quality that makes a Sales Manager last in this industry. There are many times in yacht sales where the Sales Managers’ personal interest (his commission perspective) takes a different direction from his client’s interest. Thirdly, it takes a true sense of ethics and honesty to remember what we are here for in the first place and whose interest should always be our priority.
There are no schools, special courses or diplomas to qualify a yacht Sales Manager and ultimately the client is the only person who can judge you on your abilities.
However, you should have a good and eclectic knowledge about all the aspects of a yacht, so a background as a captain or marine engineer would definitely help.
You will find successful yacht Sales Managers coming from very different backgrounds such as marketing and sales in other fields, services to UHNWI such as concierge or with a background in luxury real estate.
Many paths lead to the industry and it is often by accident and good fortune that one becomes a yacht Sales Manager.
Connections and networks are key and there is always an introducer between a Sales Manager and his client (buyer or seller).
The experience is what makes you different and valuable and gives you the ability to move on from just an introduction to a fruitful relationship with a confident client.
It’s easy to always tell the clients what they want to hear, and it is challenging to be truthful to them.
You need to use a lot of diplomacy to give them a realistic estimate of the true value of their yacht (sellers) or to tell them not to buy the yacht they have fallen in love with, when you know it is not a good boat (buyers).
I have experienced challenges when my opinion as a knowledgeable Sales Manager differs from my clients’, and I have always told them the truth and not what they would like to hear… Ultimately, I think I gained their respect for this and eventually they were thankful for the honest comments.
I believe we are in an ever-changing world with many possible paths that could be taken.
Right now, the market has evolved from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market as so many yachts have been sold. Many new owners have taken the step towards selling or buying, so the proportion between the offer and demand has really changed.
I see it as a good thing for Sales Managers, as now I can really focus on selling the yachts I have been asked to sell and get the best price possible for my clients, rather than spending most of my time and energy looking for buyers.
Always keep in mind how lucky you are to work in the yachting industry and enjoy what you are doing as much as you can, as you will do a better job if you love what you do.
Never give up, even when it seems the battle is lost and try to learn from your clients since they often are some of the most successful people in the world.