"How can I get more listings?"

 

I hear this question on a daily basis.

I often ask our students what their main challenge is and a large 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 won.  (Remember the John Rade story).

Let’s take a minute and look at what boat sellers really want when it comes to listing their boats. They want a broker:

-With expertise
-That can educate them
-That is good at promoting their listing
-That will give them tips on how to sell their boat fast and for more money
-They like and trust
-That will listen to them
-That will focus on them and their boat
-With confidence and professionalism
-That shows previous results (sold boats)
-Referred by a friend or online reviews
-That is specialised 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 whose earned it the most.

So artificially building rapport hoping to get your prospects on your side and then proceed to pressure them with 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 today.

Let's review 10 simple ways to double your boat listings.

[box type="download"] CLICK HERE to receive a summary checklist and pdf version of the 10 Simple Ways To Double Your Boat Listings (Scripts Included) (With 1 more extra tip) [/box]

1) Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes

 

There are 3 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. Below is what happens in your prospect’s mind when they put their boat up for sale.

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 what it is really worth in the marketplace.  And it'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 ownership effect). 

Behavioral Economic Experts define the Endowment Effect as: “A tendency to overvalue something just because we own it”.

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A few years back, social scientists Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman and Jack L Knetsch conducted an interesting experiment with students at the Cornell University.

The professors gave out coffee cups to half of the students and left the other half empty handed. They asked the empty handed group to estimate a buying price and the group who had received coffee were asked to come up with a selling price. The experiment showed interesting results. The students with coffee were unwilling to sell for less than $5.25, while the group who didn’t receive coffee were unwilling to spend more than $2.25. This difference in price (nearly 50%) has a huge impact on the potential trading volume.

Every seller wants more than what their 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.

Now that we understand the human psychology behind the Endowment Effect, let’s find some solutions to help you influence your clients to list their boats with you.

2) Put a clear call to action on your website

 

96% 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. I checked the HMY website and they were one of the very few to have a clear call to action on their homepage to capture leads and new listings. (see below)

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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 our 30 Secrets course.
The results? We sold 48 courses last month so this initiative definitely paid off.

Now it doesn't matter if you sell 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 to your offer.

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Let's review another example: Beepi.com, one of the largest sellers of second-hand vehicles in the US.

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Their home page is VERY clear. You can either sell a car or buy one. Too many websites confuse the viewers and as a result, people don’t take the right action.

I like to run what I call ‘The Caveman Test.’ If I show your homepage to a caveman for 5 seconds, will they be able to tell me what you do?

If your page doesn't CLEARLY state (in 5 seconds) what you do and the 1 or 2 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:

  1. Convenient for customers
  2. Cuts down on expenses
  3. Gives you the upper hand to your competition
  4. Develops deeper customer relationships (Transcripts offer data to improve customer service or pass on the lead to a broker)
  5. Increases conversions and sales

There are lots of free, paid, simple and fancy options out there but after trying 4 or 5 of them out, 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 2 deals last month.

So here is what I am going to do for you.  Sign up to LiveChatinc through our account (CLICK HERE) and I will send you a free script to use when you are on a chat with prospects that will increase your conversions instantly by at least 25%.

 

4) Double your commercial time 

 

Wall Street Journal study of a 3-hour National Football League broadcast found that viewers only saw 11 minutes of gameplay during the broadcast.

Here is the breakdown of what viewers saw:

Commercials-63 minutes
Shots of players standing around-67 minutes
Showing the coach, crowd, cheerleaders-35 minutes
Replays-15 minutes
Game action-11 minutes

Is 3 hours of your time really worth watching other people playing sports for 11 minutes?

Unfortunately, a sale today is very similar to that.

-Efficiency starts with elimination. -

Practice the 80/20 rule on a daily basis to identify the most efficient things you can do. The more commercial time you spend, the more money you make. So if you want to double your sales, just double your commercial time. If you spend one hour and 30 minutes a week prospecting for new listings, make it 3 hours. By doubling your prospecting time you should naturally double your results.

 

5) Leverage old leads

 

The majority of businesses focus on attracting clients through Multiple Listing Sites, boat shows, magazines or social media and often forget the power of email marketing.

The most important element in a successful business is having an email list. (Just be careful not to bombard clients with annoying emails or newsletters.) Instead of sending a complete newsletter, send a simple short email like this:

Hi John,
Planning on selling your boat soon?

One of my most popular videos is the 9 words email. My clients love it because it always gets them results.

*Resources: You can use mail merge to send multiple personalized emails at once (check chapter 6 of my previous blog post: 10 Traffic Tips to sell more boats)

 

[box type="download"] CLICK HERE to receive a summary checklist and pdf version of the 10 Simple Ways To Double Your Boat Listings (Scripts Included) (With 1 more extra tip) [/box]

 

6) Get some Local SEO

 

You might have heard this one before: “Do you know the best place to hide a dead body?”
The second page of Google.

Joke aside, you need to consider SEO if you want to achieve results! And when it comes to search engine optimisation, local SEO is one of the easiest ways to get you on the first page of Google.

Brokers and brokerages listen up- this is a huge opportunity to get traffic & exposure! What you need to do is register your business with Google Business Page (if you haven’t already). If you haven’t, I’m going to show you the best way so it will maximise your chances of being listed in the top 3 local search results. 

1) Go to Business.Google.com

2) Your goal is to have consistent NAP (Name-Address & Phone number) across 3 main properties (your website, your Google my Business Listing, your citations which are every places that mention your website and contains your name, address, phone number e.g. Yelp, Yellow Page, Foursquare, etc))

3) If you don't have a listing on Business.Google.com, add your business (pretty self-explanatory but make sure to complete your profile properly.) If you already have one, do the following to get optimized results.

4) When you add an image:
-Make sure the photo source name contains keywords
-Give a location to your photo (You can use itouchmap.com) so you define latitude and longitude.
-Go to Geoimgr.com, upload your photo, enter latitude & longitude. Click tag photo and then download it.
-Upload this geotagged photo to Google My Business. The goal is to tag all your photos with geo coordinates.
-Make sure to register your business on Google +
-Add at least 5 to 10 citations (directories like Yelp, Yellow Page, Foursquare, etc)

*Resource: You can find people on Fiverr that can help you with local SEO. HERE is a provider that you can use.

 

7) Get some reviews

 

Studies have shown that only 14% of people trust advertising and 78% trust their peers for recommendations. We all know how Yelp or Google+ reviews can make a restaurant famous or bankrupt. But nowadays, consumers expect reviews of every single service they use, including boat brokers or boat dealers.

A recent survey from Bright's Local of over 2,000 consumers found that 88% of respondents read or used reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

78% of consumers trust reviews and 88% of them use them! In other words: more positive reviews = more sales. 

The first step in getting a review from a customer is asking for it. The only problem is that review requests can be annoying to clients if not worded properly. What you want to do is create a review request strategy. Based on the book ‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini, one of the best ways to request reviews is to leverage reciprocity.
So here is what I suggest you do. After every sale, send a written note to a client with a $10 Starbucks gift card and write something like this:

John, 

Thanks again for doing business together. If you have a couple of minutes while enjoying your favourite coffee, I would be so grateful if you could write a review HERE (link of your review URL). It would mean a lot to me because so many of our customers rely on reviews nowadays to do business. Thanks.  

Talk soon,
Your name

Make sure to collect reviews on Facebook, Google My business, Yelp, LinkedIn.

 

8) Close more listing appointments

 

Sales professionals often associate an increase in sales directly to an increase in their number of listings. But an increase in listings can sometimes come with its own danger:

Would you rather have 90 listings and sell 10% of them or have 10 listings and sell 90% of them?

The law of gravity definitely applies to boat sales too. It’s much easier to influence a seller to lower their price to a realistic market value than it is to influence a buyer to pay more for an overpriced boat.

The first tip is to avoid transactional conversations such as “We are the best, we have the best website, promotions etc...” Try to make the conversation more about them rather than yourself or your company.

Listen and ask smart questions such as “I am curious, what made you inquire to list your boat with us today?” or “Why did you choose to speak with me today rather than yesterday or 2 weeks ago?” or “What is the most important thing to you when listing your boat?”

Always remember that SILENT is an anagram for LISTEN, so keep quiet and listen clearly to what your clients have to say.

To get authority and show them that you’re not desperate to sell their boat, start by establishing an agenda to achieve just that. You also want to share what you can do for them prior suggesting a listing price, your fee for service or agreeing on a listing price. Say something like:

“If it is ok with you I’m going to ask you a few precise questions about your boat. I’ll then demonstrate what we could do for you and see if it’s a good fit to work together. One of these 3 things will happen today:
1) You‘ll have the opportunity to list your boat with us.
2) You might decide not to list your boat with me.
3) I might decide not to take your listing.
Does that sound fair to you?”

Never give your opinion about the price. When the potential client asks you “What price do you think I should list it at?” don’t answer with your opinion like: “Your boat is worth”.... or “I think that your boat is worth.”
This will offend them and you might lose the listing. The last thing you want to do is start your relationship with your potential client by upsetting them before even starting the work. You know that they’re super attached to their boat and won’t react well to a more realistic suggestion.
Avoid showing them boats currently listed for sale as chances are they are also overpriced. Use a database of sold boats like www.soldboats.com and show them on paper how much similar models sold for in the past. You can say “Research shows us that," showing them you’re on their side.

After sharing the bad news, regain their trust by showing them once again that you’re on their side. You can say the following:  "As you know, our service fee (avoid the word commission) is proportional to the final price so it is in our best interest to get you the best price."

If you don’t list the boat for a reasonable price, get a written promise of price reduction so you can immediately reduce the boat to a lower price without asking them for permission. You can say “Let’s try our best at your suggested price ($96.500). If the boat doesn’t have an offer in the next 3 weeks, we can adjust the price to the $87.455.”

It’s much easier to do a significant price reduction ahead of time rather than having to go back to the seller, feeling bad for not having any activity and asking again to drop the price. So make sure to have a pre-signed form!

You can also present them with 3 options and let them decide:

“Ok so based on research I’m suggesting 3 pricing options for your listing:

  • If you want to sell your boat right away we should go for $87.455  It will bring offers and should sell quickly considering the actual market.
  • Listing your boat at $94.750 will take a bit longer. We should receive a few offers in the next months. It will be harder but we might be able to sell it at this price.
  • Now at $102.500 it might be more challenging.  we can try find a lucky and super motivated buyer but I cannot guarantee any offer or response from the market considering what other similar boats have sold for in the past.

9) Offer a listing package

 

I remember the first day I went to meet a client to list a million dollar yacht. I was so nervous. The first sentence the owner said to me when I arrived was "If you have an exclusive agreement, there is no need to talk...." 

I was terrified and didn't even know what to respond. But after chatting for a few minutes, I asked him if he wanted to check the presentation I had made for his boat and he said, "Sure, go ahead." Luckily for me, I had worked crazy before our appointment. I hired a guy on Craigslist from India and we did a website on the boat and even had a brochure printed I had made for the boat.

The owner was impressed that I had worked so hard on his boat and it helped me build immediate rapport with him. At the end of our meeting, he said that he wanted to do an exception with me and gave me a one-year exclusive agreement as a central agent.

The moral of the story is not to show off and tell you that I got an exclusive listing on my first million dollar yacht presentation, but simply to show you the power of being prepared for a listing appointment. 

There are 5 important things you want to do prior a listing appointment:

  • Be ready to listen and have a clear idea of what you are going to say
  • Learn about the boat
  • Learn about the prospect
  • Get some market data
  • Have a pre-listing package
  • Bonus: Do something in advance for the boat that will impress your prospect (brochure, landing page)

One of the best investments you can make for your career as a boat broker is to put together a pre-listing package. It will really set you apart. You’ll have to invest a little bit of time to put it together but once it’s done, you’ll be able to use it for ALL your future listings.

The pre-listing package has 5 main goals:

  • Demonstrate expertise
  • Share social proof
  • Demonstrate authority
  • Build trust
  • Reduce or remove the client’s fears.

Here is what it should contain:

  • Brief customer oriented bio of the broker
  • 10 reasons why they should use you as a broker or your firm (don't make it about you, make it about them and their 5 main fears and main concerns)
  • Copy of listing agreement
  • Business cards
  • Written testimonials
  • Brief overview of the marketing initiatives
  • Guarantee (always try to offer a guarantee of some sort to your client)
  • Booklet: Boat selling 101, 25 tips to sell your boat faster & for more, 10 tips to get your boats ready for sale, what to do before selling your boat to get 10% more.
  • Resources: contact info of detailing company, mechanic, marine electronic, registry, insurance, etc.…

Here is an example of a booklet I got at the Southampton Boat Show. This boat broker specialised in inflatables and had written a 20-page booklet to help him build authority and trust with prospects and get more leads.

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10) Landing page or popup box

 

Landing pages or pop-up boxes are a fantastic way to bring you weekly prospects and get more listings. I’ve been using landing pages for the last 3 years now and couldn't imagine running my business without them. A landing page can be compared to a mini website that operates 24/7 and is always ready to bring you leads.

Here’s an example: A client and friend, Jeff Merrill, did a great job positioning himself as the trawler specialist. His home page had too many call to actions so I wanted to create a landing page that clearly showed what he did, who he was and what others thought of him.

Check the result HERE:

We created this clear, simple, customer oriented landing page which will DEFINITELY help him get more leads.

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Just like livechat, I really encourage you to start using landing pages to promote your listings and grow your business. We personally use Leadpages & Clickfunnels.

If you signup to clickfunnels through our affiliate link, I will give you the template for the landing page I just showed you earlier and for our popular listing landing page that helped us get over 1500 leads this year so far.

CLICK HERE to get started today with clickfunnels.

 

 

11) BONUS: Give them an incentive to list their boat with you

 

One of the best methods to influence clients to list their boats with you is to (again) use reciprocity and give them something in exchange.

asgga*Bradford Marine offers free moorage in their showroom when you list your boat with them.
http://bradford-marine.com/yacht-sales/sell-your-yacht/

adfghfhb*Toronto Yacht Sales offers a free survey.
http://www.torontoyachtsales.com/

ewry*Denison Yacht Sales offers to pay for your marine survey if you decide to purchase a new boat and trade in your current boat.
http://www.denisonyachtsales.com/yacht-listings/our-trades/

Be creative and offer them something of value that will help in the sale of their boat like a free detailing, oil change etc...

I hope that you enjoyed those free tips to help you get more listings and get more sales. The key as we stated earlier is really to put yourself in your clients shoes and make it easy for them to list their boats with you.

[box type="download"] CLICK HERE to receive a summary checklist and pdf version of the 10 Simple Ways To Double Your Boat Listings (Scripts Included) (With 1 more extra tip) [/box]

Did you enjoy the 11 tips? Do you have a any other tip you want to share?  Comment below and I will select the most valuable tip and mail a copy of one of my favorite sales book.