Meet the Staff: Q&A: Gary Lochte

By and Gary Lochte
Updated 4:42 PM ET, Sat February 7, 2015
Meet the Staff: Q&A: Gary Lochte
Gary Lochte

Regional Sales Executive

Resides: Castroville, TX

Started with POP Yachts: May 2013

Q. How did you get involved with POP Yachts?
I was looking for something that would be fun to do and would align with my background, which is the automobile business. I helped manage several dealerships for about 30 years. I love people and I love selling. "POP" seemed like a really good opportunity. I checked out POP Yachts pretty extensively. In fact, before I started, I called a number of people with POP Yachts and interviewed them and asked about their experience. These people were genuinely ecstatic about their relationship with POP Yachts. That was very exciting to me.

Q. Was there anything in particular in the conversations that you had with people that made it click for you?
Absolutely! For me, it's all about integrity. When it comes to dealing with people, it's perhaps the most important thing. These guys talked about how POP Yachts is not perfect, but they try to be. That really rang true with me. They try to do what's right by the buyer and the seller and their representatives in the field, as well.

Q. What is the territory that you cover?
Just south of Austin to just south of Corpus Christi -- a 300-mile radius. The challenge is the size of the territory.

Q. When you're helping a seller with a listing, what are your priorities at the beginning of the process?
The first thing I do is interview the seller and get as much history about the boat as I can, particularly in regards to the way they've maintained the boat, the records they've kept, what their boating history background is, and I ask them what three things they've enjoyed most about this particular boat and what are three things they would change if they could about the boat. That helps me convey the boat's best features. I'm very careful not to embellish the photos or the description of the boat. The last thing I would want to have happen is someone to go online to see a pristine, beautiful boat, and then actually come see the boat and find a bunch of problems with it. I publish photos of all the bumps and bruises as well as the good stuff.

Q. What skills do you need to have to be effective at this job?
You've got to find a way of communicating the realities of the market to the seller. You need to really listen to them, and you need to quickly figure out how to communicate what that seller needs to know. I'm very careful to set proper expectations from the beginning. It can be a beautiful boat, but it's not going to sell if it's overpriced. If I've done my job and earned their trust, they're going to listen to me. With a purchaser it's the same thing. You need to learn how to communicate with them in a way that they'll understand where their offer probably should start. It's a waste of their time if there offer has no chance of being accepted.

Q. What's one thing that surprised you the most going from automative sales to boat sales?
It's the fewer number of opportunities you have to come face-to-face with a capable purchaser. On the sales floor [in automotive sales], you have opportunity after opportunity to talk to people. They're there for one reason: to buy transportation. You don't have that number of opportunities in the boat business. There's not nearly as many buyers ready and able to pull the trigger. You've got to learn to seize on the opportunities you're given. You can't waste those opportunities. In the car business, if you mess up with a prospect, just wait a couple hours, there will be another one. It's not the same in the boat business. I need to deliver by absolute best each and every time.

Q. Have you been into boating yourself?
I actually grew up in the Texas hill-country, and when I was 14 years old, my family moved to Canyon Lake. There I spent all of my high school and college years working in the marinas around the lake. My dad's love and appreciation for boats rubbed off on me. Now I'm at a point where I've got grandchildren. Last year, I was able to take my 4 year old grandson fishing and saw him catch his first fish ever! That was a super thrill.

Q. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
My wife and I have lived on a ranch for about 20 years. I've done a lot of study on nutritional supplementation and organic gardening, and I actually write articles for several nature newsletters on gardening, nutrition and similar subjects. I have a company that produces non-genetically modified livestock feed. I raise horses, cows, chickens, and sheep. I'm very concerned about the genetically modified food that not only we're getting fed, but that we're feeding our animals. Since feeding only non-gmo, I've seen huge changes in the overall health and fertility of my livestock and I've become healthier too. That's a big deal to me. I've also been a licensed gun dealer for about 30 years. And, I am particularly proud of the fact that I helped edit two Christian books which have been published. So, I've got a lot of interests. I'm not getting rich, but I love learning, I'm helping people, and having so much fun!

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