Regional Sales Executive
Resides: League City, TX
Started with POP Yachts: September 2012
Q. How did you get into selling boats?
I started the first hurricane shutter company in the Virgin Island in 1989. Then I went and sold shutters in Florida. I came to Texas after Hurricane Ike and thought I would sell hurricane shutters here. But it turns out they don't buy a lot of hurricane shutters here. So I've been a realtor and an owner of a shutter company. Really what I should have been doing all along was becoming a yacht broker. I grew up sailing and fishing in the Virgin Islands and I knew all about boats. I got lucky because I came across an ad, had an interview, they hired me and I became one of the better sellers at POP Yachts.
Q. What are some of the characteristics it takes to become a good boat salesperson?
In this day and age with computers and mobile communications, being on your feet and being able to respond – being quick to follow up. The correspondence of getting back to people with answers to their questions and also searching well for their vessels based on the parameters that they've set is the key thing. That's why my sales are good – because I focus on what their needs are. When I find the matching vessel, I send them photos and information on the vessel, rather than just a link.
Q. What are some of the things you ask potential buyers?
I engage the buyer to find out what they're looking for – a specific horsepower, or color or boat length, their applications – do they want to ski and go fish or do they just want to cruise around and relax … or do they want to go fast? Then you have to find out how far they're willing to go for the boat. Some people live in Seattle and they'll go to Florida to buy a boat. That's about as far as you can go in the states to purchase a boat.
Q. Seems like that's a little extra up-front work.
I go the extra mile, and I think what helps out – I'll add a few more extra photos and add some more information on the vessel – maybe engine information or the speed of the boat or some key features to give them a little more information and keep them on the hook a little bit.
Q. What are some interesting sales you've made?
I sold boats last year to New Zealand, Australia, Panama, Chile, Guadalupe, Puerto Rico, Czechoslovakia and Canada. I sold a 2010 45 Bruce Roberts Steel Cutter, which is a sailboat. I was corresponding with a gentleman in the Czech Republic – had to do it in the Czech language. He came to Texas to see the boat and we came to a price agreement. Turned out to be my biggest sale yet. He's going to retire and he's going to use the boat in Texas for a year with his wife and friends, and then once they're used to the boat, they're going to take the boat to Florida and sail around the Bahamas and the Keys for a bit. And then they'll sail down to the Caribbean. And two years from now, they'll take the boat to Europe.
Q. Do you find that the depth of the POP Yachts listings makes it easier to find the boat people are looking for?
We're probably the biggest yacht brokerage firm in the country and the best, with 5,000 vessels listed … personally I have shrimp boats, day boats, boats that can go in 9 inches of water to big yachts that are like big floating condominiums. I have fishing boats, boats that go 130 mph … party fishing boats, trollers, the whole range of boats. Even commercial fishing vessels and pontoon boats – pretty much everything you need. With the volume of listings, we hopefully have the type of boat that someone needs without having to go too far from home to check it out.
Q. What do you see ahead for POP Yachts?
We keep taking suggestions from employees and our customers via feedback to change out software to improve it so we can get back to people quicker and make the process smoother. We keep training and adding more people so that we have more listings and more salespeople and to become experts in our field. We sincerely want to be the best and provide the best service for helping people have fun on the water.
Q. What do you see for your future?
I think that I'll continue to be one of the top salespeople and in the future entertain a management position as well … I'd like to be on the fishing team – a POP Yachts fishing team representative. That way we'll mix business with pleasure.
Q. Have you competed before?
Oh yeah, I have tackle boxes for fresh water, fishing off of the beach, fishing out in the ocean off the bottom and a tackle box for trolling for big game fish. In competition, I usually get third place for some reason. These are big tournaments and third place is good.