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Boat Buying Tip: Be Honest

My advice to buyers is to find a good broker that you can tell your wants and your needs. That’s what I need to know if I’m going to be out there searching for boats for my clients. For instance, I have a client that wants to keep a boat in Seattle and cruise up to the San Juans, and they’ve run the full gamut from cruising-type boats, to express-type boats, to Hatteras, they’re big on Hatteras now. I’ve shown them Cheoy Lees, I’ve shown them Grand Banks. I’ve shown them a little of everything. But my job first and foremost is to find out their needs.

The biggest part of sales is listening to the customer, I’ve found. So many salespeople try to tell a customer what they should have, rather than listening to them. My job is to make this person happy. That’s what I want to do. I want to make his dreams come true—not my dream, but his dream. That client sends me e-mails for boat listings and asks, “What do you think this about this what do you think about that?” I say, “I think it’s beautiful but I think you’re kind of losing perspective about what is real and where you are and where you want to be.” Sometimes you need to pull it back, and say, “This is what I can afford, these are my parameters.” People don’t like to look within parameters, and that makes it tough.

I want to fulfill their dreams but reality has to be part of that. And throughout the process the broker and client need to communicate, that’s the biggest thing.

— Tom Waugh, Orange Coast Yachts

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