SEATTLE – Dec. 15, 2009 – More than 270 yacht brokers from as far away as Michigan descended on Florida recently to attend YachtWorld.com’s Yacht Brokerage Universities in Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale. The theme for both events was transition—the yacht brokerage industry, like the Internet, is in transition and changing more quickly than ever.
“A major part of our mission is to provide yacht brokers with the tools and knowledge to get them ahead of their competition and keep them there,” says Ian Atkins, VP and general manager, YachtWorld.com. “Making them aware of the global scale of the current transition and the pace at which these changes are taking place is vital. It was very gratifying to hear from so many of the brokers during and after our presentations that this theme resonated so strongly with them and that our efforts were much appreciated.”
Yacht brokers first received a global industry overview and then learned about new marketing techniques, including current YachtWorld.com product features and benefits.
While the recession has been global, North America seems to be running ahead of Europe in showing improved economic conditions: YachtWorld.com’s proprietary database, SoldBoats.com, indicates that sales are beginning to rebound with some steady progress. Presentations included one on social media—the fastest-growing part of the Internet—which offers many ways to promote yourself by connecting with those who share common interests. One of the strong points made regarding Internet marketing was that brokers should present themselves as authorities through teaching rather than selling because people listen to and respect people who demonstrate authority, rather than simply claiming it. Another was listen to what consumers are saying online because they are freely telling us want they want without us having to ask.
Specific YachtWorld.com product presentations ranged from “What’s new in BoatWizard,” YachtWorld.com’s proprietary inventory management tool, and tips and tricks on operating it, and what a customer relationship management (CRM) system is and what it can do for a broker.
“Brokers being recognized as an authority in their sector of this business is an essential ingredient in managing this transition,” adds Mike Dickman, director of marketing, YachtWorld.com. “This not only requires personal knowledge but a dedication to providing free information on a regular basis presented in a conversation and not a sales pitch.”