Sometimes it seems that in some areas everyone just keeps doing things the same old way. But, as Albert Einstein put it: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
A good friend of mine decided to start a new, nautical project: building boats. Most boat manufacturers, especially boutique producers, understand that uniqueness is what they’re after. Hence, the Pegasus, too, belongs to a niche segment and comes with a wide variety of USPs, diversifications, and unique and special features—a range of distinctive properties, whatever you prefer to call it. But just being a “different” boat doesn’t guarantee success.
New buying habits and expectations
When I started doing research on how boats are sold today, I got the feeling that everyone—from large-scale producers to small boutique or exclusive providers—simply keeps doing the same thing over and over again. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that today’s buyers don’t behave the same way as they did thirty, ten, or even five years ago, and their expectations are also different.Why would you buy and sell boats the same way as thirty years ago? Click To Tweet
If I skip the detailed market analysis and the study of the approaches used by the relevant boat builders and simplify things, today’s boat sales look like this: boats are practically forced upon dealers, taken to fairs, and advertised in magazines or maybe online. Ex-factory prices apply, on top of which you also pay tax plus transport. When the boat is launched, you become responsible for it, even if its equipment is as inadequate as that of a car with no tires.
Make the customer’s fears and concerns disappear
I know a few things about boats myself and so as a buyer I’d first want to make sure that the boat suited me. Already upon delivery it should have all the required equipment and be ready to go on any trip I want as soon as I set foot on it. And I would have a professional maintain my boat throughout its lifetime.
As far as the Pegasus is concerned (you can check out its concept and what it’ll look like in this brochure), I propose three sales changes.
The first has to do with overcoming the customers’ fears and concerns about whether the yacht is really the right one and whether it meets their desires and needs. So anyone that’s interested in having a Pegasus can go aboard one that is already owned and used by someone else and is serving the purpose it’s been built for. If their first impression is good, they can try this same Pegasus out under the conditions in which they intend to use it.
Because the Pegasus is a yacht that offers high-quality, comfortable, and safe rides even in the roughest seas, anyone that wants it may also test it in these conditions. They can take a ride in it from Portorož to Malta or across the Atlantic, depending on what they’re buying it for. If they decide to purchase it, the rental costs are deducted from the purchase price.
A buyer that has access to all the information from the beginning is a confident buyer
My second proposal is that once a customer decides to purchase a Pegasus, he receives a tablet with all the documentation. This gives him access, or the opportunity to regularly monitor the vessel’s construction, whereby he can see everything, from the construction log to the photos and videos showing the construction progress. This increases his trust and reduces his uncertainty before delivery.Well-informed and well-served customers are satisfied and confident. That’s what we want, isn’t it? Click To Tweet
The same tablet is also used to control and operate the vessel after it’s delivered because it contains all the commands and the navigation, and provides overall control over all the systems. In addition, the tablet also contains records of all the voyages made, a maintenance log, and records on all other events related to the vessel.
Customer care doesn’t end with the purchase
The third thing that makes a difference compared to other providers is connected with the yacht’s maintenance. Complete regular maintenance during the first five years is already included in the package. Every owner has to ensure and pay for maintenance anyway. The main difference is that in this case they don’t have to worry about when the maintenance will take place, what will be done, and who will help them carry out the regular maintenance. This way they simply “order” maintenance in advance from the best possible provider in the producer’s team when they purchase the yacht. This guarantees the highest-quality service and maintenance, and the owner can transfer the burden and care for the yacht to the producer / maintenance provider. This has a significant impact on the owner’s satisfaction and, first and foremost, it ensures the vessel is in the best shape possible, which contributes to safe, comfortable, and pleasant rides, while protecting the vessel’s maximum possible value over time.Doing the same thing over and over again is convenient, but ineffective. Click To Tweet
I think every business activity needs some adjustments, new approaches, and strategy modifications. Besides, changes are arising increasingly faster and with them come increasingly more opportunities and dangers.
So which way forward: the new way or the old one?
If you still think that it’s better to make a blind purchase and that following up on what’s going on with your boat from the first day it’s sold and throughout its lifetime is a complete waste of time, if you take exceptional pleasure in scrubbing, painting, and servicing your boat by yourself every year instead of sailing with it, and when you do sail with it, you keep worrying what will break down next—please let me know. I’d truly like to know the reasons and understand why “everyone” is still doing the same thing over and over again.