Boat Show salemen look down nose!!!

markc

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Can someone please tell me why, whenever I visit either the London or SH boatshows that I have to put up with snotty salesmen/women looking down their nose at me whenever I wish to look at one of their boats?

Now people who know me might say it's because I'm a scruffy git, but no more so than the rest of the boating fraternity! In fact, when I see folk dressed to the nines at a boat show I see 'tourist', not boat buyer. Now I wasn't looking at the Sunseeker 94, but at boats that I could afford and still got the attitude!!! I don't get that when I go into a Jag showroom.

.....or is it just me?!
 
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Hear hear. They do that to me too. I also am scruffy git.

2/3 years ago at SBS I got free tickets from Sunseeker, and special boat-shaped VIP thing, utterly worthless, as "can we look at Predator" got " you'll have to wait" from snotty ladies. Waited ten minutes, then presented boat -shaped ticket. She started grilling me "where did you get that?" erm you sent it too me "yes but Which Salesman, Hmm? What Is His Name??" I burbled duno forgotten erm er does it matter? Wait another while, stuff this, went off. Then salesmnan ran after me and most sorry sorry.

Before that, at London BS, we sat down in smart clothes in sunseeker bar on a quiet Tuesday and slurped away bottle of champagne, nobody came across and can we help, they just stood there evidently pleased that we weren't bothering them.

If they're like this before buying what will it be like afterwards when they've got the sale? I bought large boat somewhere else, where they aren't snotty about me being scruffy. First time at Rodriguez we had no shoes on.

I think that they should have a "mule" boat at shows, easy access on and off, built up around the sides, and let dreamers pack in as much as poss. And they shd stop wearing sunglasses, the worst possible way of greeting people.

The best way to get top attention that we found (by accident) was using small child: he wanders around the stands while we hang about elsewhere or in bar. Child blurts that "this boat is nowhere near as good as our boat" or something similarly tactless to boat show staff, whereupon salesman asks little laddie where Dad is, and then grovels. Perhaps exotic-looking people are similarly blunt and awful with rolex and flicking cigar all over the place.
 

paulineb

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You're so right ! It's the same with the cosmetic girls in Harvey Nicks. But then do you remember when you were stopped and questioned by the security guy near your boat in Ramsgate for looking "shifty"? hee hee

Pauline B
 

longjohnsilver

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No it's not just you. I have tried the smart look but no better than scruffy casual dress. I have given up even trying to look at the large well known makes.

At this tears SBS we were shown around the Aqua Star 48 and happened to say how impressive the 70 looked, but no way could we afford it. their salesmen actually help build the boats and this particular chap was more than pleased to show us the 70. It is a superb boat, a propper boat designed to go to sea and be lived on. If I had the money I would prefer that to any of the sunseekers/Princesses or any other of that ilk.

My kids also went to show last weekend and yet again the snottiest response they got was from Hardy Boats who basically told them to p##s off. Now my eldest son is a boat fanatic and it does Hardy shame to treat potential customers in that way. This is also not an isolated incident as i had the same treatment at LBS this year. As far as I am concerned when I come to change my boat Hardy will not even appear on my list of possibles even though they do look like the sort of boat that I would go for. I realise now why their stand always appears to be devoid of visitors. I assumed that the idea of paying to display your boats was to attract potential customers and not p##s them off.

Also we pay a fair amount to get into these shows so should expect to see the boats on display if we wish to. If they don't want us on board then it's easier and cheaper just to wander around the nearest marina! When will they realise that service really does still count. Top marks Aqua Star, Island marine Craft, Sabreline (Northshore), no marks to Hardy (plonkers).
 
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You lot must look like a right shifty bunch! We went to SIBS yesterday and had no problem looking at the boats we were interested in, and getting intelligent useful comments and help from the sales people. Apart from Sunseeker, but we didn't really want to look anyway.

The approach we took was to go directly to a salesman, and stare at it until it acknowledges you. Then explain that you currently own X, and are looking at Y as a possible next boat. Have a list a intelligent questions. Mainly, they go brain dead after 10 days of tyre kickers and the great unwashed who want to crawl all over the million quid toys, but can't afford a 2m dinghy...
 

paulineb

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Why should you have to explain to them that you own X and are interested in Y. Do first time buyers not count and how can anyone possibly tell just by looking at someone whether all they can afford is a 2m dinghy. That's exactly the wrong attitude Graham. Why else do the manufacturers think people are paying a considerable entry fee to go to the boat show, if not to look at boats. If they don't want to open their boats to the public, then don't take a stand.

Pauline B
 
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Lost track of the number of times we've gone with no intention of buying a boat. We go to look at what we might buy next year, buy some chandlery, buy an outboard, but some crockery (don't own a Leopard, y'see), whatever. But it's still nice to take a look.

Now compound that with the number of people who go because it's a spectacle - they don't own a boat, and some never will, but they still like to look.

Now, after 10 days at a show, yer average sales animal gets a tad jaded. Contrary to pouplar belief, some of these creatures are human, and so to get the best out of them, it helps to treat them as such. Telling them you have X and are interested in Y lets him know how likely a sale mey be, and tehrefore how much of his precious remaining energy it's worth devoting to you...

I can vouch for this, having done 10 days a softwrae trade show in Birmingham a few yeards back. A show that long's enough to kill you.
 
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Re: salesmen

Yeah, but if somebod just came up and started harmmlessly gawping at softwareyou wdn't tellem to git lorst, 10 days or otherwise. You'd be a bit helpful, and lettem have look if it was of mild interest to them I bet.

In Golfe Juan me and Mrs S started gawping at a shop, and the helpful chap came out all nice, and were we British? Ooh yes, English actually. "Well, there are plenty of jobs in the yard for EU Nationals, although if you want to work on the larger boats they will want experience". Mrs S went potty.
 
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Re: salesmen

No, not really. Harmlessly gawping at software is the same as standing on the tarmac and staring up at the big Sunseekers. I agree, it doesn't hurt anyone.

But if someone wanted to start prodding around in the guts of my laptop, then I'd want to know how serious they were.

Cos while I'm tied up showing some spotty 17 year old how glorious the custom cutlery is, and how I can interchange the engraved taps, I miss the yorkshireman and his wife who look like boat cleaners...
 

adrianm

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I was looking around a Trader 575 and the salesman kept going on about a 10 year old second-hand on that might be of more interest to me!

When I filled in the 'further details' card he actually had the nerve to tick the second-hand box which I had left blank!

I refuse point blank to walk around with a suit and tie on just so these people give me the time of day.

In this modern age it is impossible to gauge someones wealth by the way they dress (look at most older pop-stars such as Ringo Starr and George Harrison), the sooner these salesmen realise the sooner they'll start to sell more.
 
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Re: gawping

Not sure the software analogy holds - us tramping around a boat takes none of your valuable time like a sw demo would.

Our very first contact with Rodrigues was the kids went in, one of them got a brochure, another found that they had sweets and the people on reception were v nice to them. Bet I wouldn't have bought if they hadn't been nice to the kids first of all.
 
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I undersrtand that their golden question is "where would you keep the boat?". If you give the name of a marina, you're serious. If you're not v serious its ah well erm.
 

jfm

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Re: A call to arms, once more unto the breach, etc

I went a bit scruffy too. Agree that many salesman look down nose at punters, though def not all. Anyway, tried new technique this year. Was in a big rush as only had a few hours, and that helped. I just walked on the boats. Squadron 58 and 62 had big signs saying appt only, so walked on deck ignored salesman who tried to grab attention and straight to front cabins and work back from there. Then respond to comments of salesman with something inane like "I'm just looking but quite interested in this one" but very much with an attitude of "I don't give a sh*t you put the boat here on public display so I'm gonna look". Anyway culmination was the 50 foot cat sailboat on the outer ring pontoon. I stepped on that and was immediately challenged by schoolmistressy 50yr old woman who said "Excuse me sir you can't go in there" as I went below, and I was so pissed off by then I curtly asked her why she had brought the boat to the show if not to allow potential customers to see it.

Anyway what I'm really saying is can we all develop attitude. Next year or at LBS can we ALL just march onto anything under 65 feet and really move the goalposts as to punter behaviour so these salesmen bods learn that that's the way it is. Let's be clear, there is absolutely no sanction they can apply other than to manhandle you off the boat which they're not gonna do. An why do we make the trip and buy tickets if not allowed to see boats?

That said Ididn't try the Sunseeker 94, but will work up to that.

JFM
 

hlb

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Well I havent had it at a boat show, probabley because I havent looked for a new boat at one.
But I've had it at car show rooms and even been insulted cos I didnt Know the value of the car I was looking to part exchange. So I walked out even though I'd mentally desided
to buy the new car!!

Last time I was at a boat show though.
There was a row of Sea Lines.
The first one ( the biggest) had a queue about 100 miles long the second a 50 mile queue, and so on down the line.
So we went and looked at the little one on the end and had a pleasant rest for half an hour. Maybe that has some thing to do with it??

Haydn
 
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Re: In defence of salesmen

My mate Peter who is senior salesman at KIP is generally to be found on the Princess stand and so no matter how scruffy the boss and I look we generally can walk onto anything (on the Princess stand). Big boats are quite expensive - some of you may have noticed that - and generally the ones on display are already sold and there has to be some attempt to balance the new owners interest with letting people view them. If too many people get on the boat at once, the salesmen lose control not to mention it getting uncomfortable for the crammed in viewers. During his spells of duty at LBS, Peter has

a) stopped (and sometimes failed to stop) people from unscrewing various things ranging from an autopilot controller to a cooker
b) had a teenage pimply youth arrested for carving his initials on a heads door
c) had people use the heads (and not just to pee in!)

So there is another side to the story and if they sometimes get just a little peeved it is understandable, especially as I wonder just who it is that is adopting the superior attitude. Be nice and people will be nice back to you.

Nick
 

BarryD

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Re: In defence of salesmen - Supported

Nick - totally agree, the salesman are there not only to show off the firms wares but to protect the investment and as you point out that of the future owners.

Even the most chippy sales type is going to be depressed on day 10 of a show. Most of them will have a commission element of their salary and whilst they are there they cannot be earning it.

I went to a number of brokers over the weekend to be told repeatedly that all the used sales staff are away at the show. However here are the boats keys go and have a crawl over it. This worked well for the little 30' as it did for a big 20 metre gin palace that her ladyship wanted to look around. None of the staff offered alternatives to what I asked for, and more damming for their business no one tried to up-sell / cross sell or put me into a finance position. I was ready to spend money but as the staff weren't there they missed the oppertunity.

Barry D.
 

markc

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Re: Can\'t be the shoes...

both of us were wearing proper deck shoes - that in itself should show that we're boaty people, especially that my very style conscious girlfriend was wearing them!!!!
 
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Several possible explanations apply:

1) According to the man on the Princess stand, they have an insurance limitation on the number of people on the boat

2) According to another guy on the same stand, it's the load limit on the trestles the boats are sat on (clearly doesn't apply to those on the water).

3) A Fairline salesman pointed out some of the 'souvenirs' they have to relieve punters of: glasses, cutlery, engines, etc

4) The salesmen have some kind of ESP, and can remotely interrogate your bank account

5) They're playing a numbers game: There are 200,000 people here, and we'll sell 2 boats, so the odds of pissing off a genuine buyer are 1 in 100,000, so let's have some fun...

6) Make an appointment well before the show, and they'll treat you like gods: all others are tyre kickers...

7) It is company policy to piss people off: if you ever manage to buy one of their boats, it makes a certain statement about you that you are well above the level of the hoi polloi...

8) The salesman is a prat
 
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Re: Now you\'re talking

I am very pleased that someone has finally touched upon the real problem at the boat show. I have to work on my wife days in advance to ensure she wears the correct footwear, ideally her deckshoes. Generally, as it is winter, she has her boots on which, according to the fashion at the time will be knee high or laced up in some intricate pattern. Net result, she goes on the first couple of boats and then announces that she can't be bothered extracting herself from her footwear any more and "you go ahead, I'll just wait for you out here" then stands looking bored/face like thunder/yawning. Then shortly thereafter you get "what do you want to go on that one for? Its just like the other one over there!"

I mean its not as if you can go alone. She's got to be there to give the buying permission and if you can't get her on the boats, your chances are zero.

Nick
 
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