Cadillac Man…On a Boat

This is me tryin’ to look like a boat broker.

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I spent the winter of 2018-2019 living aboard in Annapolis and working for a yacht brokerage. The winter was pretty benign, which was nice, and the job was good and bad. The good: getting the company’s new website up and closer to where the owners want it (and getting paid for doing so). The bad: Not having a steady income or benefits because it was all 1099 work.

Beyond that, it’s been fun and the folks have been nice and they’re trying to help me evolve into a yacht broker. And that evolution’s latest step took place last weekend when Annapolis hosted its annual spring sailboat show and yours truly was workin’ the dock.

We had two brokerage (aka: used or preowned or whatever euphemism you prefer) boats in the water and one new boat on a trailer on shore. Between the two boats in the water we had a tent with information on all of our listings — more than 100 — and supporting information for everything else we do. And it’s in that area I was stationed.

So it was a bit of a bummer when the line of strong thunderstorms blew through Friday afternoon, prompting officials to close the show and chase everyone off the dock. The subsequent drenching as I walked home was a treat, too. Saturday broke clear and sunny — but in the wake of the front’s passing, we had gale-force winds blowing all day so there was no way we could set up our tent (a neighboring exhibitor tried his and it wound up in the rigging of his boat by mid-morning). Sunday was mostly benign although another front with strong winds blew through right as we were tearing down, so that made things kinda interesting.

The point is: I didn’t get a whole lot accomplished in the show. A colleague sold one of the two boats in the water, and I got to watch him work the client. And I networked a bit and I HOPE generated a couple of leads, but that won’t be known for months or even years.

But it was a positive experience, results notwithstanding. As I’ve said many times before: I’m not a salesperson. I can’t sell water to a guy dyin’ of thirst. But I love boats and I love sailing and I get energized talking with other people so afflicted. And I believe that comes across; indeed, the colleague who sold the boat said he thought I had real rapport with folks. Now the next step is to figure out how to close, how to put that deal-making step into action.

Will I get there? I have no idea. But I’ll keep trying and working so that when the fall boat show (which is much bigger) rolls around, I’ll have more of an “A” game going. I hope.

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