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Tips for Selling Million Dollar Items on the Web

| February 11, 2013 | 0 Comments

Selling million dollar plus items to multi-millionaires can turn a sales process into a rollercoaster ride. You may be lucky enough to come across a king of some distant country that wants to buy a yacht, uses a broker, pays cash, and doesn’t even want an inspection done (it’s happened..), but chances are the person or persons you will encounter buying your item will be diligent, hard to reach, detail-oriented, and want a flawless execution on your part. They didn’t get to be multi-millionaires by playing coy. One of my favorite stories about leaving no stone unturned is about a lead we received one time several years ago from a young man. And when I say young, I’m talking 13 or 14 years old. He had been looking around on YouTube and had seen a video we posted of a brand new 60′+ Pershing Yacht. He wanted to know the price (over $5 million at the time) and where the boat was located. The salesman could have easily dismissed the lead and gone on to older, more demographically appropriate customers, but he took the time to respond professionaly through email with a follow-up call. Guess who was scouting boat dealers for his wealthy grandfather? Needless to say it was the first Pershing Yacht I’ve ever heard of selling from YouTube. Leave No Stone Unturned!! Here are a few other pointers I’ve learned along the way….

1.) It starts with a first impression.  Whether you’re selling a boat, a high-end car, or some other vehicle with a million dollar list price, presentation is key. Photography and videography are extremely important to building a successful online presentation. Make sure your item or vehicle is in pristine condition. Set the area up where you are going to shoot the vehicle or item, make sure the lighting is good, and nothing is in dissaray. A background can also be a nice touch and many auto dealers today take advantage of this tactic. If you are selling a yacht for example, take high quality photos and a lot of them. I ran a study about 2 years ago that looked at online traffic to similar boats (same year, manufacturer, price, vicinity) but had obvious difference in the online listing. One listing had more than 30 pictures of all of the selling features and the boat looked good. The other listing had only 3 photos that had been quickly taken without any regard for the final product. The result? The listing with more information and pictures had a 66% higher amount of traffic. This isn’t brain surgery. Make your stuff look like it costs a million bucks!

2.) Interact with your customer in the way they want to be interacted with. You need to catch on fast how the customer wants to be contacted. Are they someone who wants to be reassured over the phone? Or are they busy and prefer a simple text message. Either way, don’t delay your responses. Keep a smart phone handy at all times and be ready to respond immediately. Promptness goes a long way with this type of customer.

3.) Providing a higher level of customer service. Think of yourself as this customer’s personal concierge to your company. They expect to be catered to more than your average customer and if you can show them you are willing to go the extra mile you can be justly rewarded. A good example of this is customization of your product. For a pricetag of over a million dollars, the product should be in every where suited for the customer’s needs. One of my current customers, Hatteras Yachts, does an exceptional job at customization and this starts with the relationship between the factory and the salesperson. Every Hatteras Yacht built in the factory has already been purchased. No yacht is ever made prior to a customer puchasing it, which means every yacht has been constructed to their specifications. Want more fishing room in the back of the yacht? It’s built with a full motion fighting chair and less transom seating. Be ready to go over every detail of the customer’s purchase and give them options.

4.) Creating a buying environment. Sometimes creating an environment that is conducive to selling can help you get your customer over the hump. A black tie event where only select customers are invited can be a good venue because not only does it create some competition for your product,  but your customer frankly may like the feeling of “showing off” in front of others. Lay out the red carpet. Hire some models. Have a wine tasting during the event. You can even invite other vendors like high end jewelers for example to add to the excitement. Lastly, make sure your invitation to the customer begins with a personal phone call from the salesperson that has the relationship. Follow up with a nice email and classy direct mail invitation.