Investing in People

How Bluewater’s Expansive Team of Specialists Make for Smoother Sales

Jul 13, 2021 | Magazine, News | 0 comments

For over fifty years, Bluewater has worked to build an impressive infrastructure of physical locations, service yards, top quality brands and a team of expert Sales Professionals. Over their lifetimes of leadership in the marine industry, the Bluewater partners have met almost everybody and tried it all. Along the way, they’ve learned it’s not just about the salespeople you have out front of the dealership—but also about who you have backing them up—especially when you’re looking to exceed customers’ expectations each day.

That’s where Bluewater’s specialized backbone of support staff come in. Consisting of Sales Assistants, Managers, Financers, Closing and Documentation Specialists, Service Liaisons and Ownership Partners, Bluewater might have the highest ratio of support staff to sales professionals of any major yacht sales organization. Some quick math shows it’s close to 1:1, meaning there’s an assistant or specialist for almost every broker.

Not only is Bluewater an active member of the International Yacht Brokers’ Association (IYBA), but every single support and management team member is a certified graduate of the Yacht Broker Institute (YBI). YBI is a respected collection of courses designed to aid and accredit yacht brokerage professionals interested in honing their knowledge and skills. Bluewater Yacht Sales General Manager Wyatt Lane points out that not many other organizations have emphasized or accomplished this feat.

Behind the Boats

Let’s be honest, the sales team gets most of the glory and perks; traveling for boat shows, sea trials and factory tours, delivering boats, and even joining cruises and fishing tournaments with their customers. Meanwhile, the office staff gets to watch it all unfold from their inboxes! But it’s that very support team back home that keeps everything ticking. Managing leads, prospects, vendors, partner companies, email, websites, tech support, documentation, registration, secure banking transfers and closing instructions are just some of the thankless tasks associated with coordinating millions of dollars in yacht sales per year.

Furthermore, the teams at each Bluewater location have been configured in a way to provide specialists for each of the new boat brands. In this way, team members build a bank of knowledge and key relationships at the various factories and are poised to provide a seamless experience from the manufacturer to the customer—from initial inquires through the build process to final new boat orientation and warranty requests.

Operations Manager Connie Mitchell and Heidi Speciale are examples of the expertise and leadership Bluewater has behind the desk—both are career veterans of the marine industry, like many of the brokers they support. From Beaufort, they help Bluewater management coordinate a network of managers and assistants working throughout our nine locations in four states.

In recent years, Bluewater has emphasized building a team of additional finance, documentation and closing specialists to assist operations throughout these territories. In 2020, the team’s experience certainly paid off, quickly adapting not only to remote work, but to the daily flip-flopping of state and federal governments’ commitment to process the various vessel registration and sales documents. Despite all the rapid changes being forced by health scares, bank closures, lockdowns and general uncertainty, the Bluewater team worked tirelessly to adapt and succeed on behalf of the sales team and customers.

“We invest in people, in order to look after our customers”

So while the sales team may receive a lot of the direct praise—let’s not forget the support team that helps them earn it. Lane believes Bluewater has the most trained closing administrators from South Carolina to Maine and is eager to remind customers, “We invest in people, in order to look after our customers.” Indeed, when considering the huge investments in facilities and infrastructure the company has made, there might not be a more critical aspect than assembling and nurturing the support staff who make all these operations run smoothly.