In the new-boat market, from Florida to Texas, Mexico, and Costa Rica, Galati Yacht Sales specializes in half a dozen brands. Mostly 35 feet and larger. What’s the buying process like with Galati, and how is it different than elsewhere?
Staff and customers provided some of the answers in this video.
What are your goals? What are your needs? Galati sales professionals start by asking questions like these. It’s a discovery process to finding customers the right boat. Depending on the experience and knowledge of the customers, the answer may not be obvious at the start. Gaining a good understanding of where a customer wants to travel on his boat, who will be aboard, not to mention the available budget for purchase and maintenance are critical.
Galati sells six brands of new boats that suit people with different lifestyles and aspirations. What’s the difference between convertibles from Viking and cruising yachts from Maritimo, for example? Or European cruising models from Princess and Prestige and American-built brands Tiara Yachts and Cruisers Yachts?
Although many customers can sort through the variations themselves, there’s often a learning curve. Having a sales professional’s perspective can speed up the process. One customer, with a captain’s license herself, was impressed with the research and training of the Galati team. Another customer told us, “They took the time to listen to our needs and then took us straight to the right boat.”
Whether its quickly determining the value of a trade-in, simplifying the paperwork of financing, insurance, and documentation, or helping move personal belongings from an old boat to a new one, Galati maintains a customer-centric viewpoint in making the purchase process easy. Customers we spoke with gave us examples of each that helped them make or validate decisions with increasing confidence.
The Galati business office is available early on in the process, providing support to each step of the sale process. Sales professionals are knowledgeable, but the business team provides an additional, internal resource for customers on the finer points of manufacturer warranties. Or financing and insurance options.
Due to the scale of the Galati Yacht Sales business, preferred rates are often available. “We have a very aggressive insurance product, exclusive to our customers,” says Darren Plymale, COO, “and in financing, we can leverage our banking relationships with our size and scale to offer great rates and terms.”
In terms of warranties, Plymale says the company philosophy is to offer extended coverage plans for propulsion wherever and whenever possible. “Buying the builders’ extended warranties,” he says, “especially for propulsion, offers customers peace of mind through the ownership cycle and improves the resale of their yachts.”
A key principle expressed to us in various ways by sales professionals and customers is that there’s a balance point in any purchase. Whether it’s between a fair price and a good value. At which customer satisfaction is maximized. While some buyers may look for the absolute lowest price and some may look to be treated like royalty— forget the price. Galati Yacht Sales customers generally arrive at what many refer to as “best value” through receiving a fair sale price coupled with excellent customer support.
“The real difference comes in our Hall of Fame service and support,” Plymale says, proudly pointing to the endorsement the company has received as repeat winner and now Hall of Fame member of Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealer program. “Our focus is completely on the customer. We want you to enjoy more days on the water, reduce your cost of ownership wherever possible, and enjoy a higher return on the investment.”
The company’s mantra, to consistently exceed customer expectations, is also endorsed by consistently high CSI scores from the builders’ CSI programs. As well the internal CSI program developed through Galati’s participation in the Marine Industry Dealer Certification Program since its inception in 2005.
While they strive to maintain 100 percent CSI every day, Plymale says, “Galati Yacht Sales has been a pioneer of the program and was the fifth dealer and first of its size to earn the Certified Dealer designation. We exemplify the philosophies and disciplines associated with the MIDC programs. Our team embodies the customer- and employee-centric approach of the program.”
One customer we spoke to summed it up, saying: “What I learned about the process is that it didn’t have to be as daunting or as complicated as I thought it would be. Galati made it so easy. It flowed.”