Of exceptional quality or greater valueWhat is a Premium Captain?
1.Tell me about the services you offer. What are the most popular or profitable?
2020 has seen a lot of changes in the yachting industry due to the frequency of the storms over the last few years as well as the amount of financial loss / payout the insurance companies have taken.
Over the years, we have certainly run a lot of charter boats, made many deliveries of various boats on their own hull, performed a large number of sea-trials for boats being transferred ownership. We have found what is sustainable and profitable, and what is not. More and more, as yacht brokers, insurance agents, and underwriters, need insurable and vetted captains, those who have expressed interest in using our team have found value for vetted solid captains for our industry. While there are options for the permanent hiring of yachting crew (a crew agency) there seems to be little competition for hiring a captain for adhoc jobs.
Our captains work directly with us and undergo a stringent vetting process in order to become a trusted Premium Captain.
Can you walk me through your sales process?
- Prefer that buyers point to a form to capture the exact information that I need to accurately quote the job www.premiumcaptains.com/captain-requests which I have build on the 360 CRM
- We next prefer to contact them via telephone to build personal relationships, and instill confidence in our service. Oftentimes the price becomes an issue as most captains work directly for $300-350 a day and many customers know this already when they contact us.
- Though we are more expensive than hiring a captain directly, our goal in marketing is to build value to our online image and the extra services (like background checks, personality profiles, hand selection vetting and matching of captains to jobs and owners) that we provide, and that they wouldn’t get by hiring a captain directly.
- We meet many clients through the pre-purchase sea trials and they often hire us for subsequent post purchase insurance required training. This initial sea trial meeting is often when we are recommended to the new owners by the brokers to help them continue their training…this interaction often seals the deal and captains are chosen carefully for these sea trial jobs and the following training for this reason. The buyers are usually a couple or family with children who need required training, and we send a captain (sometimes a captain and mate) with them on a 5-7 day trip to complete the insurance company required training hours. It becomes VERY important (esp. to the ladies) that the captain is someone they feel comfortable with, as they will be in close quarters for many days. Back to us vetting and background checking…this becomes a very valuable added service. After the sea trial and vessel purchase…we help them find dockage, help them source vendors to fix the boat, get to know them, and then take them on their training trip…you don’t get that by looking up a captain on a site such as Craigslist or personal Captain website…again added value to the “New Owners” package we are developing!
- What is your ideal target market demographic?
– Service-Based Accounts: What areas do you service?
- Being centrally located in the heart of the Marina Mile Yachting community, there are loads of yacht maintenance companies, yacht sales brokers, yacht insurance brokers and marinas. As talked about above…we have found that our price is too high for some individual boat owners, esp. those who own older small sailboats (not as much with larger yacht owners). The standard price for a captain’s daily rate is well known here ($300-350 a day). Some customers (mostly individuals) don’t want to pay over that and so go elsewhere to find a captain through another means (personal referral, captain finding networks like a FB page, individual Captain websites, etc..) We have to show that the whole of what we provide, is worth the extra $$ to go through us. Owner’s referred through yacht management companies, brokerages, and insurance companies will use us because the price difference is worth the quality they get (there are a ton of low quality “paper captains” here in Fort Lauderdale); the peace of mind we give them; and the convenience that they can pass their customer onto us…whom they trust…to take them the rest of the way through their yachting journey preparation or deliver their vessel safely. They don’t have the budget restrictions a lot of individual owners have.
- East and West coast of Florida…and all the American seaboards, right now the Eastern side and Gulf coast are the hotspots. This is the time when “snowbirds” start going back up north due to the FL heat and upcoming hurricane season, and they need their boats moved back up north (New York, Maryland, etc…)
- We certainly service The Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico as there are a lot of boats which go back and forth from South Florida to the islands.
– What/Who is your ideal audience? men? women? age groups? interests? Behaviors?
Alliance partnerships would be to market to yacht brokers and Insurance agencies, while the buyers of our service are the Dealers and vessel owners.
There is certainly a changing demographic in yachting, we are seeing younger buyers as more money is transferred to the younger generations (many couples and younger families 30-40s). Yet it remains, the conservitive Boomers, mainly male, are primary buyers.
Currently most clients are:
Brand new owners who purchase vessels (sailing catamarans are very popular right now and make up most of our clients due to our work with the Catamaran Company). We perform the sea trial with them before they purchase the vessel, and are often then hired to lead them through the new owner training the insurance company requires after they purchase the vessel. As mentioned above, we often help them find dockage and source vendors to fix required problems on their vessel.
Third party sites like Boatsetter (have spoken with us about a partnership) and our friends at Boatyard.com will call us for captains at times…mostly for owner training and charters (not our niche but we still do them).
We are contacted by private owners (new and experienced alike) through referrals or our website form to relocate or deliver their vessel (local or long distance). We would LOVE to see more motor yacht requests, as we have been getting requests for mostly small older sailboats (not what we want…the boats are often in bad shape and the owners cheap). We have a lot of captains sending resumes wanting us to hire them for deliveries. Most of them aren’t sailors…we need more motor yacht work for them as there are plenty of motor yachts that need to be moved for boat shows and North / South “snowbird migration”.
- Do you have an effective promotion or call-to-action we can leverage on your website and in your ads to help increase conversions? Are there any your competitors have used that seem like they’d be effective?
I have not creatively and successfully implemented any other calls to action other than the form to fill out on the website.
Not that I know of. Individual captains can fluctuate on their rates per job because it’s just them. We have to make money and then our captains expect a certain wage…esp since they are quality…so we don’t have a ton of wiggle room on pricing…this is one of the most difficult things and why others have tried this type of company before but didnt know how to monetize it. There are alot of crew finding companies around here, but they are for full crews for larger yachts like 80-200 foot boats who need a captain, mates, stews, engineer, cook who stay on that one boat..often for weeks at a time and many are hired full time for the boat.
Some charter companies (Dream Yacht Charter for one) do send out only captains for deliveries, but are a large organization who also focuses on charter work…their captain services aren’t really advertised from what I have seen. We are creating a niche of captain services not centered on charters…but promoted through insurance companies, brokerages and yacht maintenance companies that is apart from the others. Or marketing should be heavily B2B with value added to the alliance partnership is the vetting process of our captains, and the relationship with B2B partners.
- Do you offer any promotions? Discounts?
Not at this time – open to it, not sure it would apply to give a discount, BUT a value added certificate for something to draw them back to our sales funnel would be best.
- What certifications, accreditations or licenses do you have?
All of our premium Captains are USCG or RYA Master Captains which means they must show over 730 days on the water in order to hold that licence. We also interview, background check, personality check, vet and handpick all the captains that join our team.
We are developing a
- What makes you trustworthy as a business?
We interview, background check, personality check, vet and handpick all the captains that join our team. Our company is owned and operated by marine professionals. We obey all federal and local statutes and have all legalities in order. We operate with high integrity and transparency. And we are nice, which goes a long way in South Florida…
- What are some headlines or slogans you use or have used to set you apart/bring in sales/get bookings?
Premium Captains – not paper captains! Haha … really tho, there are VERY many people who can get their captains license in a variety of ways. Unfortunately if someone was in the military, say, working as a cook, they technically are able to claim their time on the water, but have NEVER steered or docked a boat! YET they can pass a number of stringent tests and BOOM – they hold their license. This is scary, and if anyone knows the captains market in South Florida, they know that for every experienced captain, there are 10 paper captains (very inexperienced, but hold the license), and the general public (boat owners) can have a tough time deciphering between them.
THIS is where we feel our value begins. Our Premium Captains vetting process begins with a request for an updated CV and copy of current MMC (Merchant Mariner Credential….their captain’s license), an interview (phone or in person); background checks, verifying years of employment, fiscal responsibility; drug screening; insurance credibility; and finally a psychological evaluation before we ever place them on our clients vessels.
Our vetting process uses technology and psychology to further vet and get to know our team, so that:
- You the BROKER can feel assured that you are getting the right personnel to support their clients.
- You the BOAT OWNER can sleep well at night knowing that the hired crew is held to a higher standard than an “off the street” captain.
- And to you the INSURANCE UNDERWRITER confident that you have done the hard work FOR you so that you can know that ANY Premium Captain that we add to your policy, will have a solid background report, which we deliver to the insurance company.
- Are there any other decision makers we need to make sure are copied on emails, etc..?
- What is the best time and method to contact you?
Email? Scheduled Call? Specific days? Specific times?
For the general public, we have Ambrosia@premiumcaptains.com and myself email@example.com for direct communication. Otherwise we can make up a support email and a billing email or whatever… we field calls almost anytime these days a we are in small business startup mode – The hustle is real !
Currently we use Grasshopper for our phone PBX 833-922-4897 (833-yachtys) which serves the purpose currently, but we are open to change on that. There is ALSO a local 954 number on our website which is simply a tracking number thru WhatConnects which points to the 833 number. 9:00-5:00pm is good. We answer customer calls every day since jobs can occur any day of the week.
- Anything else you want to cover, that would impact the whole team
- Have you done any other kind of marketing? If so, what were you spending and what were the results?
What other types of marketing have you done in the past or are doing now?
Mailers? Postcards? EM? SMS? Billboards? Social? Google? Catalogs? TV?
Google Adwords but weren’t getting much traffic and most of it old small sailboats. We have found the hard way, this often means cheap, clueless owners. Then found out something wasn’t being directed correctly…hence why we are here : )
Some FB ads and just started Insta postings the past several months
- Currently, how many calls and lead forms do you get per month?
Form leads – 6-8?
Call leads 10-15?
How else are you getting leads? Industry referrals, Yacht brokers
How are you retaining clients? Once boat owners are training, and their boats are moved to the location. We dont see a lot of repeat work. Ocassionaly we do, but the exception rather than the norm.
What is your lead nurture process? Telephone and email – most jobs close almost effortless.
Of the leads you get monthly, what percent typically close? 80% as most are warm.
- Do you track your repeat customers? Right now if we get a customer, I (Ambrosia) can search through Jobber or the spreadsheet and see if they are repeat. I have a good memory and most repeats I remember their names (repeats are usually for charters or maybe a seasonal delivery up and down the coast…not huge for us). We haven’t been sending anything out to them, but we try to comment on any FB or Insta posts of their yachting journey after they leave…try to keep the relationship going and be there if they have questions. Want to send out Christmas and thank you cards…maybe some momento of their first training trip…we have brainstormed just haven’t put it into practice yet.
- What percentage of your sales are repeat customers?
The repeat customers we have currently are really the brokers that use us over and over to conduct sea trials for their clients (one company in particular currently…we want to expand this and become the first choice of other brokerages). We would like to see more than half of our B2B referrals coming from Brokers, and Insurance companies. Which I would consider “repeat”. These clients of theirs often then become our customers after they purchase their boat and then need training and help readying their vessel before they depart. After they purchase a boat, are trained and leave…then we have done our part for them. Unless they sell the vessel to purchase another, but that isn’t too often. Some repeats hire out our captains to run their charter boat several times a year…but this doesn’t make up a huge portion of our client base.
- What is your average sale amount?
- What are your margins?
Cost (payout to captains – 2000 – profits $500
- What is your current monthly revenue? What is your goal monthly revenue?
- What is your current yearly revenue? What is your goal yearly revenue?
- What other marketing goals do you have that we can help you achieve?
What other goals do you have in mind when it comes to marketing?
What other goals do you have in mind when it comes Marketing360 services?
- Does your business Have a YouTube Channel?
Premium Cpatsin should have a channel, but I have little time to edit videos that I have taken. I’d like to find an affordable video editor to work with.
- How do you and your team manage your leads and customers? Do you have any kind of CRM?
We use the platform Jobber which integrates into our current website and sends Ambrosia an email showing we have a new request and contains the information the client has filled out. The client’s information is stored as a request until we convert it to a job, quote and invoice through that system. Ambrosia has also been keeping a spreadsheet as a backup until we settle on a permanent CRM. We like Jobber for the most part but are open to others. We initially started using Quick Books for invoicing so some clients still need to be moved over into Jobber or whatever our final platform ends up being.
- For call tracking, do you prefer we use a toll free number or a local number? Also, what number should we forward the calls to?
Currently we use Grasshopper for our phone PBX 833-922-4897 (833-yachtys) which serves the purpose currently, but we are open to change on that. There is ALSO a 954 number on our website which is simply a tracking number thru WhatConnects which points to the 833 number – We are open to whatever works best.