Psychologists talk about
Type A's and Type B's, extroverts and introverts.
Vic and I talk about Boat Types.
Vic is a boat buyer's broker.
His job is to find a previously-owned boat that
will make the buyer the most happy. That may sound
easy but it's not. Often, the boat buyer doesn't
know what kind of boat he wants either.
So, before Vic the broker
searches for the buyer's boat, Vic the doctor
must diagnose the buyer's boat personality. His
patients tell him about their boating dreams.
Occasionally, he interrupts to ask a probing question,
like "I understand you like to fish for sharks
with rotten meat. And what kind of boating does
your wife enjoy?" Vic has earned a psychology
degree in the school called making the sale.
We could write a book about
this and the chapters would be the boat personality
types we most often meet. We love 'em all, our
patients, boaters till the end.
1. Vertigo Vinny.
When Vinny talks about boating, his head spins
and his mouth emits fast, happy sounds. Vinny's
problem is, he likes all boats. Slow boats. Go-fast
boats. Deep draft. Shallow draft. He can see himself
having fun in every boat. Vic tries to find out
what kind of boat Vinny's wife prefers. The doctor
now has an opportunity to test Vinny's professed
love for all boats by asking what he thinks about
THIS boat. Now that's a real head-spinner.
2. Armchair Arnie.
Like any good patient, Arnie has already figured
out what's wrong with his life and what he needs
to make it better. Like the patient who almost
became a doctor, Armchair Arnie wanted to become
a marine architect but went into the family business
instead. He needs a certain type of boat, of course.
He knows what he wants. He also needs a little
affirmation. "You agree with me, don't you, Vic?"
Vic conducts the patient interviews and, satisfied
that Arnie has correctly self-diagnosed, goes
in search of Arnie's boat. Arnie is a great customer.
3. Hi-Lo Lil.
Lillian is going to buy a boat but she can't decide
when. Gung ho today; not so tomorrow. She has
the boating fever today, chills tomorrow. Vic
knows the patient has to be committed to a big
decision, so the doctor nurses the process along
until Lillian is ready to make the commitment.
I believe I have heard him ask the buyer, "Now,
Lil, are you sure you are ready to do this?"
4. Contrary Connie.
Every pursuit has its Devil's Advocate types.
Such is Contrary Connie. She doesn't want a boat
like your boat or my boat. She wants to own a
boat that nobody else has, something unique, something
different, something that says, "I'm Connie and
I'm contrary." And that's fine. The doctor establishes
mutual trust. He gets on the same wave-length,
but keeps Connie pointed toward a vessel that
is suitable for her cruising water. Knowing that
the doctor is committed to the mutual process,
the patient relaxes and enjoys the search.
5. Captain Courageous.
Courageous wants to cruise around the world in
a little boat. The doctor is between a rock and
a hard place here. Does he look for a boat that
might take the Captain around the world or does
he attempt to talk this risk taker down from the
high wire? Doctor Vic's solution is the nautical
equivalent of take two aspirins and see me in
the morning. It usually sounds like this. "That
is a fascinating goal and an immense challenge,
Captain. Let's talk about this over coffee instead
of gin and tonic."
All good people, they just
approach the boat selection process in different
ways. The boat broker understands this and works
with each according to his or her Boat Type. Real
psychologists could go to school on this guy.
The doctor is in.