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Get to know… Guy Girling, Boat Sales Executive, Thames & Kennet Marina

3 May 2024

For Guy, being part of the Boat Sales Team at Thames & Kennet Marina is like being part of a family. It’s all about collaboration, support, and knowledge-sharing among colleagues. No challenge is too big when they work together, and each day brings new opportunities to learn and grow.

We have asked Guy a few questions to get an insight into what it is like working as a Boat Sales Executive…

What does an average day in the life of boat sales look like?

No two days are the same, especially at Thames & Kennet Marina. Due to the variance of craft listed, a day will generally involve a mix of, paperwork and administration, following up with clients from our databases, arranging viewings and gaining listings to meeting clients, and discussing their requirements, expectations, and desires with boating.

What do you like to do to jumpstart your day at the marina?

On arrival at work, I try to get out and amongst the boats where we often see wildlife, and this I find de-stresses me before the day begins.

Any quirky rituals or lucky charms you swear by for a successful day of boat sales?

I find it important to forget life outside work and totally focus on the day ahead. I often listen to Classic FM on my 3-mile journey to the marina to help. 

Describe a memorable moment when you had to think outside the box to showcase a boat.

This happens every day as we meet different clients from all walks of life. Speaking about their interests outside of boating gives personability and helps weld a strong relationship and can also be very interesting for us too! It is important that the sales process is a pleasure for the customer, and never pressurised.

Can you share a funny or heartwarming story about connecting with a customer over a shared love of boating?

There are many, as a great number of long-term customers become friends. One fond memory is when I was traveling around Ireland visiting marinas in the 1990’s and staying in a small village close to the Shannon – in the middle of nowhere! While at a local pub enjoying a quiet drink, I heard “Guy Girling, what’s this an Irish takeover” and there sat one of my oldest clients! We went on to have a great evening and have since formed a strong friendship – and he still buys boats from me!

How do you decompress and reflect on the day’s sales achievements once the marina quietens down?

With a Whiskey!

What was your journey like to becoming a Boat Sales Executive?

I was planning to go into the Merchant Navy; however, I was found to be shortsighted so unfortunately wouldn’t be accepted for the position of Deck Officer. I attended a Yacht and Boatbuilding Diploma which covered all aspects of the industry and decided to seek work close to my home in Henley, where I was fortunate in finding a position at a local family boatyard. I began as a Yard Hand and developed my skills to become Sales Manager and Sales Director thereafter. Having worked there for 30 years, at the age of 50, I decided I wanted to return to my routes in selling boats and took my current position with Tingdene with the task of expanding boat sales at Thames & Kennet Marina, which I continue to do 10 years later!

Being a Boat Sales Executive is a rewarding and dynamic role that requires dedication, passion, and a love for the boating industry.

We are proud to have a team of dedicated colleagues who embody these qualities and consistently strive for excellence in everything they do. Their unwavering enthusiasm for boating and commitment to providing exceptional service continues to shape unforgettable experiences for our customers.

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