Time Share Sales

Elaine and I have owned a time share unit at the Village of Loon Mountain for 20-ish years. We’ve stayed there several times, but as we’ve grown older, we’ve grown to prefer a tropical beach to a ski slope. Elaine’s done very well. We’ve been to Disney several times. We’ve used our RCI membership to hunt for colleges in Pennsylvania, visit Williamsburg, San Diego. We’ve also been to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, twice.

For those of you who have never been, every time we visit one of these places, we’re always asked if we’d like to attend a 90 minute presentation to learn about this resort’s vacation ownership program. WE ALWAYS SAY, “YES”. Elaine says, “Yes.” because she wants the free stuff that they give you to listen. Passes to Disney, Excaret, dinner, etc. etc.

Last week we were at Aventura Spa Palace in Mexico. If you follow the link, you’ll see that this was a great place. Accommodations were cool. Ocean view. Sunrise from our bed. Double jacuzzi in the room. 24 hour room service included. Restaurants were great. Staff in the restaurant, on the grounds, and in housekeeping were excellent. Service oriented. Genuinely happy. Fun to be with, around and served by.

Surprisingly, guest services, public relations and the sales department s-t-u-n-k. Crappy attitude. It’s as if they were taught to disagree and deny first. When tested, stand firm. If the customer persists, stop understanding English. Before I go on, I want to point out one exception. Michelle in guest services was always smiling, always helpful, and if everyone at the resort was modeled after her, not only would they all be beautiful, but I wouldn’t have any complaints. I won’t get into specific complaints, but generally, we didn’t get everything that we expected.

Here’s the point of the post. As always, we said, “Yes.” to being pitched. Salesperson #1 (SP1/no names) spent an hour with us. Bond, develop rapport, qualify, show us the program, yada, yada, yada. She dropped the price three times. Didn’t she get it? We didn’t want it. She said that she could see that we didn’t see a package that we liked, so she called her manager over to see if she could find a package that we liked. Huh? We gave no buying signals. We said that we didn’t see ourselves owning any part of the resort. Regardless, here comes the manager. She asked a couple of questions, but didn’t listen to the answers. Didn’t maintain eye contact. Was constantly scanning the room as if she were looking for her next prey. She presented her solution and when I said, “No.”, she asked, “Why?” I replied that I have no intention of buying anything and won’t change my mind and am ready to leave. She asked why, again. I replied that I was done with her and was ready to leave. Did I have to stand up for her to get the message? She started talking again. I stood up and crossed my arms. She asked if I would please sit down and she would get me out of here. I did.

Interestingly, there were about fifteen closing tables, all occupied in the room and three times, a sales rep stood up, started clapping and said something like, “I want to introduce _____ and _____. They’ve just become owner #83. The reason that they’ve decided to invest is (and they gave a very personal, legitimate, compelling reason that the new owner was buying.) Elaine and I never gave any reason, let alone a compelling reason, so why were we being pressured? Why did they even bother closing? Find a compelling reason, earn the right to close, or don’t waste your time.

The rest of the story. The manager turned us over to Mr. Good-Looking Super Manager. He sat down. Asked us how we liked the resort. How we were being treated. I replied liked the place, but now we weren’t being allowed to get back to our vacation. He said that he understood that I had a problem with one of his people, was it ____? I replied with, “Right now I have a problem with you. All I want is my free stuff and to get back to having fun.”

He arranged it.

Whoever is training these people………I believe that everybody should buy, at least once, but if you can’t uncover the prospect’s compelling reason to buy and recognize the one opportunity to close, YOU DON’T DESERVE THE SALE!

And if you want to talk to me about fixing the problem and you speak English, use the link at the top of the page to send me an email.

6 thoughts on “Time Share Sales

  1. Hey, that stuff wasn’t free! You and Elaine both paid 90 minutes of your time, each. “Free ain’t free.” Anyway, this resort sounds like a good training prospect for you and the guys at Kurlan’s. Wouldn’t be a bad gig…flying out there to give a class a few days a month!

  2. You’re right, Paul and if you do the math, two-$100 holistic massages are hardly an even trade for 3 hours of our time, but after I posted, I realized that I had explained why Elaine wanted to sit through it, but I forgot to explain why I do. I enjoy it. This group wasn’t, but I’ve met some very professional, skilled salespeople. I enjoy watching. I learn. Remember, that I really enjoy what I do, so often, this is my chance to interact with a pro in a different setting.As to your second point……….Of course, I forwarded this post to Palace Resorts Management!Incidentally, if any of you know someone who works in the industry, send them a copy of this post and send me their contact info. 2008-2009 might be good timing.

  3. I received the following comment by email. I believe that if the author had wanted to be known, he would have commented. I think that his comment is worth posting and have done so on his behalf without editting. “Rick, Here is a layman’s (ie. non-sales Professional) opinion. Unsophisticated salespeople (unlike yourself and your associates at DKA) think that if they present (ie. show features and benefits) and then give the right price that everyone will buy. If you don’t buy immediately, you must want a better price. There is also a Mexican/ Carribean mindset that I noticed the couple of times I was there == American’s are fat and dumb and just ROLLING in money and are looking for somewhere to dump it. That is why some of the people down there are happy and smiling: TIPS. The customer service people weren’t super happy because they don’t get tips AND you are going to try to get something FROM them. You should add something to your last paragraph, “… if you speak English ALL of the time …” I enjoyed this post a LOT. Thanks,”

  4. Dear Anonymous,Exactly, which might be why they only rang the bell two or three times with a roomful of unsophisticated, unprofessional, uninformed, uncaring, untrained, unimpressive ‘sales’ people.

  5. I think Paul is on to a great idea here. I can see week-long training trips, with about 3 of the DKA trainer/coaches (no names here), with a couple of ringers planted among the trainees to stimulate flowing dialogue in the class setting. I’ll bet Paul and I could handle the plant assignment for a very modest fee!

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