The guy across the table from you is your best friend. He smiles at you and calls you by your first name, with permission of course. He insisted that you sit facing away from everyone else so you could all “hear a little better”. And now, you’re comfortable but wondering why they don’t just turn down that loud vacation music they are playing. You could definitely hear better then. Still, he greeted you in such a friendly manner; and the more he talks, the more you seem to have in common. You’re relaxed, and drinking the coffee he poured for you before you sat down. The donuts are delicious too. Wow. He’s just so thoughtful, isn’t he?
Meet…your timeshare salesman.
Whenever you bought your timeshare, and wherever you bought it from, you probably spent the better part of the morning or afternoon in the company of one of the most skilled salespersons in the world. This is no joke. The typical timeshare salesperson, if they made it past the first month in timeshare sales (which about 80-90% do not), successfully persuades couples every day to spend upwards of ten, twenty, or thirty thousand dollars or more on a timeshare they didn’t want with money they don’t have…in 90 minutes. Now that’s what I call a salesman!
Imagine a salesperson knocking on your door in the middle of the afternoon and selling you a twenty thousand dollar vacuum cleaner in an hour and a half! That must be one heck of a vacuum cleaner right? But it didn’t happen that way did it? In fact, the resort you visited paid you to show up…and on time too! In the end it was a fair trade. You got a hundred dollars in vouchers and a free stay in a hotel. And they got your grandkids inheritance.
You should know by now that from the moment you shook your salesperson’s hand, you were a participant in a kind of theatre. Everyone at the resort had their part to play but none was more important than the guy or gal who gave you a friendly tour of the resort property and offered you all the amenities you could stomach. Did you like the group presentation and the little video they played? That speaker sure seemed to have those lines memorized; but I guess you could expect that after having performed hundreds of times before.
Timeshare sales is a huge business and only the very best salespeople are even offered the job. And it is a seriously cutthroat business. The men and women of the industry work a tight ship. And they throw around numbers like APG (average per guest), VPG and the like. These numbers track their performance. And those who don’t maintain them are sent packing. Next!
You should know that most of these salespeople are genuinely nice people. They have kids to feed and bills to pay. And in many cases they have managers and supervisors breathing down their necks from the moment they wheel into work. They make easy targets but they are not always the real bad guys. They are just really good at doing their job. Many of them are true believers. Others are just as good at selling themselves as they are at selling you. Of course the industry is rife with unscrupulous predatory types too and it is basically impossible to tell the difference. In the end though, any real difference in character doesn’t matter. The salesman knows how to make you like him (or her), knows what objections you’ll put up, and knows how to overcome those objections like the pro he is.
The timeshare salesperson is indeed a professional. The industry naturally weeds out the weak so those who last are experienced and seasoned veterans. Every objection you throw at them they have heard dozens of times like a comedian fencing hecklers. They sit through endless early morning and afternoon training sessions getting drilled by their managers. The resorts pummel them with books and training materials teaching them about basic salesmanship all the way up to neurological priming. Yes…brain science! By the time your salesperson is sitting across from you they know just how to push all the right buttons and how to read all the signs to push them.
Your salesman walks you through the models with a sly grin on his face. He remarks at how only the fortunate few can really partake of this bounty he offers. And somewhere near the end he shares a story about a couple who couldn’t be more happy, and another about a couple that only wishes they had more time to spend with that family member who passed. Family. Family. Family. It’s all about family. And who doesn’t feel at least a little guilty about not spending quality time with the most important people in their life?
Feel free to sit down one more time and listen to that vacation music again. Invigorating isn’t it? And it’s hard to hear the others around you too. No one else would say no right? It’s a good thing that your salesperson likes you by the end, because the price for this sort of luxury is just out of this world. Maybe a visit with the manager will bring it down to earth. And it does. Snap! Just like that. Sign here Mr and Mrs (your name). And have some champagne while you sign the other fifty pages.
You really shouldn’t feel too bad when your salesperson walks you to your car, helping you with the nice new bag of owner books that you just got. After all, you were just part of the Greatest Show on Earth. PT Barnum himself said there’s a “sucker born every minute.” Don’t feel like a sucker. You just got sold by one of the best in the business of sales. And while you drive off into the sunset, he’s high fiving his buddies in the breakroom. He’s smiling too because they’ll read his name out in the morning. He’ll be sure to give you a friendly call soon so you won’t change your mind. It’s good to get your name mentioned by the boss. You might have just met the number one salesman at the resort.
Did you really think you could say no?