January 6, 2012 — There was a lot of news coverage in 2011 about the 1 and 99%ers, yet the media failed to equally cover the story about the ‘70%ers’ who are out and about again purchasing new cars, homes, jewelry, boats, etc. as did, the ‘70%ers’ back when things turned around during the Great Depression of the 1930’s,
So here’s the scoop. Current data demonstrates that seven (7) out of every ten (10) working adults in North America are neither suffering financially nor living in fear of losing their homes, incomes, etc. And within that base of likely timeshare prospects (sales guests) there are literally millions of consumers fully capable of purchasing a timeshare interest.
Allow me to repeat that: “Millions”! Research within our industry also suggests that throughout this year (2012) approximately 480,000 consumers will purchase a timeshare directly from the developer and those sales will be generated from about 3.2 Million sales guests who’ll be invited to and will attend a timeshare sales presentation.
The ‘rub’, if you will, is that within the 2.7 Million attendees who don’t purchase in 2012 at least, IMPO, 30% of these good people shouldn’t be invited to the sales presentation in the first place even though they are gainfully employed and have at least one national/international credit card.
To put that another way, about 15% (aka: the ‘99%ers’) of these prospects are ‘maxed’ out, deep in debt, etc. and/or their lifestyle simply doesn’t warrant investing (yes Bob, buying a TS, for many, is a huge investment) in a timeshare plan; and the other 15% (aka: 1%ers) already have a vacation-travel lifestyle superior to what our industry sells.
Based on those factors we already know, in advance, that of the 3.2 Million ‘sales guests’ 960,000 of them can’t and/or won’t purchase a timeshare plan; end of story. At an average real cost per tour of (e.g.) $500, developers have about $480,000,000 (Million) on the table that they are going to spend anyway (sound familiar?) and they instead could use those funds to pre-screen all prospects and weed out many of these time consuming wasteful and ever-costly attendees.
One method to accomplish this is to have a two-tiered invitation process with the first phase being more along the lines of a ‘discovery’ process or ‘poll’ whereby when contact is initiated by the marketing department, a minimal cost ‘gift’ (premium) could be offered if and only if the prospective sales guest(s) would agree to answer a (e.g.) ‘vacation-travel’ survey/poll.
When those participating— including the employed with one or more credit card(s)— respond asserting that they are in or near foreclosure, never vacation, hate their kids, the car is on its last legs or they loathe God and their neighbors, think the government and Wall-Street suck, etc. then it would be a safe bet to suggest that they aren’t the best candidates to attend a timeshare sales presentation. Give (or send) ‘em their low cost (e.g. $20) gift, wish them all the best and with a huge and cheerful Hasta La Vista Baby, move on ( aka: ‘Next’!)
On the other hand, when the ‘70%ers’ respond that they love to travel, that they vacation often, adore their spouses/kids, bought a new car a year ago, invest in stocks, etc. then those people would be offered (aka: enticed; the second tier) an exclusive opportunity to attend an ‘informative 90 minute awareness presentation’ (LOL) and for doing so they’ll receive a very nice and valuable premium.
Please note that even though I’m an advocate of ‘pre-selling’ timeshare plans before sales guests attend a full presentation I did not suggest, today, doing that. I am merely stating that it is about damn time in this industry that our marketing efforts are focused on what we already know, in advance, about our sales guests and would-be buyers from decades of studies and research by Ragatz, II, RCI and ARDA.
You know, such as who buys, why they purchase, their average annual incomes, home ownership, net-worth, travel lifestyle, empty nesters, etc. and focus our ‘selling’ efforts on those ‘70%ers’ who are most likely to purchase. By doing so every developer’s net sales, beginning day one, would increase significantly!
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©2012 Inside The Gate