May 4, 2012 — I was reluctant to write about this week’s topic as I surely don’t want to aide any of the scammers out there plaguing our industry. I finally concluded that they will neither care nor follow the advice. But if you are in the ‘biz’ (developer, vacation club, resale outfit etc.) and don’t heed the following counsel then as Shari Levitin famously said in one of her training videos (“I have a Headache”) for sales reps: “You ought to be slaughtered”!
Remember how the late U.S. President Ronald Regan often recommended, when talking about the former Soviet Union, that it was always wise to “trust, but verify”? Well the general public actually embraced that philosophy and that especially applies when they will, are, or have recently purchased goods or services that cost more than a few dollars.
Here is what I mean. A new buyer just left your sales center dropping (e.g.) $8-$25-K and within the rescission period they decide to ‘verify’. They Google your company name, your name, the rep’s name and the product, service, resort-vacation ‘plan’ you just sold ‘em.
And BAM, on the first page there is a plethora of seemingly negative content for the buyer to digest and make yet another ‘decision’— but this time without your ‘company rep’ handy to answer the ‘charges’ and/or ‘clean it up’. Lo and behold, another cancellation comes rolling into corporate.
Often on that first ‘results’ page of most search engines the old BBB (Better Business Bureau) report and ranking will be available; and then there will be the various ‘complaint’ boards whereby anyone can pretty much say anything they want regardless if there is truth, even partial, to the accusations.
But there is one other place buyers (consumers) are now looking and that is the State Attorneys General offices of Corporations. And yes, Jethro, all fifty (50) states have such an office and online presence whereby, usually free of charge, consumers can pull up your ‘file’.
There they will find out if you are in Good Standing, default, delinquent, suspended, revoked and/or permanently revoked, not registered at all, etc, often along with officers’ names, registered agent, how long you’ve been in business and depending on the jurisdiction(s) other information about you including what other businesses you have owned/registered and the standing of those entities.
Believe it or not there are actually some very well known companies in the ‘biz’ who have a default listing with their State’s agency and when a consumer finds that all they know is the State says “Default”. And if your company can’t figure out what that will do in the new buyer’s mind, and you don’t fix it today (as easy as it is to do so), well, good luck.
Same is true with those BBB postings. I am often surprised at the companies listed there with less than stellar ratings provided by the BBB. Their ranking service goes from A to F (with some + and – in there, too) and yet there are companies in this business, legitimate ones, who ignore the bad rating and fail to correct the issues (which is also pretty darn easy fix).
And then we go to rip-off report, pissed consumer, scam boards, complaints, etc., and there, too, there is no shortage of legitimate TS entities with a bunch of complaints including ones from the ‘whiners’. And like the States’ listings and BBBs these ‘rants’ (postings) are very easy to resolve.
So the next time you get one of those cancellations in, you know, like today, then you better check your P’s & Q’s, cross the T’s and dot them I’s because you are foolishly losing money by not eliminating those little Red Flags.
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