September 20, 2013 — It’s likely a safe bet to suggest that among the adult population in just the USA, Canada and Mexico about ¼ to ½ of them, at least once in their lives, enjoyed themselves a tad too much –– perhaps at a party belting down one too many alcoholic beverages. I suppose a good number of them woke up the next morning feeling absolutely miserable and swore off alcohol while others may have simply taken a bite of that dog that bit them and then it was once again – ‘Party Time’!
So Here’s The Scoop: For those of us who’ve been around the timeshare business for more than a couple decades it is hard to believe that as an industry, starting with Hapimag in 1963 (a Swiss company –– the very first timeshare developer in the world) we are now in our 50th year of ‘sharing’.
As a side note, I find it rather curious that to the best of my knowledge there are no scheduled (e.g.) grand “Golden Anniversary” celebrations planned noting our industry’s milestones, accomplishments, etc.
That issue aside, what most of the ‘new crews’ these days aren’t likely aware of that affects many of their marketing and sales operations is that back in the ‘wild-west’ era of peddling slices of Paradise, most marketing/sales reps, etc. pretty much thought their project and all of Timeshare Land was kind of a here today gone to Maui deal and the primary order for each day was to make hay while the sun shines.
To put that another way, few thought or believed the ride would last forever and if you were really talented the money was plentiful & fast for a sales/marketing gig; huge next morning cash spiffs ruled the day; do what it takes to make a deal; training was nonexistent; work the love line to get the best shots; extracurricular ‘stuff’ was everywhere and many partied like there was no tomorrow.
In the marketing/sales trenches back then it was indeed take a bite of the dog that bit ya yesterday and do it all over again – day in and day out – and it was that mentality that was a driving force behind sales and the future growth in our industry.
I’m not saying that everyone back then behaved in such a manner as there were also plenty of ‘teetotalers’, ‘Steady Eddie’ types and other more mainstream/conservative sales/marketing and management personnel to be found. But as for those “20%ers’ writing “80%” of the business (many also adhering to the doctrine of ‘no heat no eat’) they and other top producers ruled the roost to be sure and set the future tone.
Things have improved over time but I’m not suggesting we’re 100% different in 2013 then we were ‘back then’ because over the decades (as everyone knows) we became a global industry and all around the world many of our founding business practices and principles, along with personal and personnel traits, remain eerily similar to those wild and woolly times.
In fact you can visit any number of sales centers the world over and it is as if you’re stepping back in time (or taking a journey on “The Time Machine” depicted in H.G. Wells’ 1960 science fiction movie) then BAM! There you are, (e.g.) 1980 and the original marketing and sales process exists — frozen rock solid.
I believe that the status quo — industry wide — should have evolved over the last ½ century, yet even in the USA, as noted recently in our very popular blog section (The GateHouse), a married couple wanted to leave the presentation before it was completed but they were denied — and things became ugly.
This was the September 10 incident at Berkley Group’s Vacation Village at Williamsburg Plantation in Williamsburg VA; and as it turned out the husband was also ‘packing his own heat’ (a pistol). Things could have become pretty darned bad and people, including sales guests and reps, ‘could’ have been shot and killed.
All because, as in the days of old, it was determined that ‘room-fill’ and ‘nobody escapes the full presentation’ was apparently the law of the land, with the end result being that the
sales guest husband was arrested, the ruckus blew out the room, and a good time was not had by all — at least during that wave!
Fortunately there are some outstanding developers in our industry who have pretty much done away with the business practices of the past and they use – among other business models – a professional marketing and sales approach to what is otherwise an outstanding travel & hospitality product/service.
That said, and as I’ve been warning for some time, these are the players who’ll be around for many years to come and I again urge all those ‘reps’ who want a future in this industry to do what it takes to ‘get on board’ with one of these companies (developers) and secure that future post haste.
As for those old-school developers lingering around with their antiquated practices?
Stay with them as long as you like but be advised that in the not so distant future you’ll likely wake up one morning with nowhere to ‘hang your hat’, dealing with the realization that you’ve lost one of the best marketing/sales ‘gigs’ ever!
Good Luck Out There!
© Copyright Inside the Gate. All rights reserved.
Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services--- and, of course, all the 'Good', the 'Bad' and the 'Ugly'.
Stay tuned for what is sure to be a fun ride and check back to Timeshare Scoop du Jour each week for more of the inside scoop.