October 25, 2013 — Fifty years ago, in 1963 — the year the notorious Alcatraz penitentiary closed, the year the cost of a U.S. first class stamp soared to $0.05, the year U.S. President John Kennedy was assassinated, the year Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space, the year Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, the year The Beverly Hillbillies was the number one (most watched) TV show (USA) — our industry started hawkin’ and sellin’ them thar timeshares.
So Here’s The Scoop: As we all know the ‘biz’ started with Hapimag in Switzerland back in 1963 and over the ensuing decades much in the business community has changed all over the world. Many companies, governments, etc. adapted with the changing times, but in our industry most developers are still operating their marketing and sales operations as if time itself had stood still just for them!
Which naturally made me wonder from a marketing and sales perspective what will the next 50 years be like — assuming the vacation ownership product/service and industry is still around, viable and does not become functionally and/or economically obsolete somewhere along the way.
Let’s say, for example, that a well funded developer today fully intends on being around “for the duration” and that through their marketing efforts they’ll accept 60,000 ‘tours’ to their sales center(s) each year, over the next 5 decades.
That would be 3,000,000 Million sales guests. For simplicity purposes let’s say in today’s dollars said developer is prepared to invest $500 per sales guest to get ‘em in the door. That means a $1.5 Billion marketing investment would be required over the course of those decades and selling at a net 18% closing ratio, the ultimate objective would seem be to secure (sell) 540,000 (new) ‘owners/members’.
Which raises the question, if that is the goal isn’t there a more efficient way to market & sell — over a much shorter period of time for a lot less money — and achieve the same results: those 540,000 new owners/members?
And there sure is Wally! Significantly increase the tour qualifications, pre-pitch the sales guests selected to tour (and get the premiums) before their souls ever hit the sales center(s), end the T/O recital, and close at a higher percentage ratio employing only highly trained professional front to back
closers sales associates!
Now if my calculator is functioning properly, at a 35% net closing ratio (which is where most talented F/B sales pros are closing anyway today), then going through those same 60,000 tours annually said developer would hit the 540,000 new members/owners mark in just about half the time — 25.7 years Vs 50 years!
And by doing so that also means this developer would not have to invest an additional $500 (today’s dollars) per sales guest on those other 1,458,000 ‘tours’ over the following 25 years to get those 540,000 new owners/members, which would be a tidy little savings of about $729 Million bucks just in marketing costs!
Of course most developers are not taking 60,000 tours per year – but the formula works regardless of how many/few tours are generated annually and is based on actual front to back sales center success in the ‘biz’ today that produce similar closing percentages – that is, when the marketing program is in sync with the overall objective – you know, to sell slices of Paradise!
Besides there aren’t too many developers reading this today that will likely be around 50 years from now anyway – so why not put the pedal to the medal now and REV it up a few RPM’s and cross the finish line way ahead of everyone else?
After all, time is money and as the lead singer Jim Morrison from the Doors reminded us all decades ago with their smash hit “Roadhouse Blues”:
Let it roll, baby, roll!“
Good luck out there!
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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’.
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