January 31, 2014 — Each week I receive e-mails from new sales reps or those wanting to become TS reps seeking advice about perhaps joining the ranks of our industry. In those instances I have noticed that they are often concerned with some of the widely known ‘ugly’ and/or ‘bad’ aspects of working within our industry, and those concerns often prevent them from moving forward with a new career in the Land Of Time.
So Here’s The Scoop: One such inquiry this week was from a person – we’ll call her Michele – who has apparently been thinking for some time about launching a career in our industry but keeps putting it off because she, too, is aware of some of those ‘issues’.
From what I gathered by her comments & questions, Michele’s concerns are more about the actual working within the industry and not the use, the selling prices, resale issues, annual maintenance fees, etc. that others have asked about. And though I probably should have qualified that before I responded to her, nonetheless, in part, the following was my advice.
“YES” Michele – “you have the potential!”
I also told her that as far as the negative stuff goes she might want to keep in mind that ‘negativities’ apply “to most if not all professions”; but if she loves what she is doing (her new TS sales job etc.) then those negatives just comes with the territory – as they do in all businesses and/or industries – worldwide!
Michele had read one of my recent pieces whereby I described the positive aspects of a career in our industry and because those benefits appealed to her I also said, “What I loved when I first started several decades ago (and love to this day) is that we are all in the travel and hospitality business – and I love to travel the world and stay in great places (aka: superior upscale TS accommodations) etc.”
I then tossed in a caveat for her to ponder & hopefully embrace, perhaps in time, that if she ‘joins’ she would not be in the “timeshare business” and instead she should start thinking and believing that she would be working in the global “travel and hospitality industry.”
And in case Michele didn’t know I also shared another truth with her and that was our industry literally created a “travel and vacation lifestyle experience that during much of the 20th Century was really only available to the more affluent travelers”; and that it was our corner of that industry “that leveled that playing field so that tens of millions of ‘regular folks’ the world over could travel in style and have a taste of the good-life”.
Another issue Michele raised was that although she is “pretty fit” she also indicated that she was not likely a spring-chicken – specifically that she was “not 21 anymore”. And my response, after a dash of humor, was simply this.
“I’ll keep it short – but one of the BIGGEST money earners I ever met was a gal about 50ish, not that well groomed, who seemingly bought her clothes off the racks in second hand stores. She wore no makeup, etc., and if I told you how big her checks were you’d likely not believe me – but they were, shall we say, LARGE and consistently so.”
I added that the “Moral to that story our industry – indeed, much of the world – is fixated on youth and sex-appeal. But when it comes to selling a high-end product at the consumer level (as well as in the real business-2-business world for that matter) a modestly dressed seasoned sales professional who knows and sells their products/services (and themselves) first and foremost will always out-perform that bubbly young hottie (male or female).”
I also offered some suggestions regarding other aspects of our industry that she could use as a guideline while interviewing with companies (developers) including a few warning signs – specifically (e.g.) low income tour qualifications, lack of full training, etc.
Additionally I recommended it might behoove her to avoid any developer like the plague that has one of those ‘provisions’ that full (100%) earned commissions are only paid out ONCE the new owner makes 3,4,5,6 or more ‘timely payments’. Grrrrr!
Basically I told Michele to “go for it” and to allow me to be one of the first to welcome her to our fantastic and exciting industry.
While writing my answers to her I found myself wondering just how many ‘Micheles’ or ‘Mikes’ there are out there with the necessary skills who would do really well as TS reps — make developers (more) ‘big-bucks’ — but who won’t come in for an interview because of what they’ve heard, read or think they know? I suspect that, too, is a very LARGE number.
I finished my response to Michele by saying “Have the ‘ride’ of your sales life – be proud of what you represent – be honest – and provide all your prospective clients a professional, informative, relaxed and fun sales presentation and in time you’ll not only be happy and hopefully love what you are doing – you will, dare I say – laugh all the way to the bank.
“Keep in touch from time to time and let me know whatzup!
“Your (friend) in the TRAVEL, HOSPITALITY AND VACATION LIFESTYLE UNIVERSE”
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’.
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.