October 17, 2014 — As an industry we’ve been selling ‘singles’ for the past five decades whether they are a sales guest all by their lonesome self or accompanied with a friend while attending a timeshare presentation. That said, most sales reps and closers would rather have married couples’ as their sales guest over a ‘single’ any day of the year – but maybe now – it’s time to change that mindset.
So Here’s The Scoop: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “50.2% of Americans were single in August 2014 (up from 37% in 1976)”, and because there are other reliable sources that affirm the same percentages perhaps our industry needs to re-evaluate the value of the ‘singles’ market and the corresponding psychographics of that specific demographic?
To put that another way – and I know this is not necessarily our industry’s forte – we need to analyse the lifestyle of the ‘singles’ market. What are their interests, what activities do they enjoy, what are their likes, dislikes, their fears; where do they want to vacation and in what manner, etc. so that we can better understand them and then develop a marketing approach and vacation plan that specifically targets and would be of interest to that market.
And as many industry insiders have advocated for years, we ought to be doing that across the board anyway – all demographics – and fine tune both our marketing approach and selling technique’s to better reflect the high caliber and quality vacationing lifestyle we offer the worldwide traveling public.
That said, and sticking with the ‘singles’ theme for today, out the gate any developer still paying out cold hard cash in marketing costs for those 25 to 30-ish year old ‘singles’ when millions of them are already strapped with record breaking college debts (each, averaging $30,000) said developers really need to start rethinking those ‘singles’, as this is 2014 and not 1980.
Not only are they deeply in debt, many of them and their counterparts of the same age who did not go on to college are still living at home and are pretty clueless about their futures, making them the least probable candidate to afford a multi-thousand dollar vacation plan with monthly payments and annual maintenance fees in perpetuity – not to mention the related travel/vacationing costs associated with being a TS owner/member such as airline tickets, etc.
Indeed 25 to 30ish-year-old sales guests, ‘single’ or married for that matter, should be immediately replaced with hardworking blue/white collar professional ‘singles’ (and married couples) that are established and in their mid to late 30’s – and up to 55-60 years old.
But should anyone not agree with me about those 25 to 30ish-year-olds then ask yourself a very simple question — especially all you ‘deciders’ reading this, you know, developers, executive level management and all seasoned timeshare professionals who’ve been around the block a few times.
When you were 25 years old what were you doing? Would you have purchased a lifetime of vacations and obligated yourself to the corresponding and significant financial obligation in perpetuity?
Maybe some of you would have but as for me the answer would be NO WAY as at the tender young age of 25 I was in the U.S. Peace Corp saving the world. And a couple years later, back ‘in the world’ when I found myself lured into a timeshare presentation – well, now at 27 I had new and other priorities don’t ya know and my answer was a resounding NO WAY!
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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