February 20, 2015 — Excluding our own confidential contacts, Inside The Gate (ITG) recently obtained nearly 19,000 email addresses of past and/or current timeshare sales reps who’ve worked in our industry during the last 15 years. Ultimately, we discovered these reps work or worked for many TS companies worldwide including some of those developers no longer around. Our purpose was to conduct a survey/poll among the rank and file of sales personnel (only) and the results, at least from my perspective, are pretty darned interesting. See for yourself.
So Here’s The Scoop: I’m told the original list of email addresses was initially scrubbed/cleaned in order to eliminate obsolete e-mail addresses, non-responses, etc. A huge chunk of the original contacts were ‘trashed’ but we ultimately connected with 3,237 sales reps via e-mail and asked if they’d be willing to participate, from their perspective, in our first confidential ITG survey/poll about selling in our industry. 2,729 agreed to do so as long as ITG guaranteed their anonymity. We did, we do!
ITG also included questions regarding the sales reps’ past and current positions in the industry such as being a liner, closer/TO or F/B’er as well as how long they’ve been in ‘the biz’, where, who and how many developers have they worked with, etc. and if they are still working how long they planned to continue to do so in the Land of Time.
The respondents, who represent the global timeshare industry, were directed to a confidential password-protected two-part online survey/poll where they were asked to use a grading (rating/ranking) scale of 1 to 10 – with 10 being an absolute positive, best or totally agree; and 1 representing their least favorable belief, experience, or general feelings.
Due to the highly confidential nature of this undertaking the second part of the survey wherein the sales reps actually made comments, suggestions, named some names and submitted some ‘tips’, etc. will not be released.
Below are the 45 original questions ITG asked in the first part of the survey/poll and the corresponding average rating and/or ranking (grade, if you will) from all participants are located to the right of each question (in parentheses).
Keep in mind this is not a scientific survey/poll or analysis so make your own judgments or conclusions’ – and if you like, rank/rate each question as they relate to your own sales experiences and post your results in the comments section (below).
Note: The actual questions in the survey/poll were mostly structured in both the past and present tense and are in no particular order or preference, etc. If there are any questions that ‘you’ think we should have asked feel free to e-mail those to me or better yet post them in the comments section (below) so that others may comment or grade, etc.
- Do you enjoy selling Timeshares? (9)
- Generally speaking how would you rate developers in terms of being business leaders, civic minded and supportive of your sales efforts? (7.5)
- How effective and helpful is executive level sales management? (6.5)
- Is sales training effective and helpful? (2.5)
- Rate the overall quality of sales guests. (4.5)
- Are sales tools provided by the developer? (3.5)
- Are commissions (percentages) reasonable? (5)
- Are daily cash SPIFFS offered? (3)
- If you’ve worked a “Love-Line”; rate that system. (2.5)
- Are additional self-gen commissions offered and sufficient? (3.5)
- Are benefits such as health plans, retirement, etc. provided? (2.5)
- Are sales meetings helpful? (3)
- Was your reserve fund ever returned when you left a developer? (1.5)
- Rate 24 to 34-year-old singles or couples as sales guests. (2)
- Rate 65 to 75-year-old singles or couples as sales guests. (2.5)
- To the best of your knowledge do any industry associations support the sales personnel’s selling efforts? (2.5)
- Are current timeshare owners/members a good selling opportunity? (5)
- Do the ‘Directs’ OPC’s send know they’re attending a TS presentation? (3.5)
- If monthly or quarterly sales bonuses are offered are they achievable? (4.5)
- Have you ever received an annual performance bonus? (1)
- Should you become seriously ill or injured will you receive any financial support directly from the developer until you return to work? (1)
- Do you receive paid vacation time off from work each year? (1.5)
- Should developers offer a livable base salary plus commissions, bonuses and benefits, etc.? (7.5)
- Rate the timeshare industry’s overall public reputation? (2)
- Do you have a severance package? (1)
- Should sales guests’ income qualifications be increased? (8.5)
- If you are a ‘liner’ rate your T/O’s. (6)
- If you are a Closer/T/O; rate your ‘liners’. (3.5)
- If applicable, has a developer ever paid your full relocation costs whether being transferred or as a new hire? (1.5)
- Rate your current sales center ambiance or esthetics. (7)
- Has your VPG ever been above $3,200? (3)
- Do you sell mostly single week or points-equivalent ownership TS plans? (8)
- Are you paid additional commissions (points) for all cash sales? (4.5)
- If applicable, rate your Podium Speakers. (6)
- If applicable, rate your VLO or Quality Assurance Officer, etc. (6.5)
- If applicable, rate your sales room host/hostess. (7)
- If applicable, rate the effectiveness of the vacation video shown during the presentation. (5)
- Rate your resort’s design, layout & amenities, etc. (8)
- Do you own a timeshare? (1)
- Have you ever sold a family member or close friend a timeshare plan? (1)
- Have you ever been fired, in your opinion, without cause? (4)
- Should potential sales guests be pre-screened for vacationing need, use and affordability issues? (7.5)
- Do you believe “An Up Is An Up”? (2)
- Do you believe “A Sale Is Made Every time: Either You Sell Them or They Sell You”? (2)
- Is it true you “Are Only As Good As Your Last Deal”? (2)
The average overall ranking/rating for each question was rounded up to the next level and the combined average of all 45 questions was about 4; which would lead me to conclude there is some room for improvement for those developers and management interested in increased sales/revenues and profits.
And, as I said, this was not a scientific survey or poll so draw your own conclusions.
Coming next – we’ve acquired a massive (and I do mean huge) list of e-mail addresses of past and current TS owners/members and ITG will soon be contacting those folks requesting they participate in a ITG survey/poll regarding their overall TS experience.
As it stands right now the questions will range from the marketing approach to the sales center experience they encountered – as well as ‘like’, ‘use’ and ‘affordability’ issues.
ITG will also be asking about their purchase motivation, rental/reselling issues as well, if applicable, their preference of a TS plan in perpetuity Vs a (e.g.) 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25-year RTU (right to use) etc.
I’m pretty darned sure those results will be interesting as well.
And, lastly, we’re working with a company that ‘might’ be able to get us a colossal data base of people who actually attended a TS presentation but did not purchase over the past many years and ‘if’ we do get that list ITG will conduct a survey/poll with those people, too. So stay tuned gang – ’cause that, too, should be tantalizing!
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’.