August 13, 2016 — I receive e-mails each week and lately many from front line sales reps, in-house peeps and new T/O’s seeking suggestions to increase their net sales volume. Due to the number of those inquires over recent months I’ve decided to outline the formula for anyone interested in selling/closing more and increasing their incomes substantially. And to accomplish that objective the first rule I will begin with is likely the hardest one to accept. Nonetheless, it is true. So let us head down the rabbit hole together, pop back out and then sell more vacation plans, earn a lot more, live the good life and soar with the eagles!
So Here’s The Scoop: For new readers of my column, first I’ll give you the old bona fides. I’ve been in all marketing, sales, training and management positions in our industry spanning many years. I know of what I speak, have seen it all, been there, done that. Any yet, believe it or not, my individual net sales STATS always exceeded industry averages not less than 3 fold.
I personally wrote in excess of $10 Million dollars in clean business resulting in a ‘kick’ ratio of less than 2% and oversaw scores of millions more in ‘managed’ sales, so what you are about to preview is simply the way it ‘is’ and not some distorted or nefarious perspective because to this day I truly LOVE THIS INDUSTRY!
That said, and due to the traditional marketing methods over the last five decades, the first principle to unequivocally understand is that for every (e.g.) 100 sales guests, on average, 50 of them shouldn’t be in the sales center in the first place. That is simply because they do not, cannot and/or will not vacation sufficiently to justify investing in a vacation plan – with costs often in perpetuity. Period, end of story!
Without my engaging in a (e.g.) 50,000-word essay to prove that reality, in a nut shell they do not like what we are selling. They also cannot use what we offer and equally important if not more so is they simply cannot afford to be or become regular vacationers let alone TS or VC owner/members. Sometimes it’s just one of those reasons, sometimes it’s two and other times it’s all three reasons. Inconceivable!
By the way I didn’t just make that up; the assertion is backed by a plethora of research, reports and studies etc. from highly respected and credible sources including from within the vacation ownership industry.
Yet the GOOD NEWS is that within those 100 sales guests there is an incredible opportunity for each individual rep/closer to make more sales and earn a better living if they also understand and accept the 2nd rule.
And that is this: Among the remaining 50 sales guests (out of 100), 10% (5) of those folks are pretty much vacationers anyway and – wait for it Bubba – they really do like what we have to offer, they actually can use a vacation plan that appeals to them and – drum roll please – affordability is not an issue either. I’m shocked, shocked I tell ya!
So out of those original 100 sales guests it is assured that if each and every sales center visitor is handled properly, truthfully, professionally, enthusiastically and with the utmost respect etc as they preview an upbeat and informative presentation, 5% of the original 100 prospects will buy without too much sales resistance. I.E. They ‘lay-down’, so to speak.
As such, from the original 100 sales guests there are those 45 other prospects wherein the sales and closing challenge resides and it is those 45 sales guests where the big paydays are to be found.
In our industry there are those who sell/close all or nearly all of those 45 sales guests (plus the 5 ‘lay-down’s’) and by doing so, these are the Master Sales Reps (MSR) and/or the Master Closers (MC) that produce high VPG’s an individual YTD net closing ratio’s in the pleasant 50% neighborhood.
And because they do so everyone on the ‘line’ should strive to achieve the same success and results (or as near to that as possible), which is what I call the 40% factor in that every rep/closer should have a personal goal and objective to sell/close 40 (+ -) out of every 100 (or 4 out of every 10) sales guests they encounter.
Which leads us to the 3rd rule and without wavering, doubting or trying to second guess proven methods used by those who sell/close in the 40% arena. All reps/closers must unconditionally accept rule #1, rule #2 and the 3rd rule – the 40% factor. When that is ingrained in the rep’s/closer’s mindset – this is the starting point to increase their sales volume, their income and improve their standard of living substantially.
Naturally, that brings us to the 4th rule, a tenet some reps/closers share with their sales guests regarding their renting accommodations for their vacation needs: “You know, if you’re going to spend the money (renting) anyway Mary and John…”
For those working the ‘line’ it would instead be, “You know, if you’re going to show up to work and sell/close anyway ya might as well sell/close more and earn more…”
So for those who want to get to the 40% (+ -) level let’s start this week by clearing out our minds and busting a few absolutely ridiculous timeshare industry sales myths endlessly preached, mostly, by those who make their living on the ‘house’ (aka: ‘room’) wiring – and not the individual sales rep or closer’s performance.
1. ‘They’ say: “Never Pre-Judge”, which is pure rubbish because all marketing and all sales, in all industries since the dawn of commerce, are all about prejudging. As an example, for illustration purposes and a little fun let’s look outside our industry for a moment consider the following.
A rep works for ‘X’ company that sells backyard swing sets. The boss tells the rep to never prejudge and then orders the rep to hit all the convalescent care centers in the area. And once inside the rep is instructed to go bed to bed, pitch each patient and using ‘heart-strings’ close them on buying one of the company’s nifty swing sets for their grandchildren if they have any. Sure, from time to time that rep will sell a deal to a caring grandparent who still has the mental capacity to buy and the funds to pay.
Conversely, a different rep for another swing company is told by their boss to hit all elementary schools in the area and with the blessing of the school administration that rep is to pass out brochures to the kids depicting the swing sets and instruct the children to take the pamphlets home, immediately show mom and dad and to point out the ‘limited special’ offer.
Now I wonder, at the end of each month, who’ll come up with the highest sales volume? Call me ignorant but I’m guessing it probably won’t be the poor “never-pre-judge” schmuck endlessly roaming the halls day in and day out at those convalescent hospitals.
2. ‘They’ say: “An Up is an Up”. To be fair, in part that would be true if all “UPS’ were equal in terms of their lifestyle, income, credit rating, domicile, age, marital status, education, health and employment, etc.
But that is not the case in the Land of Time. In our industry ‘they’, and by that I mean many developers, consider the (e.g.) 25-year-old sales guest with a debit or prepaid credit card who is cohabitating with a new-found significant other they hooked up with 90 days ago the same ‘Q’ as a married couple who’ve been together for decades, are now empty nesters, have investments, etc. and a FICO score exceeding 750.
‘They’ also don’t want their reps/closers to understand that for a “Q’ with a family of 2, 3 or 4, etc. living in Springfield, MO an annual gross household income of (e.g.) $50,000 goes a lot further than another family of the same size and income living in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California.
For the record, that ‘Q’ from the greater Bay area in California needs a gross household income of about 30% more (nearly $25-K more) than the ‘household’ from Springfield to have the same purchasing power and/or disposable income as the folks from MO.
3. ‘They’ say “A Sale Is Made Every time” and that “Either You Sell Them or They Sell You”. I become nauseated when I hear such nonsense because, in part, it implies that John Q. Public (JQP) goes about his daily activities with their sales resistance ‘A’ game locked and loaded.
And the moment they encounter any sales rep or closer peddling anything, good old JQP will destroy the rep/closer and by the time JQP is done the rep/closer should crawl under a rock, feel inept and so demoralized for being ‘weak’ they might as well give up their sales/closing career and take a night shift at their local fast food restaurant.
So here’s the 5th rule; and don’t ever forget this: “An up is NOT an up”. “A sale is NOT made every time”; and no, sales guests do NOT “sell you”. Let it sink in!
Just remember that the marketing system is ‘what-it-is’; and that’s not likely to change until the second coming, so to speak. So the key and 6th rule is to accept, embrace and be very thankful for the marketing system and use it to your advantage to make more sales and earn a much better living.
So stay tuned for the ride of your life as next week I will reveal the biggest secret in the timeshare industry that will, without doubt, increase just about everyone’s sales significantly and immediately. And I’ll do so without the use of smoke, mirrors, hyperbole, TS Sales BS 101-A; and/or any other nonsense.
Until then, just for fun, crunch your own sales/closing numbers!
If, for example, you increase your sales/closing ratio by just 3, 5, 8 or 10% see how much more you’ll earn.
Then look at the 40% factor – and if that doesn’t get you motivated, excited and wanting the lifestyle that income will provide then maybe there is another career option down the street to be considered.
Good Luck Out There
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