March 10, 2017 — In 1932 “If I Had a Million” was an anthology film that presented several short fictional stories about a dying wealthy businessman who decided to give away $1 Million to 8 different people. Some 23 years later, in 1955, a hit TV series “The Millionaire” came out based on the same basic idea. That television program ran until 1960 and I’m guessing here but some viewers of the original film and the millions who watched the weekly TV broadcast likely hoped, dreamed, wished for and/or fantasized about coming into $1,000,000. And what does that have to do with the timeshare industry you ask?
So Here’s The Scoop: Well, in part, from a timesharing selling perspective the comparison is all about perception so first allow me to point out that using a CPI (consumer price index) calculator and due to compounding each year over the past 85 years, that $1 Million in 1932 would be equal to about $17 Million in today’s dollars. As for the $1 Million in 1955, because that $1-M compounded for 23 years less than the 1932 ‘dollars’ did, today the 1955 $1 Million would be equal to around $9 Million.
Yet, here we are in 2017 and if some of us won or were given $1,000,000 in one lump sum I believe we would get kind of excited; hell, some of us might even quit our day jobs or at least take a few extended vacations of the non-motel/hotel room variety so that we could travel and see the world in luxury and style.
And speaking of perception, I was flipping TV channels one night recently and landed on a station that was airing the game show “Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey. I caught the very end of that program when a family of 5 had just won $20,000 (to be divided among them) – and all 5 family members damn near went crazy, shrieking and jumping up and down because of their perceived ‘windfall’ and/or new-found fortune.
At the end of the day, what ‘some’ people perceive as being wonderful, exciting, a ‘blessing’ and/or the best thing since sliced bread, so to speak – others may not share the same view, enthusiasm or emotion.
Which naturally brings me to the typical timeshare sales presentation and how there seems to be a predisposition among many tasked with the greatest responsibility, IMPO, – to ‘seal-the-deals’ (aka: the front-end reps, closers and ‘management’) – who don’t quite grasp the perceived appeal and value their sales-guests do of having a beautiful vacation home that they can use and enjoy at some of the most sought after and exciting destinations around the world.
In short, like many sales people in most sales-centric industries it all becomes a numbers game with too many – as they ‘play-the-odds’ – forgetting it’s likely that 50% or more of all the sales guests they ‘meet/greet’ are ‘touring’ a vacation home (accommodations) that is far superior to their own Casa.
One of the reasons that seems to be true is that for the past 50 + years most sales reps’ initial training and orientation into ‘the biz’, specifically as to what they are actually selling, has been and continues to be less than ‘glowing’.
To this day, for example, the initial sales training for many new reps around the world amounts to, at best, the first day on the ‘job’ when the sales manager gives instructions similar to this: “Okay Scoop, this morning you’re going to ride with Carmen. Watch what she does. When she T/O’s the table leave with her and then I’ll get you out for the second wave and all you have to do is repeat what Karen did during the first wave….”
Sadly, that is not as bad as other training that continues to plague our industry like the session I wrote about some time ago (with a hyperlink to a video on YouTube) when a TS sales manager for a major developer in Mexico was secretly caught on camera dispensing the following training advice to a large staff of front-end sales reps:
Your whole tour is based on setting these people up for a fall. Everything we do here is what we call a trick f**k. Just trick f**king these people.
Fortunately, there are other developers and ‘management’ in our industry who provide their new ‘peeps’ great sales training that includes, when you break down all the other aspects, the simple truth that their owners/members will have access to a vacationing lifestyle that includes some of the best accommodations ‘money’ can buy (or rent) anywhere in the world. You know, a vacation home all over the world.
And I point all that out because not a week goes by that I don’t receive e-mail inquiries from new sales people who rapidly become disillusioned and as it turns out, one of the primary reasons is because they’ve been poorly trained.
So for all the new folks reading this week’s ‘Scoop’ let me leave you with some simple advice. Never work with any timeshare developer that does not offer a complete sales and product/service training curriculum because at the end of the day, as thousands have before you arrived, you will likely ‘lose’ before you ever get past the first month or two with the old OJT (on the job training) methodology.
Good Luck Out There.
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