December 2, 2011 — Timeshare developers, executive management, PD’s, DOM’s and SM’s, etc. could learn an invaluable lesson from United Parcel Service (UPS) CEO Scott Davis, who told a CBS reporter during a recent televised interview that his company discovered that “a five-minute delay for every UPS vehicle every day costs the company $100 million annually.”
And what do UPS and Mr. Davis have to do with our industry? Well, Davis, like all timeshare developers, has that ‘bottom-line’ he monitors and the UPS CEO is always looking at every aspect, down to each operational minute of the entire process and business model for ways to cut costs and increase profits.
In our industry, collectively or on an individual (developer) basis, one of those wasteful minutes that turns into hours every day of the year is the cost of obtaining and then the losses incurred by attempting to sell to prospects who either have no use for a vacation plan and, more importantly, could not afford one, not even an ‘exit’ or ‘trial’ program when they are ‘sold’.
Not that I’m an actuary for any developer, but if I were and mathematically wanted to crunch the known data, numbers, etc. and see if there was a formula to minimize excess marketing and sales expenditures and lower wasted, precious and valuable resources I could prove with indisputable facts that for each sales guest who falls into the aforementioned category that ‘tour’ is literally costing the developer thousands of dollars each time that ‘guest’ arrives for the presentation.
Fortunately we’re not talking the proverbial ‘rocket science’ stuff here. And quite honestly any seasoned sales professional— especially those who sell F/B (front to back) and maintain YTD VPG stats two, three or more times the masses— could clearly demonstrate (and many have tried) where their ‘company’ could improve one or two aspects of the (developer’s) business model and lower costs and increase profits.
Of course that debate has gone on for decades now but most developers still cling to the one marketing and sales system rooted in our industry’s foundation, while other businesses target their known and specific ‘market’ and only then attempt to sell to those prospects who have a need for and can actually afford the ‘wares’ they are hawking.
Why that historically proven and very successful business model continues to be avoided in our industry is beyond my pay grade and comprehension. Especially considering the gargantuan volume of upscale travelers there are in the ‘market’ who should be approached Vs (e.g.) John and Mary who don’t travel and because of their budgetary issues camp out in their back yards EOY representing ‘their’ vacation lifestyle.
Alas, the minutes will continue to tick by, as they have for decades, without so much as a mere thought involving a strategic marketing change, and developers will simply continue that status quo as the calculable millions more in losses continue to accrue!
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