March 13, 2015 — So far this year I’ve received many e-mails from new sales reps inquiring about the realistic income probabilities in our industry. In my responses I said, in part, that the TS plan, the ‘price-points’, quantity and quality of the sales guests as well as their attitude, the training, their individual selling and closing skills plus commission and bonus structures, etc. are all integral components to earning potential. And of course there are the sales guests’ ‘like’, ‘use’ and ‘affordability’ realities to be considered as well.
So Here’s The Scoop: I also explained that based on my own experience I usually preferred being a F/B’er (front to back rep) when I was active in sales because I enjoy the responsibility for the presentation’s outcome and being in control of the entire sales cycle, process and closing sequence including overseeing, when applicable, the VLO procedure and obviously the ‘button-up’.
Another topic I shared is that in most TS sales centers that have a T/O system the front end reps often only do a basic selling job and in order for me (or any closer) to be able to consistently close NLT 40% (net) I regularly had to spend quite a lot of time reselling each sales guest before I could ever get into the closing sequence.
I also told these new reps one of the universal secrets in ‘selling’ that applies to all products, services including in the Land of Time is basically this: If it hasn’t first been ‘sold’, closing becomes extremely challenging!
Additionally, and for reasons I didn’t go into, I told them that most sales centers that are T/O structured don’t seem to understand that closing a ‘sold’ deal is a piece of cake – that it is actually ‘selling’ the deal that requires exceptional talent equal to or greater than that of the closers’ (T/O) skills.
Another issue I pointed out is the F/B’er commission is higher (usually and depending on the developer). That as a front end rep or a T/O they may earn (e.g.) 3% – 7%; but the F/B rep would be in the (e.g.) 8% – 12% neighborhood (and more, depending on the developer) and excluding additional production/volume, bonuses, spiffs, etc.)
One particular new sales person (“BB”) e-mailed me and said they were told they could “make a ¼ Mill a year…” and BB wanted to know if that was even possible?
After I confirmed BB was talking U.S. dollars (LOL) I said that it depends, and I gave BB an example to ponder beginning with this: There are specific and set ‘rules’ that must be adhered to in order to be successful and as an example I demonstrated what a well trained, low- (or no-) maintenance F/B’er can earn annually if they maintain a positive mind set, are polished, articulate & professional, etc. at all times…
Additionally, because it normally requires several hours – from ‘Meet and Greet’ to the ‘Button-Up’ – to make a sale happen, the F/B’er in this example works a 6-day work week and only encounters 9 fully qualified sales guests each week; and this F/B’er only works 48 weeks out of the year, taking time off annually for some ‘Sun & Fun’.
Lastly, this Sales Professional maintains a net YTD selling/closing ratio (CR) of 40%. I further explained that any F/B’er with a less than 40% net YTD CR may need to fine tune their ‘skills’; OR, more likely, a lower CR is due to ‘issues’ with the TS plan, etc. including the developers’ sales guests qualifications.
Lastly, the average contract price in this example will be $15,000.
Hence – 432 sales guests annually at a 40% net closing ratio equals 173 sales (rounded up). At an average $15-K contract price that generates an annual net volume of $2,595,000.00. Excluding production bonuses & SPIFFs, etc. and being paid a flat 12% on each and every sale this F/B Sales Professional will earn – in one year – about $311,400.
So to BB I said, yes, it surely is plausible to earn a ¼ of a million dollars in commissions (annually) selling timesharing vacation plans.
I added that to the best of my knowledge few developers operate in such a manner where selling F/B is an option, but when BB finds a developer who does and who also has all their ‘other ducks’ lined up correctly then, like others, BB will have a great time and enjoy a silent & very pleasant chuckle on paydays!
As a parting note I also let BB know that if the F/B’ers closing ratio is half, or just 20% net, guess what? That’s still an annual income for a talented F/B Sales Professional of about $156,600!
Sure, that’s not quite a quarter of a million dollars BB – but then again, it’s not too shabby and you might discover that annual income level is both acceptable and ‘livable’. Now get out there BB and make it happen and allow me be the first to welcome you to a fantastic industry and what should be the ride of your life!
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’.