-by Scoop (January 26, 2018)
I was reading an online promotion this week offering adults an opportunity to take advantage of a decently priced 3-day 2-night mini-vacation in Las Vegas, NV in exchange for “120 minutes” of the responder’s time. We all know the drill – a discount on a room plus some other ‘gifts’ (aka: premiums) for agreeing to attend a timeshare sales presentation.
So Here’s The Scoop: Of course that is perfectly fine and I am all ‘down’ with the marketing approach except for the incredibly low ‘gross annual household income”
requirement threshold qualification, in this instance, of $50-K.
It seems to me, generally speaking, timeshare developers today – damn near all of ‘em – are still making the ‘selling’ decisions that affect the outcome on those magical little round tables based on marketing guidelines & qualifications that were established about ½ a century ago – you know, way back in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s.
Though sometimes the same marketing tactics are still used to this day, back during the ‘dark-era’ the marching orders for marketing peeps was basically, “drag ’em (“Tours”) in any way you can. Tell ’em (“UPS”) whatever ya gotta tell ’em. Just get ’em in the frickin’ door and if we have to we’ll clean it up inside…”
Soon thereafter developers of the era were convinced that though the approach was working they concluded sales-guests needed to have some sort of a job – well, more like an unverified but minimal gross annual income that the developers believed represented sufficient finances for anyone (sales guests) to buy & own a slice of paradise.
Of course, if after a bit of ‘work’ it was discovered by the marketing folks (as it often was) that their soon-to-be commission source was a few shekels shy of the required gross annual income – well, with a little prepping from the OPC and maybe an extra gift or two all of a sudden the ‘target’ miraculously had a rise in income, met the qualifications and would soon be attending a presentation somewhere in the Land of Time.
And while many marketing folks back then bitterly complained about the newest ‘qualification’, as time passed and marketing costs increased developers would next determine & require that invitees to their sales presentations must also have either a major credit card (this is pre-debit card era) or one of those things known as a checkbook in their possession when attending the presentation.
Again, the marketing folks of the era weren’t too excited about dealing with yet another requirement but from that point on, and because marketing costs continued to increase, that minimum “gross annual household income” requirement would be raised from time to time by most developers – though it is worthy to point out that in many instances to this day the increases in income requirements rarely kept or keep pace with (e.g.) the U.S. CPI (consumer price index – aka: inflation).
There were a couple more marketing ‘tweaks’ that were to come down the pipeline back then, but for now all this brings me to something we need in rectify in our industry that will actually lower developer marketing costs while increasing net sales and profits, etc.
Drum roll please – instead of a having a “gross annual household income” requirement – all sales guests should be qualified, in part, not on gross household income, not on disposable household income but on their household discretionary income!
Yes, Bubba, there is a difference, plus a “gross annual household income” is money (income) most sales guests never actually have in their hot little hands because upwards of 35% + of their “gross annual income” (money) is taken away from them before they ever see the money in the form of standard payroll deductions every payday.
Of course with those deductions out of the way that leaves people with their disposable income. But, as we all know, those dollars are also committed long before people receive them because the money must be spent on life’s necessities such as housing, food, clothes, transportation, insurance, savings and retirement plans, etc.
However, once those mandatory costs are out of the way, finally John Q. Public (JQP) and the rest of the ‘household’ clan has whatever is left – you know, ‘mad-money’ (aka: discretionary income) to go out and spend to their little hearts’ content.
Maybe this week, for example, they’ll purchase that new yacht, buy some jewelry from Tiffany’s, an Aston Martin, a Gulfstream G650 or, maybe, an 8 million dollar beachfront vacation home in Monterrey, CA – or, instead, perhaps one of them thar ocean front timeshares in that there Hawaii.
And if developers don’t want to be bothered with such discretionary income ‘nonsense’ they ought to at least have regional considerations regarding (e.g.) a “$50-K gross annual household income” including, dare I say, the ‘size’ (number of mouths to feed & clothe etc.) of said household.
I mean – come on now – who doesn’t get it that a household in (e.g.) Joplin, Missouri consisting of a mom, a dad and one, two or three children living the dream with a “gross annual household income” of $50,000 will surely have a different lifestyle and financial capabilities, etc. than another household living the dream in New York City or Seattle, WA with a $50-K “gross annual household income” that includes the same number of people under the roof as the home in Joplin?
Good Luck Out There
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