Friday, January 7, 2011

Changing Places

I'v received some flack lately from my article in TimeSharing Today where I state that I've never known of timeshare resorts where the salespersons were trained to lie. As I said, my article was based on my own 4+ years as a salesperson and salesmanager and my interactions in the past few years with timeshare executives.

Does it happen? I'm sure there are cases where it does and those individuals should have a public spectacle made out of them and be very openly thrown out of the business. The timeshare industry has enough on it's plate without liers.

There is of course a fairly simple step that can be taken which will not only eliminate this issue, but be the catalyst for some huge positive changes to take place. Change places.

Become the customer. Have the CEOs, the Presidents, the COOs, the top sales "dog", the PR person, etc. all become a customer.

That's right...walk down the Strip in Vegas and listen to the "you don't have to buy anything, just tell them that you make $65K and you can leave in 40 minutes" spiel. Sit down for "breakfast" with one of the fast-talking timeshare salespeople who talk about "the investment value of owning a piece of real estate in Central Florida." Try to sit with a straight face as the timeshare saleseperson tells you that "timeshare weeks will soon be worthless...everyone is going to points, and if you don't upgrade your timeshar will be worthless." Get on the phone with the exchange company and see what's it's like to try to trade an off-season week in Alabama for a week in Hawaii.

Too hard? OK, even simpler. Go to a shopping mall or an airport and arm yourself with a clipboard and ask random strangers their opinions of timeshare. The key words are "random strangers." Chances are if they already own timeshare, they have great things to say about it. We know that. It's the non-owners that I'm talking about. Chances are they they don't have such wonderful things to say because they only know the bad things.

Imagine if every single head-honcho did this for a week. Can you imagine the positive changes that would be made? As I said, I am of the firm belief that these same head-honchos, the ones that I meet at industry events want the positive changes made. They just don't know how to begin.

Now they know...change places, become the customer, talk to consumers directly. Let the changes begin.

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