For those of you who have not been paying attention, I get into a LOT of hot water for putting my views onto a public platform. I'm OK with it, despite the fact it results in lots of ignored e-mails, being barred from certain events and lots of name calling behind my back.
But since this new timeshare book that I'm writing (here's the link to have your voice heard: http://www.timeshareinsights.com/feedback.php) is based solely on consumer input (I can be ignored and people can wish that I would go away, but it's harder to get away with that towards the public), I found this description of the timeshare "tour" i.e. sales presentation on Wikipedia worthy of blog recognition.
I've done NO editing. Sad/funny/true/eye-opening? You tell me.
The TourFirst, the "Prospects" (prospective buyers) are seated in a Hospitality Room with many tables and chairs to accommodate families. The Prospects are assigned a Tour Guide; he/she is usually a Licensed Real-Estate Agent, but not in all cases. The actual cost of the Timeshare can only be quoted by a Licensed Real-Estate Agent. After a warm up period and some coffee or snack, there more than likely will be a Podium Speaker welcoming the Prospects to the Resort. Then the lights will dim and the Prospects will be shown a film designed to dazzle them with exotic places they could visit as Timeshare Owners.
Next, the Prospects will be invited to take a tour of the property. Depending on the Resort's available inventory, the tour will include an accommodation that the Tour Guide or Agent feels will best fit the Prospect's family's needs. Then it is back to the Hospitality Room for the verbal sales presentation. The prospective buyers are given a brief history of Timeshare and how it relates to the Vacation Industry today. During the presentation they will be handed the resort exchange book from RCI, Interval International, or what ever exchange company is associated with that particular Resort Property. The Prospects will be asked to tell the Tour Guide the places they would like to visit if they were Timeshare Owners. The rest of the presentation will be designed around the responses the prospective buyers give to that question.
If the guide is licensed, he/she will then give the Prospect the retail price of the particular unit that best seemed to fit the prospective buyer's needs. If he/she is not a Licensed Agent, a Licensed Agent will now step in to present the price. If the Prospect replies with "no", or "I would like to think about it", the prospective buyer will then be given a new incentive to buy. This incentive will usually be a discounted price that will only be good "Today". If again, the reply is "no", or "I would like to think about it", the Guide/Agent will ask the Prospect to please talk to one of his/her managers before the Prospect leaves. It is at this moment that the prospective buyer realizes that the 'Tour' has actually just begun.
The Manager, Assistant Manager or Project Director will now be called to the table. This procedure is called: "TO", or getting the "Turn Over" man to find an incentive usually in the form of a smaller less expensive unit or "Trade-In" unit from another owner. This tactic is commonly used as a sales ploy, because the Resort is not interested in reselling 'Already Deeded Property'. Similar to the Automobile Sales Industry, the manager and salesman know before hand exactly what the lowest price is that will be offered to the Prospect, well before the prospective buyer has arrived for the Tour. If one incentive doesn't move a Prospect to purchase, another will follow shortly, until the Prospect has either purchased, convinced the usually very polite sales crew that no means no, or has gotten up from the table and escorted himself/herself out of the building.