“Selling” it has been said “is not making people do what they do not want to do! Selling is “making it easy for people to do what they love doing – spending money!”
No sales profession in the world compares to that of a ‘Vacation Ownership’ or ‘time share’ consultant. The very nature of the work they do commands the highest caliber of professional and offer the greatest income potential in any field. I can think of no sales position in the world where potential clients are placed before you in an atmosphere conducive to telling the exciting story of the life changing opportunity that the timeshare product provides.
I started my selling career as a 12 year old in French Canada selling Dandelion leaves door to door after school. I sold Encyclopedias door to door in the days when you stuck your head in the door – not your foot – then if they slammed the door in your face you could keep right on talking! In the 60’s I spent 8 exciting years being chased out of retail establishments (in one case by a butcher brandishing an axe ) in the process of introducing trading stamps to the world of retailing. A marketing tool that proved to be without equal as a traffic generating and loyalty building promotion.
Like the time-share business, and indeed any other outstandingly successful concept, it generated controversy and skepticism from those outside the profession and rapidly expanding number of satisfied users. A week in any one of the amazing new resorts; in the luxurious atmosphere of a palatial condominium set in superb surrounds, all for less than the cost of a single night in an equivalent standard hotel room, leaves no doubt as to the outstanding benefits afforded today’s time share owner.
From a career perspective the successful time-share professional has the world at his feet. In the few short years since I embraced this industry, I have been privileged to work in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia) in Europe (Spain, England and Ireland) and to visit projects in Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, Fiji and the Caribbean.
Amazing opportunities abound worldwide. Both the Philippines and Australia are about to explode. Great corporations like industry leader Marriott are currently seeking professionals for exciting locations in Europe and the Mediterranean. True professionals in our industry can expect a career that will carry them well beyond the normal retirement expectancy and afford them a life style comparable with any profession in the world. We in this industry owe it to our clients, our employers and more especially to ourselves to provide, in the words of our industry’s association –
“Quality, Service and Excellence”, that we may be truly recognized as Professionals in the true meaning of all that title implies.
Our industry is also the most exciting from the potential of unique growth opportunities. Malta company MAP group’s recent acquisition of Vienna based houseboat resort club expands the already amazing variety of exchange options available to time-share owners world wide. Yachts, Houseboats, R.V.’s, Motorcycles, Dude Ranches, Adventure treks, Cycling Holidays, African Safaris, the list is endless. Introduction of the first time-share cruise shipwas recently announced.
I was privileged to lecture and entertain on P&O’s Australian based fleet for over 8 years and I can assure anyone of you who has not enjoyed the cruise experience that you are missing out on one of the greatest and most enjoyable vacation experiences available.
Following on Roger Dawson’s recommendations last week let me leave you this week with these words of wisdom from one of the worlds all time motivational greats – Elmer Wheeler, whom I had the pleasure of listening to on numerous occasions in my formative years.Elmer was a great advocate of “selling the sizzle -not the steak.” He tells the story of the Egg and the Milk Shake. According to Elmer he was asked to come up with a marketing program that would enable the soda fountain industry to increase the profit on their most successfully selling product – the milk shake. Elmer’s idea was to encourage the customer to have an egg added to the milkshake at an additional charge. Elmer didn’t recommend newspaper or magazine advertisements (T.V. as an available medium didn’t exist) he focused his attention on the ‘soda jerk’ behind the counter -directly at the point of sale. When a customer ordered a milk shake the person behind the counter would politely ask, “Would you like one egg or two in your milk shake?” As most of us in the hay day following World War II didn’t really have much idea of what went into a milk shake – most customers replied “one will be fine – thank you.” And the sale was made!
The moral is – as Roger suggests – always ask for more than you expect to sell. Coupled with what we call the ‘alternative choice’ close – giving the buyer a choice, either of which consummates the sale – “Check or credit card?; one bedroom or two?, two or three weeks?” There is nothing manipulative in this approach. It is simply making it easy for your client to make the buying decision – it’s what we do!
Dr. Peter J. Shield PhD ARP