My family and I recently took a much-needed vacation to a nice hotel on a beach and committed to one of those timeshare pitches they say will only be an hour (which really turns into 3). Why? Well, they threw a bunch of perks at us and it was hard to say no! We all got to swim with dolphins and have a delicious buffet breakfast courtesy of the company! Additionally, my husband and I are suckers for amazing customer service, and when we found the service on the property not quite up to par, we thought it would be an opportunity to share some of our experiences to help them improve.
We were met by our “salesperson,” who told us she only worked with VIPs. After speaking to my husband for about 30 minutes and getting a sense of who he was and where she assumed we were financially, she turned to me and said, “remind me what you do again.” Strike one. I let her know that she hadn’t asked me yet, but was happy to tell her.
Over breakfast, she showed us pictures of properties — not taken by the company, but by other owners. She talked about how they were creating a theme park and winery (I wondered how the grapes would fair in the humidity). But my biggest issue with her was that she wasn’t authentic. She came across as fake and insincere. Maybe she really believed in this timeshare — she mentioned that she owned one as well, but all I could see was her selling. Her mantra seemed to be ABC — Always Be Closing. She asked how we liked our stay so far, but when we tried to share with her our concerns and experiences from a customer service point of view, she just held up her hands and said, “Woah! You can put your concerns in writing. Don’t tell me.” Strike two.
When she showed us around, we asked questions that she didn’t want to answer, or seemed to say she would get to it later. She wasn’t able to connect with us at all. When our kids went into the “kids club,” she sat us down with a pad of paper and pen to show us numbers. It got worse! “I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t take this amazing opportunity. You either (1) You just don’t get it or (2) You don’t have the money!”
That’s it? Those were the only two choices?
I let her know that she should have surmised by now that we weren’t stupid. We understood what she was selling. We had the money, but didn’t choose to spend it on this particular thing at this particular time. We explained circumstances of aging parents, etc, but she was like a dog with a bone. She brought another person over to help her since she knew she wasn’t getting anywhere with us.
As she brought that person over, she repeated to them, “they either don’t get it or…” Strike three! At this point, I cut her off. “REALLY,” I said, rather indignantly. “You’re going to say that again?” Both were unapologetic for their rudeness and were unpleasant and nasty. It left a very bad taste in my mouth, and more importantly, it made me rethink where I wanted to spend my dollars next time.
They damaged their brand!
With those 3 strikes, this woman made me rethink my next vacation (and definitely reconsider doing one of those timeshare meetings). It took the rest of the day to shake off those bad feelings and start enjoying our vacation again (thanks to the pool and the swim up bar)!
In part two of this post, I will share how not to fall into this sales trap when YOU are out there pitching your school or company!
We can do better (and mostly, we do)!
To your success!
Sarah is a native Los Angeleno with the heart of a Chicagoan. She loves A Cappella music, cooking, and swing dancing. When she’s not helping raise money for schools, sports teams and clubs, she is hanging out with and loving life with her husband and girls. For more information about what she does professionally, check out www.amomsguidetoschoolfundraising.com