Welcome to the start of another week with AIT, bringing you information and news about the timeshare industry that you as consumers need to know, and we begin with the first article on Timeshare Sales. You have all been on what is commonly known by sales reps as “The Tour”, it is also known by other names such as “Presentation, Update, Product Familiarity,” whatever it is called it has one aim, that is to get you to buy today.
Everything is orchestrated to convince you the consumer to part with your money and sign up for membership, no time to think about it, the offer is valid for today and today only. But how is this achieved?
AIT has been fortunate in obtaining a copy of the current “Training Manual” for new sales representatives at Anfi, a developer who is no stranger to our pages. Although it is from Anfi, it is safe to say it follows what is standard in the timeshare industry, after all, they do sing from the same hymn sheet.
Today we have a look at the first three sections, These are the initial welcome and basics of what is expected from the new employee, these are:
- Initial Welcome & Core Values
- The 5 Why’s
The initial welcome and congratulations begins with:
“You have just joined the most successful timeshare sales team in Europe – if not the world – with almost twenty five years as an industry leader.”
“Our sales team is made up of several different nationalities and has broken record upon record within the industry. Our continued success is based on the type of sales people we employ and the professional attitude of our managers and administration staff.”
“There are many challenges ahead in what is an ever-changing industry but we have no doubt that with your efforts we will continue to be the market leaders in our sector and go from strength to strength.”
“May I wish you every success in your new career with Anfi.”
That sets the scene for the new “sales rep”, who they are working for and what will be expected of them. The same sentiments can probably be found with any employer, timeshare or otherwise.
The next section Core Values, is listed as follows, (no apologies for spelling or grammar, it is direct from the Anfi pages):
Pride & Belief
“To belong to something
successful and we are proud transmit
that feeling of belonging to others.”
This is the first clue that the new employee is about to be “indoctrinated” into the timeshare way of doing things. We have all come across the myth of the “timeshare family”, many developers encourage the belief that its “members” are “family”.
“The smallest lie is worse than the
Not quite sure what they mean by this one, the worst truth is, that you were lied to, which is the same as the smallest lie!
“The heartbeat of our team’s
The motivation is actually money, and it matters not how they do it.
“We lose together and we win
If you ever see a “morning sales meeting” it will astound you, just think of a comedy sketch of an “evangelical meeting,” just replace the loud and raucous “praise the lords” with “bring on the money”, then you get some idea.
“Bending to break down
If you are wondering what barriers they are referring to, that is you the consumer, until they break down your barriers they will not get a sale.
“A reflection of all that you stand for.”
If you have any morals, those will change after training.
“Joining the links to strengthen the chain.”
As long as they toe “the party” line.
Trust & Respect
“The essential of any relationship.”
You will get the consumer to trust you.
“We strive for success – It’s our driving force.”
Success is money.
“We must evolve not revolve.”
Considering their history, they have been doing nothing but revolving, mainly in and out of court.
“The greatest infection you can ever spread.”
Sounds like a disease. Now, have you ever wondered why presentations are held in big rooms with lots of UPs, the ringing of a bell and cheering another new sale?
“Even the tallest tree began life as a seed.”
This could be read as from the little lies come the big profits!
Moving now to the second section, the full Welcome, which consists of ten “rules” on how Anfi Professionals are expected to behave and think. At first glance they appear to be sound, until that is, you interpret them especially if you know how timeshare is sold.
- An Anfi professional sets achievable goals and renews those goals time and time again to achieve a higher level of success. Once set, their goals become the source of all their energies. Goals are set not only in work, But in their personal life too.
You would expect this statement from any company, a sound way of advancing in any company or profession.
- Anfi professionals maintain a positive attitude about themselves, the company they work for, the product they sell and more importantly, the clients they meet. They never prejudge in any situation and always look to spread positive energy.
Again, this is sound, although the “spread positive energy” bit is a little on the “mystical side”.
- Anfi professionals are reliable, punctual and represent the product they sell physically, in their attire, body language and treatment of their customers. Every customer leaves happy and every customer feels special whether they purchase or not.
You wouldn’t expect anything less, after all, they are the “face” of the company.
- Anfi professionals leave no stone unturned in their quest for success, constantly updating their knowledge of the product and consistently seek training and feedback to continue improving.
Now we start to get to the “nitty gritty”, our interpretation is, Don’t worry, we’ll teach you which “stones” to turn.
- Anfi professionals are honest in everything they do, not only explaining what the product can do, but also what it cannot do. Remember the product doesn’t have to be perfect, it only needs be to better than the alternatives.
We would expect any sales staff to be “honest”, unfortunately, timeshares history has shown otherwise, telling clients what it “can’t do” doesn’t seem to feature in any of the sales we have come across over the years. We have all heard the same “pitch” that your “membership” can do this and do that, nothing is impossible with timeshare.
As for “doesn’t need to be perfect,” why is it marketed as “The perfect vacation solution?”
- An Anfi professional isn’t afraid to close. In fact, an Anfi professional loves to close and isn’t afraid to ask for the sale as many times as necessary. Never be afraid of a negative response, it normally gives you an opportunity to sell a benefit of the product and shows that the customer is seriously considering all the aspects of purchasing.
Of course they will not be afraid to close, they will be afraid of not closing, hence the all-telling statement “Anfi professional loves to close and isn’t afraid to ask for the sale as many times as necessary.” It is not called a “hard sell” for nothing, it is also a sign of desperation for the sales rep.
- An Anfi professional knows how to ease pressure by using lots of take-aways during the presentation, pacing verbally and explaining in intricate detail each step of the tour to ease the fear of the unknown and build trust in the relationship.
This is more like it, the “take-away”, a very simple bit of psychology, a common one is around the cost, the sales rep can see from your reaction that is your concern, no problem. He takes it off the table, usually with a comment along the lines of “this may not be for you”, you in turn will bite, in your mind you will think who is he to infer that you can’t afford it or it’s not for you? Sold.
- An Anfi professional keeps things simple. Many sales are lost through over complication of the product; only sell the benefits of Vacation Membership that the client will use in the future. Remember holidays aren’t technical; they are only about having fun and creating memories.
This is drummed into every sales rep in timeshare, KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. What it means is don’t explain how it works or is supposed to work, just glorify the surroundings of the resort, pointing out how the “members” are enjoying themselves around the pool and concentrating on those “benefits” of membership.
- An Anfi professional takes the time to learn about each customer so that his or her presentation can be specific to each person’s. As every persons needs are different, so should every presentation be different.
Know your UP, this will be achieved through subtle questioning during the “warm up” phase. This will be covered in the next article.
- An Anfi professional likes to be around other professionals to share knowledge and tips for success. All professionals keep their focus on the positive and never spend time complaining about a lost sale or the time of year or any outside influences. They see every setback as an opportunity to learn and improve.
It is not a case of liking, it is a case of having to, all reps reside in what is known as the “Pit”, this is where they will wait until it is their turn to take the next tour. This is done on a “hierarchy” basis, with the top reps going out first and the newbies last, unless you get a “deal” and are then elevated to point the next day as a reward.
As for complaining, well, go into any bar that is home to timeshare reps and you will hear nothing but complaints about the standard of the UPS, the lack of tours and especially the OPCs.
The welcome ends with and you will need it:
We wish you the very best of luck!
The next section covers the 5 Why’s, which begins the process of explaining to the new sales rep how to cover the following:
Why Vacation Membership / Timeshare?
Why Anfi Vacation Club?
Why this location/ Gran Canaria?
The answers to these questions begin to explain how the process of convincing the UP to purchase is achieved, it is all about emotion, developing trust and getting the UP to convince themselves by answering the questions through your suggestions.
See what you think.
The 5 Why’s
To sell something, particularly Vacation Membership, the ability to change a person’s emotional state to the point where they feel that there is sufficient value in the product to warrant making a buying decision on the day is fundamental.
A number of factors have to be in place for this to happen.
If we take the sales process right back to basics, we need to influence the customer to answer 5 questions in their own mind. This is to make the customer feel comfortable about making a choice today.
- Why holiday?
In order to sell the benefits of Vacation Membership we must first have the client commit in their own minds to the importance of holidays, we do this through surveying their holiday habits, wants and desires to build a holiday profile.
- Why Vacation Membership?
Once we have a clear understanding of what the customer wants from their holidays we can begin to sell the benefits of Vacation Membership. It is important that before we begin the sales process, we gain agreement from the client that we have obtained a clear picture of what they would require from their holidays in the future.
- Why Anfi Vacation Club?
Generally, whenever we purchase a product of high value, the credibility of the company we are buying from becomes a major influence in the sale. Take Mercedes and Sony for example. Their products are high quality products, they both have a reputation which is synonymous with quality, trust and value for money.
Anfi is no different our customers to make a decision they must feel that they can trust Anfi, receiving quality, value for money and a product to match their expectations. They must also trust the sales person.
One way to build credibility is to tell the customer what the product won’t do as well as what it will do.
“Too good to be true” Remember our product doesn’t have to be perfect, just better than the alternatives.
4.Why this Location/ Gran Canaria?
Never forget we are not only selling Anfi, but also our location, climate, activities, surroundings, shopping, golf etc. A customer must either relate to the location as a place where they could picture themselves holidaying in the future or understand the reasons why it would be beneficial to holiday in a location such as Gran Canaria.
- Why today?
If we answer the first four questions during our presentation, the fifth will answer itself. Once a customer is committed to holidays, agrees that Vacation Membership is a better way take their holidays, and feels that Anfi is the best location and best company with which to have their future holidays, then s/he will be prepared to make the commitment today.
If we successfully tailor our presentation to each client and they feel sure that buying with Anfi will fulfill all their holiday desires, today does not represent an obstacle to purchase.
After 3-4 hours of answering these five questions, the client will feel comfortable making the choice to become an Anfi Member.
Listening, understanding, FUN, ENTHUSIASM and HONESTY combined with integrity are the ingredients for success in selling our product.
One thing you should have noticed was the emphasis on “today, today, today”, and also the second from the last paragraph above, it tells the new rep in no uncertain terms that this process should take no less than 3-4 hours. In other words, wear them down until they sign.
In the next episode, we move to the training section of the manual, this will include Steps of the Tour, 10 Steps to Success, the Meet and Greet and the most important part, The Warm Up.
We hope you all had a good weekend, Baby Dog had to go back to his Hooman Cousins, I think he had other ideas in mind.