To the sales team at our summer vacation resort:
My mother raised me to write thank you letters when I have been given a gift or when someone has been a host to me and my family. So, to our time share salesperson yesterday I would just like to extend my thanks as well as provide you with some food for thought for the next family that comes in.
I would just like to thank you today for the breakfast that I didn’t have to cook. That is always a good start to a vacation. I have to admit the best thing on the menu was the fried potatoes with onions and peppers which of course my children refused to eat. Having someone at my beck and call to get me a drink and clean the table after me was just like going to a restaurant.
Now I admit; I knew what to expect today, I knew it would be a sales talk. But let’s just get one thing clear. Please do not tell me when I make my so called “reservation” that it will only be 90 minutes and that because we are owners that we will simply be asked to complete a survey regarding our ownership and the property we are staying at. Your exact words were “You will be asked about the smoothness of the check in, the accommodations and the amenities. You are an owner so we want your input.”
This is not my first time in the so called survey circuit, so I know there is a good chance it will last two hours from breakfast to the ding ding of both, my patience and your ability to truly believe me when I say, “I don’t want to buy this.” I also know that there will be a short survey, but that it will mostly be a sales presentation.
You seem like a nice guy, and I know appearances can be deceiving. We had a nice little chat but it’s really not a good idea to “establish a relationship” with your potential customer then hand them off to someone “more experienced and better able to handle our specific needs.” First, I have no specific needs regarding purchasing more time share time. We are quite happy with what we have, thank you very much.
After moving on to the next person (translation I normally sell to the first time people but for those who are going to need more arm twisting we bring in the big guns), a person who in most cases who says that they actually do “training” because they are oh so knowledgeable and experienced about vacations and vacation ownership; it’s really not a good idea for the new person to the party to use phrases like: “I don’t suppose you have travelled anywhere outside of the United States.”
As a matter of fact I am pretty sure that you can’t make that statement after shaking my hand and learning my name. Secondly my husband and I have traveled quite extensively both in the U.S., Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, and in his case even South America.
After learning this it’s probably not a good idea to use this phrase as your back up, “Oh, well, I don’t suppose you have been to South Africa.”
Next, please do not begin your part of this presentation with “I am a blunt person so forgive me if I say things you don’t want to hear.” This simply means to the customer in front of you that you are apologizing in advance for being rude, inconsiderate, arrogant and pushy. All things I have no intention of forgiving you in advance for.
Please do not order our previous salesperson around, “Go turn down the radio, Come with me to get this paperwork, etc.” We are not stupid people and realize that 1) you want to have a minute alone with us to put him down and establish a new connection with us and 2) you will be talking about us behind our back with him on how best to sell us. Quite honestly if he knew how to sell us then we would not be back here in your cozy little office.
It was very thoughtful of you to present us with not one but three convenient payment plans. However, in order to help speed things along when I pointed out that one of them was more than the cost of my new Honda Insight it’s really not a good idea to inform me that “Purchasing a new car is the worst possible investment you can make.” (Oh and owning more timeshare weeks is not?) Maybe you feel saving for my children’s college education and my retirement is a pretty stupid investment too, after all who needs a retirement fund what I have the deed to one week at your valuable property? Maybe in my old age my children can let me live with them in the dorms. By the way, since my husband has been a financial advisor and analyst for 25+ years and did his Ph.D. work at the University of Tennessee, I think we have a pretty good handle on what expenses and investments we need for our family, but thank you very much for your recommendations.
It was almost nice to see your composure shattered when you find out that my parents are VIP owners and purchased extra time for me when I was a struggling single parent, going to college, working full time and trying to raise two kids.
Now, my momma raised me right, to be polite. But even by now this woman is stretching the limits of even my southern hospitality and upbringing. After she once again leaves us alone I inform my husband that I wouldn’t take another week here if she gave it to me. Then I go on to discuss more important matters like getting the trees trimmed when we get home, after all when will I possibly have another opportunity like this to have a discussion alone with my husband while my children are entertained by the excellent free child care provided. My mother also raised me to look for the silver lining in a dark sky.
Once again our sales person returns, with me firmly decided to tell her to take her bluntness and shove it somewhere because right about now she has infringed enough on my time, when she says “Well if you just sign here you decline this offer we can let you go.” Hooray! We can leave, I was started to develop Stockholm Syndrome after all this time with our German salesperson (I know because you shared that with us several times) Wait, Stockholm is that other country but not being the world traveler you are I think I am allowed to be a little confused. Thank you for not bothering to add, “It was nice to meet you,” however, it’s really, really not a good idea to add, “After all if you just want to mooch off your parents for your whole adult life then that’s your problem.”
Ok, did you just say something about my momma, who is the one person who has taught me not to grab the paperweight off your desk and beat some manners into you with it? You know nothing about me or my family, and while maybe, just maybe I could see you saying something like that, in a much nicer way, in order to close the sale saying it when I am standing up and leaving your office is just rude. Plain and simple, rude.
So, I would just like to say, thank you again for a lovely breakfast, the free child care and the several opportunities to talk to my husband about some pressing matters at home. You are right, we do need more vacation time, after all when would I get another chance to get to do all that and get paid for it?
The family who didn’t buy anything from you