If you have read my message for December you probably know what I’m going to talk about in January – the first month of the new year. Yes, it is about the kind of resolutions you can make for the well being of your family. I am saying this from the point of view of annual vacation that help you spend good, quality time together – far away from the pressures of work.
The first part of this message has to do with end-customers of timeshare. And my concern here is about customers understanding timeshare as a vacation product, and being aware of the long-term benefits and commitments.
And here’s my advice to you, even before you sign on the dotted line . .
- Understand the product, features, customer offerings clearly before you make a purchase decision, or sign on that dotted line. Read the fine print and clear all doubts during the initial sales presentation.
- It is always useful to make a comparative study of features, costs and benefits in timeshare offerings from different organizations – could be from the point of view of resort locations and other unique features that appeal to you.
- Understand your commitment to the home resort in terms of annual payments and maintenance charges – I have met many customers who wonder why they need to pay maintenance charges after they have paid the initial purchase price.
- When you’re weighing your options, or comparing between timeshare and a regular hotel keep in mind that a hotel is not planned around holiday activities – it gives you a room and support facilities that may include a pool and a gym. While a timeshare resort is essentially planned around holiday activities for the whole family. It’s the complete destination for annual vacations.
- Another thing to keep in mind: once you’ve paid up, you’re pretty much worry-free for the next 25 years – making the timeshare product, what we call inflation-proof. On the other hand, a hotel could raise its room tariffs at fairly regular intervals.
- The biggest advantage is the tie-up your home resort has with international exchange companies – which practically opens up a wide horizon for you in terms of exploring the world of timeshare vacations. Exchange companies with global networks are managed well and operate seamlessly when it comes to accounting for your banked vacation week, or helping you upgrade on facility if the need arises.
Here’s my advice if you’re part of a sales team marketing timeshare . . .
If you are part of a sales team marketing timeshare directly to customers, let’s hope you are not pressured by sales targets alone, and can see the larger interests of the customer. Because timeshare is still not really understood as a vacation product by new and prospective customers – many of them sign up without really being aware of the break-up of initial costs, or what it costs to do a swap, or exchange your vacation week.
So, the first thing you need to do is to educate the customer with a balanced presentation on benefits over the years, and other features that could be linked to the product. So, it’s about educating the customer and identifying with his need for annual vacations with the family.
It is also important for you to project a fair assessment of the competition vis-à-vis your product and what it offers. Most sales teams are often tempted to project competition in poor light which could be unfair to begin with. So my request to you is to project your company in a fair manner when it comes to convincing a customer.
Which brings me to my tailpiece for this month’s message, and is good advice to the end customer. Once you invest in a timeshare plan, make sure you use it – don’t place it on your back-burner. Take your family for what is I am sure a well deserved vacation - even though you have the option to accumulate your week.
Timeshare gives you so much more, for so much less. Ask me - I’ve been doing timeshare for years as a regular paying customer.
And here’s my invitation to explore the world of timeshare in India. For starters, please explore the AIRDA website (www.airda.org) there’s a lot of information here that can be very, very useful.
B. S. Rathor
Advisor & Member - Executive Committee
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.