The world has changed – and we’re not going back.
We can’t keep doing the same old things the same old way and just hope for better results. Buyers have changed the way they buy – and so it follows, we must change the way we sell.
We are dealing with a more informed buyer than at any time in history. No longer does the salesman have the upper hand, holding all the information allowing him or her to release just enough to continually use ‘trial closes’ and then, when the buyer is backed up against the wall with nowhere to go, move in for the kill and close the deal.
Failing to recognise these massive changes has been the undoing of many businesses and will be the nail in the coffin for others trying to resit this tide of change. It’s time to adapt and change the way we sell – the ‘ostrich approach’ just won’t work.
Ethical selling is the answer. Eureka!
Instead of asking; how can I close the deal, how can I make another sale, how can I boost my profits… try asking; How can I build trust, how can I add value? View things from your clients or would-be clients perspective.
I was speaking at a conference for one of the UK’s major high street banks recently. Early into my presentation I referred to the fact that I had been working with members of RDO and the timeshare industry about ethical selling and building trust.
They laughed… finding it highly amusing that I’d use the words trust and timeshare in the same breath.
I couldn’t contain myself.
“That’s a bit rich”, I announced to a slightly stunned banking audience.
“Let me just check – was it timeshare that caused the global financial crisis – or was it banking?”
We all agreed that was a fair question and one to which we all knew the answer too.
There’s a global trust crisis and trust is the key to successful selling in this hyper connected world we live in. Like I said, to swim against the tide is futile, to bury your head in the sand like an Ostrich and hope the trouble goes away is equally useless. I encourage you to embrace change and reap the rewards.
Just as an otherwise upstanding industry such as banking now has to work on rebuilding trust from a period involving an element of miss selling – so to do other industries – timeshare included.
Has all banking been bad and miss sold? No. Has all timeshare? No not at all.
I recently spent time in Gran Canaria working with the sales teams at Anfi. I was looking for small incremental changes in attitudes, mindset and behaviours of the sales teams that when compounded can have a very positive impact on results.
What a great product, what great staff and management. By the end of the first day, everyone realised I was there to help not to test or judge them. There was a buzz of excitement in the team. To my delight one of the team even tracked me down to say a specific thank you. He explained to me that due to a fresh way of thinking – he’d helped two new clients that day become part of the Anfi family…
There was nobody on the team that would fit the bankers avatar of a typical ‘timeshare’ sales person. I found people with 5, 10, 15 even 20 years experience in the industry, many of them always within Anfi, it was easy to see why. I met people who care about their owners. I also witnessed owners who really care for the sales team. You don’t see this is in too many industries.
I offer many simple, small changes that are possible to implement in most sales teams across a variety of industries. One low cost, high impact change is to embrace the on-line world. More specifically – the world of social media.
It’s why I whole heartedly support the RDODigital initiatives including the propagation of great content marketing. Sharing positive, upbeat and relevant content with the world. This is not just the job of the resorts marketing departments – but engaging with happy owners to have them actively ‘spread the love’
At Anfi in Gran Canaria as with Pearly Grey in Tenerife where I also worked with their sales team recently – I met die hard loyal and happy owners! They are willing and able to broaden the reach – to spread the word to a fresh potential market via Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Snap chat, Tinder… ok, maybe not Tinder – but all over social media happy clients can spread positivity for the timeshare industry.
A side note – but on the aeroplane going over to Gran Canaria – without knowing who I was, two raving timeshare fans and Anfi owners were giving me an unsolicited tour of all the resort has to offer on their iPad. Resorts should engage with these people – not just to upgrade them, but to actively work the referral market.
It’s not earth shattering news that if you google ‘timeshare’ right now – there’s more negative than positive cometary on-line. So – how about changing that? The more good news we can all spread the better for everyone involved.
Anyone still selling sub standard product or miss selling it – will be found out, so stop it. Whatever industry – we’re better off without the rogue traders.
If you have a great product – let others shout about it. The negative stuff, though some may be painful, will pale into relative insignificance. At the very least it can be dealt with appropriately and quietly. Don’t focus on the negative – accentuate the positive.
If you have a great product or service – don’t be afraid of technology – it can put your good news on legal steroids – Maybe it’s time to stop hiding in the shadows. It’s time to embrace change.
About the author:
Steve Clarke is a professional international speaker and serial entrepreneur. He is the author of the best-selling “How to thrive… not just survive” in which he spells out his formula for business success. Having spoken at a previous conference a few years ago and after recently recording a video series for RDO, Steve is back to share more of his great knowledge and expertise.
Steve has entertained, inspired and motivated audiences in more than 30 countries across 5 continents. Interesting, memorable and engaging, what Steve has to share on the subjects of sales, marketing and customer service help deliver transformational and lasting change.
Steve lives by his mantra: “It’s your attitude that determines your altitude”