You’ve accepted that gratis dinner, overnight trip or snorkeling tour. What a lovely time you’ve had, and aside from having promised to sit through a brief upcoming presentation, none of it has cost you a cent. You think you’re almost home free. Nevertheless, you may be in for a surprise.
In any disaster, those who have prepared beforehand are the ones most likely to come through in one piece. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a timeshare presentation drill. Still, knowledge is power, so if you do some day find yourself the subject of a timeshare presentation, here are some things to expect.
Timeshare Sales, Phase 1: The Information Gatherer
While you are busy enjoying your complimentary giveaway, you may suddenly encounter an excessively chummy individual whose incessant questioning seems far more personal than it should. That’s because it is, but friendship isn’t what this genial person is after. You’ve been targeted by a salesperson, and he or she is trying to gain an advantage over you. The relentless inquiries have one purpose only: to get a feel for your lifestyle, your interests and hopefully your net worth.
At this point, the party has just begun.
Timeshare Sales, Phase 2: The Tour
Your new acquaintance will waste no time in leading you into a sample timeshare unit to show you the many wonderful things you’ll be getting at a truly amazing price. He or she will be sure to point out the magnificent view while mentioning how much your three children will enjoy the Olympic-sized pool and how your elderly mother will appreciate the gleaming garbage disposal. This individual will probably let you know the going rate for a comparable timeshare. What he or she will fail to mention are the extra costs.
The job of this person is just to get you to say yes upfront without causing the timeshare company any additional angst. At this point, you may still find the sales pitch relatively soft and easy to resist.
Timeshare Sales, Phase 3: The Persuader
Unless you’ve already taken the bait, you will next find yourself before a higher entity: the manager, armed to the teeth with a hard sell. This person will normally resort to several different pressure tactics to make that coveted sale. He or she may:
- Offer you extra gifts, VIP status or a sizable discount in exchange for an immediate purchase.
- Try to convince you of the timeshare’s extraordinary monetary worth and resale value.
- Claim that these timeshares are going fast, so you’d better jump at the chance.
If all else fails, the salesperson may put you on a guilt trip for having taken the freebie under false pretenses. Much of what you hear at this stage is possibly untrue. Some of the tactics may be fraudulent.
Timeshare Sales, Phase 4: The Do-or-Die
The longer you continue saying no, the more aggressive the timeshare seller will become. Remember, you have agreed to sit through 60 to 90 minutes or more of their presentation, so you can’t just get up and leave. This is unfortunate, since some of their last-ditch sales techniques might get somewhat scary.
They may lie to you. They might accuse you of lying to them. They might leave you sitting alone at your table for large chunks of your allotted presentation time, knowing that you are essentially their hostage until they have given you formal permission to leave. Some timeshare sellers have been known to threaten potential buyers and even follow them out to their cars if they try to escape.
Surviving the Timeshare Presentation
Believe it or not, it is possible to attend a timeshare presentation and leave with an intact bank account. However, these sales tactics are easily the most virulent of any known today. If you have already fallen victim to them, you may have already learned of the lean timeshare resale market. You understand that you have signed a contract, and it now begins to look as if there is no possible way out.
This is not necessarily the case. If you’re determined to unload your timeshare, there are things that you can do. The O’Grady Law Group has had great success in assisting clients for whom a timeshare has proven an insurmountable financial burden. If you’re in this position, call today for a free consultation. Your situation may not be entirely hopeless.