We’ve all gotten those postcards in the mail that tell us we’ve won a guaranteed prize of a cruise or some other sunny vacation getaway. Just such an announcement arrived to our home a few weeks ago. The catch of course, is that we’d have to go listen to a 90 minute time share presentation.
My wife and I had heard from some friends and family that you really do get the prize, so we called up and traveled an hour and half out of town to attend our 90 minute presentation and claim our prizes. We visited the Silverleaf Resorts’ Hill Country Resort nestled between San Antonio and Austin.
We listened to the presentation, took the tour, and after over 2 hours got back to a table and were ready to hear the salesman’s closing arguments. Our “tour guide” (read: salesman), brought over a finance person to convince us of the great deal it would be to finance the timeshare purchase price over time.
My wife and I weren’t too impressed with the resort and wouldn’t take on unnecessary debt even if we were. So we told them no thanks. Up to this point the sales experience had been cordial and professional. But once we started saying no, the monster within our finance guy appeared:
- He kept writing down random numbers on the paper and asking if that would work.
Problem: Failure to explain what you are talking about confuses customers.
- He tells us he has another job to support himself, but to think of our salesman who has 4 kids to support.
Problem: Our salesman had gone on at length about his 3 kids and their numerous costly international vacation trips. Don’t lie to your customers and don’t try to make them feel sorry for you when you obviously aren’t struggling financially!
- He tells us that we should never come to these presentations if we don’t intend to buy.
Problem: The information we got in the mail was vague and only said we won a prize. We came to the presentation to get information and collect the goodies. Commitment to buy was not a prerequisite for visiting the resort.
- When our salesman realized we weren’t going to buy, he says: “I guess this isn’t for you then” and whirled around and walked away. We never saw him again. Our finance guy, when he gave up on us, got up and huffed off crumpling our paperwork loudly as he walked away, grumbling to himself all the while.
Problem: This left us with a really bad taste in our mouth. Don’t end your interaction with a customer on a bad note.
My wife and I laughed all the way home about our time with the timeshare people. This doesn’t bode well for Silverleaf Resorts when we talk to our family and friends.
So, you don’t get the sale…
In your business you don’t always get the sale. For any number of reasons, your potential customer decides to walk away. The thoughts going through their heads and the feelings they are having will impact your future bottom line. Here is how to leave customers with a good impression and get the most out of customers who don’t buy:
- Thank them for their time.
- Tell them that if their needs change in the future to give you a call and hand them a business card.
- Ask if they know any one who would be interested. Gather names and contact information.
- Tell them to have a great day.
These last few steps should be said with a smile and without sarcasm or an angry tone. If you avoid the pitfalls of Silverleaf and follow the steps outlined above, your prospects will turn into a positive marketing tool and not negative publicity.
Yes, we did get the cruise. However, it won’t be our dream vacation.