I recently had the unique opportunity to take a deep dive into the sales funnel of Bluegreen Resorts, one of the more respected names in the timeshare industry. I was invited to a 3-night stay at one of their resorts. My objective was to examine their sales techniques, from lead generation to the final close. What followed was a fascinating journey through a well-crafted sales strategy that any sales professional can learn from.
Initial Contact: Building Rapport through Reciprocity
The first point of contact was a warm call from a partnership with Choice Hotels. This was an intelligent move on their part, leveraging my recent stay at a Choice property to frame this new offer as a “bonus” for being a valued customer. But it didn’t stop there; the offer was laced with perks such as a bonus night and a Carnival Cruise voucher. The catch? A 2-hour timeshare presentation that both my wife and I had to attend. It’s a classic case of reciprocity; offer something of value upfront to ensure the prospect’s time and attention later on.
Moreover, I was required to pay a nominal fee of $99. Far from being a deterrent, this payment played a psychological role. By investing financially, I was less likely to back out. This helps to ensure that the prospects who arrive at their presentations are genuinely interested.
Pre-Qualification: Ensuring a Viable Audience
About a week before the trip, Bluegreen Resorts conducted another check to ensure that I was financially qualified and willing to make a purchase on the day of the presentation. Rather than being offended, I found this step reassuring. After all, a sales pitch is futile if the prospect lacks the authority or resources to make a buying decision.
The Presentation: A Symphony of Sales Techniques
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
As we settled into the presentation room, the speaker candidly addressed what everyone was thinking: “You all probably decided not to buy anything today.” By putting it out there, he dispelled tension and invited the audience to have an open mind.
Engaging the Audience
Next, the presenter engaged everyone by asking them to introduce themselves. This had a dual purpose: it broke the ice and prepped us for what was coming next. We had filled out a survey upon entry, which the presenter cleverly wove into the presentation, asking us to share our answers publicly. This tactic leverages the principle of consistency; once people have publicly stated a belief or desire, they are more likely to act in a manner consistent with it.
The Power of Storytelling
The presenter also utilized storytelling to great effect, sharing his own ‘aha’ moment about the importance of family vacations. The personal touch made him more relatable and likeable.
Logical and Emotional Appeals
Throughout the presentation, the speaker adroitly navigated both logical and emotional appeals. He addressed potential objections before they could even be raised and painted vivid pictures of both the pain points and pleasures associated with their offering.
The Close: Utilizing Scarcity
Just as I thought he was wrapping up, he introduced a ‘Charter Membership’ with exclusive benefits, available only if purchased that day. Scarcity was deployed as a closing tactic, adding urgency without applying overt pressure.
The Follow-Through: Building Rapport and Overcoming Objections
After the presentation, we were given a property tour by sales associates keen on building rapport. The effort was palpable, but never overbearing. Our initial reservations were gradually eroded by the genuine connections they sought to create.
The Final Offer: Keeping the Hook in Place
We were then presented with the ultimate offer. While the first offer was easy to decline, they had backup plans. They introduced lower-cost alternatives, cleverly leveraging the principle of anchoring. When I still declined, they had one last card to play – a one-year sample of their program. It was a win-win offer that allowed both sides to leave satisfied and kept me in their sales funnel for future opportunities.
The Art of Selling Masterfully Executed
I may have entered this experience with a professional motive, but I walked out as a customer still in their sales pipeline. The techniques employed by Bluegreen Resorts serve as an excellent case study in persuasion, rapport-building, and closing. While timeshares may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the sales strategies employed are universally effective and are worth incorporating into your own sales arsenal.
So, the next time you are strategizing your sales funnel, don’t just focus on the numbers. Take a leaf out of Bluegreen Resorts’ playbook, and you might just see those conversion rates soar.