Confessions of a Timeshare Marketeer

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“If you lose your client in those 90 minutes, he will never come again. The money has to be emotionally coerced out of him”

My job is to sell timeshare holidays. After our call centre zooms in on potential customers, we invite them for a short presentation. I get 90 minutes to convince them. I deal with three such clients a day.

They are normally couples with children in tow. There is a huge market among the middle and upper middle class who can spare Rs 4-6 lakh for a timeshare.

Once I settle them down, I chitchat for a while and that gives me a fair idea of how gullible they might be. I ask them casually about their last holiday. I focus on their negative experiences and give a list of reasons why it wouldn’t happen in our resorts.

Then I ask about their dream holidays. And then give them the spiel of getting a three- or five-star holiday for as little as Rs 4,000 a year. Once the wife perks up, it’s time to move in for the kill and show them an apartment.

When we come back to the office, I can sense they are converting rupees to dollars. That’s when I get the manager for the final kill. He tells them he is willing to give it at a special on-the-spot discount. This is the make-or-break moment. If you lose your customer in those 90 minutes, you can be sure he will never come again. The downpayment has to be emotionally coerced out of him then and there. We give him incentives like paying in EMIs, etcetera.

Some get hooked, others don’t. One client told us he would come back next year. The manager immediately told him: “I don’t believe you. Only two men said they will come back—Jesus Christ and Arnold Schwarzenegger.’’ I have heard that stale line so many times but for appearance’s sake, I join in the laughter. We tell them this offer is up for grabs only now.

At this point, many walk away and I keep hoping the next one signs up.

(This marketing professional has three years experience selling timeshares in Goa)