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Millions of people attend a timeshare presentation every year. Millions more are invited but do not attend. You are probably one of those people, and if you’re not, it is pretty easy to get yourself invited to one. I honestly love sales presentations, but that is because I know sales tactics which helps me see them for what they are and survive them. That being said, I find lots of of them to be informational and fun, and the fancy snacks and “free” gift offered are not shabby either.

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What exactly is a timeshare presentation?

Down to the nuts and bolts: It is nothing but a sales pitch by the timeshare companies to entice people into buying their timeshares. It begins with an invitation offering you an expensive free gift in return of attending the presentation. Now you go to the presentation thinking that there is no harm in attending and you get a free gift also in return, but you then realize that you may have made a huge mistake when you need to sit through an uncomfortable sales meeting.

I personally have been to probably five or six presentations. We did purchase one on the fifth, and I personally love our timeshare and am happy we purchased it. I want to say this because I think it will help with the context of my survival tips which are as follows.

1) Be rational, not emotional

Any sale which is made on emotion has actually a higher likelihood of buyer’s remorse. A rational decision can be explained that it was a good idea at the time and in that circumstance. An emotional decision is one that may not have been made otherwise which could lead to bitter feelings. So be careful of how you are feeling during the sales meeting. Rationally, you want to know what you are getting, know what it will cost you, so you can decide if it is the right decision for you. Ask rational questions about cost and about what you are getting. Once you decide “no”, make sure it is a business decision that just doesn’t make sense. In this way you do not have to harbor ill feelings. You can justifiably say “no”. Responses could simply be “Okay, I understand. I can see we are not going to make use of this so it’s not in our interest to spend money on it.” A popular sales response is “Well, how much can you afford?”. You can be realistic and say that if the price were low enough you’d consider it, but if you don’t think you will ever use it, a fine answer is that as you will never use it, there is no reason to spend any amount of money on it. Realize that for your gift you agreed to give them their time so you will get more attempts at sales. So be polite and thank them for your gift.

2) Be confident in your decision

Expert salespeople are able to break resistance down. If you know your decision, remain absolute about it. Keep a polite and open mind, but also be confident in what you want and what you don’t want. We had been invited to a presentation a few years back and were offered a $75 gift card for our time. We were interested in the gift card and knew that there was a slim to none chance we would certainly want what they were offering. As they did make the offer, we accepted. We still kept an open mind but could tell early on we would certainly not be interested. In the one-on-one, we were steadfast about our decision. The sales person tried quite a few times but as we remained absolute he could see that any more time on us would certainly be wasted time when he could be selling to someone who would certainly be more likely to buy.

3) Remain objective and keep an open mind.

Do not go in with resistance. Have an open mind. Because maybe a timeshare purchase is the right thing for you, but having a closed mind already will be frustrating to you when the salesperson makes their pitch, and it will be frustrating to the salesperson as well because he will feel he did not even get a chance to make a pitch. Prepare for your presentation and go in knowing what you are looking for.

For the purchase we made in Hawaii, my wife and I had already discussed beforehand the merits of owning a timeshare. We realized we love Hawaii, we loved traveling, we could see ourselves going to Hawaii at least every other year, and with this in mind we just had to see if it made financial sense.

Even the presentation I mentioned before with the $75 gift card we entered with an open mind. We knew what our goals were and that a timeshare was not involved, but we still wanted to be fair and listened with an open mind. It was clear quickly that we would certainly not be interested, but having an open mind was the fair thing to do and set a good habit because sometimes opportunities will come along that you will miss if you have a closed mind, such as a nice Hawaii timeshare which fit in perfectly with our life plans.

Having an open and objective mind from the start I felt helped everyone be at ease. At a certain point in the sales presentation you will know if it is for you or not, and then from there just remain consistent with your choice which you made with an open mind.

In conclusion, you can think of a timeshare purchase like an automobile purchase. Some sales people are friendly and courteous while others are pushy and intimidating. Do not let a bad experience with a car salesperson influence your thoughts of what a car is. Cars are great for those that need them. Similarly, don’t let a bad timeshare presentation influence what you think of timeshare properties. Buying a timeshare is a great opportunity for those that will benefit from it. So when you go to a presentation, just keep these tips in mind: Be rational, be confident, and be open minded. You will have a much more pleasant experience that way .