Selling timeshare units, typically resort condominiums for which multiple people have the right to use the property for arranged times, requires basic sales skills along with expertise in handling vacation ownership property transactions. Timeshare sales training programs focus on overcoming and avoiding objections, identifying effective steps in the timeshare selling process, establishing trust with potential clients, presenting, closing the sale and acting ethically. Offered online or as workshops, timeshare sales training prepares a salesperson to work part- or full-time in vacation property industry.
Originating in Europe in the 1960s, the timeshare concept emerged when a ski resort owner marketed his hotel by urging guests to not rent the room but instead buy it. Ownership allows purchasers to exchange their week in one location for a week in another location. The American Resort Development Association reports there are more than 5,000 resorts in nearly 100 countries. Timeshare sales training typically exposes a salesperson to discussing vacation ownership properties with individuals or families, not investors interested in financial profits.
Timeshare sales training courses focus on developing problem solving, communicating and networking skills. Beginning with assessments designed to identify current aptitude, one- or two-day workshops typically include lectures, role play exercises and other activities to promote learning how to sell timeshares. Handouts cover such topics as effective listening, how to negotiate effectively, time management and real life scenarios designed to help students increase sales and revenue.
Organizations such as the Association of Timeshare Sales Professionals International (ATSPI) offer online programs, workshops and coaching, which usually require no previous education or experience. ATSPI also offers a certification program. Flexible training programs provide the opportunity access course materials, reference manuals and other resources at the student's own pace.
Timeshare sales training programs prepare a salesperson to help a client choose a vacation that fits lifestyle. Learning to identify what type of vacation and travel experiences desired by the customer helps the salesperson tailor a tour to the client's interests. Being able to accentuate a resort's amenities, housekeeping and service enhances a salesperson's ability to close sales efficiently, selling desirable units at popular times in local seasons.
Learning how to read documents carefully and accurately describe the type of vacation property ownership--for example, right-to-use plan, fixed or floating time--you sell requires attention to detail and precision. Aligning to the ARDA Code of Standards and Ethics ensures high quality standards for service and integrity and instills confidence in buyers. Cite statistics on past sales and resales. Commissions typically run 10 percent to 25 percent of the sale.
Timeshare sales training programs focus on overcoming objections because marketing campaigns--particularly telemarketing campaigns--may get a negative reaction, due to poor press coverage. Role-playing exercises help participants respond to caller comments, such as "I'm not interested" or "I don't conduct business over the phone." Learning how to agree with the objection, just to keep the conversation going, requires skill. Focusing the potential buyer on responding to questions, such as "did you receive our mailing" or "it's my job to ensure you got our information" frequently opens up sales opportunities.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.