Let’s set the Negative aside for a moment; that would be the Coronavirus-caused pandemic. This existential threat has shaken our world and sent our industry into a tailspin. Now, more than ever before, every individual and every business is being forced to reinvent itself. We have to create some new rules to survive.
Now for the Positive: We firmly believe there is hope and we will each of us come out of this as stronger and wiser individuals. Yes, some businesses will fail. But the entrepreneurial spirit, which is the underlying chief characteristic of those involved in the vacation ownership industry, will still thrive.
To help ensure this, Resort Trades has undertaken an initiative seeking to pool all the best and brightest ideas that constitute the new rules for our future. The Learning Center will host a number of free webinars, town halls, and live events. Headquartered on the website, ResortTrades.com/LearningCenter, we invite everyone to participate. Send your ideas; volunteer as a speaker; urge your friends to get involved! Let’s get busy creating a brighter future!
The New Rules for Sales
Our first free Town Hall, sponsored by CustomerCount®, The Contact Group, and GBG & Associates, entitled “Resort Resilience” was held on May 21st. (The Contact Group is providing the Broadnet technology platform on whch these town halls are being hosted.) On July 16, 2020, our second event was “Innovative Sales and Marketing,” and featured Shari Levitin and Ron Roberts addressing two very different aspects of what it will take to keep our industry cranking. (Both sessions are viewable on the Learning Center website at no charge.) Shari Levitin’s remarks during the July 16th Town Hall presented her bold new concept, “The Adaptive Seller.”
I’m sure all our readers know Shari, of Levitin Group, and the legacy she’s created and left in the timeshare industry. My guess is most of you know that she started Levitin Group in 1997 and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon as the voice of ethical sales for timeshare in over 40 countries and on five continents around the world.
You also probably know that Shari created onboarding programs that are still being used today by companies such as Wyndham, Bluegreen, Festiva, Anantara, and Welk Resorts. And you probably know she did the same for Hilton.
Levitin Group coined terms early on, such as “Third Level”, “The Five Why’s”, “Compliance versus Commitment”, and “Excuses versus Objections”. Those terms which are now nomenclature in the industry, today.
What you may not know is that in the last few years since the launching of her book, Heart and Sell, it became an instant bestseller, has been transcribed into four languages, and was just named one of the top one hundred sales books of all time. You also may not know that she was just named one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers globally in sales, the Top 38 Women Influencers to Watch, the Top 10 Sales Influencers on LinkedIn, and recently starred along with 20 other sales experts in a documentary film put out by Salesforce called the Story of Sales.
Every successful resort professional is essentially a seller. And, lately, the rules have all changed! Shari gave listeners a provocative look at the new rules of sales. While she was only able to share a tip of the iceberg with us, she has promised Resort Trades Learning Center that she’ll be back. We can hardly wait! Meanwhile, buy her book, Heart and Sell. You won’t be sorry!
Showing a Way Forward for Legacy Resorts
Plunging revenues due to aging owners, maintenance fee delinquencies, and unsold HOA owned weeks? Ron Roberts, president and CEO of Sage Marketing Group and Legacy Solutions International, explained how to rescue your resort and save your HOA many thousands of dollars each month. Time would not permit Ron to share more than a few of his many, many ideas for adding value to your resort and avoiding some of the bad press that’s been heaped on the timeshare business. But, he did manage to touch on how HOAs can avoid Special Assessments, replenish sinking funds, eliminate deferred maintenance, and keep the resort on a solid financial footing.
Roberts is President and CEO of Legacy Solutions, International, a custom service company specializing in overcoming legacy issues for older, mature projects in need of solutions such as the unwanted buildup of HOA inventory, missing maintenance fees, delinquencies, and effects resulting from an ageing owner-base. He is also President & CEO Sage Marketing Group, Inc., a real estate and leisure property marketing and consulting firm with offices in Colchester, Vermont.
July 16, 2020 Resort Trades Learning Center
Coming up in August…
Ever since RCI first invented Comment Cards, resort professionals in the vacation ownership business have recognized the value of asking their customers’ opinions. The survey process has expanded ever since. Micah Solomon, a senior contributor to Forbes magazine, says “Alarming but true: If you send out a defective survey, it might be worse than not surveying your customers in the first place….”
To help sort through the do’s and don’ts when it comes to customer research, Resort Trades will host a free Town Hall in August featuring Lisa Kobek from CustomerCount®. Since 2014, Lisa has been EVP of Client Services and Operations with the company, which is an online enterprise customer feedback solution designed specifically for the hospitality industry. Her job is to oversee the client management, service delivery, and product development processes.
She will cover the benefits and importance of engaging your owners in communication. As she will show us, obtaining customer feedback can help a resort team strategize ways to make improvements, as well as helping assess areas of success that can be amplified. The process, done correctly, obviously requires a much more advanced set of skill and competence than initially meets the eye. Kobek will help you see why there’s much more to it than simply throwing out a DIY effort using SurveyMonkey.
During the live, interactive session, she will cover a general list of best practices. Other things Kobek would have listeners consider include using surveys as communication tools to engage owners, things to think about when developing questions, and compliance with government rules and regulations. Plus, there are a number of points she will cover about what to consider when choosing a delivery method.
Resort Trades has twice enjoyed working with CustomerCount to perform reader interest studies. With Kobek’s help, we were able to develop a deeper understanding of who are readers are and have been able to tailor our editorial to be more relevant to them. Kobek is a pro at what she does and hearing her explain more about it will be of great value to attendees.