There’s an old saw in sales: “your best customers are the ones you already have.” And that’s why so many companies have loyalty programs, discounts for repeat business, referral discounts, and similar programs – to keep you coming back and spending money with them.
Our timeshare management company, Vistana (now owned by Marriott Vacations), doesn’t have a loyalty program, but they do offer a small
bribe reward if you’re willing to attend a 90-minute “Owner’s Update” during your stay; we took them up on the offer and scheduled the “Update” (sales presentation) for today at 11am.
We planned to go for a walk through Princeville before the session, but the weather didn’t cooperate – we got drenched! One advantage of staying at a timeshare is having a washer/dryer in your unit – we came back and dried our clothes before heading over for the presentation.
Matt was our salesperson, and he was pleasant to talk with; he even gave us some tips to help find availability on the Marriott Vacations website. We were nearly an hour into the session before he brought up the idea of our buying additional “Club Points” to get better status and more options for our vacations. He didn’t try a hard sell, just showed us some “possibilities”. We said “no” to each.
The next step was for his manager, Justin, to enter the conversation. Justin wasn’t there for anything but selling us points; he made a couple of offers and we said “no” to each one. We’d hit the 90-minute mark and were ready to leave; they brought in Candice to “check us out”. She made us a final offer for an “Encore visit” (which is actually not a bad deal – $1300 for 5 nights), but we refused that, too, and left for lunch with wallets intact, only a few minutes behind schedule.
The weather was much better after lunch, so we drove to Hanalei to look around; our driving guide suggested getting off the main drag and driving to Black Pot Beach on Hanalei Bay. We didn’t want to go into the water, but it was very pleasant to walk around and enjoy the scenery.