Here are the ten rules again but with only a positive take on what to do next.
1) Brands are way more important than you think.
Your brand is the “self” of your company. That becomes even more important when you consider the next point, but for now what you can do is reconsider your identity, in light of the people buying from you and see what you can do to make it into a person. Not to be confused with your logo, your brand needs to be a visual representation of your values.
2) “People buy from people, not from companies.”
If you have sales people, even gnarly old-school sales people, celebrate them. In the process learn to celebrate all of the people in your organization.
3) If you wouldn’t sell it – then it’s a marketing space – NOT ADVERTISING SPACE.
A great way to develop your Brand is to cease everything that is promotions, and see what’s left. Often it’s administrative material, FAQs, and transactional communications, bills and late notices. Start by making those friendly, personable and intelligent. Take down all of the advertising in your sales rooms and other public spaces and decorate them for the person buying from you, as they might decorate their own spaces.
4) Emphasize what you do DIFFERENTLY – Time Share is an ANNUAL VACATION.
While doing that, think about this. No one that you are competing against sells the same thing as you. You’re selling every year. They are selling right now. Plan for it, and show the person you are selling to that you have planned for it. What are they going to do this time next year?
5) Your Existing Customers Could and Should Be Selling For You.
Because you have people on-staff who remember them and who welcome them back to a planned vacation that your people knew about a year ago, you’re well positioned to make people love you (and your company).
6) Never lose a single customer.
Lot’s of time share and vacation clubs live off of down payments and lose forever on annual memberships fees. Your marketing budget should be pegged entirely to that annual renewal rate. If people are happy to renew then you did a good job, and you’ll be collecting where it counts when they start actually referring.
7) Strategy: Where you think you are going is important.
Just like planning where your customers are going, so you should also be planning where you are going. That can sound like a tall order, but planning some of the “weeks” or holidays or vacations of your members is a great way to get started. Likewise, review your corporate statement of values. See what you can do to get closer to it.
8) Marketing is Real
All of the above is marketing. Now that you’ve eliminated promotions and advertising from your corporate vocabulary you can get down to it, and some of your guests will be thrilled to read about what promotions you’re actually running.
9) Your reputation is NOT something that Google cares about.
It is however, something you should care about. Lot’s of time share operators still want to trick Google instead of improving their reputations. It’s not worth the trouble. Work on all of the above, and on values (like generosity) and you will see your reputation improve. Then start asking people for online reviews.
10) Upgrades and Referrals Marketing is cheaper and more effective.
Cynicism is easy. And wrong. Be positive about everything in your company and put that out there. Listen carefully to traveling, current members. Ask them what it would take to get them to upgrade. Thank them.
Do all of the above and you’re in a whole new playing field.
Photo this page: Ferris Wheel ©Wikimedia Commons by Llywrch