This article is designed to help arm you with the proper tools to successfully claim your ‘free gift’ and walk away if you do not wish to purchase a timeshare.
Maybe you received an invitation via postcard, phone call, or social media to attend a presentation or ‘hear more about an opportunity’ with the promise of a free gift. In many cases, these free gifts are used to get people to attend timeshare presentations. These presentations can leave you feeling trapped on a never-ending public transportation trip, foggy brained with lethargy running through your legs. Getting you into this state is deliberate – as both your body and mind fade in to various states of fatigue, you are ripe for the sales pitch of a timeshare you may not want.
Timeshare presenters lure individuals in with the promise of a free gift (often of high monetary value, for example, free tickets to Disney World, or a free vacation) just for attending the presentation. As the clock ticks, and you anxiously await the bait of a gift, the presentation will become increasingly pressurized. Tactics and strategies on the part of the timeshare presenter are used to coax you into investing in a timeshare using a variety of sales marketing schemes. As clarity of mind fades it can be difficult to graciously exit the presentation, especially if you are still hoping to receive your free gift.
Despite the expertise of timeshare presenters to sway you into giving your time, energy, and money away, the power still lies in your hands. No one has a right to your energy, time, and resources. It can be awkward to get out of a timeshare presentation, but with a few helpful guidelines, you can create a strategy that is effortless and gracious.
MOST IMPORTANTLY – Determine if the free gift is worth the time you will spend in a timeshare presentation, remembering some presentations can last three to six hours at the far extreme of the spectrum. If you feel it is worth your time (or you really are potentially interested/curious), develop exit strategies that allow you to graciously bow out. Go in with an understanding of manipulative sales tactics so you do not ever fall victim to the timeshare scam, and understand profoundly your own self-worth and create boundaries based on this premise. Incorporating these helpful tactics into the core of your being will help you not only avoid the painstaking timeshare presentation, but also develop healthy boundaries in all areas of your life.
The Free Gift: Is It Worth It?
The overwhelming bait of a timeshare presentation is the offer of a free gift for your mere attendance. The dollar value of gifts offered for attendance will vary greatly. For example, you may be offered a free meal, merchandise item (blanket, sporting goods or clothing), free hotel stay, Disney world entrance tickets, a free all-inclusive vacation, or a Visa gift card. The value of the gift offered will vary dramatically, and only you can decide if the reward of the gift is worth the time and energy you will spend in the presentation.
A few questions to ask yourself before attending the presentation:
- Is this item or experience something you really want or is it just the allure of something free that entices you?
- What is the monetary value of the gift and is it worth the time (at least four hours) of sitting through the presentation while you are on vacation?
- Will your own personality allow you to take the gift for free without feeling indebted to the presenter? Sometimes individuals who receive high-value gifts will end up feeling as though they owe something to the presenter and invest in a timeshare they do not even want.
Understanding your own personality will help you to decide if it is worth trying to get the free gift. Maybe you realize your time is more valuable than the value of the gift offered and that you would prefer to spend your money on buying just exactly the item or trip you want through the power of your own financial stature.
If you decide that it is worth going to the presentation to receive the free gift, go in with an awareness of different manipulative tactics that timeshare sales representatives will use, be willing to forego the gift if you become too uncomfortable or foggy in the brain, and enter the presentation prepared with a rock solid exit strategy.
The Exit Strategy: Graciously Bow Out Of A Timeshare Presentation
If you do decide to participate in a timeshare presentation, do not forget your exit strategy. Remember, the presenter is not your friend or relative, and you do not owe them your time or any exchange. The timeshare representative’s sole focus is to get you to invest in a timeshare, whether it is in your best interest or not.
Be prepared to protect your time, energy, and finances. It is important to be assertive with your boundaries; there is no need to be rude, simply strong, in your boundaries.
This Six-Pronged Strategy Can Help You Gracefully Exit a Timeshare Presentation:
- Determine how much time you are willing to spend in the presentation beforehand, and arrange a time commitment for afterward that you cannot miss. For example, schedule a massage, tennis lesson, private yoga session, or, airport pick up of relatives. This will give you an opportunity to bow out of the presentation without lying. Make the appointment real and ensure it is not something you can easily get out of. This will help you set time boundaries for yourself and the presenter.
- In advance, decide that you will be willing to forego the gift. While it might be true that you really want the freebie, be prepared to let that go if the presentation becomes overwhelming and totaling draining.
- Be assertive, tell the presenter affirmatively that you have a time restraint and that you are now leaving and would like to receive your free gift. Be polite and remember that you do not owe the presenter anything: they are not your friends.
- Stay grounded, literally, it is helpful to keep both feet on the ground at least hip width or shoulder width apart, breath deeply and stay attentively relaxed. The manipulative tactics of timeshare presenters rely on your brain fog and mental fatigue after hours of monotonous talking. This physical stance will allow you to stay assertive both in posture and in speech.
- Look the presenter in the eye, this will establish a personal connection, it will remind them that you are human and to treat as such. As you gaze into their eyes tell them authoritatively that you are now leaving, as your time commitment is non-negotiable and thank them for the time. Graciously accept the free gift for which you are entitled.
- If all else fails, stand up and walk out. If it is really bad and you are not able to make an affirmative stance, let the free gift go and simply walk away!
This six-step strategy is an effective tool to have as you establish sovereign authority over your time, energy, and wallet. These simple guidelines will help keep you free from the manipulations of timeshare presenters and free to make choices that are in your own best interest.
Understand The Mind-Set Of The Timeshare Presenter And How To Protect Yourself From Manipulation
The mind of the timeshare presenter is completely streamlined with one goal in mind: to get you to invest in a timeshare regardless of whether it is in your best interest or not. These individuals may have been roped into timeshares themselves and may have been victim to the sales pitch they are about to use on you.
Create a detached space of neutrality around yourself and your presenter. Understand that even if they seem friendly, (they may even refer to you as ‘my friend’ without even knowing you) they do not actually hold your best interest in mind. Be prepared to protect your own financial interests and time authoritatively. As you separate yourself from your presenter create a mote of neutrality between yourself and the timeshare representative.
The timeshare presenter will drag the presentation out for hours wearing you down. Sometimes people become so drained and fatigued during these presentations and purchase a timeshare just to end the monotony of insistent talk. Stay clear in your mind, it is helpful to breathe deeply and attend the presentation with a loved one so that you can support each other. Stay in touch with reality, the timeshare presenter will try to rope you into seeing things their way, remember your children, your job, in short, your reality, this will keep you from being enveloped by their perspective.
Finally, remember that you have nothing to lose and you can always stand up and walk away, even if that means being more assertive than you normally are.
You Are The Sovereign Authority Over Your Own Time, Money, And Energy: Remember Your Worth
Any time you are duped out of time, energy and money it is because you do not feel at an essential level that you are worthy of boundaries. It is ok to say no, it is ok to leave, and it is ok to protect yourself.
Part of the manipulation that typically plays a role in timeshare sales is convincing the potential purchaser that they are not worthy of receiving what they truly want. Somehow meeting the apparent needs of the timeshare presenter becomes more important than meeting your own needs. Be sure to fully understand that you deserve fairness, are worthy of being treated with respect, and finally, that you are the authority over your own life. You never have to give your own power away, especially not to a timeshare shark just looking to separate you from your hard earned dollar.
By integrating the above-mentioned tactics you will be armed with the tools necessary to be able to leave the presentation with your free gift, but also willing to let that go if need be.