She was all smiles standing next to a large pink jeep. I had just gotten out my car after parking in uptown Sedona, Arizona. How convenient. Our plans included taking a jeep tour of the stunning countryside. So we ambled over to find out the cost of the various tours.
What a shock! We could get $60 tickets for just $10. How could the smiling lady do this? The tickets were heavily discounted because all we had to do was sit through a two hour timeshare presentation. The ticket savings from attending the presentation were too good to pass up. We got the tickets, took the bumpy tour, and headed off to the presentation.
I walked into the presentation office fat, dumb, and happy. I was offered a Pepsi and a bag of popcorn. This, I assured myself, was going to be fun.
The young salesman approached us, announcing we were going to be “stuck” with him. I reciprocated by announcing he was stuck with me. We locked eyes. I had made a new friend.
The pleasantries continued until we sat down at the small round table. The atmosphere took a turn toward the serious. He was off to the races. Starting soft and slow, his pace and volume steadily increased as he slammed stunning facts of his miracle timeshare onto the table.
During the two hour presentation he told stories, drew pictures, and asked a series of “yes” questions designed to get our heads moving in the right direction. The primary sales pitch focused on our willingness to buy a timeshare so we could create memories with family. Like a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci painting a new version of the Mona Lisa, he created a picture of love for family. And at the very center of his masterpiece was the word “priorities.”
My new best friend announced, with an artistic flourish, I could obtain this new deepening relationship with my loved ones for only $40,000. And, as a gesture of our budding friendship, his company would finance the fee for 16.9%. He assured me only a complete fool would turn down such a sound investment in the future of family relationships.
Call me a fool. Much to my new ex-friend’s disbelief, we walked away.
But lesson learned. He had a point. There is nothing more important than family. Nothing. We at least agreed on the heart of his message.
Here’s where we disagreed: I decided I could ramp up the importance of family by spending less than $40,000 financed at 16.9% interest.
Investing in my family is an area I need to improve in. Here’s a few ideas I came up with to help in that area:
• Facetime more often.
• Pay more attention to what’s happening in each of their lives.
• Compliment them more often.
• Instead of being critical I want to be constructive.
• Focus on encouragement.
• Take more time to be a good listener.
This is a short list but it’s a start. And guess what? This list does not require me to spend $40,000. Hey wait. Everything on the list is FREE. Could it be that the old saying is true: the best things in life are free?
Thanks Mr. Timeshare man. Lesson learned.
What lessons have you learned from a negative experience?