Apparently, times are a-changin’. Or at least time-shares are, anyway. No longer are they just good for one place for one week per year. The latest is that most time-share companies invest in many properties and give you the flexibility to pick and choose which units and which times make the most sense.

At least, that’s the company line that I got from the lovely woman at the time-share sales presentation I sat through last night. I was impressed… the film they showed was tightly edited, with a catchy pop-rock theme, full of excited people extolling the virtues of having invested in a lifetime of family vacations.

And you know what? I was right there with them. I like being able to get away from it all. And I like the flexibility. And sure, I want to be able to share a lifetime of vacation memories with those who are closest to me.

But that doesn’t mean that I have enough income to support such a purchase right now. And I’m also perceptive enough to see through and defuse all of their high-pressure sales tactics.

To tell you the truth, I felt bad for the lady.

Most of her marks clients are probably genuinely not sure if they can afford the product, but with enough helpful nudges they can be persuaded to jump in and spend ten large on a purchase that has such an emotional connotation to it. In this way, it’s sort of like car sales. (By the way, for a great little insider look at car sales read this expose from Edmunds.com)

Holly and I, on the other hand, were quite sure going into this presentation that we definitely cannot afford this. At least not right now. In two years, probably. And yeah, we owe them our time and attention because by giving us this gift, they’re purchasing the right to try to persuade us to jump in and buy their product. I do not begrudge them this opportunity.

However, I have to draw the line when they try to use my faith as some kind of insider shibboleth. I told the lady I worked for a church and was in the process of starting my own business, and she started laying it on thick:

As someone of deep faith, I believe that with the help of our heavenly father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you’ll be able to afford these payments and it won’t stop you from purchasing a house.

That’s not an exact quote, but it’s pretty close.

But wait, it gets better… she pulled an Oprah on me.

Have you read The Secret? It’s the power of speaking things into existence. I say my fifteen daily affirmations every day and it’s worked wonders for me and my whole family.

Because I didn’t want to be rude, I didn’t cut her off and tell her that whatever infinitesimal chance of getting me to sign she might have had coming in, she just wasted by equating my faith in Christ with the latest self-help fad. But you better believe I was thinking it.

So let me just throw a bone to anyone out there who might be in the unenviable position of doing sales for a living. I know that pressure is a part of the job, and you’ve got to do what you’ve gotta do. I know that folks gotta eat, and I’m not trynna hate on anybody’s hustle.

But still … you gotta know when the horse is dead. Sometimes you just gotta walk away.

And one more thing for you:

Either try the evangelical-I’m-a-believer-too-lets-help-each-other-out angle, or the new-age-self-help-think-positive angle.

But don’t do both. It just gives you away more easily.


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