When I was a kid my father made us suffer through countless timeshare presentations. I’m not certain why he was drawn to them. Part of it may have been the complimentary gift and/or hotel accommodations they promised, but I’m convinced that he also loved to haggle with the sales people. He was never interested in buying their product, but he liked to debate with them. He enjoyed the banter, enjoyed stringing sales people along, countering their arguments and winning. For him, it was fun. For us, it was pure misery.
We would sit there for hours, complaining and dreaming of the vacation we were supposed to be enjoying while he was debating with a timeshare sales person. Those moments are still etched in my brain so much that I refuse to participate in any type of timeshare presentation today. I can’t bear it. The high-pressure sales tactics and ridiculous arguments for why you need to purchase their product now irritate me. I don’t buy into it. I never have.
Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I learned something from those interactions. I learned not to believe everything salespeople say, no matter how much of an expert they present themselves to be. I learned to be skeptical, discerning. I learned how to present compelling arguments in a negotiation, and I also learned how to walk away without purchasing something.
These skills have come in handy throughout the years. I never make an important purchase without proper research and never, ever buy when being pressured. I don’t trust sales people. I don’t make purchases based solely upon their recommendation. Instead, I consult many sources, get second opinions, and read credible, third-party reports.
By now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with air conditioning. The connection is not immediately clear, but keep reading and it will all make sense. Our A/C unit began to fail yesterday. Living in Texas with 100+ temperatures, we take our air conditioning very seriously. It’s not a privilege; it’s a necessity. This morning, my husband called our reliable A/C company, but they couldn’t send a technician to our house until Wednesday — not soon enough! He called other companies, found one that could send a technician today, and our adventure began. From the moment the technician walked into the house, he was already working on his sales pitch. He was smooth. He spit out jargon about new industry regulations, efficiency, and claims of shoddy work done by our builder…it went on and on. His ultimate goal was to get us to buy a new unit for $13,000.
I quickly saw through his act and so did my husband. He deftly maneuvered through this guy’s pitch, not falling for any of the warnings of doom. Ultimately, only a small repair was needed, and the salesman waived the service fee.
We now have a working unit, along with a cold house, and $13,000 still left in our bank account. I wonder how many people actually fall for the lies, though. The tactics must work most of the time, or the company wouldn’t employ them. It surprises me that people would fall for it or feel pressured into making that type of decision based on the recommendation of one obviously biased individual (without a second opinion). Most people are aware that they should avoid timeshare salespeople, but these types of individuals exist in all industries. Don’t be fooled by them, even if they come disguised as a harmless, unassuming A/C technician.
For me, I learned my lesson at an early age. Even though I despised it, all of those boring, tedious time share presentations were worth it and may have saved me a few thousand dollars today. Thanks Dad!