The Psychology of Time Pressured Sales


During the holiday season, advertisements that are based on the psychology of time pressured sales and the “fear of missing out” or ‘FOMO’ mentality can be seen. Phrases like “act now” and “limited time offer” are frequently used in advertising to prompt consumers to reduce speculation about the purchase and pull the trigger to make a positive purchase decision.

If you returned from vacation thinking “why did I buy a timeshare?” when you never had a plan to purchase one, you were probably the victim of highly-trained, deeply psychological sales tactics. People of all ages and income levels are extremely vulnerable to the pressured sale and here's how it works:


The Limited Time Pitch

If you walked out of the sales presentation room right away, you would have missed out on a special, unique and limited opportunity that was only available that day, from the timeshare or resort.  In fact, you may be told that this “special offer” had never been provided before, and that your entire group was pre-qualified for an exceptional deal. By the time the timeshare presentation team is done, you feel like you are in a position of advantage compared to other consumers.

How have they prequalified you?  They received a tip or enticed you with a special incentive to convince you to sit in a conference room (while on your vacation) and entertain the idea of owning a timeshare. Something you may not be willing to buy, or able to afford in the long-term.  But because the timeshare sales team has made you feel that you alone have received this exclusive offer, you are more likely to take advantage of it, without realising the “mind game” that was being applied unscrupulously towards a very serious, long-term financial commitment.


The Close

Creating a sense of urgency is another deep-rooted aspect of high-pressure sales in all industries, but one that is used frequently and coercively in the timeshare industry.   The close is designed to position the purchase (your vacation property) in a desirable light, while eliminating the opportunity to ask questions, create a dialogue or retreat to weigh your options.

In a pressured sales environment, the last thing that a timeshare salesperson wants is for you to have the time and space to rethink the purchase.  Signing an agreement that is as legally binding as a mortgage is intimidating; think about how long it took you to find, buy and commit to mortgage payments for your house or condominium? Was that a decision you made in less than three hours?  Probably not.

A large purchase item (such as a long-term vacation lease contract) is called a high-involvement product sale. It is something that consumers like to consider, review the terms carefully and ask for the opinion of family or friends before deciding to buy. Low-involvement purchase items include low cost things like snacks, or clothing.  In the average timeshare closing model, the salesperson will try to treat a high-involvement (lease) sale the same as one would decide on a low-involvement purchase. They don’t give you that time to talk about it, because during any extended time allowed you may rationalise that the purchase of a timeshare really is intimidating when you consider the long-term nature of the financial obligation.


Understanding Purchase Guilt

Some people return from a holiday upset and angry at the fact that they succumbed to high-pressure sales tactics.  It is not your fault, and the buyer did nothing wrong.

It is important to remember that timeshare sales teams are highly trained professionals. They are rigorously tested and earn tremendous commissions on every successful transaction. Not only are there earnings to be had for selling you the consumer, a timeshare, but frequently there are vacation incentives that allow sales people to earn a bonus. All they must do is get you to sign on the dotted line.

Consumers often experience a lot of confusion during the sales process, and after they had paid for their vacation membership.  Many describe it as stressful and remember declining the offer several times, holding out for their free incentive.  After all, if you were promised entertainment tickets, free event or dinner passes or even cash to sit through a sales presentation, you aren’t going to want to leave before you get your incentive. And they know that, which gives them all the time they need to pressure you into buying a timeshare.

A quick-search online for “timeshare sales training” will help you understand how powerful the sales pitch is.  Many people think they can say “no” and decline the offer, until they experience the psychology behind the high-pressure timeshare sale.