12 Sales No No’s and Timeshare Fiasco

12 Sales No No’s and Timeshare Fiasco
Lawrence Welk Resort Timeshare

Welk Resort in Escondido, CA

I was a sucker to think it would be fun for my husband and I to go on a timeshare presentation at the Lawrence Welk Resort.  My Auntie watched Lawrence Welk every week when I was little.  It was supposed to be a fabulous place and seniors from two of my Continuing Care Retirement Communities go there regularly for performances.  Our promised gift for participating in a 90 presentation was going to a trip for two to Catalina Island.

Well here are the 12 sales no no’s that happened:

  • Promising that the appointment would be 90 minutes and then almost doubling the time.
  • Asking us to arrive early and then making us wait.
  • Pushing a person for personal information in a non-genuine or unnatural manner.  (This is so uncomfortable!)
  • Not listening!
  • Giving a canned speech with a pitch type voice.
  • Sharing long boring stories and wasting our time.
  • Giving a promise that the company cannot fulfill.
  • After not listening, asking a closing question, when there was nothing to close on.  (This is so wrong!)
  • Failing to give us the promised gift.
  • Lying.
  • Trapping us in several closing sequences, because a golf cart was required to return us to our far off parking spot.
  • Making me feel like a number.

The appointment was almost three hours instead of the promised 90 minutes.  They persisted in a quest for our personal information (very awkward) without sharing the facts of their offering in a timely fashion.  They absolutely never listened and it was all a canned speech.  The worst is having someone try to close you, when there is zero interest.  You might be thinking, Diane, just leave.  There is no way to leave early because they force you to park your car in an area that requires a golf cart to return to it.  If all of that was not bad enough, the promised gift to Catalina was a lie.  I prequalified two people that our trip could be on a weekend.  The mail away certificate was for mid-week only.

So I sent an email explaining my disappointment and that I would be writing a blog post that 1000’s of people would view.  I figured they would call me immediately and rectify the situation.  How could Lawrence Welk Resorts possible sell all those timeshares treating people in this unsavory manner?

Ultimately, a timeshare fiasco can make a senior suspicious of real genuine sales people in senior housing.  How many times has a senior walked into your senior living community with his or her arms crossed?  Do you enjoy watching a senior open up midway through a “wow tour?”

Please share your strategies, successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

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  1. Extremely well written and on point. Curious if you received a response from the resort.

    • Hi Lisa,
      I replied to their survey, emailed and called them. I let them know that I was going to blog on this experience. The Welk Resort representative on the phone said a manager would call me back by Sunday at 9am. I posted the blog on Sunday at 11am. Monday afternoon Welk Resort responded to my tweet with a hash tag of #WelkResort. A manager is supposed to call me. I am not holding my breath.

  2. Diane,

    Interesting post. Good thing all time share sales programs are not like yours, or they would probably be out of business. I’ve heard other stories like that, but our one and only timeshare sales presentation was great, and I learned a lot that I apply in my training and What Seniors Need to Know Today seminars across the country. And, we actually did purchase and it’s the only one we have and it’s for a houseboat in Oklahoma! We do trade for other spots.

    Our sales person had us explore how we currently vacation, what was good and bad our current vacationing experiences, and then helped us see how it was different and better (so they said) with a time share.

    What I learned was to help seniors understand the good and bad of living in a paid for older house, and how living in a senior living community could be different and better. It’s worked very well!

    Hope you are doing well!

    Rick Hunsicker

    • Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your comment and how it helped you connect with seniors! I too was surprised at how we were treated. Chris and I went to a timeshare presentation in Hawaii at a Marriott and it was a good experience.

      Life is good and my second book is in editing mode.


  3. There are many very good sales people who listen and want to provide value, not just generate personal revenue. Unfortunately, my experience has been that there are even more sales people who do not listen, who like to hear themselves talk and believe they know best for the customer. A very bad approach and result.

    • Yes Scott, sad but true. Your comment reminds me a sales person who talked about their sick cat, instead of sharing the lifestyle at the senior community.


  4. Martha Joy Campbell
    I gave up the pipe dream of anything ever being free anymore. There is always a catch. Sorry for your bad experience.

    Adam Paige
    Recruiter at Provider Management
    been there- done that!

    Delores Moyer
    Consultant/Administrator (Interim) at Own-Optimum Health Care
    I’ve looked into many ways (all didn’t work and I’d have to pay the other party to take my time share – paid for but no longer used due to them now selling points to everyone for the same property) so really have to schedule if one can use it/them, possibly a year or so in advance and, then the maintenance fees keep going up & up). Terrible deal and don’t get “sucked into these schemes” but bought mine when market was different. They can also charge you for upgrades to properties even if you haven’t used it/them for years. How does one get rid of one legally; even my family doesn’t want it and most non-profits won’t take them either……

    • Thanks Martha Joy, Adam and Delores for you comments! Delores, I have heard it can be difficult to get rid of them – good luck. My thought was who wants to take a one week vacation in the same location? If we are going a “trip,” we usually only stay 3 or 4 nights in any one location. That way we can see more cities in the world.

    • There are reputable platforms for selling a timeshare. Drop me a line and I’ll point you in the right direction.

      One of the advantages of timesharing is the ability to trade or exchange so you don’t have to go to the same place. Points can be more flexible than weeks, allowing you to do 3-4 night stays. Downside is that points are not always inflation-proof.

  5. As long as there are antiquated methods of selling time shares that allow sales vultures to feed on those that participate while demeaning our human nature, these presentation methods will continue.
    Times have changed and to be successful you have to be able to run with the Caribou. To be in business, you have to give your customers what they’re asking for or you will not have a business. We do not want to be presented to like that and it’s not a viable sales method anymore either (first red flag of many). Why do we avoid them in the first place?
    Social media is a powerful tool with far reaching results. Not saying what you say you’re going to do is an early life and business lesson for success. If you choose to risk your company and it’s success and take the chance of it being reported on social media, what other lies and sneaky details do you have tucked away in your crafty little closet (second red flag).
    If we continue to let ourselves be taken by these antiquated strong arm sales tactics, they will continue to happen. Learn to say NO people. Then post it on social media.
    Good luck Diane.

  6. in the past few years my husband and I have attended 3 of these high pressure time share courses for the freebees.
    I was well aware of what I was getting into , I am curious that you did not see it for what it is – HIGH pressure sales. It is definitely a battle of the wills, but it is your money and you should not part with it if you do not want to.

    • Hi Madelaine,

      Yes, I knew it was high pressure sales. I did not know that it would include lies. It was an opportunity to hear sales techniques, see the Welk Resort and have a trip to Catalina Island. I ended up wasting a precious day with my husband.