If you are Hilton Honors member – and you should be – you may have already received a targeted promotion call for a 3-night stay at a Hilton property in either Las Vegas or Orlando(if you haven’t, click here). On the face of it, the deal seems too good to be true. A 3 nights stay at a decent Hilton property for the price of less than one night(or even free) and all you have to do is attend a 2-hour Timeshare presentation.
IS IT A SCAM?
It’s exactly what it says it is. They aren’t trying to scam you. They want you to ultimately buy into their Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare program and they know full well that most likely you have no interest in buying a timeshare.
And that’s ok because their plan is to ‘wow’ you with your – almost free- stay at their property. However, If you ultimately aren’t persuaded, their’s no repercussions and you are welcome to enjoy the rest of your stay.
So the main question then is:
HOW BAD IS THE HGV TIMESHARE PRESENTATION?
Going into the Hilton ‘personal preview and sale presentation'(Timeshare presentation), I was fully prepared for an onslaught of high-pressure sales tactics, mind games, and possibly hypnosis.
This wasn’t my first rodeo.
I had previously attended a timeshare presentation in Cabo, Mexico that was grueling. The sales pitching never ended and every time a person would give up, you’d go to the next salesperson, and then the next until finally, you are ‘checking out’ and guess what? – that guy is throwing a last minute pitch at you too!
It’s also hard because you know you’re just there for the free shit, but saying no to someone who seems nice and helpful over and over again is hard. It’s their JOB to get along with you as best they can. It’s all apart of the plan.
This timeshare presentation would be different. This was Hilton, corporate America – they would have best of the best. I’d have to bring my A game if I was to come out unscathed.. or at least without a 5-day timeshare in Tuscon, Arizona that I have no use for.
The Hilton Grand Vacations Timeshare presentation was definitely different.
The presentation….….was easy.
My experience was actually quite enjoyable! It only lasted maybe 40 minutes. I think the 2-hour window they quote you is for people who actually end up buying a timeshare and need to go through all the details/options.
The personal presentation is one to one with a sales rep and we sat in a comfortable booth with brand new touch screen TVs which the salesperson interacted with to explain to me how the whole the Hilton Grand Vacation timeshare schemes works. Drinks and snacks were available, which I took full advantage of. Hilton people if you are reading – more protein options pleeeeease.
HOW TO SURVIVE A TIMESHARE PRESENTATION
1. Keep Answers short.
I obviously wanted to spend the shortest amount of time possible in the presentation so I treated it like a courtroom. I answered questions with as few words as possible so as not to give the salesperson any opportunity to ‘hook’ me in or ask me more questions.
They are trying to build rapport and connect with you by showing interest in you and asking questions about your life etc, so the fewer opportunities you give them the better.
Most importantly, they have a sales script and the longer my answers are and the more we deviate the longer the whole thing takes.
2. Play the ‘NO’ game.
Do you like to travel? No. Don’t you wish you could travel?? Not really. Pretending that I have no interest in traveling more.. was obviously very, um… difficult.
3. Tell them you’re broke.
Just keep reiterating that you are poor and they will quickly run through the presentation so they can get to the next person… who isn’t a deadbeat and might actually buy a timeshare. They know a lost cause when they see one!
4. Be honest with your disinterest
I actually felt bad because I’m sure the salespeople earn commissions on the timeshares they sell, so me saying to them from the beginning:
‘I’m poor and have no interest in a timeshare, I’m only here for the free stay”
– is kind of awkward. But then again, it’s completely honest and if they believe you, they’ll get through the pitch as quickly as possible so they can get to the next person who might actually earn them some money.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
They definitely don’t give you all the details when trying to sell you on their program. They try to wow you with their signature properties but any further research will quickly show you that the majority of the properties aren’t like the Hilton Bora Bora. In fact, they tried to tell me that I could swap out my Las Vegas week for 4 days in Bora Bora in an overwater Bungalow like this one:
This is where they messed with the wrong person.
I happened to know roughly how much bungalows in Bora Bora cost(because I am a nerd) and in particular, overwater bungalows, the most coveted of all.
I asked if she was certain the quoted price was specifically for overwater bungalows and not just a standard room at the Hilton Bora Bora. She said “no one has ever asked that before” and after a little research told me I was right.
Turns out rather than being able to swap my annual timeshare week in Las Vegas for 5 nights in Bora Bora in an Overwater Bungalow, the conversion rate was actually 1 las vegas week for 1 single night.
It would there take me 7 years of not using my timeshare to get an entire week in a Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow. The lady’s response was – well it’s something to save up for!
They will fail to mention all the various fees and maintenance costs of owning a timeshare. They will exaggerate the availability of their popular properties and only show the best case examples.
Go in thinking no matter what happens, you will not make a decision today and will take time to think about it. That way even if you get persuaded in the room and caught up in the moment, you will quickly be able to make a more rational decision when emotional separated from the sales pitch. That decision will then 90% of the time be “NAH, not for me!“
If you aren’t a Hilton Honors member yet, or are but haven’t received this HGV 3-night promotion yet then check out how you can still book the deal yourself here
Just make sure to become a Hilton Honors member first