The Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) is Marriott’s timeshare sales division. They sell Marriott Vacation properties, as well as, The Ritz-Carlton Club Vacation Membership. However, the Vacation Club Sales Team takes a second seat to no one. They have been voted multiple times as the best sales force in America and the best sales force in the world.
Marriott is the number one Vacation Ownership Company in the world. In order to keep sales performance at a level that is worthy of the world’s best sales force, MVCI dedicates enormous resources to marketing of their world class vacation properties. One of the primary sources of qualified buyers for the Vacation Club is generated by Marriott Marketing Executives. These are sales professionals located at crucial locations in a Marriott Hotel, an airport or events held at locations nationwide. These marketing executives sell preview packages to MVCI and Ritz Carlton Club properties worldwide. The preview packages are typically three, five or seven day stays at the marketed property. During their stay, guests participate in a brief sales presentation for the vacation ownership.
Marriott Marketing Executives literally have a few seconds, or at best a few minutes, to connect with their customers from their kiosk, vacation desk or their display at events. MVCI wanted to make sure their Marketing Executives were armed with the very best skills. In support of that effort they enlisted Tony Knapp to provide training for their Marketing Executives, as well as, their managers who are Regional Marketing Managers. Tony recognized the need for these sales executives to attract guests in seconds, promote their vacation product in a manner Which is consistent with Marriott’s industry best reputation and to serve as ambassadors of good will since they are working as guests within each location while marketing MVCI.
Tony started by researching the Marriott story and how since 1927 they have built a reputation for hospitality excellence. He then identified two key objectives:
- Deliver training specifically focused on personal development which would support the already talented marketing executives
- Develop training initiatives which would enhance the marketing executives’ ability to immediately “connect” with potential buyers
The first efforts were directed at the Marketing Managers so as to provide them with the skills necessary to transfer their knowledge to their Marketing Executives for their personal development. The initial training also provided advanced management skills to the Marketing Managers to support their own personal development. Tony then adapted his signature training, “Strategies for Excellence”, to the specific needs of MVCI. He spent extensive time relating skills necessary to quickly identify the specific communication style of their potential customers so as to most effectively build immediate trust and spawn a communication relationship. Tony has even gone so far as to create a handbook to use as a reference for MVCI entitled “Stop ‘em In Their Tracks”. The results of the training have been very effective and have helped MVCI in their quest for continuous improvement of their world’s best sales force.