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Monday, January 27, 2020

The Power of No

Offers that seem too good to resist usually are. But not always. Since my wife and I were in our 20s (that would be many moons ago), we’ve attended several time share presentations. In the younger years, money kept us from serious consideration of a time share.

Later, however, we did manage to do a dumb thing and bought into a points-based time share program. Regrets are too many to mention. After thinking it over, we tried to back out. In not quite these words I was told, “You’re stuck, sucker!” Getting out of that legal relationship seemed almost as costly.

So here we are years later. Annually for our anniversary, we seek out a warmer climate to hang out for a week. That’s because it’s usually COLD in Chicago in January.

Rhonda found us a “deal.” We would pay this well-known hotel company an up front fee of $250 for three nights in one of their hotel properties. Our money would be refunded after we sat through a time share presentation.

Armed with the word “no” firmly planted on our lips, we took advantage of the offer and booked our hotel reservations in Orlando. We chose the place with the free breakfast. I mean, hey, if you’re getting free hotel, why not free food?

The hotel deal turned out even better than expected. Upon checking in, Rhonda mentioned it was our anniversary and the desk manager gave us a suite for the three nights! Sweet! A suite! With free breakfast including warm cinnamon rolls! Life is good.

On the third day (it sounds biblical), we attended our 8 AM appointment for the time share presentation. Having been a sales manager a few times in my life, I have great respect for those engaged in that work. They hear “no” more than “yes,” which is a tough way to make a living.

Our sales person was very friendly and asked about our lives for a few minutes. Then we boarded a golf cart and drove off to the sales center about a half mile away. Once there, more questions. Only these were tailored to our travel and vacation habits. How often do we vacation? Where? What is our dream vacation? And, of course, how much do we usually spend?

Then we watched a delightful short movie about all the wonderful places we could go with this time share plan. And we heard how lots and lots of happy people felt so good about their membership. Next, we were guided through a series of panels describing the great success and trustworthiness of the company. At one point, we were given a comparison of the ways we “waste” money by going on vacation like we usually do, compared to the brilliance of “saving money” with this company’s time share program. Boy, did I feel stupid now!

The final move before hearing anything about how much this would cost was to tour the well laid out units on the site. Beautifully furnished, these two to four bedroom units certainly looked a lot better than the hotel rooms we usually stay in. How could Rhonda and I ever go back to such a limited, unfulfilling hotel life?

Now it’s time for the “get real” session. We were presented the “most popular plan” by our sales rep. It was a mere $44,000 plus more than $1,500 in annual maintenance fees. (Excuse me while I choke.) After our well planned “no,” we were given a revised “lower cost” option. The answer was still “no.”

We were now introduced to the first “spirit”—the sales rep’s boss! (Her words—not mine.) Again, more options. Again, more “Noes.” So then another chap (the second evil spirit) shows up with more enticements. Our answer was still, “No!”

Last but not least, another fellow invites us to try out one of their luxurious properties. They wanted us to “experience” the benefits first hand. Well... not for free. That deal came with a “pay us $1,500 now and you can book your 7 day stay anytime within two years and get a $400 credit.”

How special. The answer was………“NO!”

So, we got our $250 back—in cash. We got on the shuttle and went back to our car. And continued to shake like we had just completed one of those Disney upside-down roller coaster rides. We had survived the time share attack of “an offer so incredible only the most stupid people would say no to!”

And as “stupid” as we are, we enjoyed three terrific FREE nights in a hotel suite. And free breakfasts. And $44,000 still in our pockets. (Plus maintenance fees.)

It’s the power of “no.”

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.

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