A Different Consumer
Selling in Senior Living today is vastly different than years past. Forget order taking when the silent generation lined up to be residents. Gone are the residents that moved in, demanded little, and (somewhat silently) lived happily ever after in the community they felt blessed and thankful to be able to afford.
Today’s sales counselors are working with Baby Boomers, whether they’re the potential resident or the adult child searching for their parent. Either way, it’s a different world in senior living sales.
Boomers are highly educated buyers. They’re spending countless hours on the internet exploring their options before they fill out your contact form on your website. They know what your community is about before walking through your door.
The last thing they need is a regurgitation of the information on your website in the form of a long boring sales pitch. Your buyer wants details. They want to know if your community fits their lifestyle.
Asking probing questions is the best way for you to save yourself and them valuable time. Your community may not be a fit for them. You won’t help them discover whether it is or isn’t by dominating the conversation.
Boomers do not want to be sold. They’re interested in making an informed decision on a highly emotional, very expensive purchase of the last home they’re ever going to buy.
If you were spending $500K to over $1M would you want someone to sell you on it? Think of the last major purchase you made. Did some salesperson talk you into it? Or, did you make an informed decision based on research?
Here are some valuable dos and don’ts for selling to seniors:
Don’t Be Condescending
Be mindful of your tone and inflection. Your prospects are older, not feeble minded. They aren’t toddlers. They’re highly educated, well informed, intelligent human beings searching for a place they would love to call home where they can pursue new interests as well as old passions.
You’re the conduit to an informed decision. Not their pre-school teacher.
Do Help Them Fall In Love With Your Community
Do they love hiking? Let them know about the weekly hikes your community organizes. Do they have a passion for travel? Tell them about all the opportunities to see the world with fellow residents.
Don’t assume they want to hear about the fitness center or the dining rooms. Not everyone works out, and some really enjoy cooking. I know, so not trendy. Get on their page and off yours.
Do Let Them Know You Care
Your prospect is going to spend a large portion of their net worth both on the Entrance Fee and ongoing Monthly Fee. Make sure they know they matter to you and your organization.
People need to feel special. They need to know you care about them, their family, and their interests. If they get the sense you don’t care now, they’re certainly going to believe you won’t care when they’re no longer independent. Talk about a deal breaker.
Don’t Use Fear Tactics
Do not scare them into coming to your community. Don’t use fear of failing health, loss of a loved one, or any other type of stab them in the heart ploy to make a sale. Just don’t do it.
For some, making the decision to move is scary enough. They don’t need you beating it into them. You won’t win sales that way, and you certainly won’t earn trust.
Do Be A Trusted Advisor
Use active listening to hear why they’re searching, what they’re looking for, and how they plan to get there. Assist them with creating a plan of action. Engage with your prospect frequently, with a purpose, and offer solutions and information for challenges they face.
That’s right. Don’t Sell Anything. Not one of the dos and don’ts above involve selling. Each one does however involve building a relationship. And relationships make sales in senior living today.