As design innovations sweep through the senior housing industry, salespersons are often seen licking their chops at the idea of having even more cool features and amenities to talk about to prospects.

The paradox is that prospects are being driven away in record numbers.  They really don’t care about your trendy amenities like your 24/7 bistro and fall prevention technology.

They care about their own fears, needs, wants, lasting legacy and what the future holds for them.  So, slow down, take a few breaths, and listen to them.  Nobody cares about the sound of your own voice more than you do.

Here is the bottom-line: People believe what they hear themselves say, not what you say to them.  Get your prospects talking.

In the over 10,000 hours I have spent selling to seniors, there are two fundamental principles I practice upon engaging a prospect:

One: It is never my goal, when talking with a prospect on the phone, to get them to come in for “lunch and a tour.”  It is essential to slow down, ask questions and listen.  I have met no prospects, ever, who was dying to eat lunch at a retirement community.  When I started dating my wife, how ridiculous would it have been to ask her to come by to have lunch and tour my house.  I’d still be single.

Two: When they do come in for a visit (prospects almost invariably ask to come by to see the place), it is never my goal to “tour” them.  Again, my aim to get to know them better, to build a friendship, to understand their inner world as much as their outward circumstances.

Please…let them take in their surroundings.  There is no need to point out the library, salon or swimming pool.  They need to see things with their own eyes, not yours.

Be curious, courageous and connected.

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