As senior living providers we all struggle at times to differentiate our communities. The plentiful supply of options now available in most markets has prompted an aura of commoditization around the entire industry.
One way that will surely set you apart is to approach sales from a different perspective. Let’s challenge one simple premise about the sales process, and more specifically the way we define the role of ‘sales people’ within our organizations.
No surprise that folks interpret their job in sales as one of ‘trying to influence the decision of prospects to select their community or service”. I call this the ‘influencing’ school of selling, the school that says the good salesperson ‘gets’ you to buy.
Let’s purge that objective and change it. Just consider for a second…and this will be difficult…. that you will re-configure the job of the salesperson to this: YOUR JOB IN SALES IS TO HELP THE PROSPECT MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR THEIR SITUATION. And recognize that sometimes that ‘right choice’ will be a decision to move into your community.
Even with that reconfigured roll description it is true that the sales person will ultimately be influencing consumer decisions. And in fact they will be influencing more ‘closes’ than ever. But they will be more successful at doing that by actually changing their objective from ‘influencing’ to ‘helping’.
And what will happen in the process is that this provider is on the path of significantly differentiating themselves in a very competitive marketplace.
Here’s what we know and can draw upon.
- You as a sales person have helped many families work through what can be a difficult time as they struggle to find the right provider when selecting care for a loved one when they can no longer stay at home.
- These families haven’t much experience making these types of decisions. They don’t come up often in one’s lifetime.
- The truth is that while your community is a good solution for many, it will not always be the right fit for every situation. And you have the integrity to be honest about that.
Listen to the audio file: 2.11 Introduction. You can listen to the words and phrases to help you quickly create your own introduction that will help you develop rapport and encourage the prospect to open up to tell you that information that will help you, help them, make a good decision for their unique situation.
For the full training module on how to engage in a good discovery process, go to your DEI Learning Center and watch Session 2: Selling to Prospects and Their Families.
If you are not a current DEI subscriber you can sign up for this training by clicking on the following link and register: