“Selling Aging In Place Improvements To People Who Don’t Want Very Much Done”

Often we have an opportunity to work with people who are very receptive to making changes in their homes to improve their general safety and ability to function well in their homes. This makes our work even more rewarding and enjoyable. People who have a specific medical need that they want to be addressed fit this category also and appreciate what we can do to assist them. But what about helping or attempting to work with people who don’t think they need many changes in their home (or even none) to facilitate their use of it, aren’t that receptive to any outside assistance, or don’t have a very large budget?

Depending on how we frame our business model, we may or may not we may be interested in working with people in reasonably good health that could benefit from a few safety improvements or upgrades in their homes but aren’t very inclined to want to have any work done. It’s not the idea that we can help them or that they don’t think we are qualified to do so, but it’s just the concept of attempting to work with someone who could benefit from a few changes that doesn’t seem to want any work or attention.

So, how do we go about serving a significant portion of the marketplace – procrastinators mostly – who could benefit from improvements aren’t inclined to see their homes from the same perspective that we do. Do we ignore them and focus on the higher priority potential clients and the ones who are more appreciative of the work we can do for them? Do we forge ahead and do what we can for people who may be denying that anything we can offer them will actually help them in their homes?

This can be a significant dilemma for us. On the one hand, we have plenty of work to do just serving people referred to us from healthcare professionals and medical facilities as well as others in our network. Is they really any room in our schedule – although there unquestionably is a need – for us to work with people who really don’t favor having any work done? Why fight it? Wait for them to be ready and come to us at that time rather than trying to convince them that they can benefit from improvements we can make.

In addition to the procrastinators – the people who are denying that they need anything done to their homes to make living there easier or safer, those who are ignoring the potential effects of aging on their mobility or sensory abilities, or people who indifferent to having any improvements made in their homes because they think that everything is fine the way it is – there is another group of people who don’t desire very much work to be done in their homes but are receptive to talking with us. In fact, they may take the initial step and contact us about a small project they have in mind.

There may have a hall bathroom that they want to renovate, update, or remodel. We agree that this is a project we can handle even though they describe it in a very minimal way. We arrive to inspect the room and discover that in addition to basic renovation they are contemplating at a very modest expenditure that there is inadequate wiring for the lighting needed in the bathroom and hallway leading to it, that there is no GFCI protection in the bathroom or anywhere in the home where it needs to be, and that bathroom room surfaces present safety issues – for starters. While they are interested in having us do some work for them, we have identified much more extensive work – at a resulting higher budget and time commitment for completion of the project – than they envisioned.

This is where we have to appeal to the idea of their personal safety in using the bathroom (and other areas of the home), discuss how much longer they might be living there (indefinitely if this is their permanent home), how guests and visitors would appreciate having a safer and more convenient bathroom to use, and contrast the additional expenditure to do the work suggested (or most of it anyway) to enable them to continue enjoying their home.

It could as easily be improving their entrance, widening a hallway, making their kitchen cabinets more accessible to them, or a similar “easy fix” in their minds. However, their concept of what needs to be done may be quite superficial. It’s great that they want something done. The challenge is in getting them to buy into the larger project that really is necessary or warranted to accomplish their little one effectively.

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