Most of got into the aging in place services business because we want to help people stay in their homes successfully. Therefore, we have to be approachable when people want to get in touch with us to discuss helping them. When someone reaches out to us, we have to be available to engage them. If we are too busy, if they have to leave a voice message, or if we can’t talk to them at that moment (or call them back as soon as we finish the call we are on), they may look elsewhere for help. That is a missed opportunity, and they may not get the same type of response from someone else as we know we can offer them.
When we send out email messages to people, do a direct mail campaign, run a Facebook ad, have a website, or take a booth at a home show, all of this is done expressly to get people to contact or engage us. Some are going to be by email or text, but many requests for more information or to discuss their needs are going to come by phone. Thus, we need to be ready for that incoming phone call. We need to be prepared.
We need to act as if we are expecting them to contact us and that they are waiting for us to agree to help them. Not everyone will ready to engage us at that moment, but some will. It’s showing them that we are only waiting for them to contact us to get started. We are not surprised by their call. We expected it.
Contrast this with what we see in some sports such as football or baseball, with some people celebrating so much after scoring that it’s as if they are surprised they did it. Someone who scores a touchdown and then goes through this elaborate ceremony acts shocked and surprised that it ever happened rather than looking like they’ve been in the end zone before – even if this is their first time. Someone hits a home run and they jump up and down and gallop around like they thought this was never going to happen. Years ago, some coaching advice was shared and has been reshared many times since that a person should act as if they had done this before – be happy for the touchdown or the homerun but don’t act like this is the first one ever scored or hit (even if it is). The fans are more pleased with the feat itself rather than in the celebration.
As for being ready for a contact, how often have we called people after getting a solicitation email from them (clearly they were looking for new business or they wouldn’t have sent us the message) only to learn that they had no clue who we were or why we were contacted by them – not a good plan.
When someone calls us after getting an email from us, after visiting our website, after viewing our social media profile, after receiving a direct mail contact from us, or after visiting our home show booth and wants more information – whether they were the only person getting our message or it went to several people – we need to instantly recall who is calling us and what the message was that we sent or conveyed to them. Otherwise, we have just whiffed at the first pitch.
When we call someone in response to an email they sent to us, or respond to a voice message they left for us, and they can’t immediately recall who we are and why they contacted us – or quickly engage us – we may decide that there’s no point in going any further. Our clients are no different.
Depending on why our clients are contacting us, they may a rather urgent need to be addressed with improvements, or they may be testing the waters to see what they can get and how much it might cost them for a totally elective improvement that they consider to be helpful but not crucial or immediately necessary. Therefore, we have to read the situation immediately, quickly respond in a positive way to what they are sharing with us, engage them and show an interest in helping them (provided what they are describing sounds like something we are capable of doing and that falls with our business model parameters).
This is how they can gain initial confidence in our ability to help them and show that we are different from other professionals who may not be as willing to engage them and get to work finding a solution for them.