“Our Aging In Place Clients Don’t Want To Hear What We Can Do Until They Feel We Care About Them”

Taking time to get to know her client and relate to him before discussing how she can help him have a more satisfying home

Ever get meet a salesperson, such as in their showroom or at a show, and they just want to talk about their product or company? It’s as if we don’t really matter to them as a person – just as a potential sale. How about getting an unsolicited sales call (we all get these) that is weak on helping us or attempting to identify our needs and concerns and strong on helping the salesperson? It happens quite frequently, and we can learn from it. It’s a great reminder on how not to make a sales call or the conduct the initial contact.

When we meet someone (wherever and however that might be – in-person, over the phone, or online), we want to begin getting to know them. Obviously, we would like to help them and turn this into a business relationship, but that can’t happen until we know more about them and they begin to trust us.

When it’s obvious to them that we are only interested in having a cursory discussion with them where we ask how they are doing but clearly don’t care about their response, or when we are the main focus of our conversation rather than them, they can rightly conclude that we really don’t care about getting to know them on in potentially serving them.

Most people when they don’t know the person they are calling that well – if at all – start out with the “how are you doing?” or “did you enjoy your weekend?” – not realizing that the responses won’t always be positive. Still, they would just roll with it and go right into their scripted message – even to the point of having someone respond to how they are doing by saying that things are not going very well by saying “that’s good,” a conditioned, prepared response.

The salesperson begins the conversation with a recitation of the great things their product or service will do for us and why we should be so impressed with it. They don’t ask for our input or confirmation of what they are saying but just keep right on talking. They likely will also tell us why it’s such a great value today, and today only, before taking their first breath or allowing us to speak.

Then we can let them down politely. We could end the call abruptly as soon as they begin their spiel, but waiting until the first pause is entertaining. It’s fun to see just how far they will go in touting what they think they have to offer us without ever determining that there is at least some interest in hearing about their product or in having a need for it. This either doesn’t occur to them or matter.

More sales would be made, and more positive experiences would be generated if the person being called was actually included in the conversation instead of just being used to agree with the salesperson. We can learn a huge lesson here.

Aging in place solutions are not about us – we don’t benefit from them at all except in seeing the satisfaction of our clients and being able to earn a living from it. Instead, providing aging in place solutions are totally about serving our clients and meeting their needs. Along the way, we can also bring in strategic partners to help them with their business as they help us create solutions for our clients.

It does us no good to get into a recitation of all the good works we have performed and a listing of all of our satisfied clients if we can’t understand and address the needs of the people in front of us at that moment. We have to be focused on helping each aging in place client, one-at-a-time and in-the-moment. What we did yesterday matters for that client, and what we do tomorrow matters for that next client, but today’s client is only interested in what we can do for them and how we can help them have a more satisfying life in their forever home as they continue to live in it. This is what counts now.

Unlike the fast-talking salesperson that we take a cue from in what we don’t want to do, we need to get to take time to get to know our clients, explore their likes and needs, and determine what it is they would like for us to do – all before we ever mention anything about what we can do, what we are known for, or how we have accomplished similar renovations or improvements in the past.

We have to get people to like us and respect that we are truly interested in them if we ever expect them to engage us and allow us to help them create the solutions they need.

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