We’ve talked about selling our aging in place services and framed selling in terms of meeting the needs of our clients with a product, service, or solution that assists or enables them to live more comfortably and successfully in their present home as they age in place. This is exactly what it is, but let’s redirect that notion just a bit.
Selling – for those who think they don’t like selling, don’t think they can bring themselves to sell anything, don’t want to be sold anything themselves, or have no fond thoughts when they hear mention of the word selling – has been described as the sharing of an idea or concept that can help our clients without trying to persuade them to purchase something they don’t need or want. We can all think of instances when we encountered a salesperson whom we deemed to be pushy and seemed more interested in taking our money that in listening to what we wanted to achieve or the fact that we weren’t completely ready to own what we were being pressured into buying.
The simple fact of any business is that revenue cannot be generated without sales. Ultimately there have to be sales, regardless of who in the organization or who on the team does it – and it doesn’t necessarily need to be the same person each time. Often, with aging in place renovations, the sale is the culmination of a process – performing the initial assessment of the living space and the functional abilities of the client, assembling a proposal, meeting with the client to review and refine the proposal, and presenting the final plan to the client for their approval. By the time the client sees the final description of what is being planned, it should be no surprise to them, and agreeing to have the work done is a mere formality.
Because the client has been consulted and informed along the way, whether it’s a matter of a few days of a few weeks, there are no surprises when it comes time to have them approve the work order or scope of services. It is not something for which they were not prepared. They want the work done, and the contractor or the team is prepared to get started helping them.
This is where providing aging in place renovations differs dramatically from typical sales that might occur in the home or at a retail center. As the aging in place specialists providing the services for the client, we want to help them. We have no agenda. We have no quota to meet. We don’t have to seel a certain amount of any product or service. Obviously making a sale contributes to our ability to stay in business, but more than this, it means that the client has agreed for us to help them. The purchase agreement (scope or service, job order, or similar name) merely is the outward or formal sign that the client has chosen us to help them. This is a clear win-win.
Often, when a salesperson, especially one who works by a commission on what they sell, they are more concerned about making the sale than in serving the needs of the client. It a difference in emphasis. They may get some satisfaction out of helping the client, but their first priority is making the sale. They are interested in having the client say yes than they are in determining if the client really needs what they are offering.
This is what makes people uncomfortable about sales. They equate their experiences of working with a salesperson who is driven to make a sale as being typical. They don’t feel that they could do this, and similarly, they don’t think they could rely on making a living from doing this.
We are looking at helping our client, designing solutions that meet their needs (whatever those happen to be), and enabling them to remain living independently and indefinitely in their current home. We are not trying to talk them into something that they may not need just we can make a sale. We are not interested in making a sale above having the client be satisfied with what they are getting and the solutions we are creating for them.
In the sales mode where the salesperson is attempting to make the sale even if the client or customer is reluctant, it’s all about the salesperson and their company. The customer or client is necessary to facilitate the sale, but it’s the salesperson’s welfare that counts more. When we visit a client’s home to talk with them about creating aging in place solutions for them – whatever those turn out to be and however much they are – the focus is on them and not us. We want them to have what they need, and only what they need, to help them have a safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable lifestyle in their home.