Many seasoned sales professionals established their methods of discovery, questioning, and presentations long ago, but how many have critically evaluated whether their methods and their questions are most effective in ushering a prospect down the road of decision-making? Recognizing that prospects are individualistic in their journey, there are universal thresholds through which they must pass in order to get to their ultimate decision:I want to move into this community.
Assisting over Thresholds
A sales counselor is most effective when they partner with prospects in this journey, assisting them in navigating our complex industry and opening doors (and eyes) to help them through the passages of major thresholds :
- Making personal goals and identifying needs
- Exploring options
- Selecting a community
- Selecting a residence
- Preparing for change
(RaDical Sales Training Guide)
Questions Reflect Thresholds or Categories
The most effective questions are those that succeed in assisting with navigation, acknowledgement of issues, and solutions to current or potential issues.Here is a short but abbreviated list:
Establishing needs and goals:
- What did you talk about on the way over here today? (couple)
- Is there one of you who really favors a move here? Is there one who is resistant?
- Tell me a little bit about yourself and what brings you here today?
- What prompted you to learn more about us?
- What do you want to achieve today?
- What are your personal needs to be fulfilled by this meeting?
- What factors are important to you in a retirement community?
- As you think about your future years, what kind of lifestyle do you envision?
- What are your most pressing concerns about your future?
- What things have gotten more difficult in the last few years?
- What about your current situation would you like to change?
- Tell me why your home isn’t quite perfect anymore? What are you looking forward to not having to do?
- What changes would you have to make to your current home to accommodate lifestyle changes due to an illness?
- What makes you consider a move from your current home?
Selecting a community:
- Tell me some of the main services and amenities that appeal to you?
- How do you think living here would most benefit you?
- Why do you feel moving to a CCRC or Life Plan Community would benefit you?
- If you do not move to a community, how do you plan to manage on your own?
Selecting a residence:
- If you could afford it, would you want to live here?
- Do you have any personal preferences in regards to configuration of your home? Need for a sewing room, craft area, first floor preference, location in relation to amenity areas, etc?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you prefer?
- Would you prefer an apartment close to the clubhouse or a stand-alone house (if available)?
- How often do you need to make space available for guests?
After years of experience creating questions for particular situations, RD has an exhaustive list of questions, along with complimentary strategies and approaches that are shared during an engagement. We would be honored to work with your sales team in short- or long-term sales training to share these questions and techniques with the sales team at your community.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.