When you have friends over for dinner, hopefully you don’t have any difficulty establishing friendly conversation with them. You care about them, their families, their experiences, and you want to know more about them. A guest in our community should receive the same courtesy. We must show a genuine inquisitiveness for who they are and what their interests are.
BE ATTENTIVE BY DISCONNECTING
Continuing with the same metaphor, dining with your friends, you are attentive to them, engaged and listening to what they say. Hopefully, you are not allowing distractions to permeate your conversation with them. Guests at your community deserve the same type of focused concentration. With the current culture of constant connection via our phones, our staff may need training as to what constitutes an authentic connection with a potential resident.
The number one rule of thumb is that the prospect should be the center of your attention. Be sure to set aside an adequate time period to interact and relate to the prospect without feeling you have to rush. Choose your meeting space wisely so that you will not be interrupted while in conversation. If you have meetings in your office which is located in the hub of activity, create a door sign that indicates that you are busy and not to be interrupted.
Most importantly, disconnect from phones! Turn off all of your notifications on both your cell phone and landline. Constantly checking your smart phone or glancing at your landline when a call comes in makes a guest feel that they are marginal – infringing on your time.
Even the greeter at the reception desk should follow a similar procedure. During the time that the visitor is conversing with the receptionist, all company calls should be forwarded to someone else or the to the automated call system. The receptionist should attentively respond to the guest and then contact the available staff person to complete the interaction.
By centering on the prospect(s), the prospect begins to feel that staff at this community have a genuine interest in them – that their issues are important and heard. With good active listening on the part of the sales counselor, they may even discover some unconscious motivations for their visit.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Asking the best questions at the right time with the best word choice is imperative to getting to know a person(s) better. What we would really like to know is – What is your motivator for considering a move? What is your skin in the game? It is usually helpful to have some tried-and-true questions that have been effective in past interactions available when you are conversing. The timing and method of asking questions is also important.
As part of sales training, Retirement DYNAMICS addresses both best questions as well as the importance of the wording and timing of such questions. A general training on questions and wording is appropriate for all staff in the Customer Service Training), and a more intense training is available for sales counselors with our RaDical Sales System Training.
Retirement DYNAMICS is offering a RaDical Sales Training Summit in December for only $1200 per community. Come revolutionize sales with us.
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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.