Many leaders struggle to identify and hire the right person to fill the position of a sales counselor. Frequently, I advise management to look for the character traits of an individual and then teach the skill set. Skill sets can be learned but characteristics - the ability to develop rapport, a heart of true concern, the ability to hear what is overtly expressed and inadvertently withheld; capability to authentically partner during decisions; adaptability; desire to learn - cannot be learned; they are inborn abilities. Therefore, assuming that management has hired an individual for their personal characteristics, what are the basics that we should teach them in order to equip them to assist older adults and their adult children during the decision-making process?
In order to be an effective partner with an older adult or family member, a sales counselor, as well as many others within your community could benefit from the following types of training:
- Customer Service Training or enriched experience training
- Jargon revision or utilizing the right word choice
- Best Questions or conducting a conversation with a prospect
- How to effectively use a CRM
Equipped with basic knowledge and skills in the first three areas, every member of your staff can become an ambassador for your community. During the month of September, the RD blog will discuss training in each of these area – what training should entail and the value of training in that particular area.
EVERY STAFF MEMBER IS ESSENTIAL TO MARKETING
Elon University in Elon, NC has achieved excellence in their rebranding and marketing efforts, moving from a small, local college to a university that recruits from all over the United States and around the world. One of their strategies was the inclusion of all staff members as part of the marketing experience. Once when walking Elon’s campus, a visiting family asked a groundskeeper, “What is your job here?” Without hesitation, the groundskeeper said, “Attracting the best students for Elon.” It is just this understanding and attitude that all members of the staff should embrace at your community. Therefore, some marketing training should be inclusive of all staff members rather than being restricted to members of the marketing staff only.
ABANDON THE PATERNALISTIC HEALTHCARE MODEL
Next week, our blog will delve into the area of jargon and how it imparts the culture of hospitality to guests and residents as well. Current prospects and visitors reject the passivity of a care model in which a resident is a recipient of care rather than an active member of the community. The hospitality model expands to the enriched experience that is focused on the uniqueness of each individual and how they choose to live. Stay tuned next week to learn more.
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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.