Surveys show the typical senior housing sales counselor asks just two questions of a caller who makes inquiry to their community.
Here are a few more. Slow down and tour the prospect* before you ask them to tour your community. The following questions are not listed in order. Customize your approach.
- State your intentions up front: “I would like to ask you a few questions so I can better understand your situation and help you, even if you don’t choose our community as a place you would move.” (establish a partnership).
- “What is your (mom/dad/parents) name?” (People love to be called by name).
- “Please tell me about your mom. What does she like to do?” (Focus on her wellness, not her illness, such as her interests, hobbies, exercise.
- “Do your parents know that we are having a conversation about their situation?”
- “I would like to help you sort out our (senior housing) ‘insider’ terminology. Would that be helpful to you?”
- Point them to an expert on your team who can best help them with their situation. “I would like to have you talk with ______, our nurse, she is our expert when it comes to understanding the situation you are in.”
- Find commonalities: neighborhood, vacation spots, restaurants, church, etc., e.g., “Where did your parents take you for vacations when you were young?” “My parents took me there, too!”
- When the time is right, invite them to come in and visit; not for “lunch and a tour”. Tell them you would like to get to know them better. Or, offer to meet them at Starbucks or their home.
Above all, stay curious.
*Credit to David Smith and Alex Fisher at One-On-One/SherpaCRM.