By Steve Moran
One of the biggest challenges senior living is facing is demonstrating it will improve the lives of prospects. They are bombarded with messages telling them living at home is better; living anyplace else (except maybe a cruise ship) will mean a reduced quality of life.
In fact, there is nothing more “pull my hair out by the roots, bang my head against the wall” frustrating to salespeople than having a prospect who would clearly have a better life in senior living make the decision to stay at home. In effect, to live a less dynamic life.
No Silver Bullet, But . . .
There is no silver bullet that will fix this problem. But having a better understanding of the prospect’s personality type will give you a much better shot at building a trusting relationship and telling the senior living benefit story.
In a recent Caring.com webinar, Jessie Miller unpacked 4 personality types and how to best relate to them (Caring is a Foresight partner). Here are the 4 types:
Every single prospect will predominantly fit into one of these categories, though most people will be a mix of two or three. If you treat everyone exactly the same, you will be creating unnecessary barriers with 75% of your prospects. This will mean fewer move-ins and fewer people who are experiencing an optimal life.
Let’s unpack the 4 types.
- They are strong-willed, efficient, decisive, and practical. They will use declarative sentences and ask very pointed questions. It might look like this:
“I am looking for . . .” (not “Can you show me?”)
“Tell me exactly what it costs.”
“What happens if ____?”
- They tend to talk a bit louder than average.
- They use animated, confident body language, think power poses.
- What is great about Directors is that you will know exactly what they are thinking and what their intention is; they will tell you.
- They really, really appreciate professionalism.
- They tend to see their senior living search as a kind of quest. They are impatient and find small talk annoying.
- They tend to be non-empathetic and have poor listening habits. They don’t like long-winded explanations and never seem to relax.
- The best way to interact is to establish rapport quickly, but don’t try to make friends. Let them ask you questions and provide short, concise answers. These are perfect candidates for a hard, straightforward close.
- Relators are supportive, respectful, willing, dependable, and agreeable. They are easy to spot because they are great listeners.
- They will ask you personal questions and get to know you beyond just the work/sales environment.
- Conversations tend to be laid back, friendly, and informal.
- You could easily believe you have the sale in your grasp. But, BEWARE, they tend to be super wishy-washy and have a very hard time making up their mind.
- They are dependent on the opinions and approval of others. You might hear, “I have to talk to my spouse, my mother, my friend”.
- They are also very sensitive and will make the move-in decision based on emotional connections and instinct.
- The best way to interact with Relators is to help them visualize the future in your community. Find out about passions and talk about how they can explore these in your community: art, outdoor activities, conversation. Talk about how great the decision to choose your community will be.
- You will need to spend more time with them. Help them really “feel” what it will be like for them or their loved one to live in your community.
- You will need to be patient with them. They are likely to want a 2nd or 3rd tour and to bring other people. But . . . once they say yes, they won’t waste any time moving in.
- Socializers are ambitious, enthusiastic, and friendly. They tend to be dramatic and spontaneous. They are creative and outgoing.
- They rely a lot on their intuition.
- Like relators, they will want to bond with you and feel connected on a personal level.
- What makes them different is they are very sure about their beliefs and will say what they are thinking (more like directors).
- It is very easy to establish rapport with them. Storytelling is huge. These are the prospects you want to introduce to existing residents who love living in your communities.
- You want to help them visualize living in your community. Help them see how their or the loved one they are shopping for, will thrive in your community. Talk about the opportunities to socialize.
- They tend to be impatient, and bore easily. So, while telling stories, don’t let them drag. Get to the point of the story quickly.
- They are very visual so do your storytelling while touring the community and tell stories related to the space you are in.
- Your best approach is to rapidly build a personal relationship. Tell some personal stories, find common connections. Ask them about kids and grandkids, ask to see pictures. They want to feel like you are a friend, that when they move in you will have their back, maybe even be the ticket to extra privileges.
- These are the hardest and easiest to sell. They are serious and orderly. They will be less expressive and they will be most concerned with the facts.
- They will have some sense of what value looks like to them (not the same as price). If your community brings the most value, they will move-in, (if they move anyplace).
- They won’t care about getting to know you on a personal level though they may want to know enough about you to know you are telling the truth. They tend to be very formal.
- They have great follow-through. If they agree to get back to you, they will.
- They want, no they love, details. Pricings, sq. ft., schedules, specific benefits, even what is not offered.
- They tend to be sole decision-makers.
- If they ask you a question and you do not know the answer, tell them that. Don’t try to fake it, they will see right through it.
- They will be on time or early for any appointment and if you are late, it will count against you.
- They will have done a ton of research about senior living and your community before they walk through the door. If you have some bad reviews online, be prepared to address them, if asked.
- Details will be critical, extra charges, change of condition, entrance fees. They hate being surprised.
- They will make a decision rapidly and if they say no the first time, you will likely not get a second chance.
- They will not want to give you details about themselves or the person they are shopping for, but you can overcome this if you can explain how it will help them tell the prospect about the community.
What personality type are you most like? What personality type do you most like to sell to?