By Steve Moran
Selling senior living, or anything else for that matter, has two very different storytelling opportunities. Solving the obvious problem is pretty easy, and I am guessing you mostly do a pretty good job telling that story.
But underlying the obvious problem you solve is a second, less obvious problem, and that is a need for a psychological solution.
People hate waiting in line for rides at Disney. The obvious solution to the problem would be to duplicate the ride and increase capacity, which would in turn reduce the wait time substantially (assuming it did not also increase demand). The problem with that solution is that it …
- Requires more space, which is at a huge premium
- Costs a bunch more money to build
- Costs more money to operate
- Decreases the specialness of the experience
Their alternative has been to make the waiting experience better, by creating visual and audio effects that will provide a level of entertainment for people waiting in line. That is the psychological solution.
When prospects come to your senior living community, they have two very different problems they are tying to solve. The first is the obvious one — a safe place to live, meals, various levels of care, not having to worry about things like maintenance and housekeeping.
The other problem is their physiological need for something. If you can figure out how to solve that problem, they will fall in love with your community, and you will win the sale every time, even if your services are imperfect or your price is too high.
The needs are going to be different for each person, but broadly, it is always going to start with physical safety. It might be a loneliness problem, a family worry problem. Maybe a starting place would be to ask … what a perfect 70-year-old, 80-year-old, 90-year-old life experience would look like.
With that framework, you can then ask what you need to do to come as close as you can to creating that experience — and then figure out how to tell the story in the most real and most convincing way.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this below.
I think safety is important, but also feeling cared for. Everyone needs to feel that others genuinely care for their well being. Disney also asks their cast members to perform a “Disney Moment” every chance they can. It is when you go out of your way to make someone’s day day extra special. It can be as simple as placing your hand on their shoulder and calling them by name.