Alexandra Fisher offers some insight into what happens when you let the prospective resident do the talking.

By Susan Saldibar

I have to admit I love the psychology side of selling. So when I got hold of four video interviews between Senior Housing Forum’s Steve Moran and  Alexandra Fisher — co-founder of Sherpa, a Senior Housing Forum Partner — I felt like I had struck gold. They get to the core of what’s wrong with the sales process in senior living. I just kept saying, “Yes! Yes!” as I watched.

If you’ve ever been in sales, you know that moment when you are bursting to jump into all the reasons that person sitting in front of you should not wait a moment longer to get an application going to move into your community. (After all, you have units to fill, right?)

Stop. Don’t go there. 

Instead of offering the solution, says Alex, open the conversation by looking at the situation from the eyes of the prospect with these kinds of phrases:

  • Tell me about your current situation.

  • What is good about it?

  • Tell me what is not so good about it?

  • Why would you want to change it?

Be sure to sit back and patiently listen to, question and explore their responses.

Be a counselor.

Can you see where Alex is going with this? This is great stuff. What’s happening is that you’re getting into the heads (and maybe even the psyches) of the individual. Like a good counselor, not a sales rep.

So here’s what happens when you let the prospective resident do the talking. They will begin to:

  • Tell themselves what they need, versus what they have.

  • Identify the reasons their current situation isn’t working.

  • Make the argument themselves that a change is needed.

Then, as Alex puts it, “Gradually, as the person becomes aware of this discrepancy between how they are currently living and how they could be living, it facilitates making their own decision. It is very much in their power to change. And we can effect that.”

Yes, we can! So, why aren’t we?