People are hungry to be listened to, heard and understood.

By Kent Mulkey

The other night my wife and I visited a new restaurant in town, hoping for a quiet evening of conversation and experiencing the vibe of the place others have talked so much about.  

What came next was a bit of a surprise – the server came to our table and proceeded to talk nonstop for at least three minutes (which seemed like three hours) about the comment card she would like us to complete, how to sign up for their promotional emails, locations of their other restaurants and why it is so important to give them a five-star rating.

Why should I care about any of that? I just wanted a Pellegrino water on ice, with a lime.

Your Prospects Don’t Care About Your Product

It may come as a surprise to senior living sales professionals, but your customers (prospects) don’t care about your product, company or services, like the menu, the cool activities or how many locations your company owns.  

People care about themselves – their needs, hopes, dreams, and quality of life.  People don’t drop by a senior community looking for a sales counselor to be friends with. They are looking for a way to solve their problem – should I stay in my house or move to a retirement community?

And people need a compelling reason to choose the latter. They need to know how what we offer will improve their life. Steve Jobs said that people don’t want to know about computers; they want to know about how computers will help them live better. “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around,” Jobs said.

So if people are not enthralled with our “product”, the very thing we as sales counselors are most excited about, what is the experience that our prospects are looking for?

People Are Hungry to be Listened to, Heard and Understood

It’s quite simple but rarely easy. People are hungry to be listened to, heard and understood. For many of us, the thought of slowing down and really listening to someone is difficult. “I don’t have time for that,” we say. “I have apartments to rent and occupancy to build.”

There is much we cannot do for prospective residents, like convince them to move to a senior community. But there is one thing we can do if we want to.

Listen. Let them know their experience of being heard and understood is what matters most.