You may have already seen the video clip, but here is the story. A.J. Clemente was a fresh graduate from the University of West Virginia and he landed a dream job as co-hosting weekend news for KFYR a Bismarck North Dakota NBC affiliate.  It was his very first appearance on TV and just before airtime he was struggling to pronounce an athlete’s last name. The cameras went live and the very first words out of his mouth were two of the forbidden 7 broadcast words.    His Co-anchor was equally shook-up; which you can see it on the video, because she knew it was big bad mistake. Sure enough, he was suspended immediately and let go a few hours later. A quick Google search will turn up hundreds of articles but here is one titled News anchor chooses worst words every to begin broadcast that article includes the video clip if you want to watch it.  

Lessons for Senior Housing

This blunder is a great reminder that you get one chance to make a good impression. When a prospect walks into your community for the very first time he or she is trying to figure out if it is a good place, a safe place. Most of the time they walk in looking for what’s wrong with the community not what’s right. This is natural for all of us . . . come-on, you do it too, every time you walk into a competitors building. The first person each visitor encounters sets the table for the rest of the visit.  It will likely be your front desk person, but it might be your maintenance person, a housekeeper, a caregiver or a dishwasher. They all need to know what those first words and actions need to be. Most of the time you won’t actually have that prospect or referral source tell you you’re fired, before you ever got the job, they just won’t come back or return your calls. You may never know what went wrong, but it might very well have been those two first words. Do you have any success or failure first impression stories you would be willing to share? Steve Moran