10 Tips For Training Sales Personnel – Keys For Retirement Housing Prospects

By understanding how the older generation is different as it ages, retirement community sales staffs can overcome sales barriers and connect more effectively with prospects. The following is a list of Tips for Training Sales Personnel which may be helpful for your business.

Sales Tip #1 Connect with the right side of the brain
Explain living in your community by telling stories, relevant ones that touch emotions. Modern brain research shows that story telling increases the flow of adrenaline to the brain and helps us store and recall. Images are stored in a different place in the brain than the words that describe the visual.

Sales Tip #2 – Relate to their lives in retirement
They want to know what your community offers, and balance those against the experiences they want in retirement. Ask the specific question, “What do you want to do in retirement?” For older adults, the “what” is usually significant and very individualized.

Show them how your retirement community can satisfy their needs, and how you can help them do that.

Sales Tip #3 – Be authentic and trustworthy
Show you care about them as a person. They want to be treated as individuals not as prospects. They want to be able to trust you. Be authentic in your discussions with them. They are “professional consumerologists” with a lifetime of buying experiences. In particular, your face is a clue to whether you believe what you’re saying. Treat all their questions with respect and answer them respectfully.

Sales Tip #4 – Connect by relating to their families, and yours
The family is a deep, emotional feeling that drives all behavior. Show them pictures of your own children and grandchildren. Talk about them. More than 80% of people over age 60 are grandparents. Focus on the emotional connection between older adults and their grandparents. Describe way in which living in your retirement community can enhance those family relationships.

Sales Tip #5 – Control the physical setting
Make them comfortable in your office. Offer them the most comfortable chairs. Keep a couch pillow in plain sight that they can use to make themselves more comfortable. Have several sets of reader glasses nearby for them to use if they forgot their own. Use a large barrel pen so it’s easy for them to write. Avoid bright lights or outside sunshine; they can distract older adults from what you are saying. With age, we tend to have a attention-deficit syndrome like many youngsters.

Sales Tip #6 – Don’t call them “senior citizens” or “Boomers”
Research shows that about half of people of age don’t like these terms. Don’t use labels. If you must, refer to them as, “people like yourself, whom I deal with.” Treat them as individuals.

Sales Tip #7 – They take more time with decisions
They don’t always understand what you’re saying at that moment. Their central nervous system tends to slow with age. It doesn’t mean they don’t get it, it just means it may take more time to process it. Be patient. Typically, they are in no hurry to get things done. From experience, they know quick decisions are often regretted.

Sales Tip #8 Feelings, not intellect.
Decisions are made on the basis of feelings, not intellect. Intellect is used to understand; feelings are used to decide. When looking for a reaction to what you have presented, ask them, “How does that feel to you?” not “Does that make sense to you?”

Sales Tip #9 – Independence is what they want in retirement
Use words that depict people in their 60s, 70s and 80s as maintaining their independence in their retirement. It’s the key concept for selling your retirement communities. Give them several options and let them decide. A key attitude is they want things simplified but they don’t want to lose control.

Sales Tip #10 Analogies not analysis.
Because older adults often have difficulty following your reasoning and recommendations, you need to make it easier for them. Use analogies, metaphors and similes that mirror their value system. Give them anchors. Explain it by saying, “This is like that (analogy.)”

By Michael P. Sullivan, President, 50-Plus Communications Consulting Charlotte North Carolina, (704) 554-7863.
Mike consults and trains staff at retirement facilities, homecare living firms, financial services and health care organizations. His book, “101 Easy Ways to Increase Business with Boomerplus Clients” is available on his website, http://www.graymoney.biz Contact him at mps50plus@aol.com