I’m Not Ready Yet!!!!

I’m Not Ready Yet!!!!

When you hear a senior prospect or family member say these words – what runs through your mind first?  How do you respond?  Do you believe them?  At every encounter with a prospective resident, someone always buys the popcorn – either the sales person or the senior!

Recently, I was going through some retirement community’s databases and lead after lead after lead had a “NRY” as the number one response in the notes.  I had to ask, “What is “NRY”?”  The retirement counselors in unison said, “Not ready yet.”  I thought quietly to myself, “Why the heck would anyone put such a negative assertion in his or her database?”  The next time they look at the lead, they are going to immediately think that it’s a crappy lead.

I believe that every lead is great!  If someone hangs up on me, the prospective resident is just having a bad day.  I have actually called these back again and they have been receptive, come in for a tour and eventually moved in.

When someone says they are not ready yet, do you blow the person off like I see some sales people do?  Are you just looking for a quick sale on a silver platter or a 30-day move-in?  Well then you are missing a ton of sales and this is why the occupancy is down at your retirement community.  Real sales people know that persistence pays off.  I have called people every month for one year and then they turned into a sale!  Those can be the most gratifying sales!

Do you have a Negative Nellie working your precious (expensive) senior housing leads that could be potential move-ins?  Believing Betty understands that each lead could be worth thousands of dollars and calls with enthusiasm and passion.  The customer needs to hear us smiling through the phone and feel our energy and excitement when they arrive in person.  We need to believe in our leads and keep calling them back…

When someone says they are not ready yet, they are one fall or one diagnosis away from suddenly wanting to move immediately.  Don’t schedule the next call for one year away, because it’s not the golden goose quick sale.  Understand the frailty of the senior customer and schedule to call them on a quarterly basis or your competition will get this move-in instead of you!

So when a senior tells me that they are not ready yet…this is great…they are interested for the future. The first thought that runs through my mind is: I need to educate them more about the lifestyle!  The second thought I have is: What did I miss saying?  Did I build enough value for health services?  After I learned about them through discovery, did I tailor the tour to their needs?  I need to fill the retirement community today, one year from now and 5 years from now!  So if someone wants to wait a year or two, no problem… my positive contact with them can speed up their decision.  Then when they suddenly want to move in, whom will they think of first?  Well, the nice lady on the phone who was never pushy and always had their best interests at heart…of course!

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com.  If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email diane@marketing2seniors.net.  Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  For more information:   Twitter: @market2seniors Web: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/


  1. Great article and “right on” Diane.

    I think we’ve all seen people going through the motions instead of making a commitment to helping find a solution for their prospects – and – oh, by the way, helping themselves by filling empty units.

    The only other thing I would add is WHY? Not asking why the prospect is “not ready yet” is somewhat like going to the doctor with a cough and runny nose and being told to come back when you have pneumonia! The sales counselor that accepts the NRY at face value has actually done a disservice to the prospect by “not caring enough” to explore it further.

    • Agree. I would further ask, “What has to happen in order for you to be ready to take that next step?”