“My Cat Has Diarrhea!”

“My Cat Has Diarrhea!”
Over Sharing?

Over Sharing?

Believe it or not, I heard a senior living sales person say, “My cat has diarrhea,” to a hot prospect.”  They blew the sale, because the senior was so worried about the sick cat.  Really?!!?

Do you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative at your senior living community?  Maybe you better check.  It’s easy for senior living marketing people to over compensate and share what you do you do not offer.  They are just trying to be helpful to the customer.  They are not trying to sabotage sales and send seniors to the competitor.

Every retirement community has its strong points and weak points.  It does not matter if you are brand new or 25 years old.  Always showcase your strengths.  Is this something that you teach your senior living advisors?  How do they learn it?  Don’t make an assumption that they will learn it by osmosis.

Here is an expert from a chapter in my book called, “ Never Say to the Customer.”

There is such a thing as being too honest with the customer with statements such as:

  • “You were on my list to call today.”
  • “You were on my schedule to be followed up with today.”
  • Telling the customer we will retain 10%.  Instead saying, “The entrance fee is 90% refundable to your estate.”
  • NEVER EVER refer to people as “a sale!”
  • Please don’t call them a “prospect” in their presence or to their face.  They are all your “guests,” in this book; I have referred to them as “prospective guests.”  Please note: The term “prospect” or “prospective guests” is meant for marketing and is only to be used in-house.  In the prospect’s presence the term to use is “guest.”  I might say, “Mrs. Jones, I have an appointment later with another “guest” who is interested in this two-bedroom apartment home with the view of the park.”

I have literarily had three different types of sales people in the last week say, “I am following up with you.”  It makes me cringe.  How about you?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.



  1. Great article! Prior to doing social media marketing for senior communities, I worked as Marketing Director at senior communities for over 7 years! I always treated adult children and seniors coming in to our community for a tour and information as if they were guests in my own home. I would never say anything negative to guests in my home, so why would I do that at the community I was representing? It may help less experienced sales personnel to look at marketing in that way. Great mention of calling them prospects or sales in front of them — again, they are YOUR guests in YOUR home. It is amazing how many “guests” became permanent residents when I had that mindset. Thanks for all your wonderful blogs, Diane. They are always insightful! Cheers!

  2. The Emotional Intelligence Network

    Diane~ This highlights the on-going need for training. What we assume our counselors are saying can be so very different that what, in their attempt to build relationships, they really are uttering. When overheard, the comments can be astonishing! I pose this question: Can they really ever change their communications style and handicaps(for this industry.) I think we should be able to detect this inability to communicate properly to older persons in the interview stage…Thanks for a great post!
    By Cindy Janssen

  3. Alzheimer s Association

    The client, even potential client is king. If your occupied with something that will distract, reschedule, pass it to a colleague, or anything that wouldn’t kill the sale.
    By David Martin

  4. Boomers: Aging Beats The Alternative

    Wonder how the cat is doing.
    By F. Todd Winninger

    • Ha!