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Let me share what happened with the most unbelievable applicant recently. When he returned my call, I set a phone interview for the next morning at 8:00 AM. The next morning, I asked him if he had looked at our website. He said that if I could send him a link, then he would take a look at it later. Seriously? I started to laugh, because it was so ridiculous! He then asked if it was a requirement to look at the website before speaking with me further. I was still trying to be nice and gently said that he knew from the previous evening that we were going to have an interview this morning – why would you not prepare for it? Well at that point he did not want to talk to me any more…
Here is my list of 10 worse traits of senior living sales applicants. Feel free to add to the list or share an unbelievable hiring experience of your own:
1) Constantly interrupts during the Interview and does not listen – Stop it!
2) Tells me they are ONLY motivated by money – There is such a thing as being too honest!
3) Has a history of 15 or less phone calls per day – What did you do all day, if you did not have any prospects?
4) Say they have sales experience but it’s really being an order taker – Stop wasting my time!
5) Too aggressive – Seniors don’t like aggressiveness!
6) Too laid Back – Sorry, this is not sales!
7) Dresses for a nightclub – One had a very short skirt and when she sat down, it got event shorter!
8) Boring and/or no energy – If you put me to sleep, then you will put seniors to sleep too! Next!!!
9) Being a know it all – Don’t tell me you know my business, when you have never been in senior housing sales in your life!
10) Last but not least – Never looked at our website or prepared for the interview in anyway! Really?!!? Come on, do you really want a job?
What is your recipe for hiring a successful senior living sales person at your retirement community? There are so many qualified candidates, what are your must have personality traits? When I interview, here are the qualities that I look for in no particular order:
1) Phone Experience and Voice – The applicant needs a great phone voice to even qualify for a live interview with me! What is their history of making calls? Have they made 50 calls in at least one day of their career? How many calls did they need to make in order to have one live customer? Phone calling can be one third of the job to fill the building. It is crucial to have ongoing phone contact with our leads to make cool leads – warm, warm leads – hot and hot leads turning into move-ins.
2) Real Sales Experience – They need to be able to give examples of how to warm people up, find communality, do discovery and educate the customer on a wonderful service. I need to be able to visualize them describing our Continuing Care Retirement Community or Assisted Living. I don’t require a background in senior living sales.
3) Closing Experience – What is their closing ratio? How many live customers do they need in order to achieve one sale? Did they close me?
4) Listener – If they practice good listening skills with me, then they can do the same for the customer. This is vital…
5) Teachable – Are they willing to learn and grow? Some people want to live in a rut. I want someone who can morph themselves and strategize the sales presentation and closing techniques based on the current economy. I want someone who is willing to be a student of this business.
6) Genuine – Are they believable? Will the customer embrace their passion?
7) Sincere love and compassion for seniors – Have they ever cared for a senior or helped find skilled nursing care for a relative or neighbor? Do they have a history in working with seniors?
8) Team Player – Is it all about them or do they enjoy and contribute to a team approach? Operations definitely has a team approach in caring for the residents. Marketing works best with a team approach as well! I like to hear examples…
9) Motivated by helping others improve their lives? – Does this rock their boat or is it all money, money, money?
10) Education – If they had the dedication to complete their schooling, then they can have the dedication to fill the building.
11) Professional Appearance – Great smile, well groomed and speaks well – These are all a must!
12) Computer Literate? – Can they type at a decent speed, navigate through Word and Excel and learn a new database quickly?
Please share your top 12 favorite traits in hiring a senior housing sales person or feel free to add onto mine…