Seniors and Sales People Wearing Masks

Seniors and Sales People Wearing Masks

MaskAlmost everyone wears a mask out in public. It can be exhausting to hide behind a fake exterior and pretend we have it all together. I meet seniors and sales people everyday that seemed poised and polished to the world and yet they are terrified inside.

Many seniors and sales people have lost the ability to be real and authentic. They have worked hard to create the illusion that everything is fine, because they fear showing their vulnerability.  

Seniors walk into retirement communities everyday announcing that he or she is fine and “not ready yet” to make a move to senior housing. If you could pull off the mask, you might see a frightened senior who knows their memory is slipping, had a recent fender bender in the car or is just extremely lonely. That’s why they are exploring senior housing options.

Is this you?

Sale people may be dealing with an angry teenage daughter, a new baby, or ailing parents. They have to leave their breaking heart in the car and arrive for work with a mask of happiness. 

Is this you?

Here are the three most common masks:

The I’m Fine Mask: You smile and say that everything is fine when your heart is breaking. It appears that you have it all, but you may feel lost inside. It is safer to hide, because people expect it.

The Performance Mask: You have the “to do” list. You keep up a frantic pace.   If you stop performing then you are not worth anything at all. You want to matter and count.

The “I don’t care” Mask: You don’t bother with your looks. You do not seem to care. You are desperate to not be seen. You are certain that others will reject you.

Masks can be exhausting.  

I know because I am usually wearing the performance mask. On top of working full time as a regional marketing director at two Continuing Care Retirement Communities:

My personality has always been driven. I have always increased the occupancy of any senior living community I was working with. I love achieving goals. It’s also important to create balance in my life so I don’t burn out. I just started a women’s bible study called, “Keeping the Balance.” It is already changing my life and helping me recognize the real me, so I can be authentic with you. Today, I had some me time. What a treat. Tonight I will be dancing with my husband at Oktoberfest.

Balance in life is important. The opposite of wearing a mask can be seniors and sales people who over share. They want to dump all their problems on you and it may not be at an appropriate time.    

When my mom was in in later stages of dementia, her mask of pretending to be okay was gone. She just said whatever was on her mind.

How about you? What’s your mask? Have you found your balance?

Diane Masson has 19 years experience, both personally and professionally in senior housing.  She is an author of two books with 5-star ratings, a weekly blogger and a regional marketing director of two Continuing Care Retirement Communities.  Follow her newsletter on Tips2Seniors.com or Tips2Seniors on Facebook.

Un-engaged at Work? Only 30.5% are Engaged. 10 RECHARGING TIPS!

Un-engaged at Work? Only 30.5% are Engaged. 10 RECHARGING TIPS!

UN-ENGAGED EMPLOYEES HAVE CRACKS THAT NEED REPAIR!

UN-ENGAGED EMPLOYEES HAVE CRACKS THAT NEED REPAIR!


Is there a crack in your armor? Are you living on empty and have nothing left to give your family or job? Maybe you are a full-or part-time caregiver for an aging parent or a senior with dementia? Perhaps you are in a senior living sales slump?

You can’t help anyone else or be productive at work unless you take care of yourself first. Look for joy in the moments. You may be going through a dire time. Maybe your parent or one of your senior patients is dying. Perhaps your daughter or son has some kind of health or school trauma. Possibly you just learned that someone scheduled to move into your retirement community has changed his or her mind. It may have been the one you needed to hit your sales goal this month. Sigh…they are going to stay home and wait for a crisis. You start asking why over and over.

Don’t become jaded and harden yourself with a giant wall to protect your emotions. It’s mentally checking out and called un-engagement. Your family, senior prospective residents and coworkers can feel your wall.

If you work in senior living sales, we can’t help every senior. Only the ones who choose to plan ahead. Do you feel overwhelmed with what’s happening in your personal life? Is your lack of sales getting you down? Well it’s time to go find your rainbow. Are you wondering how to get started?  Feed your mind with positive thoughts. Schedule time to heal yourself!

10 Recharging Tips:

  1. Go to a live concert, stand in your shower or drive down the road singing at the top of your lungs.
  2. Sit by the ocean and wiggle your toes in the sand.
  3. Fly down the road with the wind in your face on a bike or motorcycle.
  4. Hold a baby or play with small children.
  5. Take a Saturday to read a book.
  6. Hang out with your friends.
  7. Spend time in nature – amongst the trees, watching the river go by or gazing at a lake.
  8. Soak in a bubble bath surrounded by candles.
  9. Go to a sports game in person. Cheer on your favorite team.
  10. Build a fire and make s’mores!

Recharge today, so you can change your world one senior or family member at a time.

Let your family and job see your heart when you speak. They will be moved and feel your sincerity. Seniors can tell if you want what’s best for them. Suddenly seniors who were “not ready yet” become ready to move into your retirement community. Conviction in your voice can move a mountain.

Shake off the negative. Don’t focus on the junk. I created a spiritual foundation of faith that can sustain me when I have a tough day. You can too. We all have moments of weakness. Believe in your ability to change a senior’s or family member’s life today.

In every encounter with family or at work, we either give life or drain it.

Do you give life to those around you at work and at home? Are you so worn out from working that you have nothing left to give your family? It’s your choice to be a giver or taker to those around you. Have you taken time to recharge yourself recently?

Exciting news!  Diane’s CCRC teams are breaking records and hitting aggressive occupancy goals this quarter.  They all participate in a weekly book review led by Diane.  The book review helps the teams stay on track, improve sales skills and build team camaraderie.  They just completed learning the 12 keys in Senior Housing Marketing: How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full for senior living professionals.  It was written by Diane Twohy Masson.  

Credit to Gallop: Only 30.5% of employees are engaged at work.

Everyone of us knows at least one senior that needs to move now.  Here is a resource to help you or them make an informed decision.  Diane Twohy Masson’s new guide book for seniors, “Your Senior Housing Options,”  is available on Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  It reveals a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of planning ahead or waiting too long.  Learn firsthand tips from someone who is currently advocating for two aging parents.

Among the thousands of seniors she and her teams have assisted in finding the right senior living community, the most difficult case has been helping her own parent. Masson spent two years exploring senior housing options with her mother before finding the ideal Continuing Care Retirement Community for her. After eight years in this independent living setting, she helped her mother transition into an assisted living community. Seven years later, even as a senior housing expert, Masson struggled with the decision to move her mother into a skilled nursing community.

More related articles by Diane can be found at  Tips2Seniors.com or like Tips 2 Seniors on Facebook.

“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

We are already half sold out ticketsIf a senior living sales person or ANYONE said to you, “We are half sold out,” what would be your first thought? I bet, it would not create urgency for you to act now.

When I was considering buying comedy tickets at the Improv last night, I inquired if the event was already sold out. The salesperson divulged, “We are half sold out. Getting tickets should be no problem. We are really surprised that only half the tickets have sold two days before the event.” I thought, oh, this comedian is not as popular as I thought. I will wait to buy my tickets. I was actually disappointed that the salesperson did not create urgency for a famous comic.

It was shocking to me that she would be so forth coming and I walked away disheartened. I told her that I would come back later and did. But I decided to not buy the tickets, because apparently I could just show up in a couple of days and buy the tickets on the day of the event. Her over sharing will continue to affect sales until a manager catches it.

The comedy club sales person over shared. What could she have said instead? “Gosh, let me check, I might be able to get you some tickets. It’s very unusual to have this comic coming to our location. How many tickets would you like?” I would have bought the tickets instantly.

Remember that famous Beanie Baby craze of the 1980’s? It was all about urgency for stuffed toys. Yes, I am the proud owner of 100 Ty bears and still like them.

What are your senior living sales people saying? Is your independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing sales people saying, “I have quite a few rooms to choose from…”? Cough, cough… You will never fill up with this language. Everyone wants something that they can’t have. There is such a thing as divulging too much information. If a family is given the opportunity to put off the decision to move, they will. Ninety-six percent of seniors end up staying in their own home and not moving. Why encourage them to stay home? How about creating a solution for their needs and offering them the perfect apartment in your senior living community?

Every apartment is unique in some respect, such as the floor plan, the view or where it is situated in the building. Create value for every single senior living apartment. Teach urgency and watch your occupancy rise. I go into a lot more detail in my book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”

Senior living communities have heavy attrition these days, so it can take two or three more move-ins than move-outs to move up one percent in occupancy. It’s always nice to see the arrow sliding up to 100% full.

So have you encountered too much honesty like me? Do you think it is stupid?

Everyone of us knows at least one senior that needs to move now.  Here is a resource to help you or them make an informed decision.  Diane Twohy Masson’s new guide book for seniors, “Your Senior Housing Options,”  is available on Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  It reveals a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of planning ahead or waiting too long.  Learn firsthand tips from someone who is currently advocating for three aging parents.

Among the thousands of seniors she and her teams have assisted in finding the right senior living community, the most difficult case has been helping her own parent. Masson spent two years exploring senior housing options with her mother before finding the ideal Continuing Care Retirement Community for her. After eight years in this independent living setting, she helped her mother transition into an assisted living community. Seven years later, even as a senior housing expert, Masson struggled with the decision to move her mother into a skilled nursing community.

More related articles by Diane can be found at  Tips2Seniors.com or like Tips 2 Seniors on Facebook.

Diane Twohy Masson has worked in senior housing since 1999. She is an award-winning certified aging services professional and the author of Senior Housing Marketing: How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full for senior living professionals.

Machine Gun Versus Interactive Sales Approach

Machine Gun Versus Interactive Sales Approach

Do you really listen?

What is your senior living sales style? Are you firing off information about your retirement community like a machine gun or do you have a softer interactive approach with future residents?

How a machine gun senior living sales person thinks:

  • It’s very important to give the prospect ALL the information about my community so they can make a good decision.
  • I want to help them move in soon.
  • I give a great and interesting tour of the community.
  • I want to highlight our most popular areas in the community.
  • I want them to try our food and then they will move in.
  • Prospects are busy, so I have to talk fast and get all the key information out.
  • I don’t know why I am not getting more sales, I ask everyone for a deposit.

How an interactive senior living sales person thinks:

  • What is the reason they walked in the door of my community today?
  • I am genuinely interested in the customer.
  • What’s most important for them to know?
  • How can I help them?
  • Through listening, I can customize the tour for them.
  • I’ll highlight the parts of the community that the prospect will utilize.
  • Asking questions to learn how my community can solve their problem is important (Are they lonely, have a lack of nutrition, fear of not being found laying on the floor after a fall, home maintenance too much or have a desire for socialization?).
  • Once they start visualizing themselves living in the community, they will make a deposit.

What is the one word difference between these two approaches? Listening!

Both types of senior living sales people are hard workers and care about the prospective resident. The difference is that the machine gun approach turns off prospective seniors. A senior wants to be understood and needs someone with compassion and kindness to interactively solve their current dilemma. They did not just walk in your community for the free food, they came in for a reason. Listen and learn the reason.

You may be thinking – I do listen to the customer!

Tip: When you do your next tour, determine if you are listening 90% of the time and only talking 10% of the time. If you can get them to talk about their own current living and lifestyle challenges, they will sell themselves.

Please share your style, strategies, 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 2014 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.
Recognizing Buying Questions in Senior Living

Recognizing Buying Questions in Senior Living

Recognize Buying Signals in Senior LivingSome senior living sales people are so focused on getting a deposit that they miss crucial buyer signs from a senior living prospect.  One easy tip for you to start using today is to never answer an easy question that a senior or adult child asks with a simple, “yes” or “no.”  Instead, respond with a clarifying question and discover more about his or her mindset.

The following is an excerpt from my book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”

For example, if they ask, “Is this apartment available?”  You ask, “What is your time frame for moving in?”  The answer given is very telling.  They might say, “Well, I have to sell my home first.”  This indicates they want to buy it!  You just have to walk them through the steps on how to make it a reality.

More Buying Questions 

  • Asking about availability of a certain apartment.
  • What is the time frame required to move into this apartment?
  • They want something repeated.
  • Wanting to know about rates, price, or affordability.
  • Asking about the quality or levels of health care that are offered is a great sign.
  • Wanting to see the model apartment.
  • Asking what the other residents are like.
  • Comparing your senior living community with the competition. This means they are doing their homework and are interested.

Start recognizing closing questions that they may ask you.  The questions can come in the beginning, the middle, or the end of your senior living tour.  When they ask you a question, never answer with a simple “yes “or “no.”  It’s good to answer with a clarifying question that allows more discoveries as to their needs or wants.  Your strategic question can often turn into an early close and result in the sale.

They may say, “How much money would I have to put down to hold it?”  This is not a sale until you walk them through all the steps.  But it’s darned close!

Have your senior living occupancy start increasing today!

Please share your strategies, 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 2014 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.
3 BIG Senior Living Sales Mistakes

3 BIG Senior Living Sales Mistakes

3 MistakesMANY senior living sales professionals selling continuing care and retirement communities make three common mistakes:

  1. Believing only older need driven seniors will move into an independent retirement setting.
  2. Only focusing on seniors who want to move now.
  3. Not doing enough “discovery” to tailor a tour to a senior’s lifestyle.

After the financial world turned upside in 2008 and real estate took a dive, younger seniors remained in their own homes.  Now, younger seniors are moving into retirement communities again.  Senior living communities must have amenities and lifestyle choices that attract younger seniors.  Does yours??  As a sales person, you must believe that younger seniors will move in too!  I have acutally heard a senior living sales person say, “They are only 83 years old and not ready yet.”

Only 20% of seniors will walk in and say, “I am ready to move in now.”  The order taker marketers love this type of prospect.  Well guess what?  The majority of seniors need handholding and relationship building over a period of time.  They need to come into your senior living community four to six times to visualize themselves living the lifestyle.

Discovering the passions, pursuits and interests of a senior seems so obvious to the “A” player senior living sales professional.  This allows the sales person to tailor the “Wow Tour” to each senior.  It may mean having the senior meet other residents who share their common interests.  It could involve meeting and touring each adult child, so they can support their parents moving into your community.

Senior living sales takes more time and effort than it did six years ago.  Why do so many senior living sales people simply give a tour?  What have you witnessed or experienced?

Please share your strategies, 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 2014 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.